Encyclopedia > Middle distance track event

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Middle distance track event

The middle distances are races where the runner tries to go as fast as his training has let him. Sheer determination on the short scale might let you win one middle distance race, but you will probably not be able to run any more for days. Biological factors that go primarily into a middle distance racer are; developed fast and type1 slow twitch muscles, adrenaline (usually for the final kick), anaerobic respiration (bringing it in after the final kick), athletics_running_tactics[?] racing tactics, and aerobic conditioning.

Notice: in the context of these articles, a minimally trained runner can loosely be termed as a person that has trained conistently for over 10 weeks, and is running the race while in condition from this training. Results from people that have not done this do not reflect their potential whatsoever, and should be considered flukes.

Table of contents

Common distances (and not so common ones):


  • not too popular of a distance.


  • Twice around the track. One of the two premier middle distance events. The event requires excellent 400m speed as well as excellent aerobic conditioning. Most professional 800m runners will run each 200m of the race as fast as most professional athletes (non-athletics) are capable of. There are two common strategies for this race: go out fast for the first 400 meters, and "bring it in" for the next, or try and stay more or less even paced. The first helps most people win competitions, but there are exceptions. The second is used to attempt world record. This is probably the toughest race on the body.


  • More popular than the 500m is to the sprints.



  • The other premier middle distance race. Requires a capable 400m runner, and it seems that the more aerobic conditioning, the better. 3 3/4 laps around the track. Lots of tactics[?] can be employed in this race, too numerous to discuss here. A very tough distance to mentally perform at. It's long enough to start losing attention on, yet it's so demanding that it's hard to lose attention. AKA "The metric Mile"


  • Very common in countries that don't use the metric system. The mile is 1609 m. Historically took the place that the 1500m has today. It's still raced on the world class level, but only at select locations. Probably will never go away, and can be romantically appreciated as a remnant of the past. Famous for its 4 minute barrier that so many people tried to break. The term "miler" is also applied to a 1500m runner.


  • Generally a place where a miler's speed will prevail over that of anyone challenging her.


  • Truly on the borderline between middle and longer distances. Its a standard race. Requires decent 800m ability, but can be made up with superior aerobic conditioning and race tactics to support that.

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