How Athletics Star Keely Hodgkinson Trains For 800m Speed

How Athletics Star Keely Hodgkinson Trains For 800m Speed

Keely Hodgkinson cemented herself as one of the world’s top 800m runners in 2021, picking up a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

She is now one of Britain’s most high-profile athletes in track and field. Only Athing Mu was able to beat her to the Olympic title and the pair - born just three months apart in 2022 - look set to lock into a rivalry for years to come.

Hodgkinson, originally from Wigan, has been working hard at her training base in Leeds to try and bridge the gap to her American rival and believes she still has another 30% improvement to come.

There are many different ways to train for the 800m, but under the guidance of coaches Trevor Painter and Jenny Meadows, Hodgkinson has found a method that suits her.

Typical Winter Week Of Training For Keely Hodgkinson

By her own admission, Hodgkinson trains a lot like a sprinter, favouring quality work over high mileage. She utilises cross-training to maintain cardiovascular fitness while making sure her body doesn’t break down from too much running.

Monday: 60 minutes on the cross-trainer or swim then core circuit.

Tuesday: Track session – anything from 600s, tempo intervals or 300s. Followed by 30 minutes on the cross-trainer in the afternoon.

Wednesday: 30 minutes steady run and gym.

Thursday: Tempo day (e.g. 3 x 8 minutes). Then 30 minutes on the cross-trainer in the afternoon.

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday: Longer session such as a progression run, running in different zones for different amounts of time.

Sunday: 50-55-minute run or hill session.

In the summer, Hodgkinson’s coaching team introduce some more race-specific sessions such as 3x500m with 5-7 minutes of recovery. They’ll also do some 400m work such as 6x300m with long recovery to try and improve Hodgkinson’s top-end speed.

Keely Hodgkinson Nutrition

Hodgkinson isn’t super strict on her diet but says she likes to eat healthy out of choice because it makes her feel better.

She lives with friends in Leeds, having attended university there for a year before her athletics career really took off, but if they want a takeaway or a fast food meal, she chooses to eat clean instead because it gives her more energy and makes her feel better within herself.

This intuitive way of organising her diet obviously helps her athletics and training too.