Does anybody else think the 800m is the most painful event?

19 messages
05/10/2012 at 21:23

 The 400 is over fast, and the 1500m doesn't begin to hurt until about 700m have gone. But the 800...I have only ran one, but it was the most horrible race I've ever done. It hurt after 100m and was basically an extended 95% effort stride for the whole thing. The last 300m was absolute hell - my legs AND my arms were hurting like they were being stabbed! I ended up not having recovered 20 mins later, and this is just off of 2 mins 28 secs work. Since you have to put a tonne of effort in right from the gun, but it lasts for what seems like ages, I think it is more mentally daunting than even the marathon, when you can get away pretty much pain-free for 80% of it. anybody else feel the same way?

05/10/2012 at 21:41

Was OK at 400 metres with a PB of around 57 - (OKish for a distance runner with no speed) but I only ran a handful of 800 metres and blew up badly after about 300 metres longest 500 metres of my life -

05/10/2012 at 21:49

Every race hurts. Or am I just strange.

05/10/2012 at 21:51

If you are truly racing then every race hurts; at least 800m only hurts for, well in my case, 2 1/2 minutes!

Pethead    pirate
05/10/2012 at 22:05

I personally find the 1500m far worse, explaining why I don't do either distance these days!

05/10/2012 at 22:11

My "hardest" event is the steeplechase, I'm now in my 40's and every barrier is tough to hurdle as my flexibility is not as it should be. It's like a fartlek session of 60m sprints.

There's also a fear aspect as it you catch a barrier it hurts, especially as you basically smack the track with your nose.

05/10/2012 at 22:23
Sure the 800m is hard, really hard, sinking under a wave of lactic acid. A wave of pain gradually envelopes your body until the whole racing experience, underpinned by doubts that you can't make to the finishing line, it becomes a blur. Finally you stumble over the finishing line semi delirious, wretching and staggering....however that extreme experience only lasts 45 seconds and within five minutes your OK, albeit a bit wobbly legged.

The HM is hard as well, the last 3.1 miles is hard, really hard, sinking under a wave of lactic acid. A wave of pain gradually envelopes your body until the whole racing experience, underpinned by doubts that you can't make to the finishing line, it becomes a blur. Finally you stumble over the finishing line semi delirious, wretching and staggering....however that extreme experience only lasts 19 minutes and within five minutes your OK, albeit a bit wobbly legged.

You psay your money and you take your choice
05/10/2012 at 22:43
Paying my money...400 hurdles. Then steeplechase. Great topic and great post Tom. I won't go into my fell race experiences!
05/10/2012 at 22:52
Alehouse: I never really got fell racing....well one wouldn't would one, coming from the Fenlands. I ran one once (or should that be one ran one once), and it seemed that you stomped transformer like up the fell and floated Pegasus like downwards. Uphill average stride length 0.8metres, downhill average stride length 8.0metres.
05/10/2012 at 23:13

Personally I think it's the 400.  The 800 is run specifically below sprint speed.  The 400, well...  It's physiologically possible to sprint just over 300m, so what you try to do for the last 70-100 is not physiologically possible.  That home straight to in my head is always longer than the last 5 miles of my first marathon.  The 400 is not over fast, the faster you run it, the more pain in the straight, and the more pain the further away the line seems to get.  It's only over fast on the clocks.

06/10/2012 at 10:04

I've only raced one 400m ever, and it was about 15mins after a flat out 1k race, so wasn't fully recovered. In fairness it was also a light hearted club social type scene rather than a proper race.

When I went around the bend, I remember thinking, I'll naturally be able to close the gap on my almost like for like paced rival at all other distances 10k to half.

However, I ended up 10metres or so off, and came out 60 to his 58

Either way, it taught me that even 5k pace is a doddle compared to the 400s!.

I'm not sure if that was the main shock, or a most bizarre cold lungs feeling.

06/10/2012 at 10:11

alehouse: The 400m Hurdles for me too. Swimming in a sea of lactic acid and trying to count my strides...

Never went near a 3000m Steeplechase though.

06/10/2012 at 10:28
400m....I honestly don't think it's any harder than other distance. It's simply as the OP says trading off the extremes of the pain of oxygen debt with the length of time you think you've got left to live (800m=45secs, 400m=20secs, HM=1140secs)

I always found 4x400m relays much more fun and harder because you don't run in lanes (except the first leg usually run by a proper runner!), and you're chasing or being chased down, whereas it feels far more isolated when you're running in lanes. In those circumstances the last 150m is all about maintaining good form and staying relaxed....easier said than done.

I used to run MD many years ago. It wasn't because of the pain of it that I moved up in distance, it was simply that I didn't have the necessary basic speed to be competitive.
Edited: 06/10/2012 at 10:30
06/10/2012 at 13:06

3000m steeplechase is a real test. I've only started doing it in the last 2 years as my club doesn't have anyone who wants to do it for Southern Athletics League.

I'd retired from T&F and was a Field official when I got the "calling". Now run them regularly and am slowly getting better. Hope to get in top 20 V40 times next year.

Great training for XC season as well!

Edited: 06/10/2012 at 13:06
07/10/2012 at 11:39

400m is the worst! I do track & field. 400m isn't my event but I do it sometimes, 100m, 200m and 800m are my events. 400m is tough because half of it's a full sprint and the other half is 95% of you speed. All I can say to you about 800m is try run a mile slowly, once you build up endurance you should be able to get quicker at 800m since it's smaller! 

07/10/2012 at 17:14

Not done track since teenager/young adult but I used to love the 800m. It was my favourite.

The one I couldn't do was 200m for some reason on the bend used to get a tremendous urge to pee!

07/10/2012 at 21:25

To be honest the pain may be something to do with me...I went out fast and ended up with an 8 second positive split

07/10/2012 at 21:54
I'd say 400. And 400 hurdles. Yeah 800 is revolting and goes on forever but you can't sprint it. My personal take is that you can only really sprint 300 -350 metres so that last 50 -100 in a 4 is usually a near death experience. Never again is what I cry every year.
07/10/2012 at 22:00

I ran a lot of 800m as a teenager. I don't remember any of them hurting as much as my half marathon did today. But that could more reflect the selectivity of memory.

I was a different kind of pain - today it was my legs that ached and felt like lead. I seem to remember feeling like my chest was going to give up somewhere between 400m and 600m!


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