400m Workouts

 

Track workouts that increase your power and acceleration in the 400m

The 400m is one of the longest sprint events in track and field and even though it is quite longer than the 100m and 200m, it still requires a great deal of power and acceleration right out of the blocks.

Below is a list of a few 400m power and acceleration track workouts that help in training the ATP/PC energy system, which is the body’s primary energy system for power and acceleration. If you are not sure when to do these workouts or if you would like to follow a training schedule, check out my 12 week 400m/800m training program.

IMPORTANT: If you are a 400 meter athlete and try to run these 400m workouts at a different pace, run further/shorter than the prescribed distance, and/or cut the rest short (boredom or rushing), you will change the component of the workout and no longer be training the correct energy system that your workout was intended to train.  Key:  ‘ = minutes

 

3-4x 3x 30m accelerations from the crouch position @95-100% with a recovery of 3′/6’


3-4x 3x 30-50m block starts @ 95-100%    3′/6’   


3-4x 3x 30-50m sled pulls @ 95-100%    3’/6’


3-4x 3x 30-50m sprints with parachute or bungee @ 95-100%    3′/6’


 
 

Speed workouts that increase your maximum velocity in the 400m

In track, the 400m is a sprint race that favors not only a fast maximum velocity, but an athlete’s ability to perform sub-maximally.

Below is a list of a few 400m speed workouts that will help train two things.  The ATP/PC energy system, and the neuromuscular patterns for faster maximum velocity. If you are not sure when to do these workouts or if you would like to follow a training schedule, check out my 12 week 400m/800m training program.

IMPORTANT: If you are a 400 meter athlete and try to run these 400m workouts at a faster/slower pace, run further/shorter than the prescribed distance, and/or cut the rest short (boredom or rushing), you will change the component of the workout and no longer be training the correct energy system that your workout was intended to train.  Key:  ‘ = minutes

 

3×3 Fly 30’s @ 95-100%    3′/6′   (30m accel. zone with 30m fly zone)

Important Notes:

  • Perform this workout on the track, not on grass.
  • Accelerate through the acceleration zone and reach near-to-maximum velocity at the beginning of the fly zone.
  • Maintain near-to-maximum velocity through the fly zone and stay light on your feet as if you were running on hot coals.
  • Decelerate gradually after fly zone to reduce risk of shin splints.
  • Walking recovery is strongly recommended during this workout.


3×3 Ins and Outs @95-100%    3′/6’

Different variations of Ins and Outs:

  • 30 meter acceleration zone | 10 IN | 20 OUT | 10 IN | decelerate
  • 30 meter acceleration zone | 15 IN | 15 OUT | 15 IN | decelerate
  • 30 meter acceleration zone | 20 IN | 20 OUT | 20 IN | decelerate
  • 30 meter acceleration zone | 20 IN | 10 OUT | 20 IN | decelerate

Important Notes: 

  • Perform this workout on the track, not on grass.
  • IN = Fly | Out = Maintain velocity with relaxed arm mechanics.
  • Accelerate through the acceleration zone and reach maximum velocity at the beginning of the fly zone.
  • Maintain maximum velocity through the OUT zone but with relaxed (not aggressive) arm mechanics.
  • Take your time decelerating after last IN zone.  Reduce shin splints with a gradual deceleration.
  • Walking recovery is strongly recommended during this workout.

 
 

Track workouts that increase your anaerobic capacity in the 400m

The 400m is highly anaerobic.  If you want to run a faster 400m, you can maximize your anaerobic capabilities by training with track workouts that increase the capacity of your anaerobic energy system. The anaerobic capacity workouts are designed to expand the anaerobic energy system and enable you to build a good foundation for improving your anaerobic power.

Below is a list of a few 400m anaerobic capacity workouts that help with training the Anaerobic Glycolytic energy system. If you are not sure when to do these workouts or if you would like to follow a training schedule, check out my 12 week 400m/800m training program.

IMPORTANT: If you are a 400 meter athlete and try to run these 400m workouts at a faster/slower pace, run further/shorter than the prescribed distance, and/or cut the rest short (boredom or rushing), you will change the component of the 400m workouts and no longer be training the correct energy system that your workout was intended to train.  Key:  ‘ = minutes

 

100-200-100-200-100-200-100-200-100m @ 80-89% with a recovery of 2-3′


1-2 sets of 100-200-300-200-100m @ 80-89% with rest and recovery at 2-3′/5′


100-200-300-400-500-400-300-200-100m @ 80-87%    3-6′


4-7x 45 second runs @ 80-85% effort with a recovery of 3-5′ 


 
 

Track workouts that increase your speed endurance in the 400m

The 400m race is a combination of power, speed, and speed endurance.   Due to the length of the 400m race, track workouts that address speed endurance in your 400m training become very important as the human body is only capable of maintaining a sub-maximal velocity for a limited amount of time.

Below is a list of a few 400m speed endurance track workouts that will help train the anaerobic power and lactic acid strength of the anaerobic glycolytic energy system. If you are not sure when to do these workouts or if you would like to follow a training schedule, check out my 12 week 400m/800m training program.

IMPORTANT: If you are a 400 meter athlete and try to run these 400m workouts at a faster/slower pace, run further/shorter than the prescribed distance, and/or cut the rest short (boredom or rushing), you will change the component of the workout and no longer be training the correct energy system that your 400m workout was intended to train.  Key:  ‘ = minutes

 

80-100-120-100-80m @ 95-100%    6-8′ recovery


100-120-100-80-100-120-100m @ 95-100% with 6-10’


3-6x 120m @ 95-100% with 6-10′ recovery


3-5x 150m @ 95-100% with 6-10′ recovery


 
 

Track workouts that increase your long speed endurance in the 400m

The 400m race as mentioned above is a race that involves a lot of speed endurance but more importantly long speed endurance, lactic acid power and tolerance (also known as Special Endurance 1 and 2).  We know the 400m race pushes the limits of the anaerobic glycolytic energy system , but in order to maximize the body’s role of glycolysis we will need 400m workouts that extend this even further.  To do so, we’ll increase our 400m long speed endurance with Special Endurance 1 and 2 track workouts.

Below is a list of a few 400m Special Endurance 1 and 2 track workouts that will help train the lactic acid tolerance component of the anaerobic glycolytic energy systems. If you are not sure when to do these workouts or if you would like to follow a training schedule, check out my 12 week 400m/800m training program.

IMPORTANT: If you are a 400 meter athlete and try to run these 400m workouts at a faster/slower pace, run further/shorter than the prescribed distance, and/or cut the rest short (boredom or rushing), you will change the component of the 400m SE 1 and 2 workouts and no longer be training the correct energy system that your workout was intended to train.
Key:  ‘ = minutes  = seconds.

 

150-300-150m @ 95-100% with 12-15′ recovery (SE-1)


2-3 sets of 150+150m @ 95-100% with 30”/12-15′ recovery (SE-1)


2-4x 300m @ 90-100% with 15-30min recovery (SE-2)


300-400-300m @ 90-100% with 15-30min recovery (SE-2)


300-600-300m @ 90-100% with 15-30min recovery (SE-2)