some thoughts: 800m training

I have been working on this for a while, need feedback from you,
Look it over help me out get in touch!

Scott Anderson writes to suggest some modifications for the masters runner wishing to train for the 800m. I like his suggestion of 4 to 6 x 40 seconds run with 5 minutes rest. Also he suggests 2 to 3 x 1000m at a hard pace with a long rest, I would prefer 1000m at 3K pace with a 3 minute rest followed by some fast 100m at current 800m pace. A good test according to Scott would be 2 x 600 at hard with a long rest, if you are a masters runner we would like to hear from you.

Some additions: Nov. 27, 2017, some numbers to consider, volume per workout.
Assume 30 to 35 miles a week, Reps workout (mile pace), 5% of mileage or up to 2400 m a workout. Fast reps (800m pace) 3% of weekly total or up to 1600 m. Interval wo, 3k pace or slower 8% of weekly total, up to 3200-3500m or 4 x 800m.
Fast reps could be down several times a week, such as 4 x100m to finish workout or 3 x 200m cutdowns after a 30 minutes easy run.

Running The 800 m may be the most difficult to event to  train for; aerobic/ anaerobic, speed/endurance?

Your ability to run the 400m may be a key.

Long intervals are necessary on a regular basis. 400, 500, 600m.

Reps of 100 to 300m at current 800 pace must be done often.

Don’t forget the cut downs to finish! 4 x 60 to 100m each one faster!

Tempo runs, at 10 K pace, 10 to 18 minutes, every ten days or so; in the preseason and early season especially. Long runs once a week, up to 60-70 minutes, ok work up to them

Some specific suggestions:

Long intervals as 3 to 5 x 500m at hard with long rests, 4 x 80 m to finish, cut downs, each on faster. You could run 3 x 600m as 200m fast, 10 second rest, 200m fast 10 second rest and 200m fast, with a 600m rest. repeat 2 to 3 times. 500m should be done hard at least 90% effort, don’t worry to much about pace, run the 400m hard and hang on for last 100m, long rest at least 500m

Do 100m and 200m at 400 effort,  2-3 sets  of 200m with log rests.
300m could be done as 100m fast, 10 sec rest, 100m fast, 10 sec rest and 100 fast followed by a 300m rest, repeat up to 3 sets. Do theses as close to current 800m pace as possible.

Jerry Gravel Davis lot runs: 8 x 100m after a long warm up to include accelerations,  done like this, 100 m fast rest 10 seconds, 100m fast 10 seconds rest; do 4 take a 3 minutes rest and do another set of 4 at 100m fast with 10 second rest. To finish do 4 x 80 cut downs, each on faster with walk rest.

Running outside, cold and wind, try Lactate Slackers: 1 minute fast, 2 minutes easy or 1 minute fast with 3 minutes easy. First time you do these, try 3 minute rests, after 1 or 2 times do 2 minute rests. Do as many as you can up to 5 first time. Do more next week.

Take Note Ashley.

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It is really all about D.I.R.T. Interval Training: Interval training is training where repeated work bouts are interspersed with intervals  of rest. The primary VARIABLE in interval training is the interval of rest. Interval training can be used to train more intensely for a longer period. This is possible because frequent intervals of rest are taken during the same training session. The variables of interval training (D. I.R.T.) include the distance, the interval of rest, the repetitions, and the time (intensity).

The DISTANCE refers to the distance of the work bout. The distance run could be 800m, the distance might also refer to a time trained. As in weight training, you could do 10 reps of work in 40 seconds, 40 seconds as the distance.

The I or interval refers to the interval of rest.

There are two variables considered in the interval: time of rest and type of rest.

Type of rest                                                                Activities Associated
Rest Relief                                                     Standing, Walking, Flexing/Stretching
Work Relief                                                 Light to Mild exercise, Jogging, Easy Swimming

The time of the interval of rest is related to the energy system trained (Work Effort area) see below, and the time worked. For example if the work to rest ratio is 1:3 and the distance of the work is 100 m in 30 seconds(intensity) then the rest would be 90 seconds.

The third variable is the number of repetitions. The number of repetitions is once again related to the work effect area trained as can be seen by the chart. To train the ATP-PC work effort area use  up to 24 repetitions; where as to train the O2 work effort area use three (3) to four repetitions. The ATP-PC-LA work area up to 16 reps depending on the distance. THE LA-O2 work area may involve 5 to 10 reps with a rest of 1:1 rest to work ratio.

The fourth variable is the time, which refers to the intensity of work. The intensity of the work, to a large extent should be determined by the work effort area to be trained. If the ATP-PC ( see chart below) work effort area is to be trained, the intensity should be hard with a short work bout and a longer rest (in relation to the duration of the work). If the O2 system is to be trained the intensity would be moderate, the duration of the work bout longer, but the rest short or very short.

The most common modes of interval training have been run or swim, but interval training could be used for a wide variety of modes including stair master, exercise bike, biking and aerobic dance,  and weight training mention a few. Many exercise machines found in modern wellness/fitness centers have interval training programs in their computers.

AEROBIC WORK                                                    ANAEROBIC WORK

MODERATE IN INTENSITY                                     HIGH INTENSITY

60-80% OF MAX HR HEART RATE                      85-100% of Max Heart Rate

Long duration, 5 minutes or longer                  Short duration, 10 seconds to 3 minutes
Steady state                                                           HYDROGEN IONS CAUSES DISCOMFORT
38 molecules of ATP                                                2 molecules of ATP produced
Utilizes fats and carbohydrates                            Utilizes carbohydrates
Muscle demands for 02 met                                   Insufficient 02

The Work Effort Areas or Energy Systems

WORK EFFORT AREA               TIME OF WORK                      EXAMPLES                  #Reps

ATP-PC                            LESS THAN 30 SECONDS               SPRINT 60 METERS    up to 24

ATP-PC-LA                     30 SECONDS TO 1.5 MINUTES           RUN 400 METERS     8-16

LA-O2                              1.5 MINUTES TO 3 MINUTES              RUN 800 METERS      4-7

O2                                  4  MINUTES OR LONGER        RUN THE MILE OR LONGER   2-5

To train the ATP-PC area (ATP STORED IN THE MUSCLE),  you could do multiple sets of 15 seconds run at fast with a 1:5 work to rest ratio. Training for the ATP-PC-LA area, could be repeat runs of 60 seconds with a rest ratio of 1:2 to 1:4. LA-O2 Training could be 3 minutes hard at 3K pace with a 3 minute rest. To train the O2 system what would you suggest?? How hard? how long? how many reps?


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This blog is under review: I need to update with some info about hydrogen ions and the discomfort of running. Please be patient.

What is up with Lactic Acid? Lactate.

The culprit, causes the fatigue in fast running? Responsible for the muscle soreness after hard workouts?  Or should be called lactate,  the body  learns to use the lactate to  produce more energy in the form of ATP during work. Interferes with muscle contraction?, ?????research suggests the lactate does not interfere with the muscle contraction, Does not cause fatigue in the muscles during running.  When the intensity of work causes the acidity of the muscle to  increase you have to slow down or rest. It takes about 60 seconds of near maximum pace running for the muscle acidity to to increase to uncomfortable levels.

However after a short rest the pyruvic acid allows more ATP to be produced. Learn to live with lactate and train you body to use it to produce energy. ” Lactate is a key fuel for muscles.”

Muscle soreness after work could be caused  by  tissue damage and accumulation of waste products that occurred during the work. Lactate is not the problem. Long easy cool downs, to remove accumulated lactic acid, not sure about cool downs? How about fast strides after work to leave the body of fast running,  ask me later!!!!!

Lactate Treshold Training; 1 mins and 2 mins rest.

The lactate can be converted to to glycogen during the work, the body needs glycogen as a source of energy. The lactate can also be converted to Pyruvate to enter into the Kreb cycle  to produce energy(ATP) for more running. During the run, the lactate converts to glycogen to fuel the work; during the rest cycle of the intervals, the lactate is converted to pyruvate to produce ATP and fuel the work.

You feel fatigue during hard runs, because your muscles are running out of energy (ATP).  There is an increasing of the acidity status of the muscle environment,  sending a message to your brain to slow down, so you don’t  get hurt. It is all really in your mind, it is a false warning system, you just need to pick up the pace.

During intervals, you run hard for 2 to 3 minutes and you rest for 2 to 3 minutes, during the rest the lactate enters the Krebs cycle as pyruvate acid  to produce more ATP for the next interval. You have felt it!  the 2nd or 3rd hard interval is easier than the first.

The more reading I do the more confused I get, do guys like Moose who want to run fast in the 800m, really need to do a lot of slow running?      There may be some / much questions about the high volume base training,   some studies  suggest that  some/much high intensity training should be included during the volume building phase. p. 315.    Lactate Threshold training??

This author suggests that much more high intensity work should be included in early training phases than previously reviewed.  Runners, middle distance runners, at least up to the 5K, need to spend more  time running at race pace if not faster.  Do their long runs need to be longer than 60 minutes?  Or should they run 60 minutes and finish with fast strides for 10 minutes. Maybe they only need to run easy distance to recover from hard runs,? They may need to be training at 85% effort or faster at least 3 days a week? Some research   suggests that Lactate Stimulators such as 1 minutes fast with 2 minutes easy/jog need to be done at least one a week, during most season.

Do they really need to run more than 60 miles a week? which includes  one long run a week. Where do hill reps and circuit training fit in the puzzle?  Even for the 5K, you may need much work, during most of the work phases at paces no slower than 10K to 3K pace!

REFERENCE: Anderson, Owen,PHD. Running Science. Human Kinetics. Champaign,IL

A great article follows, courtesy of Coach Bill Devine; Westfield State Cross Country Coach.

Fuel, Not Foe? The Truth About Lactic Acid

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You are what you did 10 days ago!

Fitness running and Racing for the over 30 set.

This may be old news for some, but a good review! Some basic principles.

Follow a pattern of hard day easy day, recovery days every week are part of your training. Organize your training into phases, each phase emphasizes different training.

The most important principle of training is to be consistent, stay healthy. If you go out and hammer every day, you will not make progress.

You are what you did 10 days ago! Sudden changes in routine, not good. Remember where you were ten days ago and work from there. Big race, the last hard workout should be 8-10 days before race..

Running fitness has a 2.5 day half life?? That means  if you take three days off you lose ½ of what you gained in your last workout. Be consistent. Just Do It

You know what!, every race does not have to be a personal best! Some races you just cover the distance, learn something new about yourself. Run with a teammate. Practice surging, in races over one mile, surging is a great strategy, get new muscles into play, 3 to 5 fast strides, surge  when you think you are tired.

You only need to run 2-3 races each season hard, really hard.
After early season races finish with fast strides or do a workout, i.e. 5-10 x 100m.

This may be a new thought for you, but your body remembers the last thing you do each day of training . Slow running, it remembers that, race pace strides the last thing, it remembers race pace.

The one drill to start with: fast feet drill. 8aoQsmKjk

Get a coach,  be consistent follow a plan, if you would plan  to race.

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The Biomechanics of Running:

I wrote this review years ago for a class I taught at Westfield State, Analysis of Motion, the principles have not changed. It has been much revised recently. Provided here for your review.

Summary: Gluteal group produces force and the calf group applies force to the surface.
The flexion of the swing knee shortens the lever, and makes the thigh easier to swing conserving energy.
The fastest runners stay on the ground and in the air for the shortest time, Impulse.
What ever work the runner does on the surface, the surface does equal and opposite work on the runner.
To move forward the runner must produce and apply force and create disequilibrium, lean  forward, fall forward, stick out your foot.
Conservation of angular momentum is the key, flex the swing knee to move the thigh forward, this uses the pendulum action of swing without wasting force.
The higher you bound, the harder you crash, run over the surface while minimizing the vertical projection. Quick in the hips. Pick up your feet rather than pushing against the surface.  Avoid loping floating stride. Most runners over stride wasting energy that could be user for propulsion. If you improve your stride economy and efficiency, you will run faster  with less energy.
The action of the arms is a crossed extensor reflex, forward swing of one limb results in a backward swing of another.

The following video demonstrates some of the biomechanics of running. It reviews efficient running.

The Phases of running:

The single support phase and the swing phase. There is a phase of running where the body becomes a projectile.

Production of Force and Development of Linear Momentum.

The production of force in running occurs when the support leg moves from hip flexion to hip hyperextension, the gluteal group and the hamstrings pull/push the leg/body forward. This results in the support leg producing force at the hip which is eventually applied to the ground though plantar flexion of the support leg.
Application of force: As mentioned the movement of plantar flexion of the lower leg at the ankle results in the application of force to the ground.
Note: the gluteal group are the primary force producers in running. 

Newton’s Laws as applied to Running:

The body has inertia and tends to remain at rest, the force produced applied to the ground must be great enough to overcome the inertial forces.

Newton’s third law of linear motion suggests that what ever force is applied to the ground the ground applies to the person.

Newton’s second Law suggests that the acceleration of the person is directly proportional to the force applied but inversely proportional to the mass of the person.

(A 150 lb person falls 1.5 feet back to the treadmill with each footfall, there are approx.
180 footfalls in a every minute, 5400 footfalls in 30 minutes. How much work in ft lbs does the treadmill do on your body in 30 minutes of running? How about tons of work?

 Moment of Inertia and Running:

The principle of moment of inertia is very important to running. The principle of moment of inertia suggests that as the lever arm if reduced it takes less force to move the heavy thigh forward. During the swing phase of running, as the foot leaves the ground the swing  knee is flexed to lift the foot off the surface, this shortens the moment of inertia of the swing leg at the hip, making it easier to swing the thigh forward.

There is less resistance to the spinning of the thigh, therefore less force is used swing the heavy thigh forward.

In sprinting the ankle of the swing leg should pass higher than the knee of the support leg, this increases the spinning of the swing thigh by reducing the moment of inertia. The closer the heel is to the hip axis the greater the velocity there is in the swing thigh. The faster this swing thigh moves forward the more force is applied to the ground by the support leg. Note; the swing of the swing thigh generates the force that is applied to the surface; equal and opposite torque forces. see below. There is no need to push against the surface, as the swinging thigh creates an opposite against the surface.

Newton’s Law of equal and opposite torques forces.

This principle of moment of inertia alteration is the same principle that applies to the skater spinning, as the skater pulls her arms closer to her body, her rate of spinning increases, to slow her rate of spinning she moves her limbs away from her axis, she spreads out her arms and legs.

Principle of impulse applied to running;

The final momentum of an object is a product of the force applied and the time the force acts.  In running you have a choice, apply a great force with each foot plant for a very short time and get fatigued quickly, or apply a small force much more often (quick soft steps) and run for 30 minutes.   It would seem to this author that the fastest runners apply a great amount of force to the ground for a very short time, the fastest runners stay on the ground and in the air for the shortest time. See above; (equal and opposite torques) the swinging of the thigh increases the torque forces applied to the ground, there is no need for the runners to push against the ground but runners should concentrate on picking up the feet.  Newton’s law of angular motion, torque and counter torque. The greater the force is that is applied to the surface the more the body is propelled forward.

Conservation of Angular momentum, and Running:

The principle of conservation of momentum applies to the swing phase as well as to return the foot to the surface. At the end of the swing phase the lower leg is extended at the knee, this increases the moment of inertia causing the thigh to slow down transferring the momentum to lower leg and foot.

Landing, the coefficient of restitution and pressure:

The coefficient of restitution is the amount of energy retained by an elastic body to rebound from a surface. An Elastic body retains a degree of energy to rebound from a surface. The human body retains energy to rebound from the surface with each foot strike, the amount of energy that the foot has to rebound from the surface is related to the hardness/softness of the surface and of the foot or the shoe. The harder the surface the more energy the body retains, and the faster the person moves. As most of us realize hard surfaces increase the complications for injury. Modern shoe construction has provided protection to the foot and the body by including materials that absorb some of the shock of landing. Shoes also serve to increase the surface area of the foot which serves to reduce the pressure per  square inch.

Stability and mobility:

Mobility is created in the body as the center of gravity moves forward of the base of support, great disequilibrium is created by the center of gravity being well forward of the base of support. During the acceleration phase of running, the runner should lean forward creating great disequilibrium, in danger of falling on their face, the runner now has to move his/her feet quickly to prevent falling.

Drills to teach the Biomechanics of Running: Fast Feet Drills, Fast Skipping, and standing start accelerations. Quick in the hips, frequency is the key. Power drills; power skips, stair jump. Start with Marching drills, at a fast march and fast feet drills. Fall season is a great time to work on running technique.
[23] Daniels, Jack, 2nd edition, 2005. Daniels Running Formula, Ill. Human Kinetics


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Stars, Workhorses, and Problem Children

Management, leadership, team building.

What do you do with the problem children and the deadwood?

They get us noticed, they have to be recruited, when you recruit stars they may have more talent than those already on the time. Stars have high potential and high achievement. 5% of any group, they can motivate others to improve, but sometimes start as problem children. Once they start to emerge as stars, ask them to set high goals, urge them to work hard on their skills. Use their daily activity as an example.

They have high achievement but average potential, they often have a high motivation to gain skills. In any organization 20% of the people produce 80% of the results. Sometimes workhorses need to be shown how to be successful, help them work toward their potential. They are hard workers and can be multipliers. Teams are defined by their workhorses.

Stars and workhorses produce the results, you should spend 80% of your time with these producers. Work on their strengths, identify what they need to do to improve, use them as multipliers.

Use a system of multipliers, teach someone something, ask them to help others. Explain to them they gain power within the group by helping others. Repetition by teaching others will help them improve. Workhorses often can be effective multipliers.

Problem children; they  sometimes have high potential, but low achievement and low skills. They can be of value, learn how to manage them.  Ignore them when safe to do so, but “Catch them doing something right” and mention it. Reprimand in private. I have had problem children become workhorses because they changed  their attitude. I always felt that the problem children  should not be kicked off the team because they needed us more than we needed them.

Deadwood; ignore, ignore,  ignore, low potential and low achievement. They will eliminate themselves or they have to be removed from group. Remember I did not have to fire anyone.

Discipline problems; tell them how it makes you feel, concentrate on their  behavior, explain what is expected of them. Suggest to  them, ” I know you can do better”. Limit your praise, but ask others on team to help so the problem children feel included.

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DO THE Plank or Walk the Bridge

Side Bridge; advanced would be one leg support, do both sides

The side plank

The front plank or bridge




The bird dog



Some basic core stability or plank exercises are pictured. The stability plank exercises are done with static positions held for five seconds to 20 seconds. You could do several sets, at least 3 days a week.

My Fitness Book with chapter with core conditioning.


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Phases: Supplemental Training, Fundamental Movements for Runners/Softball and Soccer.

The fundamental movements with supplemental training for runners/ soccer and softball

1st phase: general strength, endurance; at least 3 weeks

a) squats or leg press;
b) Upper body push: chest press, shoulder press, push ups.
c) Upper body pull: lat pulls, rowing movements:  a good site to find videos of resistance exercises.
d) Bending and Rotations: pulley weights, and rotational throwing medicine ball.

2nd Phase: Run specific Training; at least three weeks

a) walking lunges, b) Weighted Walking lunges, c) arm swings with dumbbells, d)  skips fast.

3rd phase: hill work, 3 to 6 weeks

30 to 60 seconds runs, 3 to  5 % uphill runs at good effort, very easy down, recover 2 to 4 minutes. Downhill runs at fast, 3 % hill. 6 to 12 reps at good effort.

4th phase: power and explosive training.  3 to 6 weeks.

a) stair jumps, b) power skips, c) medicine ball throws such as chest pass, over head, and walk and throw. power skips;

Stair Jumps: sets of 10, start with 1 set, work up to 5, twice a week.

See chest pass  medicine ball throw below. 

 speed; incorporate speed training though out the other phases.

a)Fast feet done frequently, b) frequency drills as three step fast leg right etc. , c) standing starts, d) varied pace sprints, as 10 meter accelerate, 10 meter fast, 10 m float, 10 m fast. sets of 3.

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Fundamental Movement Patterns Power Point


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