400m Hurdle training

I am a 50.11 400m hurdler I come from a background of sprint hurdling as a junior (14.05 high hurdles) I ran under 11 seconds for the 100m and 22.0 for 200 as an 18 year old so my speed is there. After 10 years of sprint hurdling I then changed to 400m hurdling as I felt my speed was not enough to be world class in the event as a hgh hurlder. In my first season I ran 50.1 then after that I got achilles problems and ran 50.8, 50.4 and 50,4 in the following seasons. At 28 just turned I am looking for a new approach to the traditional british method of long fartleks in winter through oct, nov and dec and not touching speed until april. I feel I may benefit from working for a while on my speed and then when I have reached a good max speed and max strength then changing my programme to work on the endurance to maintain this speed. I would still keep in the 450s and 300s in the winter although I will do them faster and with longer recoveries i.e. 2 x -300 with 20-30 mins as oposed to 6x 300 with 3mins and 12 between sets which has been our staple work out for years. I am very strong I benched 135kg today and it is only Dec. I can clean around the same. I weigh 82.5 kg. my hurdle technique is world class but I need work over the barriers to work on stride length. my current plan is to lift twice per week with the third weights session based only around my specific weaknesses. I will also run twice per week on the mon and wed with the weights sessions to keep CNS work to the same day and then use alternate days tues and thurs as tempo days where I will keep it up to 3000 to keep the capilliarisation to a maximal level to prime my body for the increased demands over that of a sprinter and to aid recovery with the longer workouts I will be having i.e. 2x 350m. I will use sat as a hurlde session to make sure that the speed work does not compromise my stride length and then rest or tempo on sunday. I will be doing plyos on mon wed and fri with weights and speed work. I need to know what you guys think as time is getting on and I need a plan and structure. my aim is to break 50 seconds this year then run the Olympic qualifier of 49.20 next year. please let me know your thoughts on when I should be bringing in longer reps to enable me to cope with the demands of the full race. Bear in mind I am not looking to race until June and will be peaking for mid July for the trials and then another mini peak hopefully for the World Champs in August.

What days should i do my tempo.
Here is a sample training week.

10x60m hills
8x20m starts

3:00-4:30-WU/hurdle drills/flyovers
4 runs over 2 hurdles
7:30-8:30-weights5x5 squat,back extensions and reverse hypers

5x150m “sprint zones” vary between 80%and90% in 30m sprint zones

WU/hurdle drills/flyovers
7:30-weights-bench press




Hi Bob, you seem to have the right idea but can benefit from a few changes. Monday - attempting 20m starts after doing hills is counterproductive. The hills themselves will help to improve your acceleration, have you built up to these as per the GPP DVD ?

Tuesday, I presume your squating around 80%, beware a lot of the guys including myself would suggest that’s too many sets. I would omit the hyper extensions, too much strain on the lower back, the reverse hypers is a definite yes, keep them in all the way.

Wednesday - beware of in between percentages its what we Brits have been doing wrong for many years. Personally I would leave that session out and switch your Tuesday session to wednesday and do a tempo session below 75% on Tuesday instead.

Thursday weights I would switch it, so that you are lifting Monday and Wednesaday, put in an exercise for the posterior chain e.g. Deadlifts, and an exercise for the upper back/triceps. I used to use Bench but only prescribe it occaisionaly now during maintainence periods.

Friday speed endurance is fine just ensure its high intensity low volume and plenty of recovery.

Saturday - I would just do tempo/med ball for recovery or rest if you need to and total rest on Sunday.

Plios - remember hurdling is pliometric, use sparingly, if at all, you may not need them.

In the new year I would start to introduce 400m hurdle pace work. Start off with a couple of hurdles then gradually introduce longer runs over more hurdles as the speed endurance improves.

I coach flat sprinters now, but have coached hurdlers in the past, including some decent 400m hurdlers. Not bragging, just letting you know for peace of mind I’m not talking out of my butt.

If you have any questions, by all means.

busking bob.

400 h for me is a good base as a 400 runner,
so check out the lactate thread.
You can modify it to your needs.
I did that last year an it had some big improvement for me last season.

Agree with that pindaman, busking ,take a look at the Vancouver 04 DVD if you can. It will give you very good guidlines re the SPP2, you would just need too adapt it to suit your circumstances.