400m Rhythm Workout
400m Rhythm Workout

Track: 400m Rhythm Workout

Dick Moss, Editor, PE Update.com

The 400m is a difficult event because it's run close to, but not exactly at, top speed.  A good sense of pace and rhythm is crucial.

Here's a workout that John Smith, world record holder in the 440 yard dash and now a coach at UCLA, uses to develop the correct sense of pace and rhythm in this demanding event.

The Workout
The workout consists of 7 x 100m sprints, run at race pace, with a 50m jog recovery between each. The interesting aspect of the workout is that the series of 100's will eventually take the runner completely around the track, so the turns and straights are negotiated just as in an actual 400m race.

Begin the workout at the start of a 400m race. From this point, have your sprinters run a 100m at race pace. For example, if you want your runners to run a 52 sec/400, have them aim for 13 seconds on each 100.

After this 100, they jog back 50m, to the 50m mark, and run another 100 in 13 seconds (finishing at the 150m mark). They then jog back 50m to the 100m mark and sprint to the 200m mark. This pattern continues until they cross the finish line on the final (7th) repeat.

Early in the season, you might wish to start with a less stressful version of this workout. Simply have your runners start at the 100m mark instead of the start of the 400m. This workout will consist of 5 x 100m sprints instead of seven.

Or for some progression, you can increase the difficulty of the workout. Speed up each 100m and/or decrease the number but increase the length of the repetitions               

1. Dick Moss, Editor, PE Update.com
2. John Smith (UCLA Sprint Coach & World/Olympic Record holder), Sprints, Starts & Relays Video, Championship Books and Video Productions.

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