Question about adding tempo to my training

Okay here’s the situation, I’ve been in my schools program for 3 years now, I’ve done okay, despite missing a lot of time due to injuries…I’ve looked all over this site and done a lot of reading on some of the training elite 400m runners do and I noticed when comparing their programs to the one I’m in, that my program does pretty much no tempo training.

I run a mean 350m, but I always die badly after that…I’m thinking if I added tempo runs that would help me out.

Only problem is I know my coach and he’s set in his ways so there’s no negotiating or even suggesting adding tempo to the program, he thinks his way is the only way to train.

I like the school I’m in, it has very good academics and plus I’m on a track scholarship there, so transferring is also not an option.

So if I’m gonna add tempo runs, I’m gonna have to do them by myself on my own time and at my own discretion, here’s where my questions comes in, since I’m still gonna have to do what my coach wants me to do, would I be putting myself at risk of burning out or injuring myself by doing extra tempo runs? Also, when should I do them? Should I double up and do them the same day I do my coaches practices? Or should I just wait for when we have a rest day to do them so it doesn’t interfere with his program?

A usual week of practice for me when we start training as a team is we run Monday, Wednesday, Friday and we lift tuesdsay, thursday, saturday…sometimes we’ll run in the mornings when we lift or we’ll run right before we lift or right after, depends on what my coach feels like making us do

Sounds odd to me. Are you saying you do intese sprinting on mon, wed, fri, and then weights on tues, thurs, sat? Are the weight very heavy or intense? To me this would look like you’d burn out pretty quick as you’d have 6 medium to high intensity days in one week. With that said, training twice in a day is not necessarily a bad thing. Especially considering tempo, which is low intensity stuff. I think you could fit it in in the morning of one of the weight sessions.

it’s tough for me to give you an answer on what exactly we do, cuz it seems like my coach hardly knows what were gonna do until Monday morning when he prints out the workouts for the week

weights are usually medium to heavy, most the time heavy, nothing I can do bout that either, I have to do what I’m told… we do the usual olympic lifts on different days of course (ie. tuesday, power cleans, thursday snatch, saturday, squat cleans) … we usually do something to hit every body part, (ie. bench, squat, lots of core exercises)

in the fall, again it depends on what my coach feels like making us do, monday’s we might do something on the track, wednesday something on the track again, only thing constant is friday, we go on like 3 mile run on real hilly course

spring, again weights usually still the same, although towards then end they usually get cut out completely, only thing constant which was only done this year, was that we had a 600m time trial every Tuesday, don’t ask me why lol apparently that was supposed to help me finish my 400’s stronger, didn’t happen that way and I ran some pretty good times in those 600’s too, I was always between 1:19 and 1:22

so yea that’s why I’m gonna start doing tempos on my own, just trying to figure out when and how often I should do them so I benefit from them and not injure or burn myself out instead

Well the one thing you have going for you is the fact that he prints out the workous for the week on monday. At least you can have the time to plan when to insert a tempo session. If you have to do what he says, then my suggestion to you would be extensive tempo on Tuesday morning or afternoon if you lift in the morning. Also, if you wanted you could add the tempo session in on sunday, but judging by the sound of your workouts you would want to take Sunday off to give yourself a rest.

what are some examples of different types of tempos that would be beneficial to a 400m runner?

some I’ve seen, for different times of the season of course, are:

  • ten 200’s at 29 to 30 sec with 2 to 3 minutes rest
  • eight 200’s at 27 to 28 sec with 2 to 3 minutes rest
  • six 200’s at 25 to 26 sec with 2 to 3 minutes rest
  • six 300 at (don’t remember what the suggested time was) with 2 to 3 minutes rest

what are some others?

nobody else got any suggestions?

There are several suggestions in the training manual if you own it.

Charlie recommened up to 3000 meters total volume of tempo runs for 400m sprinters. Don’t try to increase the intensity my dropping volume and increasing pace, instead reduce the rest between the runs. Examples are easy to come up with, just be creative, try using a combinations of runs between 200m and 400m.

What about the runs you do before or after the weights? Would they not qualify as tempo/recovery?