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Who includes 400m sprinting into their workout?

Do you time yourself? What kind of times do you run?

How many times per week do you run 400's and how many reps do you include per workout?

Originally my goal was to run track (200m) this year but there were so many constraints that hit me during the off season so I couldn't train efficiently and properly. So last week I said what the hell and started running 400's on my own time, the plan is Monday's and Thursday's and I finished my first week sessions (2 reps each running day). I couldn't believe how out of shape I was. My best time is 1:04, way off my personal best of 52 seconds 9 years ago. I weigh 200 lbs at 5'11.


im a varsity 400m runner in high school, and i can tell you from experience you wont believe how fast you'll get in shape if you run 3 or 4 times per week (sprints, not miles), on the other one or two days do some 100's or 200's since you wanted to run the 200m. This year at the beginning of the season (like the first couple days of practice) i could run like 1:02ish, in a couple weeks i was down to around a 58, getting in shape cuts the time down fast, past that its all technique and knowing how to run the race.


That's my goal, to get in shape. That's pretty much why I chose to train with 400's. As far as 200's or 100's, I probably won't run any until I feel I'm in shape, then I'll work on speed. Probably when I can consistanly get under a minute. I'd like to go from 1:04 to 55 seconds. I'm not sure how that will take, but if I'm consistant I'm sure I can do that in a month or 2.

I doubt that I could handle sprinting 4x per week. My calves can't handle the beating and since I work out extremely heavy 5x per week I'll need to balance things out to avoid over training.


I want to incorporate sprinting into my work outs, so I have a couple questions. What does a typical work out look like? How many times to you run the 400 in a typical work out? How long do you rest between runs? Anything else I need to know?


I'm thinking about bringing sprints into my workouts as well. I sure used to hate that race, though. I had a PR of 51.31. Not super-great, but sure seems untouchable now. I can get right at a minute, but it's not as easy as it was. I may try some of my old track workouts. They went something like:
Warm-up(of course, I'd usually jog 3 0r 4 laps)
Victory Lap
It varied, but that was typical.


CT's Running Man article is probably exactly what you are looking for. He recommends 400m runs in there and has guidelines for people of every fitness level. I'll dig up the link later today, time for bed.


I am wondering the same thing myself. Here's what I did for my first week of workouts.

Monday 2 reps of 400m sprints
(warming up)jog 400m
(warming up)walk 400m
rest 2 min
sprint 400m
rest 10 min
sprint 400m
rest 5 min, walk 400m

repeated on thursday, this concluded my first week. It may seem light, but it felt brutal. I would like to slowly progress with more sprints but for now that is all I can handle for 1 workout.

I can't wait to hear from other 400m sprinters to see what they do.


My PR was about what yours was. I nailed 52 seconds when I was 16 years old and I'm now 25. I'm in crap shape and I went to the track and hit 1:04 in sweats and basketball shoes the first time out. Getting low 50's is going to take a consistant effort for me now that I'm 50 pounds heavier and 10 years older.

The workout volume that you posted is impossible for me, but I would love to be able to work up to that! For now I'm just at 2 400's and that's enough to pass out on.


I've read it but I can't understand why the rest intervals are so short. I can't imagine sprinting back to back 400's with 2min rest...and that was recommended for the badly out of shape person. It would turn out to be a jog and that's not what I am looking for. I want to sprint all out, rest enough to do it again. My goals are to get into shape, get some speed back and lose some fat without losing muscle and strength.


Here are some 400m workouts that will get you into some serious shape. These are specific to running fast 400's and are special endurance workouts for 400m runners.

Each 200m should be no less then 90% effort
200m, 1 minute rest 200m repeat 3 times take 10 minutes rest between sets

5x250m 8 minute rest between runs
Again nothing under 90% effort

150, 250, 350, 250, 1508 minute rest between runs
Again nothing under 90% effort

DO NOT do these workouts back to back I would recommend this no more then once a week, and alternate each week between workouts as it really does a number on your nervous system. This is a workout that I used to do to near peak shape when I was doing high school track.

Accompany that with some lighter sprint work during the week and you should be good,

Hope this helps


Thanks for the info, guys! Gives me something to start with next week. I remember CT's article; I'll have to dig it up.

Kir Dog: If you want to lose weight, don't be afraid of longer cardio sessions. Lots of people seem to be afraid to do lots of cardio because they think they'll lose appreciable muscle mass, but that simply isn't the case. You definitely WON'T be able to GAIN a lot of muscle mass by going crazy on the cardio, but you're not going to lose much (as long as you're eating well and getting rest). Lots of bodybuilders who do crazy cardio during their cutting phase, don't lose appreciable muscle mass.

I do a combination of strength training and uber cardio (5 miles, 5 times a week) because I play sports that require it. I'm looking to add the sprinting so I can gain more explosive speed.


All you need my friends:

CT's Running Man guide!


I used to do 3x400m or 4x400m as recommended in the article with 90s rest periods and while it definitely is impossible to go all out, after reaching a low point at the end of the second or the beginning of the third rep, I got something like a second wind and was able to complete the subsequent rep(s) at a pretty decent pace. Try it and see how your body responds.


What times are you guys running? Are you guys running to improve your time or just as a conditioning thing?


Just remember one thing you dont get better at the 400m by running 400's in practice.

And IF your goal is to get faster through sprint work, I would avoid mileage and long distance stuff


I used to run the 400m in high school

Check this site out for some real info on 400m training. I'll be completely honest with you, their is a HUGE difference from being in "shape" and being in "400m shape". I learnt this when I first started track. World Class 400m, 400m hurdlers and 800m runners are probably some of the best conditioned athletes on the planet.

Check out www.elitetrack.com, and go to the sprints thread, do some searches on 400m training. Running 3 or 4 x 400m really isnt going to do you that well in my opinion. That may suffice for 1 workout, but with track I dont think the exact same workout should be repeated within the same month at the least. You can get a similar affect with a different workout.


I wasn't doing the above-mentioned routine to improve my time over the specific distance but rather to lose fat/keep fat gain in check and increase my conditioning.

As for my times, I don't think they are very significant as my "track" actually was an avenue, albeit little frequented, with a speed bump, crossings, etc. and I didn't bother to pace off the distance very accurately. That being said, I usually ran the reps in 70-75s.

Anyway, adhering to these parameters every session left me burnt out rather quickly, so I soon switched to one session of 3x400m, one of 10x100m and then some interval running over a somewhat longer distance for the third.


I won't be doing any long distance stuff, just long distance sprints. 500m max. I'm just starting out.

You say that you don't get better at 400's by running 400's (can you explain that a little?). I am just starting a running routine (now that the weather's nice), I am choosing the 400m runs to get faster, in shape and I would love to improve my time. Any thing over a minute disgusts me because I was once a better runner/sprinter than I am now.

Am I picking the right distance to sprint to achieve my goals, faster, lose fat, in shape??


So you're saying that "400m shape" is tougher to get into than just "in shape"? I think that's the way I read that.

Why won't 3 or 4 x 400m do me that well. Just running 2 * 400m nearly killed me. I workout 5x a week and I'm a strong enough individual at 200lbs. I almost now feel like a pussy for my 2*400m. I planned on progressing every workout, but not by much. Should I focus on small progressions?

This is a recreational thing, I won't be competing.


I understand your goal, to burn fat and improve conditioning.

I have a question regarding your last paragraph. You talk about the 3 sessions, the 3*400, the 10*100m and something different for the third. Was this one full weeks worth of workouts? I was confused as to that.