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Click for 3200 Event WOrksheet

Hey Distance Runners!  Below you will find basic descriptions (HOW TO's) of our core distance running events.  Waconia Track considers athletes to be on the "Distance Squad" if they are competing regularly in the 800, 1600 & 3200 race distances.  Please take some time to explore the events below and start to learn about BEST PRACTICE in regards to our events.  

THE 800

“Negative Split Your Way to a GREAT 800"


Start – accelerate quickly to your race pace in the 1st 20 meters...don’t overdo it and and pay attention to the rest of the pack...don’t get boxed in, so stay in lanes 2 or 3!

100 Meter Mark

The break line...this is when you can “cut” in, but please take your time if you find yourself out in lanes 6 to 9...take the 100 straight away to feel out your spot.

200 Time Check

You should actually arrive at the first 200 check point about 2 seconds faster than you next 200m...meaning if you are trying to run a 60sec split 400, you should be here in 28sec and finish lap one with a 32 200m and get your 60 for lap #1 (this should be at about 90% of your BEST 400 time) ex/ if your fastest 400 is 55 sec, then your first lap of the 800 should be 61sec.

400 Time Check

Time should reflect 90% of your BEST 400 time ex/ if your fastest 400 is 55 sec, then your first lap of the 800 should be 61sec.

Last Lap

DIG DIG DIG, so now its time to dig in and get your time...if you are “on your marks” for the first lap, you should be able to come in 1 to 4 seconds faster than you first lap...think about starting your kick around 200...please ramp up this kick and be strong ALL THE WAY through the line.

Note: the above is for going out to get a PERSONAL RECORD (PR)...this might not be the best strategy if you and your team are going for points or if you have another race that needs more attention...in this case we put you in the back of the front pack and try to “out kick” for a victory while saving energy

Common Pit-Falls...
1) Slowing Down/Letting up just before finish line...rule of thumb is to believe the actual finish is 10 feet past the line
2) Saving too much energy and sprinting ALL OUT the last 100...need to distribute your energy throughout the race
3) Getting “Boxed In...make your first 200 quick start in lanes 2 or 3 if you are in the main pack...unless you know you are “by leaps and bounds” the fastest kid in the race and are chasing a record...then you free to “front run”!


The 1600

"Even Split & THINK on the 3rd"

Contrary to what any “sprinter” says…the mile is still a rather short race...as you start increasing distance on the track, your strategy becomes more and more important. Yes, it is going to hurt, but more thinking is involved because you have more time to adjust if needed! Even Split Method & THINK on the 3rd = all 4 laps are relatively equal with special attention given to 3rd lap…don’t go mindless on the 3rd or you’re sunk & Finish Strong on the 4th! Sprinters may be fast, but we're better looking, so who cares what they think, right!?!

THE START & Lap #1

Establish yourself within the pack and find your spot quickly...usually best way to accomplish this is to do it from the 2nd or 3rd lane in order NOT to get “Boxed in” and stuck.  You should get out “quick”…you want to get out, so you have some options during the first 200 meters to find your race pace group. Be prepared for a fast first quarter mile!  Whether you run 4:20 or 7:20 for the mile, the pace for your first quarter mile is going to be fast. If you have never run a road mile before, take your best 5K mile pace and subtract :30 seconds to approximate your mile goal time.  For example, if you run a 5K in 21:45, your pace is around 7:00 per mile.  Therefore, for a road mile, you should aim for a time of 6:30 or faster.  In this example, the first timing clock at the ¼ mile mark should display around 1:38.

Lap #2

Your ultimate goal during Lap 2 is to simply run a quality lap at YOUR pace.  More than likely you will feel in control and not much is going to fall apart during this trip around the track.  BE…LOOK…ACT… RUN…CONFIDENTLY

Lap #3

THE MOST important lap of the mile event…Goal = another quality lap sustaining your pace tempo while staying relaxed and FOCUSED (in other words do exactly what you did on Lap #2)…focus is why this lap is important because MANY runners start to day dream and will “fall apart” after finishing their first 800…you CAN’T sit back on your heels and take a break because you’ve reached the half way point.  This lap is used to push through and GET your pace time! (Quick Feet/Turnover rate will help your efforts here) If you think during this lap that you are maintaining your lap speed because it feels like the 2nd…well my friend YOU ARE NOT…keep moving the feet and push yourself to get the time…FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS!!!

Lap #4

This final lap around the track, if things are going well, should be at a slightly faster tempo with a kick starting anywhere between the 150 and 250 meters to go!  This is also a time to “size up” the field and figure out how much damage (or damage control) you can bring! MEANING #1 – maybe you are starting to break, so your team needs you to hold your place or #2 – you are feeling good and maybe could catch a runner or two while cruising the finishing lap with a SOLID time!  Remember!!!...the finish line for Waconia is 10 meters PAST the actual finish line...don’t give up a place in the last 10 feet of a race!

Note: the above is for going out to get a PERSONAL RECORD (PR)...this might not be the best strategy if you and your team are going for points or if you have another race that needs more attention...in this case we put you in the back of the front pack and try to “out kick” for a victory while saving energy

Other Mile Notes/Strategies...


Surging is a race strategy in which you change your pace rapidly throughout the race depending upon course conditions and where your competitors are at. Surging is a very useful strategy and if used properly can give excellent results in any race. If you are going to surge during a race, make sure you can handle the load and not destroy yourself.  The top competitive runners within all races will more than likely use the surge throughout the race to test their close competitors. If surging is used properly it can demoralize your opponents mid-race and help you win the tactical game.


If you’re going to pass a competitor during a race…then PASS and finish the PASS!  This means that when a Waconia runner passes a competitor, your pass should last 3 or 4 strides PAST the competitor in order to show your dominance and break them, so they are never an issue again for you during the race.

Front Running

Starting strong and trying to hang on throughout the race is an example of front running. This is not recommended for most runners. The idea of this type of pacing is to open a large lead and then try to hang on for the remainder of the race. This will always lead to a lot of pain in the last half of the race and very seldom results in top performances. There are some runners that have a very efficient stride that can maintain a quality pace when very fatigued. This type of runner may have success with this type of pacing, but for most runners, this is a bad pacing strategy.

Note on “Front Running”: if you’re going to do this it better be the “plan” with your coach…OR ELSE you better win or coach is not going to be happy…not happy at all!  The last thing we want as a team is to have an athlete WAY OUT front for 2 laps and then get thumped by the field during the last half of the race!  You…the runner (and your team) will look ridiculous implementing this tactic if you can’t finish the job!


The 3200

"Maintain Economy" (Even Splits)


The start of the 3200 is a tough place to be in because it is the age-old mystery of going out too fast vs. going out too slow.  The good thing is that the 3200 is the longest of track races, so a runner has the most time to correct mistakes and implement tactics.  This Zone is used to “find you pack” within the race or simply hit YOUR number for the first 400.  MAIN GOAL: we are in search of a pace that we can maintain in a semi comfortable state...go out waaayyy too fast and winning the first 400 by 100 meters, well my friend you better be on your way to a HUGE PR day or your coaches are NOT going to be very happy with you!  Basically a little ZIP at the start and try to find your stride.


Name of the game here...maintain your Running Economy/Even Pace, which is simply (ha simple) hitting your numbers for each 400 lap around the track.  This is the comfort zone and the solid 3200 runner will look IN control and not struggling to stay alive while staying on pace for THEIR race. (Tired, hurting...no one cares, so might as well look solid and fake your way around the track searching for the comfort...Waconia Runners look "10" in the face and hide the pain or doubt) Note: a "10" is a 10 on a pain scale of 1-10...10 being the BEST...distance racing is a game, so play the game! 


Time to put that stamp on your race and GO AFTER IT! We realize you’ve been on the track for quite a while, but this is where the real fun begins because this is where YOU get to figure out if YOU are tougher than the competition.  Honestly you might want to take a quick look over your shoulder and the rest of the runners...where are in you the race and what can you do to make this a GREAT DAY for you and your team. We would like you to negative split these 2 last laps, meaning get a bit faster lap #7 and just a bit faster lap #8 and do what you can in the last 100/200 meters to kick for a few more precious seconds. 

2 Mile Race Notes: 
1) This is a MIND ON race...meaning we are not out here on a “long and easy” birding watching mission...think your way through the race and GET your numbers…work for it
2) You have time...make a mistake? Take some time to correct it...meaning a “move” might take 2 laps and not a quick surge.
3) Set goals/missions throughout the race to entertain the brain
4) Laps 5 & 6 are VERY important to NOT GO MINDLESS...don’t get too comfortable during these laps and make sure to push a bit to maintain your lap speed in order to HIT YOUR NUMBERS
5) Wind/Weather…this could be a major factor and the key to a poor weather day is to find a pack and draft close behind…you don’t want to be a leader in wind!