400m question

This weekend I had my opener in the 400. It was alright weather (about 10 degrees celcius and cloudy no rain) I flew through the first 200 in 22 low feeling great like i wasnt even straining myself, at 300 i could feel myself dieing a bit but still probably had a decent time (maybe 34 mid to high) then the last 100 i died badly and ended up running 50.8. My question is how much did taking it out gangbusters effect the end of my race??

Well, what kind of training have you been doing? If you were really relaxed in the 1st 200 like you said, it sounds like a training issue. What are your 100m and 200m PRs?

Sounds like you took it out too fast… Or you just need to get back into racing again? 200 PR?

21.69 and 10.79 for the 100. this is my first year training for the 4 and training seems to be going well, putting up some good times, nothing that would suggest i run that slow

If I were you I would take it out at around 23.1-23.2 for the first 200, the second 200 meters should feel a little easier since you have more speed reserve. You are capable of running sub-48 with that 200 time man.

thanks, yeah hopefully i can pace judge better in future races, that seems to be a problem with me.

But yeah don’t even sweat the first 400, the first one of the season always hurts… Now you gotta re-adjust the race strategy, the more you race the better it will feel. Good luck man. Keep me posted on how you do this season.

I would tell you to run the first 200m in 22 high, and try to relax and think about perfect technique in the last 100m. You can definitely run 48., because I have seen your abilities! Don’t worry about it; it’s a long season and you will get there!

Congrats on your race!

I’d go low 23 in the first 200 and then come home in 25 seconds :slight_smile:

Pacing the first 200 is always hard I find

I find that I have trouble pacing that first 200 as well… I know Im doing well if I make up the stagger at the 200m mark in an inside, but then I wonder did I go out too fast?

I forget where I have got this formula for pacing the 400m, but does this seem about accurate for pacing and ability? This strategy is based off of a 400m athlete’s 200m PR:

200m PR + 1.5 = First 200m of 400m race
First 200m of 400 race + 1.5 = Last 200m of 400 race

So, for example, if you took a 22.10 200m runner:
23.6 first 200m + 25.1 second 200m = 48.7x 400m… Sound about right?

I’ve also read somewhere that you take your 200m PR, double it, and then add 10% of that number and you get your projected 400m time?

(22.10)*2= 44.2 + 4.42 = 48.62… Both seem about the same as far as numbers goes…

23.60 (PR) + 1.5 = 25.10 + 26.60(Last 200) = 51.76 400m
23.60*2= 47.2 + 4.72= 51.92 400m

Hmmm … Anyone ever heard of a different pacing formula for the 400? I know of the Clyde Hart one also… Push first 50 almost top speed, pace the next 150m, work the turn (3rd 100m), and pray you have something left that last 100m…

I have heard a one second differential for the first 200 and a 2 second for the second 200.

ie: 23.00 PB

Go through in 24 and 26 for 50 seconds flat.

That was VERY accurate for me. When I was in the 22.7-22.9 range I hit between 49.8-50.2 in the 400m.


Makes sense…

I would have to go 24.60 and 26.60 to go ~ 51.2… That would be my PR… Hmmmmmm…

I’ve heard both formulas that you guys have brought up. My coach in college uses one and it seems to work especially when determining an athletes potential in 400m out of high school. To further this discussion. Since we know that lactate acid is pushed at 40 seconds. Would a women’s strategy or pace be different from that of a males strategy?


First point, it was season opener and this can often be a a little messy - even for the elite athlete. Nothing can prepare you for the pain of the last 100m of the 400m like having 2-3 races “in the bank”.

Post again after 2-3 races and lets see what your progression is like.

Assuming you have the endurance work done for the 400m, based on your 200m PR you are capable of a much faster 400m (double 200m time and add 3.5 is an oft cited rule-of-thumb).

0.8-1 sec is the cushion you should look to take going through 200m, giving you plenty in reserve to finish the race and not leaving you too much to do to complete.

In your case, I would try to get through 200m in around 22.75 (22 high). Any higher and you will have too much work to do in the last 200m, a lot faster and you are likely to run of steam down the home straight.

Good luck! :slight_smile:

thanks, yeah I have run a few more times since then. ive gone 49.28, 49.71, 49.72, 49.03. and im on a bit of a break right now so things are definatly looking better, learning more how to pace myself.

You didn’t beat your neighbouring university’s boys? Good luck with the Canada Games Trials.

haha it was close! its getting closer every race. i think it was like 48.8 , me at 49.0 and then 49.2