GPP for 400m runnres

I wanted the pace at 65 s for 400m and then we will see how they manage the rest of the 600m ( I figure out that first sesseion would be like 1:40? and in couple of week lower to 1:30) but pace will be in GPP same-65 for 400m Nothing faster. The rest would be 15min.
The rest of the session for the week will be in charlie style for GPP (only wednesday exeption)

Still not good idea? The reason is thet at begining of Decemberthe athletes must go on camp with cross-country skis ( and do couple of miles on them every day- call condition camp) The competition season starts second week of January. That’s the reason I want to put 600m on program. I figure out when they come back from the camp, we will have a light week-nothing fast-for recovery. tham another 4, 5 weeks…

And I would like to know- the Charlie’s GPP Essential plan is for 60m-400m runner, same? Same model?

On the cross-country skis have one or two athletes wear compression clothing. The whole concept of skins was thought up during a skiing holiday.

I tend to agree with sprint coach. In terms of track work, I don’t go over any further than 300m in a single rep for 400m athletes and have a similar philosophy for my 800m runners who don’t go over 600m in a single rep.

I’m not critical nor against those who do use 600’s for 400 athletes, I just prefer not to.

The Hart program works much better-IMO-with people who are already very fast in h.s. (Wariner-20.41w and 45.57) or have good speed and are very undertrained-(Johnson running 21.3 in h.s. on 2-3 days per week)-or at least this is what I was told by someone close to that camp.

There is not much speed development work that would take place in the Hart program that would be seen in CF’s 400 program SPP as seen on this site.

Yes, I understand. But the Charlie GPP model here is overal for sprinter 60-400? Or was build for 60-100m sprinters? I didn’t understand if that concept was for all sprinters and than during SPP the short and long sprinters split and started their SPP? However, SPP here was 12 weeks long, my SPP is max 4,5 weeks long…

The longest run in Charlie’s GPP program except tempo work was 60m… still enough?

There is an example of a 400m programme (Charlie) available - DEFINITELY with reps longer than 60m … I don’t know which programme you refer to.

I do agree that 4½ weeks for SPP is not enough BUT if you cannot change it, you will have to make the best of it. My recommendation would be to use the ‘Transition’-programme of Kitkat (4 weeks) in that time. It is available on the Lactate Threshold discussion. (Will help you with the page number - sometime over the weekend!!)

GPP Essential… 7 weeks program-Hill max 40m,.7th week 60m Nothinh beyond that… Can you hint GPP for 400m runners?


I used the general prep to develop virtually everything EXCEPT pure speed. We stayed in touch with high velocity running during the so-called speed-power cycle, but not with the sort of training we did in the nine months which followed the 3-months general prep period.

During GPP I tried to develop the strength to finish the last 80m of the race. We developed the base, then maintained and further developed a thread of that strength at even more race-specific levels during the pre-season and through the in-comp period.

So the so-called strength-and-endurance cycle of 2-1/2wks went like this:


Day Session(s)

  1. 2-3 x 4x150m
  2. Long Hills + Weights
  3. Rest (or 1hr Gymnastics)
  4. 5x200 + Weights
  5. Long Hills
  6. Jog (15-30mins) + Weights
  7. Rest


  1. Sprints ladder 350, 300, 250, 200, 150, 100, 60, 50, 40, 30 - slow walkback recoveries.
  2. Jog 15-30min + Weights
  3. Rest (or 1hr Gymnastics)
  4. 2 (300+150) + Weights
  5. 5 x 200
  6. 2x5x100 tempo runthroughs, walkback + Weights
  7. Rest


  1. Long Hills
  2. 3x3x300m + Weights (Upperbody only)
  3. Rest (or 1hr Gymnastics)
    4 Rest (or Warm-up, warm-down) +NO WTS.
  4. Track fast, relaxed 300+4x60, 250+3x60, 200+2x60, & 150+1x60.
  5. Jog 15-20mins + Weights (Whole body)
  6. Rest

Wk 4 (Repeats for Wk5):

  1. 300+60,50,40,30; 200+60,50,40,30; 150+60,50,40,30 (30sec rest between long rep and first short rep)

  2. Field Circuit (about 6mins) + NO WEIGHTS

  3. Rest (or 1hrs Gymnastics)

  4. 300+150, 150+150, 100+80, 80+60, 60+60 (all 30sec b/reps; full rec between sets) + Weights.

  5. Jog 15-20min

  6. 3-6 (2x60m Skip, 2x80m Sprint Buildups, 2x80m Sled Pull or Equivalent Light Resistance)

  7. Rest

Wk 6
Rest & Test Wk

  1. Rest
  2. Warm-up, Warm-Down
  3. Trials 300m (stand start), and 150m. + Weights (Lowest Reps Possible).
  4. Rest
  5. Trials 80m and 200m + Weights (As Normal, all exercises, for volume at 80-85% of 1rmax)
  6. Rest
  7. Rest


Now that’s the basical outline. You have to monitor the athlete closely. I don’t want to be prescriptive with times because every athlete will have to vary, depending on training years and ability and commitment. No-one is going to go from being a 50sec runner to 44sec in one year (unless they have previously been close to 44sec).

I make zero demands during the first cycle. But I use that to calculate (also based on PBs and standard 400m models) what MIGHT be appropriate target times for the reps for each individual.

The second time through the cycle, I ask more of the athlete, of course with consideration to all the things posted earlier on this thread.

As I said, “absolute” speed is not really being develop. There is too much volume even in the speed-power cycle to classify the work as 100m develop-type stuff. But as the athletes get fitter, they can deliver some fairly impressive speed through those sessions - especially over the years. The best male 400m runner I had the honour to work with started to run some ridiculously quick times during some GPP sets. Then again his body adapted over the seven years (double periodised) we worked together.

Transition usually lasts four weeks, never less. I monitor every rep, set and session in person to make sure fatigue (for the most part) didn’t wreck the run. If so, I would intervene and go for more rest or change the session or finish it.

Rightly or otherwise I did the same week of training four weeks in a row. That way it was like a little test each week leading into the first relays or low-key races of the new season.

I should add that due to the unacceptable risk of injury, I didn’t allow the (injury-prone) top male to race over 100m and rarely over 200m. All his comps were in 4x400 or 400m off the blocks. All sprints at shorter distances during the domestic season were set-up time trials where we could control all the variables. He would not become vulnerable because the raceday program was brought forward, or delayed or because he needed an extra 20mins to get loose and he only had 18mins (if you understand). I viewed my job as getting him to win medals in international 400m races. Not reach finals at 200m or quarter-finals at 100m or whatever. However you would love to have been at some of those time trials. Phew! So thrilling!
Our job was to enable him to be the last man standing. Therefore any sign of a risk to his health or fitness was eliminated whenever possible. I did whatever I could to control the performance environment. I may have erred on the side of caution, but he - like most of the other athletes I’ve worked beside - enjoyed quite successful seasons/careers largely unhampered by injuries (when training with me).


Day 1:

Ins and Outs: 2 x 2 x ins-and-outs (buildup to around 40m, 100% effort for 12m-and eventually out to 20m, then fast-turnover but best relaxation to maintan velocity through a 20m exit zone. So the I&O looks like 40-20-20.

There should be good recoveries, maybe 8 to 10mins between reps. Then there should be 10-15mins between the two sets. Then full-ish recovery of say 15-20mins before the second element of the session, which is a sequence of Stand-Crouch, Fly runs from 30 to 60m.

(In Sequence: Standing, Crouching, Flying)
3 x 30m, 3 x 40m, 3 x 60m.; WarmDown.


Warm-Up, (No ins-and-outs)
5 x 100m buildups on a bend.

4 x 150 (in this sequence: Tempo 1st 150m, diagonal jogback to start, Fast 2nd 150m, diagonal walkback to start, Tempo 3rd 150m, diagonal jogback to start, Fast 4th 150m. Ends session.


Day 3:
Active Rest : Sometimes Gymnastics 1hr of mostly propricoceptive routines, such as tumbles emerging into a vertical jump with 360 rotation around the vertical axis and land facing the same direction as you emerged from the tumble. There were many of these combinations, including horizontal rolls (performed with arms and legs outstretched, no use of arms permitted in initiating or maintaining movement).

Fullbody Deep-tissue MASSAGE permanent booking for this day.

Day 4:
2x2x Ins and Outs (As Day 1),

Then all flying:
300m, 250m, 180m, 150m, 120m. (Sometimes it was 260m, 180m, 160, 140, 120).
These were usually with partner(s), usually with about a 10-12mins recovery, but more if desired. The athletes at this stage of their season were told not to fight for something (speed) that isn’t there yet. Equally, giving them 10mins or 30min rest between reps didn’t really improve the speed of their reps, but the longer rest did pose a risk of the athlete getting cold or tight.

The sprints were about rhythm and position (triple extension).


Day 5:
(no ins-and-outs)

Race Modelling: 4 x 100 (wherever most needed, but at this stage of the year it is usually down the backstraight and into the turn through the 200m start area, finishing at the waterjump).

2 x 200m + 200m

1st set:
1st 200m at intended 400m race split (mid-21sec for elite male, high 23 to low 24sec for elite female).

Two minutes recovery.

2nd 200m at 100% of whatever was left.

FULL RECOVERY b/sets (often up to 45 minutes)

2nd set:
1st 200m tempo in about 23sec elite male/ 26sec elite female;

Two minutes recovery.

2nd 200m at 100%, aim to negative split (ie: run the second 200m faster than the first 200m of this set).

Day 6:

Weights (Usually upperbody and torso work only)

CHIROPRACTOR appointment: to check alignments and adjust if needed.

Day 7:

Race (4x400m relay usually, certainly nothing shorter and no individual races until week 4 of the transition block has been completed.

Thanks Kitkat - saves time!! Can you imagine going through ALL 122 pages AND 1825 ‘replies’ to try to get to the GPP and Transition programmes!!! On the other hand - when I started yesterday with Page 1, I discovered LOTS of useful info once more … It will be good to read through all the discussions again. Maybe in the December holidays!

I do hope that you will find your answers now, Pavel. I’ll put my stamp of approval on these programmes. It WORKS!!

Yes, thank You guys! :cool:

I have another question with regard to SPP concept of 400m preparation. During December we cannot go longer than 150m due to facility. Is it good option to use this session: 2x (3x150m) rest 2 min / 15min? And another: 2x (4x80m) rest 90’’ / 15min. If so, what times should be for athletes with 51 over 400m? About? Thanx a lot! :slight_smile:

Or another option… I read about 6x200m concept, so for 50s runner it should be 26s. with 2min, rest. Can I do this concept with 150m? like 6x150m or 8x150m? What the times should be? 19s? Thank you for your help.

any help? please… :frowning:

guys… I have got it… Just read more good stuff! :cool:

Many coaches on the Forum do not like to prescribe times … for a reason. We don’t know in what form your athletes are NOW - will they be able to run a 50" 400m NOW?? Do you want them at sub 50 at the end of the season? When is that?

But, I will try to assist!

For the 6x200 session, my recommendation will be the following: This is a VERY hard session for athletes. I normally start with 5x200m - and sometimes, at the beginning of the season, even with 3x200/2x200 with a longer rest in between. Your idea of 26" is the same as what Kitkat wants from his athletes - the same time as the SECOND 200m of the race. (You will have to adapt if your goal is sub 50.) If you think your athletes will be able to complete this session at 26", and you have to switch to 150m (for the reasons given), your idea of 19" will be fine. Start off with 6x150m and when they can easily do it, either make the intensity higher OR do 8x150m at 19". (To have progression.)

The most important thing to remember, is - YOU, as the coach, will have to be in control … ALWAYS … of the programme (BELIEVE in what you do) AND in the decision of what you expect from your athletes. These are only guidelines given!

I am sure you will make a BIG success of the coaching!! Your ideas of what you want to do -with Kitkat’s help! - and at which intensity, were all good.

Take care!

That’s GOOD!!! :cool:

Sprint coach, thank you SO MUCH! :cool:

Hello Kitkat. I have a question relating to a triple extension. What if the guy cannot execute extension. What is the best guide to teach him this? He has always high knee, but his knee is bend during the take off and he literally sit during the run. Any help? Thanx…

Too much of a high knee may be a problem… Or it may ‘simply’ be a strength problem. KitKat?

It is usually a flexibility or ROM (range of movement) problem at the hip - usually tightness in the quadriceps muscle.

But in the first instance get the guy tested by your physiotherapist or chirpractor. He may have a weakness there too, or he may have the top of the femur rotated, pelvis tilted badly.

Then you have some leeway to start a serious therapy: It could involve starting with some deep tissue massage which would loosen up (free up) the ITB (iliotibial band) and quad to restore length to the muscle.

Then when the muscle is liberated in the mechanical sense, you can also start some basic quad stetches - holding a lunge position gives you the basic idea …