How can i break the 800m school record over the course of one year?

by Reis DeSantis
(Champaign, IL)

This is me at xc regional's back in October

This is me at xc regional's back in October

Hey coach, love your tips videos. i come to you with a very challenging and honorable question. How do i break my high school's 800m record over one year?


So basically i'm a junior in high school who runs xc and track. In the 800 i run a 2:01. Barely good enough to make state here in Illinois. Our school record is 1:56 flat. I realize that is extremely difficult but I've seen wayy better at some of our meets.
I have four meets til state in track left, then it'll be time to focus on cross country. Work up the Aerobic side of me. In xc (3 miles) my best time is 16:04... but that'll go down for sure at the start of the season. So i work through cross country. Getting in hundred and hundreds of miles through the course of the summer and doing plenty of tempos and 1000 repeats through the course of the early year. Then boom.. cross season is over. Through winter training, all i will be thinking about is the 800.... My best event. I wanna target that 800 goal as much as possible. Long runs, weight training, hill workouts, Speed-Endurance stuff... whatever. Become as strong and Anaerobically fit as possible I wanna come into the season with a under 2 flat time. and just start working my way up.

This year, school was my main focus.... senior year, as important as school is to me, running will be my first priority, and i plan to stay focused and committed.

So i ask someone who may have the right knowledge or background... How can i achieve a 1:55 800m time from now to next year?

Also i don't know if this helps but...
i'm 5'11 ft,
142 lbs,
a bit weak on the upper body (chest, arms, back).
And my PR's for the following events are..
400- 54.2
800- 2:01
1600- 4:41
3200- 10:17
3 Mile- 16:04

Thank you SO SO SO much.

Hello Reis,

Your times are very good for a junior in high school. I don't see very much that I can add to what you are doing as far as training is concerned except for a minor tweak when you are in peak condition during the track season.

From what I can see, your aerobic base is outstanding. The thing you need is some more explosive speed for the 800 meter run. If you are willing to cut down mileage during the last month of the track season, and consistently "touching speed" each day during track, you will have a chance at the 800 meter record.

Here's a few tips that I think will help you on race days.

1. During the last six weeks or so of the track season, ask your coach to incorporate some workouts where you are really focused on speed. Mix in some fly 200's. This is where you run at 800 race pace for the first 100, and then at 400 race pace for the last 100.

2. The day before a race, make sure to run easy, but do some quick strides. I suggest like 4x100 but you start the stride easy, work to just under top speed for the middle and then slow down at the end of the 100 meters. Your legs should be spring loaded come race day if you are doing this.

3. If you aren't on it already, ask to be on the 4x400 team. That's such a fun race, and it will help you develop that speed that you need for the 800 meter run.

The 800 meter race is tricky though. If you are shooting for that record, you have to get out quick. Just to see how you do, on your next 800, try to get out in a 56 or 57. That's only a second or two slower than your best 400, but if you want a 1:55, this is how it must be done. It's really hard to even split an 800.

Here's some video tips on how to race the 800 if you haven't watched it already.



Happy Trails - Coach Tief

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