Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

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Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:15 pm

Alright, I have been running three times a week for a while now. Typically, one long trail run approximately 5-6 miles long, one shorter intensive hill climbing session or hill sprints, and one 3,200 m/2 mi. session. The long one is meant purely for enjoyment, and the hill sprints are not, but the 3,200 m one is the one I would like to focus on slowly improving my time.

I looked at the world's record, run by Daniel Komen of Kenya at Hechtel, Belgium on 19 July 1997, in 7:58.61. That's pretty astonishing to me, given my ~10:00 miles.

The training question is this:

- Do you have any suggestions as to training methods to improve middle-distance time?

- Training frequency suggestions?

- Proven resources?

I'm just a regular person who is trying to get a little bit better over time, obviously not going to set any records but I am enjoying trying to moderately improve.
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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Boris » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:52 pm

How good do you want to be? How good are you now? How much time are you willing to devote weekly? What kind of time can you give realistically give day to day?

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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Bram » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:43 am

The simplest tip is to run with someone else who is equal in speed or a little faster so that you push each other. Many gyms, running stores, the YMCA, etc. offer free running clubs at various levels of ability.

You are not running that fast currently, but you are enjoying it and are employing a nice amount of variety. I wouldn't worry about over-complicating it at this point.

If you want to spend money, I came across this book yesterday when looking for a gift, maybe you'd find it interesting:

https://www.amazon.com/Run-Your-Life-Wi ... XS8RAN3JZW
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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:00 am

Thanks for questions.
Boris wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:52 pm
How good do you want to be?
I would be content, at least for now, to run it in sub 18:00 which is a very modest goal.
Boris wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:52 pm
How good are you now?
21:00 for two miles, like 10:30 a mile. Not good, in other words. Although I looked at standards for 41-44 male recreational runners and I was dead on. Also, this is cross country, not on a track.
Boris wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:52 pm
How much time are you willing to devote weekly?
Three sessions, not more, and it basically needs to be pleasant as this is just for fun and to feel good. I like running, I am not talented at running, and I do not get paid to run.
Boris wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:52 pm
What kind of time can you give realistically give day to day?
I try to devote an hour a day four days a week, three hours a day on the weekends, and take Fridays off. So 6 workouts across weights and running a week, total of about 10 hours.
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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:03 am

Bram wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:43 am
The simplest tip is to run with someone else who is equal in speed or a little faster so that you push each other. Many gyms, running stores, the YMCA, etc. offer free running clubs at various levels of ability.

You are not running that fast currently, but you are enjoying it and are employing a nice amount of variety. I wouldn't worry about over-complicating it at this point.

If you want to spend money, I came across this book yesterday when looking for a gift, maybe you'd find it interesting:

https://www.amazon.com/Run-Your-Life-Wi ... XS8RAN3JZW
Bram, I added the book to my list. I just purchased another book on running so I will wait until I've digested that. It looks very interesting though.

Unfortunately, I do not know anyone who runs and I am not really able to devote the time to trying to sync my training with anybody else. I may look into it in the future, because it's a very sensible recommendation, but now now.

In general, what I am looking for are training methods. Should I run more two milers a week? Is the variety good? Special exercises? Intervals? Sprints? Hills? Volume? Etc.
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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:04 am

Also, does anyone else like to run and have any special distance in mind?
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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Turdacious » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:28 am

Cut the hill sprints and replace them with a 2 mi. run. Every week or so (depending on how you feel), try and increase your pace on that run by 15 seconds per mile or so.

As you improve, add to your trail run distance as you feel like it while maintaining your pace without pushing it too hard.
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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:58 pm

Thank you, Turd. That I can do.
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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Boris » Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:05 am

Are you heavy? Do you have 'issues'?

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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Kirk » Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:19 am

I run every day but am not performance oriented (you could make a case for me being a natural powerlifter/sprinter but not a natural distance runner). I'm doing 40+ miles per week right now. If I've got a distance I'm partial to it'd be half marathon. I'd like to do a little faster than 1:50 this year (maybe in an official race, maybe not). I average a bit slower than 10:00 pace for general running and have for years. I have thrown in some intervals over the last year and they make a big difference. In my experience it doesn't take much faster running to make a difference. The experts might say you're not running enough to start intervals. I don't know about that...

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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:21 pm

Are you running on a track for the 2 miles?

There are a few different things to do here, especially since your goal (9:00 mile v 10:00 mile) is pretty modest.

If you can run on a track, so you can easily measure quarter miles, I'd start with quarter mile intervals.
Week 1 8 x 2:00 quarter mile. 4 minute rest in between
Week 2 8 x 2:00, 3.5 minute rest in between
Week 3 8 x 2:00, 3:00 rest between
Week 4: Evaluate your quarter mile time. Is 120 seconds dogging it? Can you drop it by 20 seconds to 100 seconds? If so, do so, if not, keep compressing the rest periods

OPTION 1: 100s quarters
Week 4: 8x100s 1/4 mile 3:00 rest
Week 5: 8x100s 1/4, 2:30 rest
Week 6: 8x100s 1/4 2:00 rest

OPTION 2: 120s 1/4s, more aggressive compression of rest perios
Week 4: 8x120s, 2:30 rest
Week 5: 8x120s, 2:00
Week 6: 8x120s, 1:30 rest

Week 7: Cut the volume in half
Week 8. New attempt at faster 2 mile run

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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Shapecharge » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:02 pm

Mac, any number of ways to skin the cat with running but probably the most impact you can make at your current level of running fitness is more time running either adding another day or slightly increasing you time over the three days. It's debatable whether or not you need any interval work...but at this stage just more time actually running at a pace you can handle is the foundation for getting faster/better. I'd recommend dropping the hill stuff and do another long run and add some tempo related pacing while on that run i.e. just pick up the pace for a bit...use the watch or just your own sense of time...increase for a minute or two and then slow down and recover and do it again. Do four or five of these elevated paced segments during the long run. As you get fitter you'll notice you're feeling a bit stronger at certain points on your run and you'll look at your watch and go, damn, it usually takes me 15 minutes to get to that tree and the watch says 14:30...well guess what happened...you just got fitter and faster and didn't even realize it.

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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by dead man walking » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:02 pm

increase your weekly 2-mile run to 3-3.5 miles to improve your endurance slightly.

add "strides" to the end of one of your runs. these improve running economy. a stride is about a 100m acceleration. you start at a jog, build to about 95% of your max, then gradually slow to a stop. one stride should take you about 30 seconds. do a couple. work up to 4-6. they're not wind sprints.
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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Fat Cat » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:36 pm

Boris wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:05 am
Are you heavy? Do you have 'issues'?
I'm 6 feet and 225 lbs. My only issues are busty blondes and whiskey.
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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Fat Cat » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:42 pm

OK thank you for all the suggestions. Obviously, I cannot try implement them all at once, but you have given me a lot of ideas to play with.

Shaf, as I mentioned in my early posts, I am not on a track. All of this is cross-country. The plus of that is running on dirt is easy on the joints, the downside is that everything except the total distance (which I've measured) is estimated.
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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:00 pm

Fats

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fartlek

https://www.mcmillanrunning.com/the-los ... e-fartlek/
https://www.mcmillanrunning.com/the-los ... e-fartlek/

Better suggestion for you. I thought I had already posted this, but apparently I haven't.

I used to do this by picking an object on the road, accelerating up to a sprint, hitting that mark, then slowing down to a moderate jog. You can make this as rigid or as flexible as you need it. When I prepped for rugby it would start off as an object to object thing, but once running was broken in, I would set intervals on my Ironman watch to do this in a more stringent fashion.

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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Fat Cat » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:24 pm

Thanks Shaf, I played a bit with the fartlek approach yesterday.
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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Shapecharge » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:43 pm

Hey Shaf go fuck yourself...I basically said the same fucking thing four posts beforehand you dirty bitch. But since I don't train neighborhood chicks in my garage once a week I've got no "street" cred. Btw, you've got a misshapen head.

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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by nafod » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:55 am

I am assuming fartlek means sometimes run faster, and sometimes slower, because that is my recommendation. You just need to “stride it out” every now and then, like you are a brother who accidentally found himself on the right side of the tracks. Let the doggies run, big long strides with the matching arm motions. Imagine you’re a Kenyan athlete in a marathon, mile 20, starting to break a sweat. Doesn’t have to be a sprint. Just....fast. Take advantage of a long gentle downhill to build a feel for leg speed.

You get the same aerobic benefit from hills, but not the leg speed.

I worked up to a marathon, running it as a 220 lb Clydesdale. Did it in 3:57, my goal was under 4 hours, but at the finish line I didn’t give a shit. It hurt. A proud moment!

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Re: Middle-Distance Running: Improving 3200 m (2 mi.) Time

Post by Turdacious » Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:54 am

Re fartlek, I've found that running at your normal pace, running faster for a spell, (rinse repeat) during certain parts of your run worked best for me. It doesn't have to be a full on sprint, just a markedly faster run with good form. More structured programs work once you get down to a 7:30 miles or so.
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