T Nation

Tempo Runs vs 400 Meters Sprints


Hi comrades,
can anybody explain me the differences of these conditioning tools on the CNS?

According to Charlie Francis, tempo runs are not neurally demanding, since 400 meters sprints rely roughly 50% on the aerobic system and 50% on the anaerobic one, what about them, are they a legit substitute?

My training routine’s is ABC

Jumps 6x2/3,
10 yard sprint x8,
20 yard sprint x 6,
40 yard sprint x4
TRX lunges x3
Dragon flags 3x 7
Xband walks 40 meters x4
One legged calf raises 2x

Morning training:

Banded dips 4x8
One arm chinups 3x3
Shoulder bodyweight bridge 3x15
Facepulls TRX 3x highreps
Band aparts 3x 20
TRX curl 2x max
TRX tris extensions 2x max
Banded neck extension and flexion3 x max

400 meters sprints x7/10

C Rest day
warm up
arm drills, mobility, hardcore stretches, etc.
20 min slow as hell cardio

Do you experts think the 400 m sprints are cool on the second day?
I wanna improve my acceleration and my conditioning.

Thank you in advance for your time.


so a few things…

  1. There is a big difference between temp runs and sprints.

Tempo runs are largely centered around threshold. These runs could be 3 x 10-20 minutes or an hour straight holding 150-168 bpm the entire time. In this range youre building and breaking down lactate at the same rate. Very good for true endurance. Below this would be your normal training runs, or just logging miles. I have my swimmers check their HR for :10 and the goal is 25-28 in that 10 seconds.

  1. Sprints verse 400 mv02 repeats
    Again these are different things. From a physiological standpoint, you cannot sprint a 400. You can run very fast, however you’re not sprinting…
    You can do a large number of 400s on 1:1work to rest or 1:2 for high quality…but they’re a fast sustained effort. Start with 4-6 and add 1-2 every week. Your HR in :10 would be 28-32.

  2. True sprints are your 50,100s. Or less…
    This is where nueromusclar speed and power truly is built. The above all have a fast twitch component, Even threshold has been shown to recruit FT fibers.
    However your sprint days would be 6-12 efforts on long rest. Too little rest and you’re going to be unable to replicate a highly intense effort.

Now based on my own experience all of the above are key to success. During the winter months I would run my base days and then three times a week I ran 6-10 25m-100m sprints on like 2:00 rest.

If you’re wanting to run three days a week on the track you could go

Day 1
Mile warm up
4 x 1500 on 1:00 rest maybe descend 1-4
Or this could be your easy run day. Or this is your tempo run day. Get after it for longer if you want.
3 x 15 minutes hard effort
Light cool down
4-6 x 100m strides @400m pace
2-4 x 25-50m sprints

Day 2
6 x 400s on 1:1 work to rest
Think 5k pace or faster…
Easy cool down
4-6 strides @400m pace

Day 3
Skill and still warm up
Too much aerobic can dull the nervous system…think jump rope, or A Skips, B skips etc.
6 -8 x 100s on 4:00

Cool down a little

Anyhow hole this helps. All training has its place however it’s not all the same.
Here is a simple scale for you.

  1. Easy to moderate runs…
  2. Threshold, hard, or tempo runs
  3. Mv02 runs
  4. Sprints and power

I could go into more detail, but I think this will suffice!