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0.6 seconds.
That’s all that separates these two athletes over 800m. And yet, they achieved this through completely different styles of training.

On the one end, we have Donovan Brazier who claims to have never run further than 12km in training (his weekly mileage ranges between 40-56km or 25-35miles). At the other end of the spectrum, we have Sebastian Coe who would regularly average more than this per day with regular long runs of 20km+.

So given these contrasting styles, how on earth does one know the ‘correct’ way to train for the 800m?! As with most things in running; there’s not necessarily a ‘correct’ way but rather the most effective way that works for each individual. It’s highly likely that if these two had swapped around their training methods, neither would be anywhere near as successful.

Although their 800m times are very similar, Brazier and Coe and are completely different athletes. Brazier is more of a fast twitch ‘sprinter’ within the 800m field of athletes – strongly built, powerful, and fast enough to compete in the 400m. On the other hand, Coe was an 800m/1500m runner who even competed in a few much longer road races – the type of athlete with good speed that was supported by an extremely strong aerobic system. His training was much more ‘all-round’ compared to runners such as Brazier.

The point of this all is that there’s no one or right way to train for a particular event. There’s no perfect ‘system’ that guarantees success (despite the countless ads you might see claiming such a thing…). The only ‘system’ that works is one that is highly centred around the individual and guided on good training principles and knowledge.

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