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View Full Version : Usain Bolt to run 400m.


Darryl Shaw
02-10-2010, 05:25 AM
Just spotted this story.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/athletics/8497310.stm

According to wikipedia his PB over 400m is 45.28s (Kingston 2007) but he's bound to beat that sooner or later. So does anyone want to make any predictions of how he'll do?

Steven Low
02-10-2010, 06:06 AM
I think he can get the record down to low 42s if not break into the 41s if he's dedicated to running it for the rest of his life.

If he's not then just sub 43.. maybe 42.5-42.75 range before he tries to go back for 100m/200m.

He has a HUGE speed reserve where running a 10s 100m for him is easy compared to most of the current and past 400m runners. When you make very fast times really easy, your speed endurance increases immensely when you tone down your speed even just a little bit.

Current record is 43.18 for reference.

Scott Kustes
02-11-2010, 07:45 AM
Oh snaps....it's gonna get crazy. Wonder if they'll rearrange the 2012 Olympics to allow him to go gold in the 100, 200, and 400. They did it for Michael Johnson in 1996 for the 200/400 combo.

Brian DeGennaro
02-11-2010, 07:58 AM
Bolt better crap on the record.

Steven Low
02-11-2010, 11:23 AM
Bolt better crap on the record.
He will. He has the speed reserve to do it... just needs to build up a bit of an aerobic base and boom.

Darryl Shaw
02-17-2010, 05:38 AM
Well he didn't get anywhere near the world record or beat his PB but he did set a new meet record with a time of 45.86s.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/athletics/8497310.stm

Scott Kustes
02-17-2010, 07:28 AM
I wouldn't expect him to break the record now. He's barely had time to train for it. Give him a year. It won't be as easy as Steven seems to think it will though...there's a reason the best 100m runners haven't been out blowing away 400m records in past years.

Steven Low
02-17-2010, 05:41 PM
I agree. I think if he trains for it seriously for the rest of the time then he will shatter stuff (as he originally was a 400m runner). He needs to build up the aerobic base though... will take time.

Scott Kustes
02-18-2010, 09:44 AM
Very little aerobic base needed for the 400, relatively speaking. He needs to build up a serious anaerobic base though and the ability to tolerate crushing levels of lactate and acidity that aren't present in the 100 and 200.

Jason Lopez-Ota
02-18-2010, 09:49 AM
Very little aerobic base needed for the 400, relatively speaking. He needs to build up a serious anaerobic base though and the ability to tolerate crushing levels of lactate and acidity that aren't present in the 100 and 200.

He works as hard as balls already.

I dont think lactate will bother him much lol.

Scott Kustes
02-18-2010, 10:27 AM
Of course he does and of course it will. Training for the 100 and 200 are vastly different from training for the 400m and are wholly different races, neither of which brings about much of a buildup in lactate. He'll need 1-2 years to knock 2.1 seconds off his PR (45.28 vs. 43.18 WR) and that's only if he dedicates himself to training the 400m.

He's commented before that 400m training is painful and he's not keen on doing what's necessary to run that race. I can tell you that training for the short sprints is nowhere near as exhausting, both mentally and physically, as what's required to be competitive in the 400m. As fast as 45.28 is in the 400m, that only lands him 8th place in the 2008 Olympics.

Steven Low
02-18-2010, 05:21 PM
Very little aerobic base needed for the 400, relatively speaking. He needs to build up a serious anaerobic base though and the ability to tolerate crushing levels of lactate and acidity that aren't present in the 100 and 200.
Considering that 400m for men is 60% anaerobic 40% aerobic.. you do need some aerobic base.

Have you read Clyde Hart's stuff on training slower to run faster?

Definitely need higher lactate threshold. High lactate threshold is buffered by more mitochondria which is built from aerobic work.

Basically, it's all painful stuff. Mix of anaerobic/aerobic work that he needs to do...

Blair Lowe
02-19-2010, 02:13 AM
100&200's are fun. 400's and 800's are painful. Going into them I knew that there was a very likely chance that passing out or puking my guts was highly likely at the end of the race if I ran my best.

Brian DeGennaro
02-19-2010, 06:15 AM
I think between the 250 and 400m mark when I raced, I always felt like I was going to cry it was so sucky.

Scott Kustes
02-19-2010, 08:04 AM
Steven, Where'd you get that number of 60/40? Cause I've seen data showing anywhere from ~85/15 (an/aer) to 40/60. The funny thing...the slower the 400 is run, the more aerobic it is. At the <45 second range (where WRs will be broken), the anaerobic system is contributing >70% of the energy. Link (http://www.coachr.org/energy_system_contribution_in_tr.htm) The faster you run, the more anaerobic energy is used. Of course, this will depend somewhat on the runner, but the bottom line is that the anaerobic system is the dominant one, especially for this caliber of 400m sprinter.

High-speed running performance is largely unaffected by hypoxic reductions in aerobic power (http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/86/6/2059?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=running&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=30&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT)
Despite reductions in the aerobic energy available for sprinting under hypoxic conditions, our subjects were able to run just as fast for sprints of up to 60 s and nearly as fast for sprints of up to 120 s. This was possible because rates of anaerobic energy release, estimated from oxygen deficits, increased by as much as 18%, and thus compensated for the reductions in aerobic power. We conclude that maximal metabolic power outputs during sprinting are not limited by rates of anaerobic metabolism and that human speed is largely independent of aerobic power during all-out runs of 60 s or less.

Lots of coaches have different methods of getting results...Clyde Hart, Barry Ross, Charlie Francis...all have their own ways and they all work. From what I've seen, work to increase the aerobic endurance is intended to provide better recovery in training sessions as opposed to for in-race aerobic endurance. For a 400, the aerobic system can be trained pretty much exclusively through intensive/extensive tempo...there's little need for over-distance running.

Edit: I may, in fact, be misinterpreting what you're saying regarding how the relative contribution of the aerobic system relates to actual training methodology.

Brian, that's about right. A friend made the comment last year, "Man, halfway through the second turn, you looked like you were hating life." Yep...that's about the only way to properly run a 400. That's the point where your body goes "Hey, wait a minute...just WTF do you think you're doing?"

Brian DeGennaro
02-19-2010, 10:58 AM
Racing and training 400s are the most brutal things in the world, no CF workout compares to it.

Steven Low
02-19-2010, 10:14 PM
Here's one:

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/tandf/rjsp/2005/00000023/00000002/art00010

There's a couple more somewhere or other that I have somewhere.

The reason I'm a bit skeptical of the Weyand study you posted is because metabolically increased amounts of mitochondria contribute significantly to acid buffering which helps increase not only VO2max but also lactate threshold when trained correctly.

I'm going to reread it again to see if I get anymore out of it though. We'll see.

Harry Munro
02-20-2010, 05:47 AM
I think he's probably going to beat the record by 3 seconds or so, eventually. Bolt is gradually moving up to the endurance realm and is going to show the world that speed triumphs.

Scott Kustes
02-20-2010, 06:53 AM
Here's one:

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/tandf/rjsp/2005/00000023/00000002/art00010

There's a couple more somewhere or other that I have somewhere.

The reason I'm a bit skeptical of the Weyand study you posted is because metabolically increased amounts of mitochondria contribute significantly to acid buffering which helps increase not only VO2max but also lactate threshold when trained correctly.

I'm going to reread it again to see if I get anymore out of it though. We'll see.
Okay, we can quote studies all day long. The pertinent question...what does all of that means in regards to actually building a training plan? How does one take a great short sprinter and take him/her from a good 400m runner to a great one?

Steven Low
02-20-2010, 09:51 AM
Okay, we can quote studies all day long. The pertinent question...what does all of that means in regards to actually building a training plan? How does one take a great short sprinter and take him/her from a good 400m runner to a great one?
From all that I've read I came to three conclusions:

1. Significant amounts of pure sprinting/heavy lifting/plyo
2. anaerobic intervals aimed at lactate threshold
3. Some form of aerobic work such as Clyde Hart's "slow 200m intervals" building up to faster ones over the season.

Speed/strength/plyo obviously is paramount, and most people use intervals.... but considering that 400/800 is basically a hybrid of sprint/endurance and there is a significant "aerobic" component there must be some sort of aerobic work stashed in there (and anaerobic intervals do not necessarily count as such).

I haven't really kept up with current 400/800m runners in a bit, but it seems like most of them are lacking the speed reverse (aka they need to work on getting faster).

Bolt is obviously coming from the opposite perspective, so he needs to build up lac threshold and aerobic base some then he will dominant because he has such as huge speed reserve.

That's my take at least... I dunno maybe you have a different approach?

Mike ODonnell
02-20-2010, 02:11 PM
400s are not fun.....800s are hell on earth. Hence I stick to ice hockey....because there is gliding involved.

Scott Kustes
02-21-2010, 02:03 PM
From all that I've read I came to three conclusions:

1. Significant amounts of pure sprinting/heavy lifting/plyo
2. anaerobic intervals aimed at lactate threshold
3. Some form of aerobic work such as Clyde Hart's "slow 200m intervals" building up to faster ones over the season.

Speed/strength/plyo obviously is paramount, and most people use intervals.... but considering that 400/800 is basically a hybrid of sprint/endurance and there is a significant "aerobic" component there must be some sort of aerobic work stashed in there (and anaerobic intervals do not necessarily count as such).

I haven't really kept up with current 400/800m runners in a bit, but it seems like most of them are lacking the speed reverse (aka they need to work on getting faster).

Bolt is obviously coming from the opposite perspective, so he needs to build up lac threshold and aerobic base some then he will dominant because he has such as huge speed reserve.

That's my take at least... I dunno maybe you have a different approach?
Close enough in agreement (which is why I asked you to go beyond the studies and actually give something concrete...discussing studies is pretty well useless), though I think much of the aerobic can be gained from stressing the anaerobic with short rest periods, like in intensive/extensive tempo. Higher volume, lower intensity in early season, decreasing volume & increasing intensity as the season progresses.

Notice one thing with Clyde Hart's slow 200m intervals...as the season progresses, they become intensive/extensive tempo for anyone, 5 x 200m in 25 is significant percentage of most people's max...for even a 20 second 200m runner, that's 80% of max - the intensive tempo range, i.e., anaerobic intervals. 6x26, 7x27, even 8x28...those are in the extensive tempo range for even the superstars. He does more overdistance work than others, but there are many roads to Rome.

As I said before, the slower aerobic work is predominantly to build a base from which to work in the season on the faster stuff, the bread and butter, the actual speed-endurance component. The aerobic work, as far as I can tell, is not aimed specifically at building a better 400m runner, but at building a better athlete...it's long sprinter GPP, essentially.

"Speed reserve" is all well and good, but keep in mind, there is a reason why 100m sprinters don't dominate the 400m. And it's not a lack of speed reserve (no matter how many times you use the phrase ;) )...Gay, Powell, Dix, and Bolt will all have about the same speed reserve since they're all in the same level of the stratosphere. So why aren't they out there killing the 400m? I doubt it's because they're nice guys that want to let Wariner (who is no 200m slouch at 20.19 and having plenty of "speed reserve" himself) and Merritt (a touch faster in the 200m, a touch slower in the 400m vs. Wariner's PRs) have a shot at something.

Maybe it's a lack of desire to endure the pain of 400m training or maybe it's that the best short sprinters don't make the best long sprinters or maybe it's that they'd have to give up short track dominance to dominate in long sprints....or maybe it's some other combination of possibilities.

Mike, if it's over 400m, I'm taking a taxi.

Steven Low
02-21-2010, 05:50 PM
I agree more or less.

This is what I was talking about though:
http://speedendurance.com/2009/01/06/what-is-speed-reserve-part-2-training-methods/

Jason Lopez-Ota
02-21-2010, 06:14 PM
I think Usaine can take the pain of a 400m sprint if he has even moderate desire in it.

Scott Kustes
02-22-2010, 04:10 PM
I think Usaine can take the pain of a 400m sprint if he has even moderate desire in it.
Far as I know, he hasn't quite walked on water yet. Besides, he's still a specialized insect...what's his Fran time?

Mike ODonnell
02-23-2010, 10:40 AM
Mike, if it's over 400m, I'm taking a taxi.

a good one....

Far as I know, he hasn't quite walked on water yet. Besides, he's still a specialized insect...what's his Fran time?

and for the win!

You have become much funnier since we've combined blogs....must be my doing.