12 * 200m how fast should I GO?



I am following the "Road Racing for Serious Runners" 5k on more than 40 miles per week plan.

Next week I have to run 12 * 200 as a basic speed work out. 

I cant get my head around how fast I should run these reps and what sort of rest to take.  I have looked through the book a couple of times but I still have not figured it out.

Help please!


  • I used to do a similar session which was 20 times 200 off the same recovery - when I say the same - if the 200 was 40 seconds then 40 seconds recovery - for that reason they were not flat out - the goal is to run 12 not - I used to watch Sally Gunnell and a couple of others do far fewer reps but a lot quicker but then the recovery was 6 minutes - I would go for not flat out but with an equal recovery - it is quite a hard session anyway.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    12 * 200 for 5k would be at 1500m pace. Jog 100m (45 seconds) as recovery.

  • Thanks I will probably go for somthing around 1500m pace as suggesested.


  • I think 1500 pace might be a bit tough first time out, especially with a 45 seconds recovery. Assuming you are going to do this session more than once, I would maybe start the first session off at 3k pace and build the pace up to 1500 pace as the session progresses. Assuming you come through that ok and feel like you can do more, then next time start out at 1500 pace and blast the session.

    On on on……

  • Thanks YD thats good advice but I am not worried about the speed I find speed work easier than VO2 max or Threshold running.  Its all tough but speed comes a little easier.  Threshold is definatley the toughest for me image



  • Fair enough OW, there is an element of VO2Max about the 12 x 200 session, especially with shorter recoveries, you will be blowing towards the end of the session. For most runners of ‘club runner’ standard, the best pace to ring the VO2Max bell is about 3k pace. So you can see how the session you describe has some overlap with a genuine vo2max session like 10 x 400 with short recoveries.

    If you find threshold work tough, then you should do more of it, just saying image

  • YD I wonder then if I should be doing longer recoveries as it is down as a speed session rather than vo2 max.  mmmm confused again,  LOL


  • To be clear the training program has

    Basic speed (100 or 200 efforts)  

    Vo2 Max  400 - 1k around 5k pace.  

    Tempo running 2 * 2 miles or  longer.

    Long run 1

    Long run 2 

    fill in the rest with slow runs.

  • If the session is about pure speed then I think you should maybe consider increasing the recoveries and maybe run less reps. I am not a middle distance expert, so you might be better getting pure speed session advice from someone who works on that.

    If the plan says, 12 x 200m then stick with it, there is nothing wrong with sessions that have elements of two different workout types. So, if the session is about making you comfortable at faster than 5k speed with an element of vo2max work then go with it.  
    For what it’s worth, 5k running isn’t all that quick in the spectrum of running paces, you are going nowhere near your top speed during a 5k race with the exception of a burst before the line, it’s just most people run 10ks and Marathons so are used to running slower.

  • Hadn’t, seen your post with the schedule breakdown. Go with the plan, make the recoveries between the 200s longer and concentrate on speed and good running form. 1500 - 1mile pace sounds about right.
    Good luck.

    On a side note, the Smiley face badge is my favourite, we should go back to that IMO. Better than the shite badge at the moment.

  • Cheers YD.  All sensible advice.  I should be able to work it out myself really but I have never trained for 5k before.  Done 10k - Marathon. 5k's have always been sharpeners rather than training for one in its own right.


  • cliff781cliff781 ✭✭✭

    great thread. im training for 1500m race in 2 months, how fast should i be looking at doing the 200m reps and how much recovery? thanks

  • Not sure Cliff quicker then my 1500m pace and probably with longer rests but not sure exactly how quick or how long.  Maybe 400 or 800 pace with nie big breaks of say 5 minutes.  Thats a guess though rather than any knowledge of how to train for a 1500.


  • Thanks everyone.   Did the run today it was hard but I am sure it was a good session.   YD you were right it was still VO2 max workout too.   I had to do it in a lunch break so not enough time to take longer breaks and make it even more of a pure speed session.

  • Good stuff OW, sounds like a good session. IMO VO2max sessions will help your 5k performance quite a bit. If you have the time anytime soon I would do it again with longer recoveries so that you can compare results.

    Off topic, but impressed by McDermott so far. Think next season could be good if he gets a bit of money to fetch a few players in. I might even lift my self imposed exile and go to a game. Stopped going because of Bates last year.

  • YD, will do the session again this week, probably will not take your advice on the longer breaks but only because I will squeeze it into a lunch hour.

    I never went to one Game this season either.  Rubbish results since your last post image


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