3200m Running Program Question

by Megan
(Clark Fork)

I am new to coaching track. I have a student who is a junior in HS who runs the 3200m, 1600m, 800m, and the 1600m relay. The 3200m is his specialty; however, his times have been a little high this year (11:00).

I would like him to drop about 15-20 seconds for the 3200m.

We are a small school and there isn't anyone else that can push him.

Would speed training be the most beneficial for this? What would a solid day of speed training look like and how many days a week?



Answer by Dominique:

Hi Megan,
Thanks for your question.
Speed work is definitely important for the distances the kids are training for. However, another factor, often overlooked for shorter race distances, is the importance of a good aerobic base.

Without a good aerobic base, your speedwork might be able to help the kids to go fast, but not for a very long time.

And the aerobic base is also needed to win races: in many 3,200 metre races the last lap sees those leading the pack going into a higher gear. Only with a sufficiently developed base a runner will be able to step up the pace and keep it up all the way to the finish line.

So, how do you establish an aerobic base?
That's easy. Run many easy paced kilometres and do a once-a-week long run.

So, which speedwork do we need to do?
I recommend:

  • Tempo intervals once a week(e.g. 2-3 x 1km/1mile tempo intervals)

  • Sets of interval running once a week (e.g. alternate 3 min hard, 1 min easy or something like 5 minutes hard, 5 minutes easy a number of times)

  • I think it would be very worthwhile for you to read up on some running training theory. A great running training book is Daniel's Running Formula. This book explains why we need to run at all those different speeds and when we need to do which types of running training.
    It also includes templates for all racing distances from 1km races to the marathon.
    It's THE book I'd recommend to any runner and any running coach.

    Good luck and I hope you and your runner(s) will be able to break a few records in the upcoming year!

    Kind regards,

    Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to 2 Mile Running Questions.

    Like this page:

    Share this page:

    Like this site:

    [?] Subscribe To This Site

    follow us in feedly
    Add to My Yahoo!


    • Beginner Running Tips

      Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.

    • Running for Weight Loss

      Aiming to lose a few pounds? Get into the Running for Weight Loss section for tips and advice.

    • Running Training

      The Running Training section of the site has got the most articles. It is constantly getting updated with new tips and information. A must-visit if you are serious about improving your running performance.

    • 5k Running Tips

      The 5k is a great distance to run and train for. The great thing is that you can do it quite often and see big improvements.

    • 10k Running Tips

      The 10k is a real challenge. You need to run fast for an uncomfortably long time! Check out this section if you are strong of mind and legs!

    • Marathon Running Tips

      The marathon is a massive challenge. Proper training is so important! Make sure to check out this section if you have got your mind set on the marathon!

    What's New?

    1. Heart Rate Monitor Training - The Zoladz Method

      Every running pace has its own heart rate zone. The heart rate monitor training zones according to Zoladz are explained in this section.

      Read more

    2. Yasso 800 :: The Marathon Pace Workout with a Twist

      The Yasso 800 is supposed to be a predictor of marathon performance. It is a marathon pace workout with a twist. Learn more about the Yasso 800 on this page.

      Read more

    3. Running for Weight Loss - Injured...

      I started a run-walk program 3 weeks ago to help me lose 80 lbs. I was up to running 3 min / walk 3 min 3 days a week on my treadmill. Last week after

      Read more

    4. What Can I Do To Improve My Half Marathon Time?

      I am a 53 yo male 5'11, 165lbs. I have been running for about 8 years. I have run 7 marathons and have never broken the 4hr mark even though all my

      Read more

    5. Daniels Running Formula Book Review - The Running Training Book You Have Got to Have

      If I had to recommend you to get one running book only, then it would have to be Daniels Running Formula by running coach Jack Daniels.

      Read more