Results from the Altoona Igloo invt.

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Re: Results from the Altoona Igloo invt.

Postby once a runner » April 5th, 2009, 9:52 pm

The 800 is a prolonged sprint. I would take the guy with speed over the guy with endurance any day. All great 800 runners can also run a very good 400, but not always a very good mile. If there is a race that needs an equal balance of speed and endurance it's the mile.



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Re: Results from the Altoona Igloo invt.

Postby wickedcrossover » April 6th, 2009, 10:20 am

On the high school level 1:54 is a really good time in the 800. That is essentially two :57 400's. That is far from a sprint. I understand what you guys are saying, it would be great to have a sprinter run a longer distance at a fast pace but there is a lot more to it than that. A lot of miles have to be put in. Then what effect will that have on the fast twitch muscles? I'll agree with USATF that the 800 may be the transition race, but I'm still not fully convinced about the sprinter being the better 800 runner (at the HS level anyway). Consider this: are there more 100, 200, or 400, runners doing the 800 or more 1600 and 3200 runners doing the 800? I think it's 1600 runners

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Re: Results from the Altoona Igloo invt.

Postby usatf oldguy » April 6th, 2009, 5:47 pm

I think the reason more 1600 runners do the 800 is that they are used to the grueling mileage needed to run the race.If you are a 100, 200 or 400 runner the training is slightly different.I personally have the utmost respect for 400 and up runners because if you train right you better love pain and lots of it.I think it is a hard sell to highschool kids who think an 11.2 or 11.3 is fast that the 400 or 800 might be the race for them.Logically though I think it would work to bump up if you are willing to put in the time and pain of tough workouts.Heck they are having this same conversation about Usain Bolt,they say he may bump to the 400 or even possible the 800.I know one thing if he does and can stay within striking distance at the end no one would have that kind of closing speed!

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Re: Results from the Altoona Igloo invt.

Postby once a runner » April 6th, 2009, 10:42 pm

Running a 57 in the 400 is not blazing speed by any means, but in order to run 2 in a row, you would generally have sub 52 speed in the 400...that is a good sprint time for the 400. What will a 52 in the 400 get at states? Not a medal...that's for sure. However, if that kid is willing to move up and endure the miles and longer intervals, a 1:54-1:56 in the 800 will surely bring home a medal every year (for the record, I am talking about AA here).

Not every sprinter is capable of moving up to the 800. The truly great sprinters like Bolt or Lewis or Green, etc. would not be great 800 runners. It comes down to fast and slow twitch muscles. Their muscles are so full of fast twitch muscles, there is not a lot of capability to carry oxygen necessary for the 800. Guys running 11.2 in the 100 are fast, but they are not brimming with fast twitch muscles and would be far more successful on the district and state level by running the 400 and 800.

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Re: Results from the Altoona Igloo invt.

Postby usatf oldguy » April 7th, 2009, 6:42 pm

Heck a 1:54 or 1:56 would get a medal at AAA almost every year.Alot of years 1:54 would win! I think if you can conquer the endurance factor the sprinting will get you home in the end.Most good middle distance guys try to take a pace out fast if there are alot of great kickers in a race.Thus they hope to run the great kickers out of gas.

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Re: Results from the Altoona Igloo invt.

Postby WPIAL~Titan » April 9th, 2009, 12:06 pm

The best 800m runners have one important element: SOLID BASIC SPRINT SPEED.

In order for an 800m runner to improve his/her time, they should work more from the standpoint of building and sustaining speed.

If a runner has good 200/400m speed, then training should simply be adpated to add strength and endurance so that speed can be sustained for a longer period. This would include:

-Plyometrics (bounding, skipping, hopping) to develop explosiveness

-Weight training geared to building explosive speed

-Lower mileage training (ie-50 miles a week max) with sessions of"speed endurance training" which trains the body to sustain speed

-Speed drills (accelerations, etc.)

-One long run per week of 10 miles at a comfortable pace (start at 7 miles and work up to 10)

-One moderately long run of 6-8 miles with sustained surges throughout the run

-2-3 moderate distance runs of 5-8 miles finishing with speed drills

A runner like Aaron Nadolsky has the basic sprint speed to be a high level D1 800m runner, and quite possibly even a national class 800m runner (ie...sub-1:50 800m), with the correct training. Conversely, he will have to make some improvement to get to national class at 400m (get close to or under :47.xx.)
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Re: Results from the Altoona Igloo invt.

Postby wickedcrossover » April 10th, 2009, 9:12 pm

I'm going to continue to be the devil's advocate on this subject. If a runner can maintain a :63 - :64 second pace over 4 laps (4:12 - 4:16 1600) then with plyometrics and development of explosiveness he should be able to take his time down to :56 - :57 seconds per 400 for two laps (1:52 - 1:54 800). Instead of running 400 or longer intervals he could start throwing in some 200 repeats along with some 100 repeat workouts. Keep in mind most 4:20 or less milers can run a 400 under :55 with no problem.

Actually I'm arguing your point of view, when I also agree with it to some extent. I just can't see how you guys can make it seem so cut and dry. This is an age old argument. As to which athlete is best suited to move to the 800 ( a sprinter moving up or a distance moving down) is solely based upon the individual athlete and his anearobic or arobic make up and which can train to be adjusted. Listen, if it were that easy to just move up from a somewhat competitive 400 runner to a super competitive 800 runner, don't you think it would be done all the time. I'm sure that's attempted with both failure and success.

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Re: Results from the Altoona Igloo invt.

Postby zonebreaker » April 11th, 2009, 12:25 am

It is not so cut and dry. It all depends on the athlete. In fact, I'd argue that the majority of the time a great distance runner outdoes a great 400 runner at the 800.

That being said, if you are trying to build a state champion from very early on in an athlete's career, you could look out for an athletic sprinter and train him/her for the 400 or 800. Training, however, will not get it done magically. The athlete needs to have a propensity to do extraordinarily well at that distance as well.

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Re: Results from the Altoona Igloo invt.

Postby once a runner » April 11th, 2009, 10:48 am

I don't think it's a cut and dry situation either. I'm saying in general I would rather have a sprinter move up than a distance guy move down to run the 800. There is no lack of distance guys who can run great 800's. Dave Mock was considered a distance guy, but I saw him run a 1:55 in a relay. His rival at the time, Chris Spooner, was a great distance guy as well (state champion in CC, sub 8:50 in the 2 mile) and could still go sub 1:50 in the 800.

I think that great 800 runners are also very good sprinters is more the rule than the exception. The hardest part of getting a good sprinter to move up to the 800 is convincing them to do it. Sometimes they are sprinters because they simply don't want to hurt for an extended period of time. As zonebreaker said, the kid has to want to do well at the distance. If you can't get them to want to do it, they won't be good at it.

Guys around here who run 11.2-11.3 in the 100 or 52-53 in the 400 will win a whole lot of dual meets, but if they get out of districts they will not even smell the finals at states. As a coach, I would rather make an 800 runner out of the 53 second 400 runner than a 10:30 two miler. I just believe there is more potential in moving the sprinter up than the distance runner down. It comes down to one simple fact... in the 800 speed is more important than endurance. Both are necessary, but I give the edge to speed.

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Re: Results from the Altoona Igloo invt.

Postby usatf oldguy » April 12th, 2009, 11:30 am

I had a very wise coach tell me years ago how they always had excellent 400, 800 runners.Now this coach had quality 4x800 relay teams consistently,and also won the the state title more than once in the event.This coach would test for speed and convince the fastest athletes to bump up to 400 and 800s.The coach would give them the argument that what would you prefer to win alot of duals and maybe a district title or all of that and also a state medal.The coach must have been very persuasive because they almost always had a state caliber 4x400 or 4x800 team.Now this example is at the highschool level but I think alot could be learned from it.


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