T Nation

How Taxing Are 400-Meter Sprints?

Hi, coach
this spring I used your Strength Skill Circuit 4 times per week for strength with great results. Now I´d like to do it again for cut (I´d conclude my workout with loaded carries instead of hypertrophy work). My question is: Can I add some 400m sprints once or twice per week? (I mean 3-4 sets with 90-120 second pause) or is too hard for body to recover from? And actually how taxing are 400 meters sprints for CNS and recovery? I know 40-60 meters sprints are much like squat or deadlift session but what about 400 meters?
Thanks in advance.

There is a big difference between running at 80% effort, 90% and 100%. The time distance may be only 3-5 seconds difference. Why are you wanting to do it? Speed, lactate threshold training, fat loss? It’s basically around a 1 minute maximal interval and fast enough to not stress the joints and also, unlike shorter sprints you are not doing a lot of explosive starts.

fat loss, overall cardiovascular health

Looking forward to CT’s response about this as well. I’m wondering how the Jumps/Sprints day from the Summer portion of 4 Seasons of Lifting would compliment the program.

Form running
Take-off drills
One of: acceleration, top speed, or speed-resistance

If you aren’t in very good running shape then you won’t be “sprinting” 400 meters. And even those who are fit, running wise, need to work up to being able to sprint that distance and even then their times might not qualify it as a sprint since the longer the duration the more aerobic it will become.

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This is true. Four sets of 400 meter “sprints” would be pretty elite.

That said, running 400 meters at a “fast run”, like a 6-min mile pace, for a few reps will get you in good shape and help with fat loss. Also, that would be less taxing than all out sprints done at shorter distances.

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