T Nation

Running Man: 400m Sprints

Hey guys, I just tried my first bout of 400m sprints as recommended by CT in his article “Running Man.” I’m 5’11 180 lbs, I consider myself to be in decent shape so I decided to do 3 x 400 m with 120 s rest intervals as he suggests in his table.

Halfway through the first sprint I cursed whatever mental problem I have that makes me choose to put myself in so much agony on a Saturday night. About 100m into the second sprint my body just flicked the off switch, I broke my stride and stumbled my way home.

Basically I feel like a total loser now. CT suggests that people in “bad shape” do 2 x 400 m and I didn’t even make it that far! Has anyone else experienced this sort of setback when starting sprint training or am I just a fatso trapped in a relatively lean body?

Did you properly warmup? Do you have any previous running experience? A human body can run at a full sprint for about 6-8 seconds, the rest is a coast, so if you are hammering a 400 at 95% you are screwed for the next one. What time did you complete your first lap in?

For a normal gym-going person that might only do a little cardio here and there, but predominantly lifts, a 400 at a sprinting pace is going to be quite difficult. I think a variety of factors play into it (motivation for the day, what you might’ve eaten, knowing the workout was X many more 400’s).

I suggest to just go out and give it another try during the day, but predetermine that you’re going to do it a day or two in advance so you can hold yourself to it.

Maybe even ease into running the pace, especially on your first attempt at a 400 workout (who wants to blow up on the first or second rep?).

[quote]Shammy wrote:
A human body can run at a full sprint for about 6-8 seconds[/quote]

Where did you get that information from? And what exactly do you mean by “full sprint”?

[quote]Kreal7 wrote:
Shammy wrote:
A human body can run at a full sprint for about 6-8 seconds

Where did you get that information from? And what exactly do you mean by “full sprint”?

[/quote]

I believe he means the Creatine Phosphate system. I remember hearing somewhere you can’t “sprint” over 370 - 400 meters meaning anaerobic respiration.

Hay,

I actualy run the 400 meters and I wish to make the olympic team so let me give you my 2 cents.

For a person who does not run track or hasnt run in quite some time running 3 x 400 is quite a shock. Hell, track guys/girls dont even run that at pratice until 3 months of basic training ( grass work, hills)

Regardless, you can do it. There are other ways to break this distance down but here is how its done.

  1. warm up with 2/3 laps easy jog.

  2. dynamic stretching

  3. start the workout.

You arnt racing so chose a time thats on par with your fitness leval that you know you can hit all three times.

World class times ( Racing) for men are 43 to 45 seconds. 46 to 48 are after that. 48 to 51 is were most joe blow track guys are. So for you (at pratice) I would maybe shoot for 70 to 75 seconds or more.

Because you died on the second 400 that tells me you went out WAY to fast on the first one.

Basically I feel like a total loser now.

And dont type crap like this on our forum!! Do you realise how rare you are?

How many people do you know by there own choice run 400s at the track because they felt like it?

Most people rather stay at home to waste there life away watching T.V and so forth…

Rock on,

50stang

I remember hearing somewhere you can’t “sprint” over 370 - 400 meters meaning anaerobic respiration.[/quote]

An all out sprint will peak somewere below 50 meters after that the race will be won by the one who breaks down the the least.

Sprinting ( towards the end) is an optical illusion, the guy whos winning is breaking down slower hes not going faster.

Have you considered getting a base under your belt before you try to do 400 repeats? It’s absolutely ridiculous if you don’t.

How do you consider yourself to be in ‘decent’ shape…do you occasionally play basketball, soccer, what? I ran a little over a 50.1 in high school for the 400, and our coach didn’t let us run repeats until the third week of practice after he made sure we were in the proper shape to actually get something out of the workout. Try that first.

[quote]Mustang50 wrote:

I actualy run the 400 meters and I wish to make the olympic team so let me give you my 2 cents.

For a person who does not run track or hasnt run in quite some time running 3 x 400 is quite a shock. Hell, track guys/girls dont even run that at pratice until 3 months of basic training ( grass work, hills)

World class times ( Racing) for men are 43 to 45 seconds. 46 to 48 are after that. 48 to 51 is were most joe blow track guys are. So for you (at pratice) I would maybe shoot for 70 to 75 seconds or more.

Because you died on the second 400 that tells me you went out WAY to fast on the first one.[/quote]

This is why T-Nation is awesome. I holler into cyberspace and cyberspace sends me an olympic-hopeful 400m runner to help me out!

Thanks a lot Mustang. I didn’t get an accurate time on my first lap because I was in too much pain to hit my wristwatch. When I remembered too, it said 73 seconds. So I would guesstimate that I ran 60-65s. Its good to know that I could take it a bit easier and still say I was “sprinting.”

Cheers,

brainfreez

Wow, thats odd. I had been locked out of the Grork account but I’m on an old computer that apparently remembers the password. grork = brainfreez, sorry for the confusion.

[quote]Mustang50 wrote:

Hay,

I actualy run the 400 meters and I wish to make the olympic team so let me give you my 2 cents.

For a person who does not run track or hasnt run in quite some time running 3 x 400 is quite a shock. Hell, track guys/girls dont even run that at pratice until 3 months of basic training ( grass work, hills)

Regardless, you can do it. There are other ways to break this distance down but here is how its done.

  1. warm up with 2/3 laps easy jog.

  2. dynamic stretching

  3. start the workout.

You arnt racing so chose a time thats on par with your fitness leval that you know you can hit all three times.

World class times ( Racing) for men are 43 to 45 seconds. 46 to 48 are after that. 48 to 51 is were most joe blow track guys are. So for you (at pratice) I would maybe shoot for 70 to 75 seconds or more.

Because you died on the second 400 that tells me you went out WAY to fast on the first one.[/quote]

Good luck against Jeremy Wariner. That dude is in a class of his own.

The Olympian sprinter guy has it right - most average Joe’s come in around 75 seconds on the first heat.

I was in the same boat you are a few years ago - went out and ran some 400’s and was shocked how hard they were.

My first one was around 75 seconds. My second was 1:35 - over a minute and a half. My 3rd I didn’t finish. I was blown away how hard they were.

And keep in mind I was training for a half marathon, and was comfortably running 10 miles at a time.

Keep it up, they do work. I do hill sprints now - they’re only 25 seconds, and not nearly as brutal as a 400!

[quote]Reef wrote:

Good luck against Jeremy Wariner. That dude is in a class of his own.
[/quote]

Kerron Clement. That is all.

[quote]Mustang50 wrote:
I remember hearing somewhere you can’t “sprint” over 370 - 400 meters meaning anaerobic respiration.

An all out sprint will peak somewere below 50 meters after that the race will be won by the one who breaks down the the least.

Sprinting ( towards the end) is an optical illusion, the guy whos winning is breaking down slower hes not going faster.[/quote]

Yea, that’s why I said the creatine phosphate system (CP) is about 6 to 8 seconds as the other poster said full out sprint. Anaerobic respiration is still considered a sprint, just not full out. That’s why I said the max is in between 370 and 400, just to clarify my statement.

By the way, good luck with the competition at the oly trials and nationals this year.

Agreed. Wariner is amazing. Clement is right there with him. I believe he has BEATEN Jay Dub a few times.

Side note, this kid from around here set the state record last year with a 46.something. It was quite a feat.

To the OP, 400s are a b*tch. Theres no way you can come out with no conditioning and just bust off 3 of them. I’m a 100/200 type guy, and I also have a hell of a time doing 300’s at 80%, much less 400s @ 100%.

Go easy. Each session, build up your intensity. I recommend going about 75% for the first 300m and then hauling ass that last 100m.

Good advice so far.

I’d like to add that it’s also much of a mental thing. Just keep going, even if you are slowing down. I’ve experienced that toward the end, I usually get something like a second wind.

The advice I’d offer is to actually up your rest periods a bit to finish the workout.

Our track coach had us do a 4x400 at probably 70% this past Friday. We were ALL out of shape (note, I go to an academically oriented college with very bad sports teams), so the compromise she made to get us to do all 4 reps was to give us 5 minute rest periods.

I came in with times @ 84, 80, 75, and 78 seconds.

That is actually probably what you should expect if you do this workout the way we did.

Once you get comfortable, shorten the rest periods, and at some point drop a rep or two and shorten them even more, then start on Running Man proper.

I’d advise to pace yourself and try to maintain consistency with your times for each lap. At the moment my goal is to run three laps under 1:25 each (Yes, I’m slow!) However when I’ve gone out hard in the first lap and done closer to 1:20 I then blow up on the subsequent laps and run 1:30 and over. A strategy that’s worked for me is to take it easier on the turns and really sprint on the straights.

Above all the imporant thing is to stay relaxed with your running stride, as soon as you tighten up and try to “sprint” like yo might do for 50m sets, you will lose all the efficiency needed for a longer race like a 400m.

You just pushed too hard. Do the prescribed workout at an intensity that you can do.

Unless you’re in pathetic shape you should be able to “jog” around the track 3 times with 2min rest in between. If a jog IS 100% of what you’re willing to do then be content that you’re doing the best you can. If you quit half way through because you couldn’t push that hard then you didn’t complete the workout at all.

As you condition yourself you’ll learn pacing and be better to physically be able to push harder. It just takes time. Just don’t be silly and hurt yourself or set un-reasonable goals in between now and then.

Which is better? Doing a\the workout or not doing a\the workout?