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Old 09-28-2007, 10:38 PM   #1
Patrick Donnelly
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Default So... 1600m training...

The record at my high school is a 4:11.5, set 30 years ago by Billy Ledder. I'd like to change that.

Yeah, that's a ridiculous time. But I'd like to beat it, or at least try. Seems like it'd be fun. I'm very open to advice on training...


Where I stand now:
Age: 17 (18 on 11/17)
Sex: Male
Weight: 175#, ~10% bodyfat
Height: 6'1 (I'd rather say 6'2...)
Diet: Paleo w/ 6 hour feeding window
CFT: 590 (as of 7/28/2007)
Prior training:
- Cross Country when I was 15 and 16 years old (avg. 5k time: 22:00ish)
- began "working out" in Fall of 2006 when I turned 17
- began doing some psuedo-CrossFit workouts in Spring of 2007
- did strength training during June-July of 2008; first month was extremely unsuccessful until I cleaned up my program; second month was good, but only showed major gains in higher rep maxes
- CrossFit and ME lifting during August and September with weekly 5k's done for Cross Country training

This Cross Country season, I'm getting times on par with previous years... Though, I'm 1000x more fit overall. I've pretty much accepted that I won't get any blazing times, though in hindsight I would have been better off filling June-July '07 with MetCon, 1-2k intervals, 3k sprints, and 5k runs. My last race for the season is on 10/27/07. I'll stick with the team until then.

I've come to the conclusion that I am extremely slow-twitch dominant. Extremely. As an example: I tested my 1RM pull-up yesterday. I came out to 60 pounds... Which I had back in May (bodyweight 165# too). Though in the past two months, my 3RM pull-up has gone from about 30 to 40, making slow, but steady, gains each week. There is also the summer strength training I did, where my 2RM backsquat was 195#, my 1RM backsquat was also 195#, and my deadlift 1RM increased a whopping 5# (to 280#).

That isn't necessarily bad though... Just means I have to realize that when I'm trying to determine how to train.

Current 1600m: 6:15 (ran in early August, when I had NO conditioning... Not really "current.")
Current 400m: 1:03-1:06 (ran recently; these need to get down to about 0:53 to beat 4:11.5.)

I'll try to update soon with a new 1600m time and with a "fastest decently sustainable pace" for both time kept up and distance covered.


Where I want to stand:
On the other side of the finish line, in under 4:11.5.

Starting in November I'm going to begin training specifically to reach that goal. Even though it seems counterintuitive to running, I think I may also try to gain an additional 15-25 pounds, seeing as how I am still extremely scrawny, even at my weight. As long as I get strength/explosiveness to go with the bodyweight, there should be no issue.

Mon: Push ME lifting + Tabata
Tue: Rest
Wed: 4x400m + Power-Biased MetCon (eg. 9x5 heavy Fran, or interval Murph)
Thu: Rest
Fri: Pull ME lifting + Tabata
Sat: 1600m + MetCon in the 4-10 minute range.
Sun: Rest
*** ME days will be sort of an imitation of the P-Menu Mass Gain Template. 1-2 upper body exercises and 1 lower body, done in a SetxRep scheme of something like 6x6, 5x7, or maybe even 5x8... Remember, I don't gain well at the lower rep maxes, and for 1600m training, maybe I wouldn't even want to.
*** The tabata interval will be a rotation between: push-ups, squats, GHD sit-ups, rowing, box jumps, push-press, bench press, front squats, pull-ups, hang power clean. Feel free to offer other things that you think may be "fun."


Once I am no longer trying to gain any mass...
Day 1: ME Push + Tabata
Day 2: 1x800m + Regular MetCon 4-10 minute range
Day 3: PB MetCon
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: ME Pull + Tabata
Day 6: 2x400m + Regular MetCon 4-10 minute range
Day 7: 1600m
Day 8: Rest
*** ME days would probably be in the 4-6 rep range.

I have PLENTY of equipment at home with which to train, though since I train outside, I'm not sure how that'll work in the winter... I don't mind the cold (good lung training!), but snow could be an issue (warm-up: shovel patio for time!). There is also my high school which has a track and decently equipped weight room.

I also normally get plenty of sleep... Though, it's 1:38 AM right now... Fell asleep this afternoon for a few hours... Which reminds me, I've got some questions about naps, but I really should hold them off for later. G'night.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:45 AM   #2
Steve Liberati
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Wow you really have your schit together Patrick. When I was your age, I was running around chasing girls, doing keg stands, and training to be a full-time idiot. Not much advice to offer you bud, other than I think you'll do just fine and venture to say that you're probably well ahead of the pack with your plan above.

Keep training hard and good things will happen for you. Keep us posted.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:41 PM   #3
Daniel Myers
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Quote:
Starting in November I'm going to begin training specifically to reach that goal. Even though it seems counterintuitive to running, I think I may also try to gain an additional 15-25 pounds, seeing as how I am still extremely scrawny, even at my weight. As long as I get strength/explosiveness to go with the bodyweight, there should be no issue.

Mon: Push ME lifting + Tabata
Tue: Rest
Wed: 4x400m + Power-Biased MetCon (eg. 9x5 heavy Fran, or interval Murph)
Thu: Rest
Fri: Pull ME lifting + Tabata
Sat: 1600m + MetCon in the 4-10 minute range.
Sun: Rest

If you want to train "specifically" to set a 1600m record, you have to actually run. Tabatas are great, but running 3200m a week is not going to do it. Also, trying to gain 15-25 pounds doesn't fit into the specific nature of your goal. Your best bet is to join the school's track team and tell the coach that you want to run middle distance events. Then you'll get coaching and a training program geared to races at that distance. If you intend to break the school record, you'll have to do it in a meet anyway.
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:03 PM   #4
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Steve
Yeah, I don't find going to a party, getting drunk, getting high, then getting laid and not even being able to remember it "fun." Then again... My definition of fun is collapsing after a tough WOD... Hmmmm....

Re: Daniel
Uh, you don't know our school's track coach... I can guarantee you whatever training program he could come up with would be total crap. He sent out an email today saying that on Tuesday, he won't be able to hold a practice, but everyone ought to run 4.6 miles in 30:00 on their own. That's faster than half the team's race pace.


Oh, and there's a 5k race the next day.


How much running per week do you recommend? I forgot to mention that my warm-up would have a 400-800m in it, depending on the day. I think a few quality intervals would do me better than a high volume of garbage.
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:50 AM   #5
Daniel Myers
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I don't have any specific recommendations, because I know jack-all about track training. But I think you would be better off finding a program written by a competent coach specifically for 1600m training. Look around online, check out some books written by track coaches -- I'm sure you can find something if you search for it. What you've put together may be a great all-around fitness program, but has very little work that's specific to your goal of running 1600m in less than 4:11.5.
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Old 09-30-2007, 06:48 PM   #6
Patrick Donnelly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Myers View Post
I don't have any specific recommendations, because I know jack-all about track training. But I think you would be better off finding a program written by a competent coach specifically for 1600m training.
Well, Google searching for "1600m training program" had this thread as a page-2 result.

Other programs I found were either total bull**** written merely to add pages to a website, or sets of intervals switching up for each day of the week, which seem workable.

I did find out who our track coach from 1977 was though... He was actually a guidance counselor at my high school too... Up until this year... He's taking a year off for chemotherapy and cancer treatment... I may still be able to contact him...
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:41 AM   #7
-Ross Hunt
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I sure as heck never ran 4:11, but I ran ~4:45, which was good enough to medal a couple times at state in my division and bring home a medal for the men's medley relay at state my senior year. My 5k times were in the 17s.

I also came back three years later and 25 pounds heavier, and trained my mile back down to 5:00 over the course of about 3 months of nothing but 200-400m sprints, a little metcon, and a lot of oly lifting.

I think your goals are absolutely awesome, but you need to do a couple of reality checks.

1) You need to join the track team. Smart training programs are good, but nothing beats competition, and you can only get that on the team.

2) You need to realize that there is a huge difference between taking your time from 6:00 to 5:00 and taking it from 5:00 to 4:45; taking it from 4:45 to 4:30 is harder still. You will definitely need more specific running training for the latter improvements.

3) You do not need to gain bodyweight, or at least definitely not more than 5-10 pounds. 175 is already plenty heavy for a 1600 meter man.

4) Don't ignore speed training. Running 200-400m really made my mile faster.

5) I think metcon training is really valuable, but I think that one of the best things about is the ability to tax your CV system without trashing your legs. This means that mixed-modality metcon (circuits of ~10 minutes of rounds for time, even doing pretty low reps--e.g., 5xback squat, 5x KB snatch per side, 5x chin-up) may be more helpful to you on your strength days than tabatas, which will mess with your legs.

6) Your goals are awesome and your ideas to use strength and shorter metcon and running to train for them are, I think, smart. But you have to be prepared to accept your coach's authority. Even if what he says seems wrong--or even if it IS wrong--actually BEING in the sport and going to meets is going to do more for your mile time than the best training on your own.

You might try to dig up some stuff of Alan Webb's training program. A couple years ago, he was the first guy to break 4:00 in high school in a long time, and I think he was known for having a slightly higher bodyweight than usual and doing shorter training than most milers.

Feel free to ask any questions about this.
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Old 10-01-2007, 12:18 PM   #8
James Evans
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I'd back Daniel on the 'run more' front.

But f**k, what do I know? I can't run for shit anyway.

Seriously though, I made a vague hint about this the other day. Some specificity is necessary. Tabatas and sprints get you fit, but across how many levels? Don't be that be that moonhead over at dragondoor who prepared for a marathon by...just lifting kettlebells. In respect for him it was an experiment but if I suggested swimming the English Channel on a regimen of spinning you'd laugh at me.

As for an internet search, 1500m might be a better bet as it is the competitive distance.
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Old 10-01-2007, 02:47 PM   #9
Patrick Donnelly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Ross Hunt View Post
1) You need to join the track team. Smart training programs are good, but nothing beats competition, and you can only get that on the team.
I guess I'll take a look into Spring track then... I'd like to at least give myself the winter to see what training works and how far I can progress with it. I do realize the importance of competition... But that only comes into play in the event itself, not in the training.

Quote:
2) You need to realize that there is a huge difference between taking your time from 6:00 to 5:00 and taking it from 5:00 to 4:45; taking it from 4:45 to 4:30 is harder still.
Trust me, that is a huge relief for me. How so? Because I know that a 4:11.5, though it is ridiculous, is at least possible when compared to the 100x more difficult 4:00.

Quote:
You will definitely need more specific running training for the latter improvements.
But how much? The benefits I see from more running are form improvement and psychological improvements (ie. teach yourself not to wuss out). My form is pretty solid, and I am working on it with short runs when I am fresh, which is conducive to good form. The psychological improvements are, well, only psychological. Intervals can develop power and endurance to a point, but can't Oly lifts and conditioning do that to a higher extent? I see that training as giving one the potential to run fast, then the actual interval training as realizing that training and practicing to get full use out of it.

Quote:
3) You do not need to gain bodyweight, or at least definitely not more than 5-10 pounds. 175 is already plenty heavy for a 1600 meter man.
I've been looking at some track star photos, and shorter distances have significantly more mass than marathon runners, but still not much. It looks like I'll have to rethink any weight gain.

Quote:
4) Don't ignore speed training. Running 200-400m really made my mile faster.
I wouldn't intend to.

Quote:
5) I think metcon training is really valuable, but I think that one of the best things about is the ability to tax your CV system without trashing your legs. This means that mixed-modality metcon (circuits of ~10 minutes of rounds for time, even doing pretty low reps--e.g., 5xback squat, 5x KB snatch per side, 5x chin-up) may be more helpful to you on your strength days than tabatas, which will mess with your legs.
I wouldn't dare think about doing Tabata squats each time! I could name a good dozen exercises to rotate between, each of which would improve lactate threshold and anaerobic ability. Today I tried Tabata GHD sit-ups, as a test, though by the end, I think the majority of my fatigue was from the blood rush to my head and not the exercise... That may not be a good one.

Quote:
6) Your goals are awesome and your ideas to use strength and shorter metcon and running to train for them are, I think, smart. But you have to be prepared to accept your coach's authority. Even if what he says seems wrong--or even if it IS wrong--actually BEING in the sport and going to meets is going to do more for your mile time than the best training on your own.
Like I mentioned above, I'll get to that in the Spring when I can show Coach how well I can do at that point.

Quote:
You might try to dig up some stuff of Alan Webb's training program. A couple years ago, he was the first guy to break 4:00 in high school in a long time, and I think he was known for having a slightly higher bodyweight than usual and doing shorter training than most milers.

Feel free to ask any questions about this.
The public library has a copy of the book Sub 4:00: Alan Webb and the Quest for the Fastest Mile. I'll try to make a trip there this evening.


Re: James Evans
Kettlebells for a marathon? I would think he's "experimenting" with more than just kettlebells...
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Old 10-01-2007, 02:58 PM   #10
James Evans
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I remember reading that article with the unfolding horror and yet morbid fascination of witnessing a very slow car crash.

Go for broke with your effort and let us know how you get on.

James
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