Optimize Your Training: 800M to Marathon

World-renowned coach and 40-time track record holder Earl Fee has compiled an extremely detailed summary table for middle and long distance runners looking for a broad snapshot of effective training. The unique value of the table in part comes from its training summary for each of the human body's five energy systems. Various patterns of slow and fast running are essential to properly equip you for race day, whatever the distance. Distance, pace and recovery are all crucial components of training that must follow specific optimal patterns. The table derives from Fee's own competing and coaching experience, plus reference books from world experts David Martin and Peter Coe, Jack Daniels and Tudor Bompa.

For anaerobic threshold (AT) training, the pace can range from just above or just below lactic threshold to marathon race pace (which is five to six percent slower than lactic threshold pace). The training pace is usually 10K mile pace plus about 15 seconds (AT pace) or plus about 30 seconds (between marathon and AT pace).

As noted in this publication before, Jack Daniels cautions high-mileage distance runners not to exceed the following maximum miles for each of these sessions:

AT intervals                      6 miles
VO2max intervals             6 miles
Speedwork                       3 miles

The higher values in any given range typically are for more experienced runners or shorter distances (middle as opposed to long).

Training to Improve

Benefits

Percent MHR

Percent Max Effort

Run Duration

Rest

Pace, Volume

Alactic System

Speed

98-100

>98

<:20

HR<90-100

<600m/session

Anaerobic
Lactic System

Speed

Endurance

Acidosis toleration

Pace judgment

Mental toughness

95-98

95-100

:30 (middle distance) to 2:00 (long distance)

HR<100

5 RT

Mile race pace. 5% weekly mileage

VO2max

Endurance

Increased VO2max

Mental toughness

Aerobic endurance

90-98

85-95

2:00 to 6:00

1 RT to 0.8 RT

3, 5, 10K race pace. 8% weekly mileage

Anaerobic Threshold System

Increased anaerobic threshold

Increased VO2max

Improved running economy

80-90

80-85

:90, 6:00, 20:00

Conversation pace

HR<120

10K mile pace + :15. 10% weekly mileage

Aerobic System

Endurance

Recovery

Tolerate stress

70-80

60-70

>5:00, 30:00, 2:00:00

HR<120

10K mile pace + :30 to 2:00


The Complete Guide to Running
by Earl Fee, Meyer & Meyer Sport, U.K., 2005, pp. 167-175

Better Training for Distance Runners by David Martin & Peter Coe, 1997, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL

Track Technique, “Physiological Intensity Values Employed to Plan Endurance Training” by Tudor Bompa, 1989, Vol. 108, Summer

Daniels' Running Formula by Jack Daniels, 1998, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL

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