400m 1st or 100m 1st

How much of a benefit is there to running a 400 prior to a 200m? Over the years i’ve noticed a pattern of athletes(at least mine) running pr’s or near pr’s after running a 400m earlier in the day. But that is rarely ever the case for 100m athletes.

As an example, we’ve seen athletes pull out of the 100 or 200 in order to focus on one or the other. And we’ve seen 100/200 doublers seemingly have a little trouble coming back to do the 200m after running rounds of the 100. Since there are very few(very few)200/400 doubles at major championships, we don’t really have a good frame of reference.

Michael Johnson, Marie Jose Perec, Cathy Freeman come to mind right away.

Some of the suggestions for this have been pretty simple. I’ve been told that it’s a simple matter of being warmed up. Which obviously makes sense. But I think it’s a little more going on than simply warming up. I’m sure 3-4 rounds of the 400m prior to the 200m did a little more than warm MJ & Perec up. I think there may be a little more going on physiological than that, but i’m no expert in that area. Just the ladies;)

Seeing as how the 100 & 400m affect the body in different ways(fatigue)would the 100m leave you with “less” going into a 200 than a 400m? Is there a physical adaptation that takes place after running the 400m whether a single race or rounds, prior to running a 200m that leads to an actual benefit in running the 200m.

I’ve read that lactic acid accumulation from the longer races (400m) is actually beneficial to races afterward. Although it may seem hindrance to the 200m, lactate is converted to glucose and readily used for fuel. Correct me if I’m wrong here please, but I think this is a simple summary of the basic physiology of what is going on.

I can say for myself that I can remember time and time again when I ran track running a 400m, feeling like dog sh*t after, coming back 30-45 min later and killing the 200m and/or 4x400m relay.

excellent question and a recent post stated Joel Milburn from Aus ran a 200m PB 20 or 30 (can’t recall which) after a 400m. While not at any decent level I ran a SB 200m less than 20 mins (still breathing hard on line) after a 400m.

There is also the matter of Marita Koch running a 300m 60 or so mins prior to her 400m WR.

There’s been a lot said about the lactic bit but I suspect that the 400 forces the athlete to be more even in his energy distribution over 200m.
Another thing you’ll often see along these lines is a young athlete passing through 200m in a pb on the way to a 400. They are often shocked to hear it but have trouble bettering it when they run a 200 flat and burn the first 100 and then die.

That’s a good description of mine! :frowning:

200m/100m will feel short after you’ve run 400m :stuck_out_tongue:

This is a test posts, you can delete it.

Perec used to open her season at 200m or occasionally at 100m, and would step up to 400m later, for a limited number of races during the season. This was also Koch strategy obviously. They were doing short to long in their training plans. As for Atlanta, Perec wrote in her latest book that she was about to quit before the 200m quarters because she was dead tired. She ran 22.07 in semis and 22.12 in final, while she was probably in 21.8 form.

Its not just the lactic acid production, its also the length of that warm up race (3/4 of the competition race for GDR), as well as rhe intensity of that first race and the time between the two races. Watch also for the athletes usual work capacity and time of the year.

I’ve actually mentioned this same thing to my athletes. Sometimes their unconcious takes over their body even when they feel like they should be putting forth more effort. Which seems to be very plausible. It’s even happened to me a few in the last 200m I ran while still competing. I ran a bad race in the 400m, and was dead after the race even though I ran a decent time. But later on in the day I had a 200m, and destroyed everyone in what felt like the easiest 200m of my life. It was at the time the 2nd fastest 200m I had ever run indoors.

I’ve never had anyone run pb or near pb’s en-route in a 400m.

As my goal is to be better at the 100/200, would running the 400 and the other 2 sprint events be too much volume in one day? I’m running the 400 because we primarily train on a l-s intensive tempo program anyways and to build even more fitness.

I have experienced this on a number of occasions by doing a hard 400m then going into a 200m 45mins after. Tends to be that way in Britains club matches. 46.6 and 21.3 was one occasion. That 21.3 remained my third fastest ever.

I think it has alot to do with psychological effort as the 200m is shorter and easier and feels even easier again if a 400m has preceded it. The lactate system is in full flow and can assist as described by WRCortese5. I think it is also the fact that ‘perceived effort’ is out of sync - ie you know you are tired and try hard to run fast, but you arent actaully as tired as you feel/thought you were and therefore are putting in relatively fatser effort than you were previously able to - partly contributed to by the reasons described.

Does that make any sense?

Interesting discussion…

I’m very new to athletics and in fact any form of sports training other than weights. Started last year at a track in my area (live in Britain) and aside from the fact I had to lose a lot of weight that I had built from bulking up, I had a lot and still have a lot to learn in terms of training, biomechanics, nutrition etc.

This subject in particular is one I think can benefit me if I can get my head round the principles. For instance, I’ve seen the long-short and short-long being thrown around, but which is more beneficial and for what type of athlete?

Since I’m new to the sport and am only just finding the speed I had as a kid (I was never part of a club but always took part in district sports up until year 7 and beat all the guys training at clubs) I wonder if it is more beneficial going from long-short or the other way around?

The events I’m looking to compete in are the 100 and 200 and I’m also training in the long jumps group to see whether there is any potential there. My times have so far been 11.3 last year Febuary after starting in October 2007 and more recently 10.91 hand timed in training. To give a bit more detail, I usually find it hard generating power or speed from blocks since it feels like I stumble and sometimes makes me reach out further infront to stop this, but I start catching people at around 40-45m but hitting 80m I struggle keeping my knees up and my legs from kicking my butt.

I know this is straying a little off topic but I am just searching for an idea s to whether I should be training L-s or s-l in my current position.

this is off topic, but CF is s-l.
You can get a whole lot from just reading the forums ( I know I did and still do) but I highly advise you to buy the CFTS e-book. It’s cheap and there’s quite a bit of information in one place.
…and this plug isn’t earning me any money :slight_smile:

Being a student with literally 0 pennies in the bank usually makes me seek ways of scraping as much free info as I can, but I will no doubt make this a future investment!

Then screw your glasses on tight and start reading through the forums! There is a ton of info in here if you look thoroughly.

I will do sir, hopefully this summer I’ll have some cash from a job that I’ll hopefully land so I can invest in your books, but would you be able to tell me this; how do I determine whether I should pursue sprints or not? like between 100, 200 and 400? Coz up until a year ago I did nop sports whatsoever, since 10 years of age, and am now 21 - so I can’t work out if I can progress at this age. Current pb is 11.0 using electronic timer at the track, was tired from the session too, but although it is still early days, I don’t know if a longer sprint would be better since I am crap at blocks and find it hard to accelerate?

Not to be flip but if you have a hard time choosing between 100 and 400, why not emphasize 200 with 100 as backup. you can work 400 later after you get more background.

Yeah, haha that makes sense. I mean I wasn’t really focusing on doing that much competition this season anyway and was using it more as a base to train my body which is years behind my peers at the moment in terms of technique and power, but should I shift my training at this point of the season to more tempo work and longer sprints, as opposed to the short stuff that my coach is giving us at the moment ? (the longest sprint we’ve had so far has been 120m which I doubt will have enough carryover to the 200m).

Anyhow I’ll search up the threads more, and have a real hard read but thanks anyway, just one small question though; would it be reasonable to say I can progress, given the right circumstances and training etc, to low 10’s if I can run high 10’s at the moment, bearing in mind I didn’t do any sports up until last year which I was occasionally training at a track? I mean, obviously power is needed as well as technique which my coach is working on correcting, but my main strength at the moment is my turnover and the fact I have longer legs than most people at 6"1. Do you think with adequate power increase (2.5x BW+), sound technique and correct preparation (core, speed endurance) that is possible in say 3 or 4 years time to get my times in the low 10’s?
I know it’s hard to say since you haven’t seen me run and also it’s not exactly a sure formula in terms of predicting physical and performance improvement, but based on the rough bits of info you have, if there is any slight answer you can give then I’d appreciate it greatly man.

The only safe statements to make are:
You can progress.
You will progress farther training the right way.
If you progress long enough, the time will drop a lot!