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Why I don't like 400's (for the most part) (Read 1142 times)

    Jeff, Your 400s sound like drills, which I would agree are definitely beneficial. I would say you could probably incorporate more, too, like high knees, or toe flicks.
    What's the toe flicks drill?

    Roads were made for journeys...

      A speed workout that really works for me is 10x400 continuous at marathon-ish pace (6:20-6:30 pace for me), with 100 of each 400 fast but controlled--like a pre-race stride (16-17s for me). I find that this kind of work helps maintain quickness and turnover without damaging aerobic capacity. And, it teaches you to be able to shift into a faster gear when running at a steady clip. It's difficult, but doesn't leave me torn up for the next day of training. You might start out with 6x400 and work up to 10 (or more!).
      Great point! I have done workouts like this a few years ago but had forgotten about them. I never thought of it as 10 x 400, though, more like a continuous 4000 with every other straightaway "on." I like workouts like that--anything that is one continuous effort but changes speeds. A similar, but yet totally different workout like this is a continuous 5000 on the track, alternating 600s at "tempo" with 600s at 5k. Great 5K peaking workout.
      Any excuse not to run 400's is good for me. They hurt. Like you, I ran tons of them in high school (I remember one dreadful workout of 16x400 at 5k race pace), and while they might have been good for developing mental toughness, I'm not so sure about their physiological benefits.
      Yeah, somehow that one always turned into 10 or 12 x 400 at more like mile pace with the last 4 or 6 at survival pace. Good times.

      Runners run.

      Scout7


      CPT Curmudgeon

        What's the toe flicks drill?
        My name for what others call Heel Kicks. Basically bring your legs back to kick yourself in the butt. I call 'em toe flicks, because it's like the motion I used when trying to flick mud at others during XC races in HS. I know, it's mean, but hey, it kept from getting spiked. Anyway, I digress.... Here's some examples of form drills: http://www.runningplanet.com/articles/article_detail.asp?article_id=751 http://www.coolrunning.co.nz/articles/2004a001.html


        gimme some sugar, baby

          It really depends on what your goals are. If you're trying to run a fast 5k race or shorter, 400s can be very beneficial to your training. The 5k (if you're trying to run as fast as you can) involves both endurance and speed, so a session of many 400s with short recovery can provide this. However, if you're like me and you consider your best events to be the half marathon or marathon, running 400 repeats at any point in the season besides just before a key race to sharpen your legs, isn't very effective. I've had the most success with the following: 1. Build a decent base of mileage and hold it comfortably for a few weeks 2. Mix in occasional tempo runs once per week (3-6 miles at a hard but sustainable effort) or thousand/mile repeats. 3. Doing strides (100-200 meters) and form drills twice per week 4. Racing every now and then. I sometimes do 400s every once in a while, but only a few weeks before a big race and no earlier so I can feel my legs start to turn over and feel fast.
          George: Runner/Law Student
          www.gimme-five.com
            I've had the most success with the following: 1. Build a decent base of mileage and hold it comfortably for a few weeks 2. Mix in occasional tempo runs once per week (3-6 miles at a hard but sustainable effort) or thousand/mile repeats. 3. Doing strides (100-200 meters) and form drills twice per week 4. Racing every now and then.
            Yup. Sounds like a formula for long-term success to me. You don't see to many guys your age focusing on the marathon. How old were you when you ran your first one?

            Runners run.

              It really depends on what your goals are. If you're trying to run a fast 5k race or shorter, 400s can be very beneficial to your training. The 5k (if you're trying to run as fast as you can) involves both endurance and speed, so a session of many 400s with short recovery can provide this. However, if you're like me and you consider your best events to be the half marathon or marathon, running 400 repeats at any point in the season besides just before a key race to sharpen your legs, isn't very effective. I've had the most success with the following: 1. Build a decent base of mileage and hold it comfortably for a few weeks 2. Mix in occasional tempo runs once per week (3-6 miles at a hard but sustainable effort) or thousand/mile repeats. 3. Doing strides (100-200 meters) and form drills twice per week 4. Racing every now and then. I sometimes do 400s every once in a while, but only a few weeks before a big race and no earlier so I can feel my legs start to turn over and feel fast.
              Agree
              My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48


              gimme some sugar, baby

                Hey Mike. I ran my first marathon a few days after my 21st birthday. I started running half marathons after my NCAA collegiate running career didn't quite work out and decided to give the marathon a try. Glad I did... running my second one this march.
                George: Runner/Law Student
                www.gimme-five.com
                  Nice debut! Good luck with your second. You can develop your aerobic base for YEARS if not decades. You should have a lot of upside!

                  Runners run.


                  gimme some sugar, baby

                    Thanks!
                    George: Runner/Law Student
                    www.gimme-five.com
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