How to run the 400m?

As is the case with training methods for different events, I defy anyone to illustrate “the” correct way for anything. Being a former 400m runner (although not very good 50.4s), my focus was to adopt a pace that I could maintain for 400m. In other words, I sought to pace myself as much as possible to ensure that my enegy ouput was relatively even for most of the race. Of course, such a feel can only come trial and error and good judgement. But, when I did run 400m times aggressively, I always fell in a heap and ran way outside my capabilities.

On the other hand, from my observations for the last 20 years, I have seen many athletes that successfully run their 400m much closer to their top speed and seem to cope well.

Again, as several others have already indicated, each individual should run according to one’s strengths and weaknesses. It is something that an astute althlete and coach need to determine through trial and error in accordance to one’s capabilities and training programs.

Nevertheles, the importance of pace judgment is obvious in a an event like the 400 metres. I have seen many 400m performances at OG and WC level where inidividuals have cost themselves medals through errors in pace judgement. In other words, they have sought to head a rival early in the race at the expense of pace judgement to ensure one’s optimal race. For instance, Cathy Freeman cost herself a medal in the 1995 WC by running too aggressive against Perec.

I don’t believe I missed this thread. What was wrong with this site for the past month and a half Rupert? Had to change my name and everything.

I don’t think there’s a right way to run it. But there sure as hell is a more efficient way to run it. Every one has their own theory, but there’s always a few things that should be included.

My take on it all revolves around the energy systems. If your a sprinter, and by that I mean 400 and down. You should always get out aggressively. I thinks it’s agreed that the first 5, 6, 7 seconds depending on the athlete is free energy pretty much. So why not use it. The momentum you get from that first 40-50m will allow you to get into your rythm and you’ll be able to run at a smooth “pace”. The mistake that most make is that, they try and go out hard too long. Then there body feels it later in the race. Cuz lets be honest, no matter how fast or slow you get out:(, you’ll be tired in the end no matter what. I think this actually distributes the energy more efficiantly if you ask me. If you have some energy to spare in the beginning of the race and you don’t use it, then you just wasted it. :mrt:

As for todays 400 runners, I think they would run a little bit faster if they had a bit more speed to work with. Their 400 time is gonna be limited by how fast they really are. If all you can muster in the 200 is 20.4, and you go out and run 21.2 :o for the 1st 200, MJ’s gonna beat you every time for tryin to keep up. lol This is why I think Michelle collins will win the 400 this year in Paris. She’s gonna be the fastest one there. 22.18! :clap:

Which runner produces the largest amount of lactic acid; an athlete running the 400m in 58 seconds or the athlete running the 400m in 45 seconds? Lactic acid has been given the “bad boy” name for so long but my feeling is that it can serve as an indicator of how effectively the lactic acid energy system is engaged. As opposed to the “bad boy” I tend to look at is as a “by product” of lactic acid metabolism. Comments…