400m testing

I can’t ever get myself pumped up to do a full blast 400m in training when I’m testing, I usually need to be in a race setting to do my best. I was wondering if anyone from their experience had workouts at lower intensities, 70-90%, that would predict a 400m performance? Let’s say for a 50s run.

That’s pretty much always the case for race spec distances.

Try a 300m and 600m. The chart I have says 36.5 and 82.0, timed from first contact over the line.

Thanks rainy but I was hoping for workouts that didn’t involve maximal testing. For example I have read previously in a bud winter book that 200x3 with a jog back recovery at 25, 24, 23 was predictive of a 47s run, extrapolating that to someone running 51s I imagine it would be more 27, 26, 25 for the reps. There wasn’t any details about how long the jog back took (as this can vary greatly) or whether the workout was done in spikes. I was wondering if anyone had any workouts they’ve used that can be done submaximally that can predict your 400m performance if you hit certain times over the reps.

What about 2x split 400m? :slight_smile:
Run 250m @ 400m target pace or slightly faster. Rest 1minute. Run 150m all out. Rest 20min, repeat. I’ve found that adding your 2nd 250m and 150m times together is pretty close.

It’s also a maximal test. While Bud Winter knows a lot more than me, my opinion is that to get a decent 400m prediction workout, you need to do something that is similar in nature to a 400m.

yes, most 400m trials are based on various split 400s (another example of course is kitkat 2x200). Exception perhaps of a single 300m effort.

Maybe you could go sub max if you did something like 600 or 2x400 if you also ran a fast effort of say 150 to validate speed reserve.
2x400 at sub max is a good way to prove 800m result.

The best way to predict where you are for your 400m is during a race. That’s obvious I know.

Maybe you are the kind of athlete that is able to crank yourself up for anything in training or not? I loved racing during training as it was my own little competition as I got more experienced and logged all runs.

If you are not able to get yourself motivated for one big run that’s okay too. Here is where you must start thinking of art behind the science and become creative in how you think about your training.

Remember that a great deal of innovation went into how Charlie coached and there were many reasons for that least of which were he had very few resources ever until the end of his official coaching.

Using a 200 run and taking 1 minute rest and then doing another 200 run is how lot of people test the 400m as a possible predictor to what they are capable of. You need to make sure that second 200 is done from a stationary start or crouch start to get the best predictor of time.

We did 300’s often as 5 x 60 meters and this was one because we were indoors and two I was always having issues with my feet. To stay off the curve we kept as much as possible in a straight line.

You could use the 100 m straight away outdoors, walk the curve, do another 100 and then finish with 4 x 50 meter which could be a turn around style finish. Each start on that 50 meters needs to be a crouch start not a running start.

You could also do variations of this idea depending on what you are good at and where your strengths lay.

I was fast over 10, 20, 30 and up to repeats of 60 meters but my best was really 30 and under. By the way that’s fairly typical for females as a general rule. It’s not that I did not do 150’s or 200’s or 300’s or 500’s. I did them in the fall and spring. But I got the most benefit with broken down variations of longer runs too because my acceleration was good.

The faster you are in general the more you need to be concerned with longer term accumulation of running the corners in or out side of any sort.

You’re right a 400m time trial would be the most accurate but just wanted to try something new that was also predictive, I train by myself most of the time so don’t have the enjoyment of racing training partners when I do them. I have used split runs in the past as part of training, but I’ve found weirdly for me the correlation jumps about at different points in the year sometimes the max split run is 2s faster than my actual times and at other times they match. No idea why. Have you used 2x400 in the past oldbloke, what kind of times and rest periods would you expect from someone running 51s in your experience?

Don’t forget that max split runs include acceleration time. So in the workouts where we did 5 x 60 m for 300’s we would take off 4 seconds to predict the actual 300 time which accounted for the turnabout and I guess are neutralized because of the acceleration.
I think you mean 2 x 200 m and you run one 200 from crouch start, take 60 seconds and do another 200m.

2x200m with walk 200 recovery between efforts. Times added together equaled 400m race time.
2x400 with walk 200 recovery. Times added together equaled 800m race time. Session was not relevant to a 400 race time unless i had proved speed reserve over 150-200.
My personal experience and fellow runners are all at masters age group. So 51 secs is a bit elite for us. Nevertheless 200m flat times or split runs seem to correlate pretty well over all age groups.
Having tried everything from 100m to marathon i strongly believe that (almost) max efforts are the best predictor of race times. Trialling over about half the race distance and extrapolating works. Whether it is 40m > 100m pace or 10mile > marathon. 70 to 90 percent just proves endurance - speed reserve is king.

Ok thanks I’ll try 2x200on 60 seconds and make the necessary adjustments. I think when I ran my split runs faster than my actual times it was earlier in the year around January, maybe due to a lack of race sharpness and the fact my races were on an indoor track. They usually matched up towards the outdoor season.

Sprint94, I strongly encourage you to consider reshaping how you think about preparation. Remember that preparation for competition is synonymous with inoculation for competition; which is to say that preparation/inoculation is optimized when it most effectively addresses the nature of what you’ll be faced with in, in this case, sport competition.

To leave the psychological component of competition absent until you are in a competition is to leave your preparation absent of one of the, if not the, most important aspects of preparation.

This is in no way a suggestion for you to “psyche up” for a time trial, but rather to encourage you to think about being focused for the task at hand in training which is also what the objective should be for an actual competition.

There is never a more accurate key performance indicator than the event itself so as soon as you depart from a 400m time trial in preparation you diminish the correlation. At the very least you’d be wise to make your preparatory time trials consistent with training runs that are already part of your S-L, L-S, or Aggregate approach. In this way, if 300m or 450m, or 500m are already a staple in your preparation than they are all much more viable means of testing outside of the 400m itself in comparison to split runs with rest intervals in between.

There are too many liabilities associated with combining two or more repeats for the purposes of a key performance indicator.

That’s just the way it is.

Interesting point from James. My toughest and staple sessions are 200m intervals aka the KitKat lactate threshold sessions. Eg 5x200. Therefore, using James`s model of keeping preparatory time trials consistent to key training sessions, my 2x200 split reps are consistent with regular training - good spot there.
I still have reservations about using reps longer then 300m for 400m race time trials - unless there is a matching TT done over a shorter distance such as 200m. Due to my belief in speed reserve.
A secondary TT model for me is 200m race time + 4 secs which seems to work well at many levels.

I agree 100% with speed reserve Oldbloke. To be clear, I only presented the 450 or 500m if those were part of his training repertoire.

We know that speed reserve is developed via gains in speed, however, training runs longer than the race distance can easily coexist in the preparation as both a special endurance stimulus and a viable time trial distance.

As for the 200m repeats, as excellent of a training stimulus they provide, the liabilities I referred to are the discrepancies associated with “more moving parts” in comparison to a single distance/single repetition time trial. That said, if a reliable correlation is found, such as what you referenced than problem solved.

In any case, it is important for Sprint94 to recognize the point you and I are both making in that the time trial can only be a key performance indicator if it is more than a sub-maximal effort as the greater the disparity in intensity, both by way of velocity and distance, between the time trial and the competition event the less accurate the indicator.