Melissa Bishop On Weight Training And The Importance Of Running Off Distances

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Melissa Bishop is a Canadian middle distance runner. She holds the Canadian national record in the women's 800m with her run of 1:57.01 from the 2017 Monaco Diamond League meet. She also holds the 2015 World Championships silver medal from Beijing 2015 and Pan American Games gold medal from Toronto 2015. She holds PRs of 2:38.75 in the 1000m and 56.46 in the 400m. The following is a transcription of a FloTrack interview from July 2013.

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Importance Of Weight Traning 

Give us an overview of your weight training routine.

"So we're in the weight room probably three days a week. We'll do Olympic lifts, some plyos, something just to keep some speed and power up in my legs. We do a lot of it in the base season, when we get into competition season it's kinda faded out a little bit, but we still do something just to stay sharp."

Is there a particular lift that has benefited you the most? 

"No, I think it's just the program we use. It's called a 'tendo' and you hook this machine up to the bar and it measures how fast and how much energy you're imputing with the bar, so it's really specific to what we need. So my weight coach, Mike Miller, he does all the specifics writes out my program. So he will say you have three sets of cleans, you need to do them at this speed, and it will be something different for three days a week. We will just rotate through faces throughout the year."

When do you feel the benefits of weight training when you're on the track?

"Definitely competition season right now getting into the peak phase. Coming around that last 200 when we have about 100 to go, that strength I can credit a lot of that to my weight training. He trains me like a sprinter just to have that strength basically."

Why Run Off Distances? 

Running off distances -- how's that help your 800m?

"A lot, because I don't do it very often but it just kinda switches you up and puts things in a different mindset to help a lot. You're not always focusing on the 800 and you're not always pounding yourself through an 800. I've never done a 1500 so maybe in the next few years, we might look at throwing just a few of those into kind of offset things. Indoors though we do off distances we'll so 600s and a few 1Ks every now and then. It's nice not to be able to run the 800 because we do so many outside especially this time of the season it's just 800s all the time."

How do those indoor races help you? What do they do for your running now? 

"They just keep me sharp because go through such a long phase of base training of not slow, but not upbeat stuff, so a lot of long runs and hills and 1K repeats, I'm not a long distance I don't do a lot of mileage per week. So when you run those 600s and 1Ks indoors it just keeps things snappy and I'm ready to go for the outdoor season."