Workout of the Day
5 x 500m
Splits: 81.1, 81.7, 79.1, 79.2, 73.0
Recovery: 300m walk/jog in 2.5' - 3'
Nathan Fleck — April 11th, 2018
Context & Details
Nathan is a springy, fast twitch, wiry middle distance runner. He was made for the 800m, not events much longer. His limiting factor isn't a work ethic or desire to race longer distances, simply his body breaks down when training for any events beyond 800m.
He's young, early 20s, and time is currently on his side. To quote my friend, Brad Stulberg, "...lots of times the best thing we can do is stick to the process and let progress unfold on its own time."
This is my 5th year coaching Nathan. He and I are close. There is a deep trust and respect in our relationship. He communicates well about his limitations and I equally hold him to high account to bring his very best day after day.
Currently, with High Performance West Elite athletes, I employ a 14 day training block (or Mircocycle) structure where 11 days are considered "focused work" blocks which are balanced with 3 day response blocks for refreshment purposes.
The beginning of each Mircocycle typically houses an athlete's longest and most aerobic based track workout. For Nathan, 2,500m of work at imaginary 3,000m pace (I say imaginary because he is not readying to run a 3K anytime soon) is his "long & strong session" of the cycle.
This is difficult work for the 800m man. They typically prefer workout reps up no longer than 500m - 600m in length and at sub-60 seconds 400m speed with generous recoveries. But once every two weeks I ask for practice of intensity discipline outside their comfort zone. The physiological aim is to build aerobic capacity but more importantly is the psychological element — encourage refinement of their focus.
Victory, many times, goes to the most focused competitor. When we lose focus, our mind tends to fix on what could be wrong with our life instead of what's right.
And in the 800m in, especially in the final 100m of the race, focus can be lost quickly and easily. Therefore, it is prudent to ready the 1/2 miler, in session which stretches them like this one, to keep their mind fixed on what's right, rather than what's not.