3200m Training


I need some help. Over the past three seasons, I’ve only dropped 15 seconds in the 3200 (9:55 --> 9:40), and my 1600 and 5k times are comparatively way faster. My training over the winter is always solid (45-50 mpw) with some tempos and fartleks thrown in come late February to Mid-March. I typically run my faster 3200 in April, dying off severely come May and the post-season. I guess what are some training tips that helped you guys and how can I prevent this mid-season disaster from happening year after year? Also some sample training weeks might help also. Im completely open to new methods of training and higher/lower mileage.


theres your problem


I wouldn’t mind higher mileage but I’m just not sure what I should be at, and when I should be at that high. 60 mpw? 70? and when? By early March? By late January?


The magic isn’t in the number. If you can run high mileage consistently over the winter you will improve. I don’t know when your base phase starts or what kind of mileage you are running now, but start doing doubles. I have a hard time believing you were before with that kind of mileage. Run, twice per day, 5-6 times a week. If you can’t do that then double 4 times a week, etc, etc. Try to fit a long run in somewhere too.

Try to build up to 70-80 miles per week. Don’t take 10 weeks to do this, you can do it much more quickly than you think. Hold at that mileage for a while. After that bump it up to 100. I don’t know when you outdoor track season starts, but if you started base within a week or two, and had until the end of march, that is long enough to build up to around 100 without injury. Don’t fret the numbers, they’re just general guidelines. If you do 67 instead of 70, who cares! Just run baby.


You’re tellin this guy to go from 50 to 100 mpw in 1 year? Thats dumb.


QFE. Increasing your mileage more than 10-15 mpw in one offseason is usually going to do more harm than good.

To the OP:
-Are you doing a long run every week?
-Are you doing any doubles? 2-3 20-30 min runs can add 10 miles to your weekly total.
-What’s your mileage like during the season? A lot of people will drop their mileage in-season because of the increased intensity of workouts. This is not the right thing to do. You don’t want to lose the aerobic gains you made during base. Mileage shouldn’t be dropped until the couple weeks leading up to your most important race. I’m not saying you do this but if you do, it could be a reason you don’t perform well at the end of the season.


1 year?? /facepalm

If hes running 50 he can run 70. He may get a little fatigued, that’s expected. If it’s too much then cut back a week. then bump it back up again. Soon he won’t feel like cutting back. Then bump it up to 90 or even 100. Again, don’t get married to the numbers. The key is to run those doubles. He will improve.


Stubborn athletes claim increasing mileage would cause burnout or injury, yet turn around and do the same damn stupid things I’ve seen over and over again: 1) disproportionate long runs,
2) too hard and too few tempo runs,
3) trying to “keep up” in interval sessions.

On this message board you hear runners planning months ahead with weeks of 60,65,70,75,80,85 or 60,70,80,70,80,90 and then rigidly sticking to these arbitrary numbers, not for a moment listening to their own bodies.


I do a long run every Sunday. It is usually around 10 miles. I didn’t do any doubles at all. I will for sure add those in this upcoming season.

Just a few more details to my training last track season… I started training around December 20th, I took 7 weeks working my way from about 30 mpw to about 50 mpw. I reached 50 mpw by the second week in February. I started doing shorter tempos and fartleks (2 miles of workout) in the first week of February. I stayed at approximately 50 mpw for the next 11 weeks (the workouts increased to higher intensity 3-4 miles of workout), bringing me to the first week of May. I ran my 3200 PR the previous two seasons in the two weeks before I started to taper that first week of May (my 3200 PR race was around April 20th my junior and sophomore seasons). In May, my 3200 times dwindled while my 1600m/800m times flourished.


Do you suggest running the doubles at a comfortable “how you feel” pace? And for me I would have to run before school which is fine but is there a point in the season where I should stop doubling? Or should I continue to double until I taper?


defintely do those morning run’s by feel… keep them easy. i double every day, and 90% of the time it’s at a very very slow shake out pace. It has really benefited me. Once you’re adjusted to doubling, i’d say don’t stop, since if it’s done right it can actually make your second run feel better (at least to me).


thats just stupid


Care to point out the ‘stupid’ part?


that’s just ignorant, because you don’t explain what issues you have with his idea, nor do you have any proof it won’t work. How about you respect his opinion rather than calling it unintelligent, or even better, critique his opinion with some decent input.

I think that a bump in mileage wouldn’t hurt. I basically went from having run 50 mpw or so for about a year and a half to 70-80 mpw with most of the miles being plain old distance runs, 30am/60pm splits. Now I still run about the same mileage but it is contained in the workout with warm up and cool down.

I have seen a dramatic improvement since last year. Again if it really fatigues you, hold back. If you aren’t having any trouble now keeping up with 50, i suggest a bump to at least see what it could do for you.


He’s just spewing his malmo. It’s good stuff if it’s done intelligently, but it does seem irresponsible to tell someone he can jump from 45-50 up to 100 miles a week in a single off-season.

My advice would be to run a certain amount one week. If that feels easy, then do more the next week. If it feels challenging but not too taxing, run a similar amount the next week. If it is downright hard, run less the next week. Repeat until your coach starts telling you what to do. Keep it nice and simple.