Q&A with coach Danny Mackey:
"As a mid distance athlete, how do you successfully combine distance and speed training?" -Martin Dieterich
Always a difficult question to answer. But, if anyone had the exact answer that would be the holy grail for track training because the middle distance training is difficult to combine all the facets of speed and endurance.
But for my 800-1500 meter focused athletes I try and make sure they get a blend of a few key workouts:
1) Tempo Runs- usually 20 minutes at about 80% effort but at times the milers will do up to 60 minutes at 70% during off season sessions
2) Short Speed Intervals- very basic workouts consisting of 200-300 meters at 95-105% of their PR. We can get creative with playing with the rear here but the goal is to get them running "fast"
3) VO2 or Specific Intervals - these are the hardest sessions typically but they are anywhere from 300-600 meters at race pace or slightly faster with varied recovery
4) Long Runs - my milers get up to 18-19 miles, the 800 athletes might max out at 10-11 miles
5) Weight Training - we do a mix of classic lifts you'd see in any normal gym but I also have them do running specific lifts
6) Drills - I am big on these, especially for 800-1500 meter runners. I'm talking about high knees, skips, bounding etc
Thanks for the question!