>Running 101>400m help!
rather be sprinting
So, I'm 25, and because my coaches have always pointed out that my top-end speed is much greater than my long distance races predict, and because I LOVE weight training and sprints and can't handle high mileage, I've decided to focus this spring and summer on the 400m and occasionally jump in on the 800. You know, before I am too old to be fast.
I'm coming off an injury (all better now) so I'm not in TOP shape, but I am going to a meet the Saturday after this one to test things out.
Any ideas as to what workouts I ought to do leading up to then?
For reference I do two hard sprint workouts week and three days a week of Olympic lifting and general weight lifting and kettlebells. My lifts are as follows: 1RM back squat 160#, 5 RM front squat 110#, power clean 120#, deadlift 160# (<---yeah this needs serious help, I'm fixing my quad dominance). I also do hard intervals on the bike and generally 1 day a week of interval pool running (to spare myself impact).
Lately my sprints have been uphill (4-6% grade) at 80-85% effort (so 5:00/mile pace). I take full recovery in general and complete a full mileage of sprints, so like 12 x 150. I'm doing them uphill in order to get myself to activate my glutes and hams better.
In addition to my curiosity about how to prep for the meet and how to race, I am wondering a couple of things, as a newbie to sprint training.
1. I should do 20-minute tempos, right? for speed endurance?
2. Should I try Tabata sprints? (20 seconds hard/10 seconds off) or wait until I'm fitter? I like the HIIT model for sprinting and have gotten good returns on it in the past, but many coaches emphasize full recovery for sprints so I don't know.
PRs: 5k 19:25, mile 5:38, HM 1:30:56
Lifting PRs: back squat 176 lb
40 min runs with the first 20 easy and the second 20 tempoish are common, though maybe more in a base period. Your aerobic endurance base may be good enough for the 400 and a pretty good go at the 800 off the activities you mention, especially since you say you are a speedster. The mile would probably be an entirely different story.
There is something called back and forth drills or something like that. You basically run backwards about ten steps and then in as fluid of a motion change directions doing your acceleration phase practice.The idea is to get up to race speed in 5 steps ,
but I would be a little less forceful than that on most reps(because I am old and slow anyway). This is to work on driving, forward lean and running on the balls of your feet and standing up gradually at the right timing.
Stairs, short ones for cadence work and longer for power, but for power I believe that's also what your hills are doing for you. The sprint coach I know likes the small steps done quickly. I think I would trash myself doing bleachers instead of hills.
I think you should do some of your sprints on the track, hills are great but I think some flat and perhaps even slightly down hill reps are good.
There is a good video on youtube about how to run the 400, if you put those words in the search and you will see a guy standing in front of a white board with the outline of a track. I think he knows what he is talking about.
Disclaimer, I have barely dabbled in this event but have recently studied it more. Hopefully, you will get a real pro to help you.
Thanks, Everydog. Is this the video you mentioned? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaUbLFpt7l8 Either way, it's really good. I like the advice on the 200-300m mark, which is absolutely the worst for me. (It used to be my starts, but the Olympic lifting has helped with those, as well as doing traditional 'suicides,' i.e. running 20m, touching the ground, running back).
I also like your idea for stairs, though I've always had a difficult time getting 'in the zone' to run as hard on steps as I do up a hill. I get worried I'll miss a step and fall.
That is the video i was trying to lead you too. He doesn't really make it sound like much fun. I don' t think there is much risk on short stairs since that's just quick short steps. It's basically a technique drill, or similar to line drills for foot speed. But you are right to calculate the risks relative to what is going to help you most.