Workout of the Day
3 x 800m + 4 x 120m
800m: 2:19.8, 2:12.7, 2:14.6
120m: 16.5, 16.7, 16.5, 16.2
Recovery: 800m walk/jog rec in 8' between 800s and 4' rec. between 120s
Anna Connor — April 7th, 2015
Context & Details
Two thousand fifteen was a career year for Anna. It was one of those magical seasons where an athlete is running their fastest, competing at their best, and are rewarded with either podium finishes or lifetime best marks nearly every time on the track.
Before 2015, Anna's personal best in the 1500m was 4:26, by season's end she lowered it to 4:14.
When I think a miler is on the cusp of a breakout season I employ this workout.
The ask is to run the 800m reps starting at current 1 mile fitness and progressing down from there as able. How the miler handles this assignment typically provides me with a clear marker of their readiness for upcoming races. Doing 3 faster than 1500m pace 800m reps is near the equivalent of running a 1500m race, but without the total maxed out experience over the final 300m.
To put this workout in perspective, Anna ran an 800m personal best of 2:11 on March 14th, 2015. Roughly a month later, she nearly bettered it in practice, mid-workout. Three days after this session, she ran a new lifetime best of 2:08 at a low key small college invite which was a couple hours after a 1500m victory earlier in the day. At that time, breaking 2:10 was a big deal for Anna. And it is worth noting, sometimes besting small barriers provide the biggest satisfaction and spark for momentum.
What I like most about this workout is the readiness it provides the athlete for the stark difficulty of racing 800m/1500m races. And if the athlete is fit enough and the rest between reps is appropriate, this session usually primes them for a breakout performance, and season, as Anna enjoyed.