Answered By Michael Bergmann
I've asked this before to just one coach and haven't received an answer, so this time I'm going to try just opening it up to any coach. :) I am running track for my high school. I have been training consistently since the end of X-C season and am now entering track season. I love running, but I don't know how to train and pace to improve my 1600 time. At time trials, I ran a 5:40, but I have run between a 6:08 and 6:15 in the first several meets. It is so frustrating because I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Do you have any advice on how to improve my time and on how to train? Thanks so much!!!
It is great that you love running and are trying to improve on your times as the track season begins. It sounds like you have done some of the right things in getting a base following in your cross country season and then doing a time trial to see where you are at the beginning of the season. If you ran a 5:40 1600 in the time trial-that is 1:25 per 400 meters. The 6:10 is around 1:32 per 400 meters. I assume that you want to improve on your 5:40-In order to do that you must learn what that pace feels like in workouts. The best way to do that is to run a variety of intervals that simulate that goal pace of 1:25 per 400m. You can do repeat 400's in 1:25-- You can do repeat 800's in 2:50-- You can do a ladder 200, 400, 600, 800 and back down at that pace making sure you hit times that will allow you to know what that pace is. It is important to get one long run in a week and to take easy runs in between hard workout days. At the end of each day's workout taking some strides to help with the leg turnover keeps you honest on your form and turnover. Without knowing what you did over the winter or the level of your training these are some simple things to keep in mind as you train to improve. If you do the longer intervals earlier in the season and shorter ones (you can also speed them up) toward the emd your times will most likely improve. Even pacing is a big key the success of the 1600 and I always tell my athletes to push mentally harder on the 3rd lap (because that usually is the slowest) and time will almost always drop if that lap is the same pace as the others. Good luck and let us know how it works out!