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Workout Wednesday: 2 sets of 4 x 800

Workout Wednesday is here! I don't really have any witty comments for this opener, so let's just get into it. For this edition, I go to another one of my favorite workouts: 2 sets of 4 x 800 at Threshold pace

The Workout

The workout this week is a favorite of mine. One that I love to do, and love to prescribe to my athletes: 2 sets of 4 x 800, with 1-2 minutes (or an easy 200 meter jog) between each 800 and 3-4 minutes (or an easy 400 meter jog) between the sets. The 800's are to be run at Threshold pace. The rest is variable depending on the athlete, and depending on where they are in a cycle. Not all 800's need to run on the track, switch up that surface!

Why? I'll prescribe this workout for a variety of reasons, but the main reason is as a sort of a test balloon workout. The overall volume of the workout is low, as is the intensity of the intervals, but it shows me a few things. One, it gives me a good indication of the athletes ability to tolerate threshold work at any point during a segment. Early on in a segment, before progressing to longer threshold sessions, it tells me if the prescribed pace is correct (too fast or too slow), and what we need to work on moving forward. Generally, we'll come back to the workout at some point to measure progress, and build confidence that we're moving in the right direction. Things to Keep in Mind Like with any workout, it's really important to stick with the prescribed threshold pace early on. To those of us who work within the Vdot system, we have a pretty concrete idea of what that pace is. That's not to say that you can't progress a little bit over the course of the workout, you certainly can, and if it feels way too easy, than I encourage it. But it's better to feel in control early on and push late, than be struggling right off the bat and risk blowing up. This is also a workout where you shouldn't feel completely spent at the end of it, you should feel like you could run a few more 800's. When

Generally I'll go to this one early on in a new segment, to assess where the athlete is at and see if there needs to be any adjustments moving forward. If the feedback was that this one felt really easy the whole time, we know to make the paces a little faster gradually. Conversely, if the athlete felt that it was too difficult, than we know to reassess the training and potentially make adjustments. One workout doesn't paint the whole picture, of course, but it's an important accent to the portrait that the training is painting. I'll also come back to this in the middle of a segment as a confidence builder and as another test balloon to see where we're at. Here's the link to the vdot calculator to help calculate paces: Thanks for reading this weeks edition of Workout Wednesday! As always, I'm open to comments, suggestions, questions, insults, and the like. I love connecting with other coaches and athletes! Coaching inquiries? Email me: Or check out my vdot profile:

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