On this cold morning (9:30, 29 degrees), Rob and Phil joined me at Germantown Academy for what I have begun to call "The Breaking the Barrier 800m workout." This workout is a take on an article that I shared regarding breaking the 2:00 barrier in the 800. We entered the workout humbly and in good faith. Who knew we'd exit it with our tails between our legs?
The first workout below is the one based specifically on the article, while the second and third ones represent "sliding scales" with respect to the 800m goal and thus pacing.
Workout/goal for sub-2:00 800m: 12×300 at 43-45 seconds with a 1:00 recovery.
If the pace slows to a 47 or slower after a minimum of 4 repeats of 300 meters, then drop to running 200s at 28-30 seconds with a 1:00 recovery.
If you slow to anything slower than 31 or 32 seconds, then drop to running 100 repeats in 14-15 seconds with 30 seconds recovery.
Workout/goal for 2:05 800m: 12x300 in 45-47 seconds with 1:00 recovery.
If the pace slows to a 50 or slower after a minimum of 4 repeats of 300 meters, then drop to running 200s at 31-32 seconds with a 1:00 recovery.
If you slow to anything slower than 33 or 34 seconds, then drop to running 100 repeats in 15-16 seconds with 30 seconds recovery.
Workout/goal for 2:10 800m: 12×300 at 48-50 seconds with a 1:00 recovery.
If the pace slows to a 53 or slower after a minimum of 4 repeats of 300 meters, then drop to running 200s at 33-34 seconds with a 1:00 recovery.
If you slow to anything slower than 35 or 36 seconds, then drop to running 100 repeats in 16-17 seconds with 30 seconds recovery.
The idea of this workout is to maintain race pace or faster throughout the entire workout to help the athlete learn to hold the pace even when fatigued both physically and mentally. Shortening the distances run really helps with this.
(Going into the workout, Rob confessed that he would hang back a couple of seconds off the pace.)
After a full warm up, Phil and I began in earnest with a 46-second 300. We walked across the track back to the start. 60 seconds flew by, and we were off again. 48 seconds on me. I was winded. Next 300 was in 50. Fourth 300 was in 53. Phil was about 2 seconds ahead on these two. I was withering, downward spiraling downward. We all were. We stole a break and made our way to the 200 mark on the other side of the track. Cheaters!
The 200s began with energy. The first one--31 on me, 30 on Phil. One-minute breather, during which time Phil mentioned that he hated me so. #2: 32 for both of us. #3: 32 for me. When I said we had 20 seconds of break time remaining, Phil considered directing an expletive at me, but said he had too much respect for me to do so. #4: 32.
Rob walked swiftly to the 100m start and hassled us about getting there, too. He was quite the tyrant. He didn't seem nearly as flaccid as we were at this point. 100s: 15-mid. 30 second rest period. #2: 16-low. 30 seconds. #3: 15-mid. 30 seconds. #4: 15-low.
We were finished and not a moment too soon. We confessed that the workout had kicked us in the rear end. Rob was the hero, though, seemingly less fazed by the pain and marveling at his exploits. I was a believer. Rob, you're ready for that 2:15. You just have to execute!
I just realized, though, that I was supposed to continue running the 200s to failure. I never did bottom out; I went straight for the 100s after 4 200s. That wasn't supposed to happen. Note to self.