T Nation


OK I thought I was in pretty good shape since Ive never really done any cardio work until recently I started adding 20-30 mins of graded walking, eliptical, etc post-workout (Damn spare tire!) Anyway I wanted to try energy system work for leaning out and also for geeting in shape for upcoming semi-pro football season. Today was my first day of the 400m sprints and I use that term loosley. Up unitl now I dont think Ive EVER run more than 40 yards in my life. The thing is I can sprint about 1/3 of the way before I die out, by the end of 400 m it has really become a fast paced jog (although my lungs + heart are fired up like a sprint). Today I did 3x400 w 160 sec RI. Anyway am I better off to stick with this until I get better or should I shorten the distances. I was thinking maybe 100 yards sprints w/ 60 sec RI for 6 to 10 reps? What’ll be more effective for fat loss?

I would go with 100m sprints…or you could go for time, as I believe CT outlined in his “Running Man” article. It’s a must-read!

Those 400m sprints are absolutely wicked!!!

I used to do 400m Hurtles competitively (in highschool, but it’s serious enough). Here’s some of the workouts I remember. They’re not in any order other than memory. So I’d start with the easier one’s and work up to the ladder or one of the hard ones.

Workout 1:
The ladder
50 m sprint, walk back
100 m sprint, walk back
150 m sprint, walk back,
200 m sprint, walk back,
300 m sprint, walk back
400 m sprint, walk back
(when you get good enough, work your way back down starting with a 2nd 400 m sprint).

Workout 2:
100 m sprint, walk back 50 m, sprint 100 m, walk 50m, etc. Do that so you end up running 8-10 100 m.
(Change this to 200m sprint, walk 100m, sprint 100 m, walk 100m, until you do 8-10 200m sprints) (The obvious next variation is to do this with 400m sprints, then walk 150m to 200m, then sprint 400m, with the exception that you’ll only do 4-6 sets of these.)

My mind is blank for some of the other workouts. But here’s the best advice I ever received (it helped me win some of my important races). When your running, and feeling tired (around the 100-150m mark) concentrate on lifting your knees to waist level and making full strides. This will drive your arms to move faster as well (and you since you can’t run with your arms even with your legs, your legs will move faster, and it’s a great big circle). Also, don’t forget that a 400m sprint is not run heel-toe, but instead should be run on the balls of your feet. This will help you achieve better stride length and more explosive power. Oh ya, and finally, lean slightly forward (not too far, but more noticably than a distance runner would). Your looking for a powerful drive in your calves, quads and hams, and I’ve found this body position helps greatly (so concentrate as you get tired). Speed has a lot to do with form as well as strength.)