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The Two Best Workouts for Combo 400/800 (and 600) Runners?

Posted by Latif Thomas



When it comes to training the appropriate energy system, one could argue writing workouts for 100m runners requires relatively little nuance.

But, if you coach kids who excel at both the 400 and 800 (and 600 if you live in the northeast), you’ve got to find the optimal dose of speed and endurance work.

A traditional method for training these qualities is to address them in separate workouts within a training week (microcycle) or longer training block (mesocycle). And you’ve probably been successful utilizing this approach.

However, another effective coaching strategy you might consider is to combine training themes within the same workout.

Coach Ron Grigg (Jacksonville University) employs a multi-system menu of workouts for supporting both endurance and speed development. But, today, I think it would be more interesting to look at a series of workouts that support the specific racing demands of the 400, 600, and 800 meter races.

It has been a real game changer for my “super long sprints” groups since I began stealing Ron’s workouts and progressions within the full range of his multi-tiered systems of training.

In this video, Ron goes over his two favorite workouts for 400/600/800 meter athletes:

1. Jump Runs
2. The Blender 

(To put it mildly, none of my athletes particularly enjoy either of these workouts. But I do!)

So watch this video for the specific details and add these workouts to your training inventory right away!


If you’re interested in more of this type of information, I have an offer for you today.

Coach Grigg has a comprehensive program covering the full range of key issues necessary for successful development of your athletes competing in this range of events.

It’s called ‘Complete Program Design for High School 400/600/800 Runners’. When you order today, you can get it for half price when you use coupon code GRIGG50 at checkout.

You can get it in either DVD format or digital/streaming format.

However…

When you purchase the online version (you can stream it or download the videos to your devices) you’ll also get unlimited Q&A support with Coach Grigg. Post your training questions and Ron will get back with answers within a day or two.

Even if you don’t like asking questions, you’ll be able to see every question that’s ever been asked, as well as Ron’s answers. This is especially valuable when you’re looking for insight or clarification on workouts you’ve run or want to run.

In this example, check out the quality of response Coach Grigg provides after receiving a brief question about workout specifics:

 

QUESTION FOR COACH GRIGG:

In the early winter video, a split run example workout was 4-5 x 200m @ 80-85% w/ 3' recovery then 4-5 x 50m hard w/ walk back recovery. The percentage 80-85% is based on their date pace 200m time correct?

COACH GRIGG’S ANSWER:

#1. It is ALWAYS best to use DATE PACE. It is ALWAYS best to start CONSERVATIVE have a positive experience and progress. No harm in a workout being too easy and adjusting for next time. Possible harm both psychologically and potentially physically if the workouts are too hard.

#2. With track tempos, use the charts in the same way. Use the 64 second date pace line and use column H for 10 min track tempo. That would be 1:42.4 per lap in theory. However, if this is the fist time attempting, you could simply aim for 5 minutes at that pace, or 10 minutes at a slower pace, then just create PROGRESSION over time.

For the next 2 questions I think there is some confusion with the labels for types of workouts as well as the parameters for different types of workouts.

#3 I think there is confusion on your “broken 600 question.” I do not use the term “broken” in my training vocabulary, although I do know good coaches who do. So I don’t really know the definition of “broken 600s.” I use the term “split runs” to show 2 or runs of higher quality that have shorter rest between. I think there is come confusion about paces as well because I would not recommend running any repetitions at 50% pace. 50% pace would be used for continuous running like an initial track tempo workout. 70% of 400 meter pace IS a repetition pace. Again, if you could give me more specifics about this “broken 600 workout” I could advise more.

#4. I also think there is some confusion about your use of the split run example you gave. 4-5×200 at 80-85% w/3 min rest then 4×50 w/ walk back is not an example of a split run. I think you are confusing split runs, with completion or depletion runs. The workout you have listed is not one an familiar with. There would never be a set of 200s and then a set of 50s.

If it were a completion run and the 200 was run at 80-85% then there would be 1 x 50m hard within 30 seconds of the 200. That would be a completion run. you could run 3 sets of that but the rest between sets would be longer. So the workout might be 4 sets of (200 @ 85%, 30 sec. rest, 50m HARD) 6 minutes between sets.

A Depletion run would be 1 x 200 HARD, then 1 set of 4 or 5 x 50m with 1 min rest between 50m runs.

I hope this clears up some confusion.
Ron


Coach, you have no shortage of options when it comes to investing in your coaching education.

I’m confident you’ll find ‘Complete Program Design for High School 400/600/800 Runners’ to be worth every penny.

And I’ll put my money where my mouth is. If you don’t think it’s worth it, I’ll give you your money back. No questions asked.

 

Order the DVD version or the online/streaming version now and get 50% off with coupon code: GRIGG50.

 

Best of luck with your upcoming seasons!

--
Latif Thomas
Owner – Complete Track and Field

USATF Level II (Sprints, Hurdles, & Relays)
USTFCCCA Event Specialist (Sprints, Hurdles, & Relays)
USTFCCCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist



Latif Thomas owns and operates Complete Track and Field and serves as the Co-Director of the Complete Track and Field Clinic, the largest track and field clinic in the United States. A popular speaker and presenter at some of the largest coaching clinics in the country. Over the past 15 years, he has coached more combined League, Division, All State and New England Champions in the sprints, hurdles, and jumps than he had the emotional strength to go back and try to count. Follow @latif_thomas on Twitter

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  • Mat

    I also find this type of general conditioning workout to be outstanding for the multi-athlete as well. Their entire season consists of power, sprint, and some endurance training.