SpookyGhost – Purposeful summaries
The Truth About 400/800 Training
It seems counterintuitive that high speed athletes train at high mileage. However the middle-distance events (400 600 800) require high speed, and a strong aerobic system to maintain those high speeds. It comes down to training muscle fibers. Unlike pure sprinters, elite middle-distance athletes don’t have a high percentage of 2b fast twitch fibers, but they also don’t have a high percentage of slow fibers found in pure distance athletes. There’s a 3rd fiber, 2a fast fibers or intermediate fibers, which are found in high percentages among elite middle-distance athletes. These 2a fast fibers are more resistant to fatigue than the 2b fast fibers. This leaves coaches questioning whether to focus on speed training or endurance training in these unique muscle fibers.
It seems counterintuitive to run a race opposite to which your body is more comfortable with. Why would a sprinter run a marathon? It all comes down to muscle fibers. Type I slow fibers provide endurance and are what keep you standing or sitting up straight. These fibers work passively all the time to keep the body up and are used more during distance training as movements are slower and less explosive. These fibers can also be trained to Type II A fibers. Type II A intermediate fibers are fast oxidative fibers. These fibers are uncommon to occur naturally but can be created by training the other 2 types of fibers. They allow for fast and explosive movements that type I can’t handle, and these movements can last far longer than Type II B fibers. Type II B fibers are the fastest and strongest fibers, but since they are purely anaerobic, they only last a short amount of time before becoming fatigued. So a sprinter running a marathon would be a chore for that athlete, but it will train their Type II B fibers into Type II A fibers.
Middle Distance Training Guide
It seems counter intuitive to train a middle distance athlete’s mind instead of their body, but many factors of being a successful athlete stem back to the mental aspect of running. The first factor that goes into training a middle-distance athlete is VO2max which is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can utilize while running. Doing workouts at this pace trains the body to utilize more oxygen while running. The second factor is lactic acid tolerance. Towards the end of races runners slow down because of the lactic acid build up in their legs. To train lactic acid tolerance runner simply flood the body with lactic acid over and over. The third factor and final factor is mentality. A runner’s ability to pace themselves correctly and position themselves in the race will make a successful middle-distance runner. Furthermore this strong mentality stems back to the first two factors of keeping a focused mindset on training and taking care of the body during workouts and recovery. The hard part about all three of these factors is balancing them without causing injury, or too much of one factor.