1500m Training For Masters European Champs 2010

Hi All

I started running more seriously in feb of this year with the aim of putting up a decent 5k time.  I ended up doing fairly well (for a 36 yo anyway) in middle distances.  With this in mind I've made my goal a medal in the over 35's 1500m final at the European Masters champs in Hungary next year.

 I thought I'd start this thread as it covers running for older folk and track racing - hopefully we can use it to exchange ideas / compare schedules.

 Just back from a transition phase - week 1 of base 1 looked like this (week 2 starts tomorrow):

M: 5m easy.
T: 6.41m with drills, strides and 8 * 80m fast relaxed.
W: a.m. 2.13m recovery, p.m. rest.
T: 6.1m easy.
F: a.m. 2.22m recovery, p.m. 4.38m easy with drills.
S: 9m easy.
S: Day Off. 

Anyone else booking a trip to the same championships?  If so, which event?



  • This week was a bit disrupted by hand surgery (put under + skin graft from arm) but got the training in.

    M:  a.m. 2.21m recovery
          p.m. 7.85m easy with strides & 6 * 300m hills concentrating on form.
    T:  a.m. 2.28m recovery
          p.m. 6.52m with drills.
    F:  a.m. 2.22m recovery
          p.m. 8.45m w / 5m progressive run 80% through to MP.
    S:  p.m. 6.07m easy with drills.
    S:  p.m. 10.5m easy.

     2009 Masters World Rankings came out the other day and somehow I ended up ranked 19th for the 35 - 39 age group in 800m:


  • Your times for someone who's just started this year are stunning Andrew.

     For what it's worth you're clearly speed oriented (I couldn't touch your 2,4 and 8 times but my only 1500m this year was 4:11) and so perhaps working with a sprints coach might be of use?

     You've got some good runners at your club like Will and Alan- do you train with them at all?

  • Hi mate

    I'd done some competitive running in 2000 - 2002 and spent last year playing tennis on the seniors tour so was pretty fit so I wasn't coming off the couch.

    I would be aiming for 800 this year but have a wedding to go to when the Euro finals for that are on and think the stamina work will help the 800m.  I've thought about focusing on the 400m, but want to give the middle distances a bit more time - I'm not ready to give up on my poor stamina yet!  I will be working on my speed this year as well.

     I've been training on my own but am probably going to try and train a bit with the Bedford group (Will and Alan train with them I think).

    BTW - I bookmarked your blog a while ago - good stuff, wish I had your stamina!

  • A solid week of training for week 3 of base 1:

    M: p.m. 4.17m recovery run.
    T: a.m. 2.26m recovery
        p.m. 7.97m with drills / strides and 2 * (4 * 200m) at 3k pace with 100 jog between and 400m jog between sets.
    W: a.m. 2.28m recovery
         p.m. 6.9m easy
    T: OFF
    F:  a.m. 2.24m recovery
         p.m. 9m Progressive 75% of 5k pace thru to 3 miles at MP.
    S: a.m. 4.1m easy with drills, strides and 8 * 100m fast relaxed.
    S: p.m. 11.64m easy.

    Total Miles: 50.56m.

  • A good week this week (base 1, wk 4), although I can't shake a tight ham and knee pain:

    M: a.m. 2.2m recovery.
    p.m. 6.12m easy run.
    T: a.m. 2.25m recovery
    p.m. 9.98m with strides and 6 * 300m hill concentrating on form
    W: a.m. 2.25m recovery
    p.m. 6.97m easy with drills
    T: OFF
    F: a.m. 2.25m recovery
    p.m. 10m Progressive 75% of 5k pace thru to 6 miles at 6:22 p/mile. Strides.
    S: a.m. 5.43m easy with drills, strides and 10 * 100m fast relaxed.
    S: a.m. 12.5m easy.

    Next week is an easier week, with a 5 mile race on sunday.<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
  • some questions, how many of these sessions are you boys doing on the track.
    What exactly are strides? Think i know but want an explanation!
    Same again with drills??
    Moraghan what is your best 5K time
    Only asking as I have just got back into the sport after 12 years sabatical
  • In the last week I only did the 10 * 100m on the track, the rest mainly off road.

    Strides are relaxed faster runs of about 20 seconds each. Designed to help turnover without incurring fatigue and definitely without strain.

     Drills are designed to improve running efficiency by breaking down the stride into exaggerated elements.  These are the ones I do:


    My best 5k is 16:30 - at the moment I stink at that distance!

  • i would not disregard 16.30 as being stinking, u done a 10k
  • I suppose I meant relative to the shorter stuff.  Best 10k is 35:30 but I have rarely raced it.  Hopefully knock that PR on the head on new year's day.
  • i have just really started this year too and i am 42 next month
    still finding my feet and have decided to use 10k as a template for training and work up and down
    times are 17.06 for 5k
    35.28 for 10k
    59.51 for 10 miles
    1.19.51 for half oh and 2.12 for 800 metres
    i honestly believe i can beat these times before the end of the year if i can keep injury free, doing a 10k on sunday and a 10 miler in mid november
  • Fantastic times mate - well done.  Unlike most runners it looks like you have a really good balance of speed and stamina.

     At our ages the biggest challenge is keeping injury free!

  • aye i have a wee niggle in my left groin tonight, hopefully it will pass, rest now till club race on tuesday, you on facebook Moraghan as i would welcome your advice from time to time, if not i will post my email address on here until you receive it,
    ps if you are on fbook are you the hillwalker or the skier???
  • I'm icing my knee at the moment - more fun than icing the groin!

    Yes, I am.  I have the hill walking photo up mate.

  • Bit of a knee niggle this week, but fortunately it was a rest week so just rearranged the rest days.

    M: OFF.
    T: OFF.
    W:  a.m. 4.2m easy
          p.m. 4.19m easy.
    T:   a.m. 2.39 recovery.
          p.m. 9.11m with drills, strides and 2 * (6 * 200m averaging 35.79 w / 100  jog rest; 400 between   sets)
    F:   a.m. 2.24m recovery
         p.m. 6.11m easy
    S:  a.m. 6.79m easy with drills, strides and 6 * 100m fast relaxed.
    S:  a.m. 10m total with 5m race in 27:58 (5:35 p/mile pace).

    New set of training paces for the next 4 weeks as a result of the race.

  • Very frustrating week, as the knee pain came back so I had to have 3 days off and go easy the other days.  The hardest workouts remain the ones you have to omit because of injury.  I hate getting old.

    The jury is still out on the knee....

    M: 5.14m recovery.
    T: OFF - injury.
    W: OFF - injury.
    T: OFF - injury.
    F: a.m. 2.25m recovery
    p.m. 6.09m easy
    S: p.m. 8.13m easy.
    S: a.m. 13.18m easy.

  • Knees held up pretty well this week, so I managed a full week. Tired today.

    M: OFF.
    T: a.m. 2.28 recovery.
    p.m. 9.15m with drills, strides + 2 * (4 * 300m) averaging 54 secs with 100 jog recovery.
    W: a.m. 2.3m recovery
    p.m. 8.51m easy.
    T: a.m. 4.53m easy.
    p.m. 3.52m easy.
    F: a.m. 2.23m recovery
    p.m. 11.25m inc 7.5 miles at marathon pace (6:16 p/mile).
    S: p.m. 5.94m easy with drills, strides and 10 * 100m fast relaxed (12.64 fastest).
    S: p.m. 14m easy (7:37 p/mile pace).

    Total Miles: 63.72m.<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
  • Week 8 of Base 1.  Knees held up well on the whole and fitness returning.

    M: a.m. 5.97m easy with drills.
    T: a.m. 2.38 recovery.
    p.m. 10.69m with strides inc. 2 * (5 * 300m hills) form, then medium effort.
    W: a.m. 2.27m recovery
    p.m. 9.55m easy with drills.
    T: OFF.
    F: a.m. 2.24m recovery
    p.m. 12.11m inc strides & 6 * mile at (6:16, 6:06, 5:55, 5:46, 5:35, 5:25) each with 400 recovery jog in less than 3:00.
    S: p.m. 4.51m easy with drills, 1 mile of diagonals.
    S: p.m. 14m easy (7:22 p/mile pace).

    Good luck with your training and racing.

  • Bit of a cold.  Rest week and last week of base phase 1. 

    M: a.m. 4.06m easy.
         p.m. 4.08 easy.
    T: a.m. 2.24 easy.
        p.m. 8.5m with drills, strides inc. 2 * (4 * 400m @3k pace).
    W: a.m. 2.25m recovery
         p.m. 8.5m easy.
    T:  a.m. 2.25m easy
         p.m. 6.23m inc. drills, strides, 7 * 100m fast then 1 * 300m at 1500 pace.
    F:  a.m. 2.26m recovery.
         p.m. 7.09m easy.
    S: OFF.
    S: 10.5m inc. 5m race in 28:25.

  • Moraghan You training seems top notch and your track times are superb. Well done on the 19th placing in the ranks.

    Was told of this thread from a lady on Fetch. Sh said you would be great for the adivice im after. Ive 8 weeks to go until the irish indoors and will berunning the 800m. I am aiming for sub 2.00. My pb is 2.00.9 and was run as the last event in the school multi events and was ran alone. Was in sept 08. I then decided to run a few marathons in 09 and now going back to 800's.

    Any sessions you would recommend to help me achive this goal?

     Im in 36.30 10km and ran 3.32 pretty easy in dublin

  • Hi Alan

    Thanks for your post, it's not as enjoyable talking to yourself! 

    8 weeks is enough time to get some really good training, but what is sensible to do will depend on what you have been doing.  What sort of sessions have you been doing and what does a week look like for you?

    Without knowing anything there are a few suggestions assuming you are already doing decent mileage, have good connective tissue tolerance and your lactate threshold is reasonable - a fair guess given your 10k and marathon times :

    1)  Basic Speed:  10 * 100m, starting at 1500m speed and with the last couple at 400m speed with a walk back recovery.  Your recovery should be full and concentration on good technique while running relaxed.  This will develop your fast running technique and will improve speed and they can be done every week.  No straining or lactic acid!

    2)  VO2 max:  These sessions should be self-explanatory but will help extend your aerobic base that will support the fun lactic acid stuff that is to come.  As a 800m runner you probably won't enjoy them.  They should be done between current 3k and 5k pace.  Assuming your LT is pretty good, you can start these straight away, do them weekly and progress them by longer reps / shorter rests / doing at 3k pace.  The volumes below are a guide and would depend on your current training vollume.

    E.g.  Wk 1:  5 * 800m @ 5k pace with 2;30 recovery.

    Wk 2:  5 * 1000m @ 5k pace with 2:30 recovery.

    The last couple of weeks you may well do a couple of sessions of 8 * 300m in 45 seconds with 2:00 rest which is a slightly different session with a similar feeling.

    3)  Race Pace Reps:  These are repeats done at your 800m goal pace.  The recovery should be full.  A session may look like 8 * 200m in 30 seconds with a 3:00 slow jog recovery.  Again, the volume, recovery and distance would depend on current fitness.  If you can't manage 200m - then start with 6 * 150m for example.  Again these progress week by week.  The aim would be to be able to do something like 3 * 400m @ 800m pace a couple of weeks before the target race.

    So far that training doesn't really address lactic acid clearance which will be a key part of your race.  You don't need too many of these and I would suggest you get 4 or 5 weeks of the above done first in addition to your easy running.  An example of this session would be 2 sets of 4 * 200m in 30 seconds each with 20 seconds recovery. 

    If you give me an idea of your current volumes by type of session we can put together a more accurate progression of workouts if you wish.  Good luck - it sounds like you have the tools to break the 2 barrier.  Bear in mind if you do these sort of workouts in the next 8 weeks you will have to build your base again in preparation for the summer.  

  • Hi Morgahan,

     I've been reading this thread for a while, but besides 'congratulations' and being extremely jealous I can't offer any more advice image Myself, I'm just beginning running, right now getting the endurance up to a decent standard. Just wondered why you prefer middle distance? Random I know, but I'm contemplating between 5k, 10k and the half to which I want to focus on. My boyfriend is also a middle distance (800) but he's been running for years and generally just found himself best at that race. Just wanted to know your point of veiw image


  • Hi manx_runner

    Thanks.  Like most I prefer what I am better at!  Every distance up I go from 400m I get progressively worse.  It gets to the point where I run a 5k and the first mile feels too easy but from then on my speed just leaks away so I come away knackered without ever feeling I've run fast!

    Although I am probably more of a natural at 400m I prefer the 800m because it's more tactical than the 400m, the training is more varied and much of the power training required for the 400m I can't do because tennis has shot my knees.

    This thread is about 1500m because I can't run the 800m next year because of a wedding.  I would ask them to reschedule but doubt they'd agree!  The devil on my shoulder keeps telling me to run the 1500 and 800 and miss the wedding to cement my selfish reputation.

  • Hi Moraghan. Might see you in Ny...*&8^$.  Not absolutely sure yet but I'd be doing the marathon and discus image, as I did in Lahti at the World Masters this summer.  I've been trying to persuade anyone to spend a few days canoeing down the Danube afterwards - interested ?
  • That sounds like a good trip.  I'd be interested, but unfortunately the aforementioned wedding is in the USA on the saturday and the 1500m finishes on the wednesday I think.  If I stay for the 800m and don't go for the wedding I'll let you know.

    My guess is that you're the only marathon-discus competitor!  How did you get on in Lahti?  Did you enjoy it?

  • Lahti was the first international masters champs I'd done and I was ridiculously nervous.  Luckily I did the 5000m first, after which I realised that all the other competitors were only human too.  I was very laid back about the discus, cos I've only recently taken it up, and am pretty cr&p, and then had the best part of a week before the marathon, where I got the Bronze medal (still reckon that sounds so much better than saying I came 3rd !) in my age group.   The atmosphere is great, esp once you get to know people, so now the British Masters and then Hungary will be even more fun.  If you are interested here is my report from Lahti, and here the canoe trip I want to do, but from what I gather it needs a group to book a date of their choice
  • I read your report - sounds excellent.  That was a really good effort in the marathon in the heat - well done.  I think it's great you're just taking up the discus now.  You know there's still plenty of time to learn the pole vault as well before Hungary!!
  • Knackered by thursday so day off came just at the right time.  Start some vo2 max work next week.  Had a slight lingering cold for the last couple of weeks which is getting irritating.

    M: a.m. 2.5m recovery.
    p.m. 4.03 easy.
    T: a.m. 2.55 easy.
    p.m. 11.39m with strides inc. 2 * (6 * 300m hills, form then medium).
    W: a.m. 2.51m recovery
    p.m. 9.65m easy w / drills.
    T: OFF
    F: a.m. 2.51m recovery.
    p.m. 11.54m inc 7.5 miles alternating 5 mins at MP, 5 mins at Tempo.
    S: a.m. 2.52m recovery.
    p.m. 5.82m inc drills, strides and 10 * 100m fast, relaxed + 1 * 300m @ faster than 1500m.
    S: 14.07m @ 7:14 p/mile.

    Total: 69.09m<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->

  • Intrigued why your distances are all not full miles, is that just how they worked out from your home/work etc are is it deliberate??

    Does my question make sense, don't think i have explained it well.

  • Usually because I do a set warm-up route plus workout (saturday p.m.) or I do a circuit of the local reservoir (wednesday) or I run from the car park to hill session (tuesday p.m.).  I try and do about 2.5 miles in the morning - which will increase every few weeks.  So none, of it is deliberate but none of it's surprising!  Sunday I run out and back for approx 7 miles each way.

  • Mos. You turn up everywhere! Good mileage but you probably need more threshold/tempo runs. Are you doing counties on Jan 10th, nice and local ...Priory park and Longsands! Last week of training for me as its the last serpie on Friday, hoping for sub 16:30 but think I could run faster on a better course.
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