How do 800 meter runners train to embrace the pain that comes with finishing their grueling middle distance race? Mike Rutt, 800m runner for Hoka One One with the New Jersey New York Track Club tells us that his favorite hard workout forces his legs to go fast even when fatigued. Perfect! Mike was a four-time All-American while competing for the University of Connecticut, continued to place top 10 at the 2012 Olympic Trials (1:46.83) and place sixth at the IAAF Indoor World Championships in 2012 as well. Mike has a 800m personal best of 1:45.2.
Favorite motivational quote:
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” -Tim Notke
Favorite hard workout:
My favorite hard workout is 3-4 X 400m with 4-5 minute rest. It’s not my favorite workout because it feels good! I enjoy it because it really shows me what kind of shape I am in.
What does it benefit?
That workout really seems to force me to run fast while my legs are dead, heavy, and full of lactic acid. It is the only workout that I do that simulates an 800 meter race for me. It also teaches the body how to buffer the lactic acid.
When do you like it?
We like to do this workout within a few weeks of my first big 800 meter race. It tends to be a pretty taxing workout, so I don’t want to do it too close to race day.
Do you do your best running solo or with a group?
I definitely run better with a group of other people. I’ve always been like that. Running with a group allows me to shut off my mind a little bit and just run with the crowd. If I’m running solo, I’m constantly thinking about my pace, cadence, and effort level which can waste energy.
Do you recommend other runners do it?
I definitely recommend this workout to other runners! It’s a short workout and it’s one that you can very easily adjust times, paces, rest intervals, etc.
What do you do for recovery from this workout?
The first thing that I have a tendency to do is lay down on the track for a good 5-10 minutes! After doing a cool down jog, we will stretch and I’ll use my R8 roller to help get some of the extra lactic acid out of the muscles and keep the blood moving in my legs. One of my other favorite forms of recovery is hopping in the ice bath!