800m Workouts

 

Workouts that increase your anaerobic capacity in the 800m

The 800m is more anaerobic than most endurance runners think.  In order to maximize one’s anaerobic capabilities they will need workouts to increase the capacity of their anaerobic energy system.   The anaerobic capacity workouts are designed to expand the anaerobic energy system and enable an 800m athlete to build a good foundation for improving their anaerobic power.

Below is a list of a few 800m anaerobic capacity workouts you can try to help train the Anaerobic Glycolytic energy system. If you are not sure when to do these track workouts or if you would like to follow a training schedule, check out my 12 week 400m/800m training program.

IMPORTANT: If you are a high school or college 800 meter athlete and try to run these 800m workouts at a faster/slower pace, run further/shorter than the prescribed distance, and/or cut the rest short (boredom or rushing), you will change the component of the workout and no longer be training the correct energy system that your 800m workouts are intended to train.  Key:  ‘ = minutes

 

4-8x 45 second runs @ 80-85% effort with a recovery of 3-5′ 


6-12x 200m @ 80% with a recovery of 3’ 


8-15x Long Hill sprint (80-120m) @ 80-85% effort with walk downhill recovery.


 
 

Workouts that challenge your aerobic threshold for the 800m

The 800m race is a very fast paced endurance race that is roughly around 33% aerobic and 67% anaerobic.  When a runner is training at a heart rate below 130-150 beats per minute (bpm) or 65% of Vo2 max, their body’s aerobic system will use fatty acids as the primary fuel source.  Once the runner increases their effort above this rate, their body’s primary fuel needs will shift from fatty acids to glycogen without any accumulation of lactic acid or hydrogen ions.  Training with workout intensities at or below this intensity will challenge the aerobic system to use fatty acids and save glycogen for higher intensities.

Below is a list of a few 800m aerobic threshold workout intensities that will help train the aerobic system to use fatty acids and glycogen without the accumulation of lactic acid and hydrogen ions. If you are not sure when to do these track workouts or if you would like to follow a training schedule, check out my 12 week 400m/800m training program.

IMPORTANT: If you are an 800 meter athlete and try to run these 800m workouts at a faster/slower pace, run further/shorter than the prescribed distance, and/or cut the rest short (boredom or rushing), you will change the component of the workout and no longer be training the correct energy system that your 800m workout was intended to train.  Key:  ‘ = minutes

 

20-30min run @ 50-70% effort (lower %age = fatty acids  and higher %age = glycogen)

As the 800m athlete’s capacity increases over the season:

  • 30-45min run @ 50-70%
  • 45-60min run @ 50-70%
  • 60-80min run @50-70%
  • 80-100min run @50-70%

Important:  Make 10% total weekly volume increases to reduce the chance of injury due to heavy increases in mileage.


 
 

Workouts that increase your anaerobic threshold for the 800m

The 800m race is a very fast paced endurance race that is around 33% aerobic and 67% anaerobic.  When a 800m runner is training above a heart rate of around 170 bpm or 85-90% of their Vo2 max, their body’s aerobic system will no longer be able to completely supply the energy necessary to sustain that intensity or above.  The runner will have to rely on the anaerobic system to help assist the aerobic system in order to maintain an intensity that is greater or equal to the 170bpm or 85-90% V02 max.  Training with workout intensities near the anaerobic threshold allows a runner to maximize their aerobic systems efficient use of glycogen while expanding the aerobic system to higher levels.

Below is a list of a few 800m specific workouts at intensities just below the anaerobic threshold  (150-170 bpm).  Training at or just below the anaerobic threshold will develop and increase the efficient use of glycogen as the primary energy source. If you are not sure when to do these track workouts or if you would like to follow a training schedule, check out my 12 week 400m/800m training program.

IMPORTANT: If you are an 800 meter athlete and try to run these 800m workouts at a faster/slower pace, run further/shorter than the prescribed distance, and/or cut the rest short (boredom or rushing), you will change the component of the workout and no longer be training the correct energy system that your 800m workout was intended to train.  Key:  ‘ = minutes

 

20-25min run @ 70-80% of recent timed mile pace

As the 800m athlete’s capacity increases over the season:

  • 25-30min run @70-80% of recent timed mile pace
  • 30-45min run @70-80% of recent timed mile pace
  • 45-60min run @70-80% of recent timed mile pace

 
 

Workouts that increase your speed endurance in the 800m

The 800m race is a combination of power, speed, speed endurance, and aerobic power.   Due to the length of the 800m race and being that it is considered an endurance event, it is still quite short and the demands for speed endurance training becomes very important as the human body is only capable of maintaining a near maximal velocity for a limited amount of time.

Below is a list of a few 800m speed and long speed endurance workouts you can use for training the Anaerobic Glycolytic energy system. If you are not sure when to do these track workouts or if you would like to follow a training schedule, check out my 12 week 400m/800m training program.

IMPORTANT: If you are a high school or college 800 meter athlete and try to run these 800m workouts at a faster/slower pace, run further/shorter than the prescribed distance, and/or cut the rest short (boredom or rushing), you will change the component of the workout and no longer be training the correct energy system that your 800m speed endurance workouts are intended to train.  Key:  ‘ = minutes

 

80-100-120-100-80m @ 95-100%    6-8′ recovery


3-6x 120m @ 95-100% with 6-10′ recovery


3-5x 150m @ 95-100% with 6-10′ recovery


 
 

Workouts that increase your long speed endurance in the 800m

The 800m race as is a race that involves a lot of speed endurance but more importantly long speed endurance, lactic acid power and tolerance (also known as Special Endurance 1 and 2).  We know the 800m race pushes the limits of the Anaerobic Glycolytic energy system and in order to maximize the body’s role of glycolysis we will need to extend this even further.  To do so, we’ll increase our long speed endurance with the Special Endurance 1 and 2 workouts.

Below is a list of a few 800m Special Endurance 1 and 2 workouts that will help in training the Anaerobic Glycolytic and Lactic Acid Tolerance energy systems. If you are not sure when to do these track workouts or if you would like to follow a training schedule, check out my 12 week 400m/800m training program.

IMPORTANT: If you are a high school or college 800 meter athlete and try to run these 800m workouts at a faster/slower pace, run further/shorter than the prescribed distance, and/or cut the rest short (boredom or rushing), you will change the component of the workout and no longer be training the correct energy system that your 800m long speed workouts are intended to train.
Key:  ‘ = minutes  and ” = seconds.

 

150-300-150m @ 95-100% with 12-15′ recovery (SE-1)


2-3 sets of 150+150m @ 95-100% with 30”/12-15′ recovery (SE-1)


2-4x 300m @ 90-100% with 15-30min recovery (SE-2)


300-400-300m @ 90-100% with 15-30min recovery (SE-2)


300-600-300m @ 90-100% with 15-30min recovery (SE-2)


 
 

Workouts that increase your aerobic power in the 800m

The 800m race is a fast paced endurance race that may be short in comparison to the other endurance races in track and field, but it still has high end aerobic qualities such as aerobic power.  Aerobic power is also known as VO2 max which is the highest rate that oxygen is consumed or used during exercise.

Below is a list of a few 800m aerobic power workouts that will help in training the VO2 max energy system. If you are not sure when to do these track workouts or if you would like to follow a training schedule, check out my 12 week 400m/800m training program.

IMPORTANT: If you are a high school or college 800 meter athlete and try to run these workouts at a faster/slower pace, run further/shorter than the prescribed distance, and/or cut the rest short (boredom or rushing), you will change the component of the workout and no longer be training the correct energy system that your 800m aerobic power workouts are intended to train.  Key:  ‘ = minutes and ” = seconds.

 

 100-200-300-400-500-400-300-200-100m @ 90-100% of 800m race pace with 60-90″ rest


 8-12x 200m @ 90-105% of 800m pace with 90” rest


 Advanced (very similar to long speed workouts)


3-4x 400m @ 100-105% of 800m race pace with 10-15’ recovery 


2x 600m @ 100% of 800m race pace with full recovery (could be 20-30min)


 
 

Speed workouts that increase your maximum velocity in the 800m

The 800m is a fast middle distance race that favors the high school and college athlete with a lot of speed and their ability to race near this maximum velocity.  Because the 800m is one of the shortest endurance events in track and field an athlete who runs the 800 will have a huge advantage over their competition if their body is capable of running at faster rates of speed.

Below is a list of a few 800m speed workouts that will help improve maximum velocity and efficiency. But wait, doesn’t this look like a sprinter workout?  It does, and sprinters use these speed workouts too.  Remember, training with speed is not only for sprinters.  Endurance athletes need a great deal of speed in order to run the 800m faster.  The only difference is that the endurance athletes don’t train with these workouts nearly as often. If you are not sure when to do these track workouts or if you would like to follow a training schedule, check out my 12 week 400m/800m training program.

IMPORTANT: If you are a high school or college 800 meter athlete and try to run these 800m workouts at a faster/slower pace, run further/shorter than the prescribed distance, and/or cut the rest short (boredom or rushing), you will change the component of the workout and no longer be training the correct energy system that your 800m speed workouts are intended to train.  Key:  ‘ = minutes

 

3-4x 3x 30-50m assisted sprints with a bungee @ 95-100%   3’/6’


3×3 Fly 30’s @ 95-100%    3’/6′   (30m accel. zone with 30m fly zone)      

Important Notes: 

  • Accelerate through the acceleration zone and reach near-to-maximum velocity at the beginning of the fly zone.
  • Maintain near-to-maximum velocity through the fly zone and stay light on your feet as if you were running on hot coals.
  • Decelerate gradually after fly zone to reduce risk of shin splints.
  • Walking recovery is strongly recommended for this workout.


3×3 Ins and Outs @95-100%    3’/6’

Different variations of Ins and Outs:

  • 30 meter acceleration zone | 10 IN | 20 OUT | 10 IN | decelerate
  • 30 meter acceleration zone | 15 IN | 15 OUT | 15 IN | decelerate
  • 30 meter acceleration zone | 20 IN | 20 OUT | 20 IN | decelerate
  • 30 meter acceleration zone | 20 IN | 10 OUT | 20 IN | decelerate

Important Notes: 

  • IN = Fly | Out = Maintain velocity with relaxed arm mechanics.
  • Accelerate through the acceleration zone and reach maximum velocity at the beginning of the fly zone.
  • Maintain maximum velocity through the OUT zone but with relaxed (not aggressive) arm mechanics.
  • Take your time decelerating after last IN zone.  Reduce shin splints with a gradual deceleration.
  • Walking recovery is strongly recommended for this workout.