I was listening to a podcast (on the way home from camping in the Medicine Bow range in Wyoming) with Sanya Richards Ross who has the US record for 400 meters in 48.7 and she was talking about her training, which of course spurred me to try one of her sessions. She's guided by legendary coach Clyde Hart who also coached Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner and I've used his template for ideas in my own training. Sanya said one of her workouts was 10 X 200 in 30" on 2:00 rest (which I have never seen in any of Hart's workouts), so this morning I thought I'd see how far into that workout I could get. Not for a second did I believe I could do the same session but it was fun to try. And fail.
29.2/ 30.3/ 28.9/ 29.3 and then I had to take an extra SIX minutes of rest.
28.8/ 30.1 DONE.
Not even close. Looking at my splits only verifies that my pacing sucks. I can go deeper into this session simply by pacing them better. Next time I need to try to hit 31". Today I also used starting blocks! I got hooked up by a buddy who knew someone who lent me a pair. Once again I was able to verify that I suck at something. Not totally sure what's happening but I think my first step is too long causing my leg to buckle which then causes me to stumble. I need to drag and shorten that first step. That and I need to fix the fact that I'm weak. Ya.
I'll definitely be revisiting this session. This is obviously less about speed and more about strength and fatigue resistance, which is a major component of the 400. The athlete who slows down the least wins. This concept is basically Clyde Harts method of coaching. If you look at his training you see VERY little actual speed work. Instead he focuses more on strength and tempo with more emphasis on the recovery interval. This workout is a perfect example of this idea. 200 meters in 30" is basically jogging for Sanya Richards, but you change that rest to just 2:00 and 30" suddenly becomes something else. She said in the podcast that by #7 she's just dying.