Middle Distance Running

Middle distance running in the UK had is best period during the 1980s with the likes of Seb Coe, Steve Cram and Steve Ovett.

Their running embodied all the essentials of great middle distance running, which is a combination of speed and endurance. They also proved that there are many different ways to win middle distance races.

Coe was very quick over 400m and therefore was running well within himself in races, producing an action which looked as if he floated round the track.

Ovett was more powerful and ran strong races, often with a great finish.

Cram was renouned for his long runs from home, often taking on the field with 400-600m to go in a 1500m race and just running the finish out of his opponents.

Middle distance runners all have a great fitness base, but can also sprint well as well. Consider the fact that top 800m runners often go through the first lap in 50 seconds which is a creditable time for a club runner for a 400m race!

Training will involve a mixture of steady running for fitness and interval reps (sometimes in the form of a fartlek). The latter allows you to run at or near your race pace to get used to the pace. Technique work is an important element for middle distance runners, particularly for those of us not as naturally talented as the likes of Seb Coe.

Also important is a degree of core conditioning and strength through a mixture of weights and circuits.

Learn more / further reading

  1. Speed Work
  2. Fitness Training
  3. Strength for Middle Distance
  4. Mobility
  5. Running Kit
  6. Getting Involved
  7. Online Coaching







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