Interval Training – The Hard 800s

Sometimes in training, you want to very specifically target a particular system or element of your physiology. And sometimes you just want to test your entire physiology and push it to its limits. This #projectPB session is vey much the latter. This 800s session isn’t like a 10 x 800 session at 5k pace, with 1 min recoveries – which is very much targeting your aerobic system. The Hard 800s session will be pushing your anaerobic and aerobic system, and will act as a great ‘test’ session – that is, a session that can be used to gauge progress. This is a great session for 5k – 10k runners.

As quick background, the 800m race distance approximately relies 50% on your anaerobic system, and 50% your aerobic system (some say 40/60, others 60/40 etc…it really depends on your natural physiology and what training you have done). It is a brutal race. Too fast for your aerobic system to cope with, too long for your anaerobic system to cope with. The gun goes, your anaerobic system takes the brunt of the work as it takes 45 sec or so for your aerobic system to fire up. Once the aerobic system is fired up, your anaerobic system is close to finished and your blood and muscles are teeming with waste products – the last minute is very unpleasant.

This sessions looks to simulate these stresses, and will push you close to max effort. The intervals below should be pretty much a flat out training effort – if you can keep mile race pace, you are doing very well.

The session is simple: 4-5 x 800m with 100% recovery (that is if you run a 2:30 800m, take 2:30 recovery).

This is a tough, but relatively short session. It will severely shock your aerobic and anaerobic systems, and as you progress through the session, also your lactate tolerance. Great if you are targeting 5k – 10k races.