Middle Distance Speed

Speed work for a middle distance runner is very similar to the more endurance based parts of a sprinters training. We can basically split this section into two parts.

Firstly, although they don't tend to work on their technique as much as a sprinter would, it is still vital to run with as good an action as possible. Some would even argue it is more important, as a poor running technique will use more energy than a good one and lead to premature fatigue in a race, meaning more technically proficient runners pulling away in the final lap of an 800 or 1500m race, having conserved more energy early on.

It is generally preferable to improve technique by practice of drills and strides prior to a session, as during runs your concentration will naturally be on the run itself.

The other part of speed work for middle distance runners is the ability to cope with lactic acid, which develops at the point at which you can no longer get enough oxygen to your muscles to run aerobically.

There is no easy way to improve this - just hard work.

Sessions, such as 10 x 200m with about 1-2 minutes between each run will work well for this - try to run each of these at about your 800m pace (this will be pretty tough work by the latter runs.

Learn more / further reading

  1. Fitness Training
  2. Strength for Middle Distance
  3. Mobility
  4. Running Kit
  5. Getting Involved
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