Workout of the Day
3 x 800m / 4 x 120m
800m reps — 2:19 / 2:14 / 2:12
120m reps — 16.5 / 16.7 / 16.5 / 16.2
Recovery: 800m jog recovery in 7' between 800m reps, 4' walk/jog between 120m reps
Anna Connor — April 7th, 2015
Context & Details
The 800m/1500m athlete is an interesting hybrid. They possess capable raw foot speed as well as a degree of aerobic capacity. But they are not as fast as the 400m/800m athlete or as aerobically endowed as the 3K/5K runner. Therefore, I've found success by employing a highly polarized hybrid training menu of long & strong aerobic workouts complimented with critical race speeds (1500m and faster) and sprinting sessions. This effort falls into the latter category.
The ask was three 800m reps, performed progressively faster as the fatigued mounted. It should be noted for Anna, the final 800m was nearing PR territory at the time. Then after near full recovery, a series of longer sprints of 120m. This is a highly difficult track session. Her composure, or lack thereof, in how she handled the work would be a clear signal as to her fitness level before the outdoor racing season began in earnest for her two weeks later.
Because of the intensity and degree of difficulty, she required about five days of very easy regenerative running and auxiliary activities for her to safely rebound. Such was expected. Anna went to the well, but she didn't dry it up. Instead, she drank liberally from it. Had she taxed herself to the point of no return then the 120m sprints, she would have rapidly slowed. Instead, with her final 800m and 120m rep being her fastest, this provided a clear signal she was in career fitness.
And indeed she was. After this session, Anna set personal best marks in the 400m, 800m, 1500m, 1 Mile, 3K, and 5K that year. It was a storybook season that came to an end with her being the second athlete not to make the USATF Championship meet in the 1500m. Her 4:14 was within a whisper of making that starting line. But for a young woman who had a 1500m best of 4:27 from the previous year, such dramatic gains was a comforting consolation prize.