How to Be a Good 800M Runner

How to Be a Good 800M Runner

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The 800-meter race, also known as the half mile, is a race of endurance and speed.

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The 800-meter race is arguably one of the most challenging events in track and field. Technically considered middle distance, the past decade of 800-meter runners, both male and female, has shown the world that you need a decent amount of sprinting ability to be successful. To be a good half-miler, you will need to train with distances greater than, less than and equal to 800 meters. While there are several training methods, here are some basics to get you started.


Start with endurance training. Endurance training is vital and gives you the foundation to run 800 meters quickly. This training involves running distances greater than and equal to 800 meters. Working out with distances of 800 to 1200 meters will give you a good base. Male times should be 65 seconds or lower per lap, while female times should be 75 seconds or lower. Run two of each distance in ascending and descending order (800, 100, 1200, 1200, 1000, 800) three times per week. You can alter the distances and run more ladders as you improve.


Incorporate speed training. Foot speed, while not as important as sprinting events, is still necessary to be a competitive 800-meter runner. Track Star USA notes that the 800 is primarily an anaerobic race, so speed is critical. Speed training involves distances shorter than or equal to the race. Run repeat 400 or 600-meter distances. Sixty seconds and below for the 400-meter and 90 seconds and below for the 600-meter are good for men. Women should aim for 65 seconds and 95 seconds respectively. Run 4 of each distance 3 times per week on the days you are not doing endurance training.


Incorporate interval training. SportsLog reports that interval training is another critical aspect of becoming a good 800-meter runner. You need to train with brief periods of rest and recovery. Rest periods involve walking or standing still between laps. Rest allows your body to recuperate and meet time goals during the workout. Recovery periods are characterized by light jogging instead of total rest. You can jog either timed or untimed distances -- between 200 and 400 meters -- between intervals. Interval training with rest and recovery should be incorporated into the your endurance and speed regimens.


Run out of your comfort zone. 800-meter running isn't easy. Comfort zone running is when you are performing workouts with little difficulty. It should be challenging and you should be tired during and after the workout. If you're not, you should increase your running speed and lower the times required between your laps. Build up your endurance and speed by training 6 days a week. As you get in better shape, you will be able to run faster, longer and train harder.


Time your workouts -- always. Make sure that all aspects of your training regimen are timed so you can track your progress. Your times should decrease continuously with practice.

Things Needed

  • Good pair of running shoes or running spikes
  • Regulation-sized track (400-meter lap)


  • Train with a partner who will challenge you to run harder and mimic a real-life race situation. You can also mix speed and endurance training in a single workout as you improve.


  • Before beginning any training regimen, consult with a physician to ensure you are healthy enough for strenuous physical activity.


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