Workout of the Day

McKayla Fricker leads the way in the first round of the Women's 800m at the 2016 Olympic Trials. (Photo:  Michael Scott )

McKayla Fricker leads the way in the first round of the Women's 800m at the 2016 Olympic Trials. (Photo: Michael Scott)

2 x 500m /  2 x 200m, 100m, 100m, 200m


500m — 1:24.8 / 1:24.5
200/100/100/200 #1 — 29.64 / 13.32 13.17 30.29
200/100/100/200 #2— 30.01 / 13.25 13.18 27.19

Recovery: 300m jog after 500m reps, 100m jog between 200, 100, 100, 400m jog between sets

McKayla Fricker — May. 4th, 2016


Context & Details 

This is a short, sweet, potent maintenance session for the 800m athlete in mid-season. I designed it for McKayla between race weekends as an effort to keep her crisp but not unnecessarily tax her for the upcoming race weekend. 

The longer I have coached the 800m event, the more comfortable I understand it as a highly demanding neuromuscular event. Now I opt for less workout volume, but more quality as compared to my younger years. This session is just over 2,000m worth of quality volume; nearly triple the race distance of the 800m. To the distance eye that is not a lot, but the 800m runner, it is a good day's work. 

I think of the pure 800m athlete as an endurance sprinter. It my own bastardized term, but it helps me think better about preparation for the event given my endurance based background. This session was designed with that construct in mind. Endurance first, (2 x 500m reps) and sprinting second ( 2 x 200/100/100/200). 

Make no mistake, McKayla is indeed sprinting the short reps, especially the final 200m of each rep. However, because of the lack of recovery afforded her throughout each set, her max effort does not yield a super speedy mark on the watch (yes, elements of endurance are still present in this sprinting segment). Kind of like the final 200m of an 800m race. And that is the point: it mimics the demands of race day in practice without having to experience the 800m race in full. That way, the athlete is best equipped to express their fitness fully when it counts, in competition. 


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

Jonathan Marcus