1500m training

i am hoping to get 4.05 for 1500m this year just wondering whether there is any suggestions of sessions.



  • In a comic I once read that Pie and Chips plus a few pints of real ale did the trick .... King of the Track
  • Do you mean Tuff of the Track - who managed world record times after a night of welding.

  • That's it - conflated it with King of the Hill.
  • The 1500 is the ultimate test of running fitness and also the hardest to train for and race. You have to have good speed, to run 4:05 you will have to be capable of running well 2mins for 800m so an 800m session once a week would be ideal. A longer rep session once a week is also needed for strength, you also need to do a fair bit of mileage for aerobic fitness. A typical week of training for me when I was training for 800m/1500m was:
    Mon: Am Weights Pm Sprint session(60m - 150m reps)30mins steady
    Tues: 10x800m 45 secs rest
    Wed: 8mile steady Run
    Thur: 4 sets of 4x200m with 30secs rest @ 800m race pace.
    Fri: Upper body weights
    Sat: 600m 30secs 200m 5mins rest x 2 at 800m race pace.
    Sun: 15m steady run followed by 10x200m strides

    There is obviously not much mileage in the above sessions, you need to have had a good base of at least 60mpw over the winter. You need to race over 800/1500 as often as possible as early as possible and learn to hit that 3rd lap as hard as you can and hang on.
    I'm now training for the marathon and I assure you even with all the extra mileage nothing compares to the hard work you have to put in to run a good 1500m and the pain you feel during the race, good luck and let us know hoe you get on, if you want details of more sessions let me know, I was running just under 4:05 off those sessions and I was the slowest in the group which included a 1:46 800m runner so it definately works.
  • Just noticed your other 3000m post, if you can run sub 4:05 you will go sub 9 for 3k and will be fit enough to run quick over every distance up to about 10miles, the 1500m is a good place to start for any runner as it sets you up to run pretty much any distance.
  • Join a good group of runners
    Get your 400m time down - helps with 1500m a lot

  • years ago, when I was running 1500m in school, I used to do (on different days)

    100m sprints x 10
    300m reps x 14
    hills x as many as I could in 45 mins
    easy road run x 3k

    Got down to about 4:22
  • Tom.Tom. ✭✭✭
    Imp, you've got the necessary training spot on - obviously your own experience. The other the thing I would agree with you is that the training is incredibly hard. I also think that a 2:02 800 is an indicator of a 1500 time of 4:05, if you are a more endurance based athlete.

    Don't think I'd want to put myself through that sort of training again.
  • thanks for the help imp, i dont think i'll be hitting round 4 05 till about june/july but i will let you know over my track season and what races i do, do you have any advice for 800m, it is not my best event
  • Also, if i done 10 * 800m what sort of times should i be hitting on them at early track season
  • Also, (i no this is my third post) this is my weekly schedule is it tough enough:
    Mon: 40 mins easy
    Tues: speed endurance
    Wed: 40 mins easy
    Thurs: Hills
    Fri: Rest
    Sat: longer reps eg: 3 * 1000m + 4 * 200m etc
    sun: 60 mins
  • Advice for 800m is that speed is everything. If you cannot run a 400 in e.g. 58 sec you cannot expect to put together two 60s! (as I have seen frequently).

    The 800m is not your target race so I don't know if a lot of my advice would apply - the 800 runner and training tend to be quite different from 3000m training - I actually think it's the biggest jump within the whole 'distance' range.
  • sven27sven27 ✭✭✭
    10 x 800 is not necessary espescially in the summer.
    As long as your three quality sessions cover 400/800 pace, 1500 pace and 3k/5k pace you will be alright. Although the target pace should cover a good chunk of distance ie last summer just before I ran 3.54 for 1500, on tues I did 4 x 400 off 1 lap jog recov' in 55,55,54,53secs, then a few days later my 1500 sess was 2 x 1000 off 2lap jog in 2.34 and 2.33 - painful sessions!
    Does take a while though to get your time down so race often over 800, 1500 and 3k. My first 1500 of the season was about 4.12 and each time I raced the time came down - so be patient and the sessions will kick in. Very hard to concentrate.
  • Runner Boy 2

    your schedule seems pretty similar to mine and i'm aiming to get down to 4.02 this summer so it would be good to hear peoples' views on it.

    what's your current pb? mine's 4.10 last summer which was off the back of playing Sunday football all winter/spring and only running three or four times a week. Since then I have given up the footie and have been doing about 40-45 miles a week over the winter and plenty of xc! so my aerobic base is a lot better this year.

    keep us up to date with your progress!
  • while i'm on this post have a couple of questions of my own!

    over the winter i was doing a weekly long run of 80-100 minutes and considered it a 'hard' day. should i be keeping this in my schedule for now or is training at that pace too slow now I'm concentrating on 1500 rather than xc? should perhaps my 'long run' be reduced to an hour but at a faster pace? or reduce it to an hour but run it at an easy pace so that it is no longer a 'hard' day but i still get the aerobic benefits?

    would also be interested to hear some ideas for key 1500m sessions- what pace (relative to race pace) how many reps and what recoveries? I currently try to segment my sessions into close to race length sets such as 2*5*300 or 2*4*400

  • I did 4:05 last year off 2/3 sessions a week and my tips would be training wise, that it's not necisarily the amount of training u do but how hard u train, so for example 3x500m as hard as you can, so after each set ur dead which alows u to take as much rest as possible.

    A good one for endurance/speec endurance is 2sets with 400m walk/jog recovery of 8x200m at full pace with 90sec recovry (if ur hitting 29s- and try to get less rest as the year goes on. But to be honest with u the reason why i didnt get sub4 last year was cos i didnt do thye endurance so don't negl;ect that (u wanna do alot of LSD- Long Steady Distance!)And a good tip which i have discovered from Micheal East this year is that u do drill sessions, where for 30mins u simply do drills (e.g.hurdles- high knees etc) and that really does make u quicker.

    Also the best way to hit 4:05 is to go enter some good races; the BMC are very good and ur probably find 20 other people all goin for 4:05 as all races are paced for a certain time (and this helps cos u run off fear when every one is runnin just as quick) see bmc website for more info- i no the first meet is milfied on the may bank holiday and others run through the year. Watford opens are also good as they too are paced (but u can end up with with sub 3:50 people in the same race as u if u do wat i did and enter the 'a race' but having people alot quicker helps.

    Hope this helps
  • Actually, it'd be good to keep this thread going as a general 'hard training' thread for track, building up to the summer, as threads like the Mike Gratton and sub 2:30 etc are for the marathoners over on FLM. I'm hoping to improve this summer on a 15:26 for 5,000 and 9:08 for 3,000, especially the latter as it's disappointingly weak in light of the 5k time.

    Swapping weekly schedules etc would be an interesting exercise.

    Don't have time to type up all this week's training now as I'm tired, but will happily kick off with my week's training tomorrow evening if people like the idea.
  • paul mainwaring, i would leave your long run at 80 - 100, gets pleanty of mileage in, that is what i am trying to improve (adding 5 mins to my long run every week)sunday runs are all about time on your legs not fast pace.
    pb's are:
    400m: 57
    800m: 2.05.9
    1500m: 4.16.9
    3000m: 9.37.9
    i done these all last summer when i was 15, i was hopin to hit more 4.14 for 1500m, was pleased with my 800m and was predicted 9.25 for my 3k but only done 1 and the weather was worse than hell. Last year i was doing about 20 - 25 mile per week. i am now trying to aim for 40 mile per week. So hopefully by the summer i will have a good aerobic base. I am starting my summer work now because i feel i am hitting enough miles in to get me through the rest of of the winter season. Although i am pretty unfit a the moment because i was injured for 9 weeks then had bad flu for 2 weeks, i am pretty confident that i will be fit by the summer.
    Should i build my sunday run up to 90 mins to help me with my 3k?
  • BMC is f**king stupid its not a proper race!
  • During the summer you millage doesn't need to be that high. Try to keep your millage around 30 per week but increase the speed so that you are running 6min miles as recovery runs. Time on feet is needed on the country when you are racing for 20+ minutes but not track races of sub4.
  • Still have no idea whether people are interested or not in the hard-training thread idea or not, but here is this week just gone's schedule for me, would love to see what some of you guys are doing to compare.

    w/c 21/2/2005
    Mon: am - 45 mins easy, pm - circuit training (test circuit that we have repeated periodically since Sep to measure progress, consisting of chinnies, high knees, press ups, burpees - improvement on all except high knees which may just be 'cause of tired legs from National)
    Tue: 1hr easy
    Wed: 4 x 900 (2:45, 2:46, 2:50, 2:50) slow due to being done in flats on icy track
    Thurs: am - 45 mins easy, pm - weights
    Fri: 2 x 10 x 30 secs hills (5 mins between sets)
    Sat 1hr 40 mins long run
    Sun: Rest
  • It's interesting someone's said it's more how hard you train in the actual sessions more than the actual amount you do, as I've found sometimes sessions can take 2 days to recover from, but seem to produce good results.

    I think training with a good group is key. Training on my own I seem to stagnate and the improvement isn't that fast. Training with a group really, really pulls you along and I just think there's something about it that helps.
  • sven27sven27 ✭✭✭
    The future - where else is he going to get a decent middle distance race if not doing BMC? At some crappy open event where you get a 12year old girl and 70 year old bloke in the same race?
    Also 30 miles is a bit weak especially at 6min mile pace?
  • HC - I think it's a great idea to have a track-oriented thread. I've not done a proper track season since 1998, but it's good to get a different perspective on things and it may even encourage one or two road runners to have a go at track racing.

    I remember when I first joined a club after I started 'jogging'. I had the intention of running a marathon like everyone else, but fortunately after I had joined in with a couple of sessions the coach there persuaded me to drop down distance and concentrate on track for a while. I discovered I was faster than I thought - nothing earth shattering! - but I really enjoyed it, and I've no doubt it helped me with the longer races too.
  • HC, how did you get on in the national? i only came 230th but prob had my best xc outing ever!

    here's mine for last week. not a normal week as tired from the national and had a 5k race on Friday but not far off

    Monday- 55 mins steady
    Tuesday- 2 sets of 4*400, 1 min recovery, 3 mins between sets. First set averaged 65s but lactic really kicked in and second set not so good!
    Weds- Day off/exercises- press ups, weights,crunches,etc.
    Thursday- 40 minutes very easy
    Friday- 15.55 5K road pb
    Saturday- 55 mins easy
    Sunday- 40 mins fartlek inc. hills/exercises

    Next week

    Monday- 30 mins easy
    Tuesday- 4*800 with 3 mins, close to 1500m pace if poss!
    Weds- 30 mins easy/exercises
    Thursday- 2 sets of 10*100m on grass
    Friday- 55 mins easy
    Saturday- rest
    Sunday- long run. Probably just over an hour with last couple of miles fast

    First track race I'm doing is a 3k on March 20th hoping to go sub 9 but have never done 3k race before!

  • I wouldn't say the BMC is useless, if you are actually running in one of the BMC races at Watford as opposed to one of the open races you will definately get a good run and in my opinion the best place to go for a pb, certainly better than league matches or local open races.
    Runner boy, as a few people have suggested your track sessions should be eyeballs out and other runs considered recovery runs. All of the sessions people mention will get you fit, but the best session I used to do for the 800m was a session with the sprinters improving basic speed, once you have imroved your leg speed the 800m feels so much more comfortable and your 400m time will come right down. Not sure how much this benefited my 1500m though as this was always my weaker event.
  • Bazza, I think track and speed are important too - a lot of distance runners, even marathon, have a track background and I know it stood me in very good stead in road races as the pace felt easier to handle (plus finishing kick is something that's invaluable!). Imp - I agree about basic speed, too. Something that's often underated in MD.
  • last weeks training schedule:
    Mon: 40 mins
    Tues: 4 * 800m / 400m rec
    Wed: 40 mins
    Thurs: Hill Session 9 all together
    Fri: Rest
    Saturday: 9 * 300m / 1 min rec
    Sun: 75 mins

    Pretty tough week dont usually do 300m's on saturdays but thought i would get a tough one in, probably going to incorparate 1500m/3k sessions on saturdays. 8 weeks till my first track race probably 1500m. Not fit yet but got pleanty of time to get fit.

  • by the way i think it is a really good idea putting your weekly schedule on here
  • I might ask on here as well - does anyone know of any track opens in the midlands in March?
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