T Nation

400 Meter Times


For doing 400m sprints (a la Running Man), what are acceptable times to constitute it still being a "sprint". The first one i run i can run fairly well paced and at a near sprint speed for the most part until the last 80m or so...but the next couple, I AM running as hard as I can, but its not very fast, so basically...is it the time that matters or how hard you are running the damn thing. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thanks


don't worry about your times until you have done them for a while. Chances are if you are running repeat 400's most of them won't be very fast. Sprinting is sprinting, even if you are slow. Not everybody can be Michael Johnson.


LOL..No, Im not some slow dork, Im a Collegiate Athlete who is fast for sure, its just the endurance component, i die during these, Im just wondering, is the huge fat loss "benefit" lost when you are not running them very fast just due to fiber fatigue and gassing out...or does it just matter to run them as hard as you can for the maximum fat loss experience...let me know, Thanks.




i have no clue. i run them at 1;30 when i do a few of them. but i am kind of fat and pretty slow. so im gonna say under 1;10


It's pretty individual, dependent on both your capacity for running fast and your fitness level.

Most high school athletes with any kind of speed can run the 400 in 60 seconds or less. Really fast high schoolers who specialize in the event can drop below 50 seconds. World-class guys are 43-44 seconds.

My best-ever quarter was a 59 in eighth grade before I gave up track for baseball. Today I ran a quarter in the middle of my HIIT session at 80 seconds. I'm 33 now and while I'm in considerably better shape than a year or two ago, I'm nowhere near track shape. The one today was about 150 meters of actual sprinting (or something close to it, anyway) and 250 of fighting being gassed and just trying to maximize speed as best I could.

I guess the point here is that your time in the 400 should be as fast as you can currently run it. Judge where you're at in your times versus your last session, last week or last month. If you ran 75 seconds for your best last week, try to beat 70 this week.

What times are you running them?


The first one...About 60 at 220lbs...The second and third one, awful, i dont think i even time them any longer due to pathetic performance, i just die...im trying to change that though.


You are going to want to do 1 or 2 balls out and really try to get your fastest time. Then take 70-80% of that depending on how good of shape you are in and make that your repeat 400 time. That's what we did in college and high school track anyways.


Start out at 65 or a little slower and see how this works out. The goal should be to run them consistently fast or a little faster each time. When you go and lift you don't start by going with the heaviest set, getting tanked, and having a shitty latter half of your workout. Going 65 instead of 60 most likely won't take you out of the specific "zone" you're in either physiologically and will actually allow you to stay there longer.


How much rest are you taking between them? I'd say it should be at least a minute, max of 3 minutes of (active) rest.

Reaching way back to my track days, something you might try is working to get a whole group (about 5-6) of 400m runs under a certain time. You're hitting 60 seconds on your best max effort now, but die out...Try to beat 75 seconds for each "rep." This means don't go full blast on your first one - shoot for just under 75 seconds.

Save your max effort for the last quarter in that session.

Sample times for a six 400m workout -

70, 73, 73, 74, 75, 72

Re-test for a personal best once every two weeks or so and I'll bet you see improvement. Over time, reduce your target times, reduce rest times, etc. to make sure you continually improve.


if i went out right now and PR'd i'd do below 55.


Studys show that rest during 400m workouts should be at about 5mins+.

It's very stressful on the body to do 400m sprints and then have to rev back up for more wihtout proper recuperation.



I am not a runner per se (shot put and discus are my events), but I am fast for my shape (I'd like to think). I do know a little bit about getting faster on running events. I dropped 2 seconds on the hundred. Three on the 200 (that is my best running event) and don't know on the others but I did get faster.

We would do a bunch of stuff (not in a pattern I could pick up on) but we would run in groups to our speed. I was in the weight man group. So, I ran a 25s per 100m (except for single 100m runs). So, after two weeks we'd drop it down to 22-24s (matters how good we felt on condition). I ended up running at a 13s 100's at the 200m. Well more like 14 first hundred 12s second 100m.

Basically you want your hundreds to be close to the same to keep your pace. You can change as you find what works like state champ (as a sophomore) sprinted the straights and jogged the curves and never came in anything but 1st except for the 800. I don't care what people say that's not a sprint (but I can't go farther then 300 sprinting, and that's a slow sprint).

So, you're an athlete, so I suggest run your 100m in 20s (80 seconds total) and drop it as needed.

Sorry for the ramble...


Make it in under 70 if under 200 pounds.

Under 75 if 200-240ish.

Under 80 if >250.


When I do repeat 400's with my football players I use the following guidelines:

Big (OL and DT): 1:30
Medium (FB, RB, LB, DE, TE, QB): 1:20
Small (WR, DB, K,): 1:15


I just try to run them as fast as possible and improve my times on each with every workout. Seems like you'll be able to sprint longer once you build that specific capacity up, and the only way to do that is through effort.