Home   |   Contact   |   Help

Get Our Newsletter
Sign up for our free newsletter to get training tips and stay up to date on Catalyst Athletics, and get a FREE issue of the Performance Menu journal.

Go Back   Catalyst Athletics Forums > Training > Fitness, Strength & CrossFit

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-03-2009, 02:39 PM   #31
Júlíus G. Magnússon
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Iceland
Posts: 555

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
Flats + forefoot striking is pretty challenging on the calves/ankles if you're not adapted.
Maybe I should run in the running shoes for a while until my calves get better adapted? I'll give it a try next time and see if it makes a difference.
Júlíus G. Magnússon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2009, 04:09 PM   #32
Steven Low
Super Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,091

Originally Posted by Júlíus G. Magnússon View Post
Maybe I should run in the running shoes for a while until my calves get better adapted? I'll give it a try next time and see if it makes a difference.

Just do less work and build up to it.

Changing shoes is going to do more harm than good.
Posts NOT intended as professional medical, training or nutrition advice.
Site // Bodyweight Strength Training Article // Overcoming Gravity Bodyweight Book
Steven Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2009, 07:28 PM   #33
Júlíus G. Magnússon
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Iceland
Posts: 555

Júlíus G. Magnússon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 08:31 PM   #34
Frank Needham
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 543

This thread, due to current training involving the 400, so interested me that I continued to look for more info about how to train and program for it. In my search I came across this and would be interested to hear anyone's thoughts:

Click here to subscribe to TexasTrack.com and support this site
Effective Training for a Grueling Race
by Drew Roberson
arrw_l3.gif (1185 bytes) back to Coaches' Corner main page

If you’re such a glutton for punishment that you want to run the 400m dash, then you’re going to need to know how to train for it. If the sight of grown men vomiting at the finish line excites you, then enter the next 400 in your area, but please take some measures to lessen your pain. Although the quarter mile will never be an easy event, science and proper training can get you physically prepared for the task at hand.

A Finnish study, cited in Owen Anderson’s Running Research News, identified the two major energy sources for running the 400. Anderson states, "As you plan your workouts, remember that muscles have two key ways to obtain energy during a 400: (1) Creatine phosphate itself generates energy, and (2) Glucose breaks down to form lactic acid." The study also showed creatine phosphate is depleted by almost fifty percent after only 100 meters and then slowly depletes almost completely by 400 meters. Creatine phosphate levels do not return to normal levels for a full eight minutes following the race. Therefore, it would make sense for 400 runners to do repeat 100s almost all out with five to eight minute recoveries. These jaunts will increase the muscles’ ability to use creatine.

Since the discovery that lactic acid levels were highest at about 300 meters, Anderson concluded that 300s, "do a fantastic job of maximizing muscles’ ability to break down glucose. "200 meter sprints, however, were found to be inefficient for 400 training. The levels of creatine phosphate had already dropped in half at 100 meters, and the rate of glycolosis didn’t reach its peak until 300 meters. Unfortunately, 400 intervals with only three minutes rest (a workout only a complete masochist would enjoy) were found to be the best workout to build up muscular tolerance to acidity. Intervals over 400m were shown to be ineffective because creatine phosphate levels were too low for any real benefit.

I hope that all of this hasn’t confused you. In essence the Finn’s research helped Anderson conclude that a good 400 training program needs the following:

1. 100s run at close to full speed with full recoveries (5-8 minutes)
2. 300s run at close to full speed with full recoveries (8 minutes or longer)
3. 400s run at close to full speed with short recoveries (3 minutes)

These guidelines offer quarter milers a scientific road map to design an effective workout program, but it is not written in stone anywhere that you should only run 100s, 300s and 400s while training. I briefly trained with the Santa Monica Track Club in college, and still incorporate workouts learned from Joe Douglas, the Santa Monica Track Club head coach, and John Smith, the UCLA head coach. They taught me to run 350s for time and then add 7 seconds early in the season and 6 seconds late in the season to get my equivalent 400 time. This technique allows you to run more relaxed in training, since you don’t have the final painful 50 meters of the 400 looming in the back of your mind.

Over the past few years I have consulted with Brooks Johnson, the former US Olympic coach, whose training philosophies almost mirror Owen Anderson’s. In a nutshell Johnson’s sprint theories are the following:

1. Speed is a runners greatest asset and should be trained from day one. Athletes need to train at speeds faster than race pace, so that race pace becomes their "comfort zone." Two speed workouts per week are recommended for 400 runners. Example: (6X30m w/370 walk/jog rec.)
2. Train to increase your lactic acid tolerance and base twice a week. Example: (6X300 in sets of 2 with a quick 100m jog recovery. Allow full recovery between sets.)
3. The oxygen system should be trained once per week. Example: (20 minute easy jog followed by 20 minutes of easy form strides)
4. Athletes should take two days off per week to allow their bodies to fully recuperate from training. The conclusions of the Finnish study dovetail with the proven training techniques of the four coaches quoted here. With the resources available, you should be able to construct a solid training program. I have constructed a few sample weekly programs below to get you started.

Early Season

Mon 3-4 X 300 w/full rec.

Tue 7-8 X 100 w/full rec.

Wed 20 minute easy jog w/20 minutes of easy strides

Thu rest

Fri 6 X 30 w/370 jog rec. & 3 X 100 w/300 jog rec.

Sat 2 sets of 300-jog-100-300 or 3-4 X 350 w/3 min. rec.

Sun rest

Mid Season (lacking speed)

Mon 2 sets of 300-100jog-300

Tue 8-10 X 100 w/5 min. rec.

Wed 20 min. easy jog w/20 min. of easy strides

Thu 6-12 X 30m w/370 jog or walk rec.

Fre rest

Sat race

Sun rest

Mid Season (lacking stamina)

Mon 2 sets of 300-100jog-300

Tue 8-10 X 100 w/5 min. rec.

Wed 20 min. easy jog w/20 min. of strides

Thu 2-3 X 350 w/3 min. rec.

Fri rest

Sat race

Sun rest

Peaking Season

Mon 2 sets of 300-100jog-300 or 3X 350 w/3 min. rec.

Tue 20 min. easy jog w/20 min. of strides

Wed 3-4 X 150 w/full rec.

Thr 6 X 30 w/370 walk rec.

Fri rest

Sat race

Sun rest


Anderson, O., Ph.D. (1992). Step by Step Through 400 Meters: Understanding the process can help your training and racing. Running Research News, Volume 8, Number 6, 5-7.

Johnson, B. (1995) Coaches Notebook.

Copyright � 2008 Phil Murray
"Lack of sleep makes cowards of us all."
Frank Needham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 11:02 PM   #35
Andrew Meyer
New Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2

Little bit of anecdotal on training and the 400m.

This past track season(I'm a senior in high school) I was desperately trying to train for the 100m/200m/long jump. All the sprinters on the team trained the same, usually repeat 200s/100s with little rest. Every now and then we'd run 150/250 full speed sprints, to smoke our systems. At the beginning, we did lots of hill sprints at the nearby park.

Now, my main sport is ice hockey and I really haven't done much run training since I was maybe 15 years old. I joined track after coming off a rough season of Juniors and wanted to build some more speed. After about a week of practice(5x a week) I developed debilitating shin splints(probably because of very little running background and poor calve strength due to hockey), but I fought through them.

But the workouts were working for my 200m. My first meet I ran a pathetic 26.1s with a 12.5s 100m. By our third meet, my 200m PR had dropped to 24.3s and my 100m down to an 11.7s. This is when I seemed to plateau, and I know now, why. The training changed. My coaches decided the sprinters need more endurance(sprinters!) and started doing workouts combining distance and sprinters in mid-distance. Usually repeat 500s or 800s. Because of this, my coaches realized my proficiency at running 400s. I have "a good stride and a strong kick". They threw me into the 4x400m team and we took silver in our next meet. I ran first leg, 55s without ever running an open 4 in my life.

Good, I found what I was good at. The following week, with some TLC for my shins, I ran the open 400m in our home meet. I ran a 52.65s. I was ecstatic. But things got bad, my shin splints were really catching up to me, I wasn't able to finish practice and finished the season with the majority of my runs from 54-55(consistent). I want to contribute this to both a lack of speed work/adequate rest in practice and too much distance work. I felt the best and most ready for competition when training was intense w/ lots of rest between runs. This same thing works for me in the weight room also, keeping my lifts HEAVY with lots of rest between sets. I tend to thrive on no-conditioning regimens, seeing as how they tend to burn me out or leave me chronically sore.

Just my 2 cents. I'd say stick to the speed work.

Another little idea that just struck me.. I ran on the weekends a couple times and took a friend out to the track to run some sprints with me who wanted a little something different. When he ran his 200m sprints, he was coming in at around 30s and I was timing them so he wouldn't get lazy. I could jog with his 200m and push him to run harder the entire way. This is because my top speed is much higher than his. It wasn't taxing to run 200m @ 30s. So, wouldn't being able to run a very fast 200/400m be alot easier with an enormously high top speed? This applies to us mortals who aren't near our genetic potential, strength/speed are the most important attributes to endurance in those who dont train specifically for it, correct?
Andrew Meyer is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:02 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 3
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Receive emails with training tips, news updates, events info, sale notifications and more.

Submit your question to be answered by Greg Everett in the Performance Menu or on the website

Submit Your Question

Catalyst Athletics is a USA Weightlifting team of competitive Olympic-style weightlifters with multiple national team medals.

Read More
Olympic Weightlifting Book
Catalyst Athletics
Contact Us
Products & Services
Weightlifting Team
Performance Menu
Magazine Home
Subscriber Login
About the Program
Workout Archives
Exercise Demos
Text Only
Instructional Content
Exercise Demos
Video Gallery
Free Articles
Free Recipes
Recommended Books & DVDs
Olympic Weightlifting Guide
Discussion Forum
Weight Conversion Calculator