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Even the 800 meter, which is in the Olympics kind of traditionally more tactical than other European races, even going out somewhat slower than normal because it’s so tactical in the Olympics still causes that second lap to not be as fast as the first lap. I’ve picked out seven critical spots in the two laps, and that’s the things that need to be discussed today and you take it to your athlete. I’ve got three athletes here: red, green, and blue, and of course in the inner meters they start in lanes.Look for about a two to three second slowdown between the first lap and the second lap. It’s a standard start, and they’re gonna run the first portion of their race in lanes until they get over here into the backstretch, which is a cut line, and from this cut line they’ll move into lanes and this is really what separates the 800 meter from the 400. Preferred lane is in the middle of the track, so the green dot is no doubt preferred, but it’s got some pitfalls. Now, the difference between the 800 meter and other longer distance races has to do with a lot of physiology, but a lot of psychology as well.Red has the problem here of the whole pack collapsing in on them, on this person in this position.Green has the problem of being boxed in on both sides.You’re trying to come around the corner aware of where your competition is.
Certainly you don’t want them to go out as absolutely fast as they can. A lot of it’s come out of South Africa where we’ve looked at the last 26 world record holders in the 800 meters and it turns out that 24 out of the 26 had a faster first lap than a second lap, and it’s been significant, at least a couple of seconds.
This position also has the advantage of making a nice, smooth transition along the backstretch.
Now, a lot of things that happen in races with younger people, problems and things that stem on the backstretch, deal with people that make the cut just too quickly.
Then the third type, which we are seeing more and more commonly is the long sprinter that’s moving up.
They don’t have the highest VO2max in the bunch, but they are very economical.