400m plateau


I am a h.s senior girl who has been running the 200m/400m for 4 years. Last season I was able to get my 400 time down to around 60.3 and my 200 time to 27.2. This season my 200 time is 26.8, but my
400 time seems to be stuck at 61.3.
What do I need to do to break into the 59’s?

We do a lot of 200m/400m rest 4min repeat.

Any help would be appreciated!

What were you doing different in training when you ran your best time? Also was it at this point in the season or later in the season. It is still early and you will get faster.
Also, maybe you can post you workout plan so we can evaluate.

If you haven’t changed many things in your training and your speed has improved, your 400 m-time should follow, as well! Provided, of course, you’ve trained for the distance…

How many 400s have you done so far?

Also, answers to Quick’s questions will help!

Good luck with the rest of the season!

It was later in the season, 1st or 2nd week in May.

I run the 400m, 100m or 200m, long jump and the 4x400 relay. So, I have run at least 25 or more 400’s,

For the last few weeks, we have been averaging two or three meets a week, so the training has not been very intense.

mon: 5x200 w/ 3-4 min rest between
tues: meet
wed: 8x150 w/ 3-4 min walk between
thrs: meet
fri: 2-3mi jog

I meant how many 400s you’ve run so far in this season, 25? If not many, it’ll come later on, but I realised from what you’ve posted that you’ve done quite a few, perhaps more than a few…

Two-three meets per week “for the last few weeks” does not allow time for training and most importantly time for recovery; I understand having one race after the other, but not for too long… Eventually, it’ll break you without perhaps running the times you can/want.

Also, the sessions described before and after your meets are taking away anything you might have left, if any! Unless they are at race pace, they are not helping you; and even then, one of those would be enough, or none during a racing week!

I can’t see any real speed work -distances and recoveries are too long and too short, repsectively- and I can’t see any rest days between; the continuous running is something, but it would help much more if it was divided into EASY 100(-200)s and preferably on grass, as you spend quite some time on the track and more frequently as sessions per week…

Hope these help, although I understand it might be difficult to change things at the moment.

Thank you for the help. Yes, I have run approx 25-400’s between the open 400 and the 4x400 relay, which averages out to two per meet.

So, in between meets, I should be doing more short speed work with full recovery?
Could you give me an example?


I suppose, the problem is not exactly into what kind of training it’s better for you to do now, but that all this racing is not good and holds you back, at least for the currenct season.

It’s not easy just to suggest something, but some speed work should benefit you better vs. the session you are doing at the moment. Such sessions are done while racing anyway… Distances up to 80(-120) m -as a max limit, that is- with FULL recoveries and when performance drops, it’s time for warm-down!

Also, some rest before a meeting wouldn’t hurt either! :wink:

You have to understand though that whatever you change now and do, you might not see a real improvement, or at least for too long, as I believe some rest would work wonders for a few races!

I am pretty sure you would have better resutls if the whole season was structured otherwise.