Workout of the Day

 Nathan charges down the homestrech en route to winning the 2016 Portland Twilight meet where he set his lifetime best in the event of 1:47.86.

Nathan charges down the homestrech en route to winning the 2016 Portland Twilight meet where he set his lifetime best in the event of 1:47.86.

3 x 150m / 2 x 500m / 1 x 300m / 2 x 80m


  • 150m — 18.88 / 18.97 19.22
  • 500m — 75.97 72.26
  • 300m — 38.83
  • 80m — 10.04 / 9.50

Recovery: 150m jog after 150s / 300m jog after 500s / 600m walk|jog after the 300m rep

Nathan Fleck — March 30th, 2016


Context & Details

I've coached Nathan for going on four years now. I recruited him to Portland State University in 2013. He was a member of my first recruiting class there. When I left PSU in 2015, he quit the team and asked me to continue coaching him. I did. He joined HPW and is still with us. He is a special talent and someone whom I've enjoyed a rich relationship. 

This workout is an 800m connecting session for the pure 2 lap athlete, which Nathan is. He knows how to run fast, not long, and is a low mileage middle distance athlete. Frequently he enjoys both a day of complete rest and cross-training only every 10 days. There is no point in asking him to run more than 10 miles at a given time; he is preparing to run at max capacity for 110 seconds or less.

The 150m reps are designed to mimic the rhythm of the race's first 250m. The 500m reps attune the athlete to the harsh realities of the race's middle. And the 300m rep is an opportunity to throw caution to the wind and practice giving all you've got without regard to the clock, much like the race's end. The 80m reps were included to foster some quicker turnover before his cool down run. We found through trial and error that he responds well to two to four 10 seconds sprints after a tough 800m specific workout, bouncing back quicker when he does these than not. 

The 150m reps are at goal first lap 800m speed (50.5), not too fast or long enough to tire him significantly, but to calibrate him to what that race rhythm feels like on the day. The 500m reps are the bridge: they connect the session's elements. By stressing his anaerobic threshold with slightly-faster-than-mile-pace running on incomplete recovery, these reps set up Nathan for the workout's real test, the 300m "final sprint."   

Nathan was instructed to "run it like the last 300m of a race." Give all you've got and not hold back. He was readying to make a run at the Olympic Trials mark of 1:46.50 that year but only had a personal best of 1:52.82 coming into the season. He needed to get better. This all-out rep was designed to foster the required improvement. 

He blasted it. I asked him after, "did it feel like the end of an 800m?" "Yeah," he nonchalantly answered. Good. Mission accomplished. 

Ten days later he opened his outdoor season with a solo 1:50.78 victory at a low key D2 college meet. By season's end he'd run six out of seven 800m races better than his previous personal record and established a new lifetime best of 1:47.68, but falling short of making the Olympic Trials. 

I'm hopeful he'll make the meet in 2020. I think he has what it takes.


Any questions? I'm happy to answer. You can send me a Direct Message on Twitter or email me at jmarcus.hpw@gmail.com
Thx //  jm


Jonathan Marcus