The way of the "400" Thanks to KK

Thought I would get this thread active again, to show what Kitkat has given this site.

Funnily enough i have used all this info and set up a plan for myself and my athletes to use this winter, I have adapted to an 8 week GPP cycling phases of 2 weeks, currently in week 7.

Following this will be a 4 week transition (spp) leading into a phase of racing indoor on the 4/5 12/13 and 20th February.

Will be interesting to see how everyone has progressed using a set up very similer in sessions to what has been posted. The training has been going very well with everyone appearing to be in great shape. guess we will see the results in february lol

Coach to coach a-j I really hope all goes well for you and your squad in 2012.

I think there are four very good young men in the 400m development group whose coaches I mentor.

I would realistically rate three of these guys as London Olympic selection long-shots and I do not discount the fourth guy although he is lacking in the finesse displayed by the others, yet he has a tremendous fighting spirit and is as fit as a mallee bull.

We have recently emerged from the Transition phase and everyone has had at least two or three races, albeit some of those were club relay contests over 100m.

Others have raced over 200m once or twice from the blocks and three guys have raced from blocks over 400 at least once to date.

The early results are exciting with 200m PB times or secondary PBs first up this new season Down Under. We have taken the opportunity presented by the Xmas and New Year suspension of interclub meets to go back into a micro base (two hill sessions in 10 days although I would have preferred three, a bunch of 6x200m sessions and other more voluminous sessions).

Very soon we will go into a very brief TRansition II micro phase to pre-empt a return to racing. We have a very compressed domestic season because the Olympic selection trials will run from March 1-3 in Melbourne.

There will be subsequent opportunities to reach qualifying marks, but performing well at the Trials is the imperative: Perform there or Perish. That is as it should be, although when working with new talent who are still either in their first, second or third domestic season racing 400m there are still going to be rookie mistakes made on and off the track.

So with that being my reality, I am glad there are national championships a few weeks later as a backup if required.

Being rookies there is also the question of getting their individual tapers right and that usually takes a few trials. Well, we won’t have that luxury with a couple of these guys this Oz summer.

But I am really pleased to report that all four of the guys I think have international potential (at least for the 4x400m relay) clocked personal best times two days ago on the long hill we use, even in spite of the fact they had to watch their step on the sodden grass where some trucks had indented tracks across our traditional pathway.

The hill which took some of these guys almost a minute to run a couple of winters ago is now being dismissed in under 42sec by two of the guys - one of whom logged it in 40.4sec this week. This was clocked by Matt Lynch and if he ever gets it together in a race on the track will open a lot of eyes.

He ran 46.6 on debut three summers ago and hasn’t looked like running that fast since, although he has wintered well in 2011 and may race his first 400m of the new season on 7 January 2012 at Blacktown stadium. Matt is one of those guys who just thinks too much. The issue for him is to think about the process and if he can keep that focus, he’ll do very well.

There is so much more to being a winner than being physically gifted.


What is your experience with the transition phase and super compensation? This summer, weeks 2 and 3, athletes ran PBs (faster than trials 2 weeks prior) in the longer runs, yet week 4, they were sluggish. My feelings are they were quite loaded from the previous 3 weeks and felt it in week 4. Certainly, 2 weeks of PBs in a row should have signaled a possible sluggishness, although I was experimenting with the program a bit.

With my wordiness, how soon after transition would solid race be expected?


I only could predict based on athletes who strictly followed my own training program and cycles of GPP and Transition. But experience indicates they will run a solid race (200/400) first up and be looking at PBs by race 3. But for those athletes who have never trained or raced the 400m, then PBs can be expected all along the line for them because its all so new. And if I was correct in assessing they Do have talent for the 400m, then they will run a solid race first up unless they are overly cautious or wreckless with pace judgement. Wind conditions can also mess things up.

[b]BY the way ESTI, you asked me ages ago on Facebook or Twitter what I know about the Aussie 100m Hurdler Sally Pearson’s training. As you know she is now the IAAF Female AOY, the Athletics Weekly Female AOY and you can bet she’ll be Track & Field News’ Female AOY as well.

I don’t know anything much about her training but her coach Sharon Hannan was a big fan of Charlie’s and attended a seminar he gave on the Gold Coast I believe. She was tough enough to defy a ban by Athletics Australia on Oz coaches attending Charlie’s seminars. All the best coaches in the cities where Charlie spoke dismissed the ridiculous ban and sat at the feet of the master…

So that may give you an insight into why Sally was back racing over 100m or so on 20 December, after having completed cycles of training following her 12.28sec virtual world record for the 100 sticks in Daegu as recently as 3 September 2011. [/b]

Very interesting. With the different seasons down there, when is a typical gpp? With your previous posts about the olympic trials march 1-3??

Well, reverse it. The GPP in Oz would start post Nationals/Trials. These domestic majors are usually in March. Most elites would not take more than two weeks rest before resuming training. Whether they are preparing for international circuit or whether they have missed selection and will remain at home during winter, the first cycle of GPP would therefore usually start around mid-April. How long the GPP cycles last varies from coach to coach, athlete to athlete also in some cases. For those staying home to build a better machine, I’d be looking at two or sometimes three of the 6-week cycles of GPP which I use, before entering a Transition Phase with an eye to competing. We have just emerged from the standard Transition Phase just in time to squeeze in a comp or two before the Xmas-New Year recess (no decent comp available nation-wide, except for races on grass tracks at rural townships. I make it a rule never to race on grass. I think it’s just a risk not worth taking when an athlete is in or approaching the prime of their career … witness Sally Pearson who tore a quad sprinting on a cow paddock at some Victorian bush meet in Traralgon just a week or two ago).

[(no decent comp available nation-wide, except for races on grass tracks at rural townships. I make it a rule never to race on grass. I think it’s just a risk not worth taking when an athlete is in or approaching the prime of their career … witness Sally Pearson who tore a quad sprinting on a cow paddock at some Victorian bush meet in Traralgon just a week or two ago).[/QUOTE]

KK, why the negativity towards professional athletics and grass racing. It didn’t appear to hurt Capobianco,Brimmacombe, Naylor, Ross OR Cathy Freeman who regularly ran at the Tasmanian carnivals and Stawell. Would hardly call Burnie, Bay Sheffield or Stawell cow paddocks. interested in your thoughts on this.

KK, why the negativity towards professional athletics and grass racing. It didn’t appear to hurt Capobianco,Brimmacombe, Naylor, Ross OR Cathy Freeman who regularly ran at the Tasmanian carnivals and Stawell. Would hardly call Burnie, Bay Sheffield or Stawell cow paddocks. interested in your thoughts on this.[/QUOTE]

I don’t think it is a negativity towards pro, although I can’t speak for KK. I do understand were KK is coming from. I pull up sorer in back and quads running on grass than I do when I run on tracks (it is hamstring on the ttrack)

KK is in a very fortunate situation that the athletes he works with are probably being funded by the state government through the NSWIS. A lot of athletes are not in such priveleged positions and forced to fund their own careers. Running on the pro-circuit, certainly the lucrative Tasmanian Christmas carnivals becomes a very important income stream for many athletes not afforded the luxury of being funded by the government or private sponsors. I agree that some tracks are not prepared as well as others but many are cared for with the same meticulous dedication of the best cricket pitches in the country. The Tassie tracks are not ‘cow paddocks’ and would rank with any decent grass track in the world. Burnie was fast and hard this year and bowling green smooth. There is absolutely no risk at all on these tracks.

Matt Beckenham’s squad dominated the Tassie carnivals winning 5 races including the prestigious Burnie Gift, worth $10,000, won by Australian 400m hurdles champion, Brendan Cole. Melissa Breen won a 70m race off scratch at Devonport and a fortnight later ran an impressive 11.44s for the 100m.

There’s money to be earned and won in these meets and certainly relieves the burden of funding the next airfare to an interstate AA track series meet.

Sally Pearson’s situation with Gippsland goes back 12 months when the Gippsland organisers had the smarts to lock her into a 3 year deal (pre World Champs). Sally had a contractual obligation to compete at the meet in December. It is difficult to determine what caused her injury - could well have been she wasn’t quite ready to run multiple times in the one day and have nothing to do with the track itself. It’s of little relevance now because Sally ran 11.25 in Brisbane, faster than she ran at the same meet last season.

It really is up to the individual, but as one contributor has said, many athletes have derived a great conditioning (& financial) benefit from the pro-circuit over the Christmas/New year period (including one Catherine Freeman who was a regular visitor to Tassie in the 1990’s) and set their season up. But it’s not for everyone and there’s more than one way to prepare for the second half of an Australian summer.

PS: Kids in Traralgon (180kms east of Melbourne) and those in other rural centres can derive a great inspiration from seeing champions like Sally Pearson competing in their (kid’s) home town and we can’t dismiss the fantastic marketing tool this represents for athletics in this country.

Nor did it hurt Mark Garner - more internationally successful (and drug-free) than any of the males you named. I’m not anti-pros or anti-grass. We do usually train three days out of five on grass. But not 100% velocity. As I said, I just think it’s not worth the risk taking it to top gear on a less than perfect surface. I ran a pro meet once and tore both hammies :slight_smile: hitting a slight rise and fall on a grass track that was said to be “perfect”. I was way past it anyway, but it has cost me more in physio bills than I won for racing on grass.

As I said, others can do whatever they please. Not my problem. But I don’t like taking risks and the bigger the purse at the finishline the greater the risks some of these sprinters will take. I’m old enough by the way to remember when most races in Oz were held on grass or cinders tracks, but even those athletes of that era ran their best when they raced on rubberised tracks overseas (and eventually at home).

By the way, so far as I can recall I’ve never called Burnie, Bay Sheffield or Stawell “cow paddocks”. Don’t misquote me.

Kitkat: if your grass strip has slight rises and falls, could one get use to them? What types of problems could arise in the future long term, in terms of injury or niggling injuries?

Matt Lynch apparently, just run 46.4 (there abouts) in a race in Newcastle (NSW - Australia) and won the race by at least 10m

Hunter Track Classic
Newcastle - Sat 21st Jan 2012

Men 400 metre Open
1 Lynch, Matt New South Wales 46.45 (PB)
2 Cummings, Paul New South Wales 47.61
3 Ralph, Joshua New South Wales 48.07
4 Grimm, James New South Wales 48.36
5 Smellie, Martin New South Wales 48.48
6 Thistleton, James Act 48.89
7 Kermond, James New South Wales 49.06
8 Connolly, Tommy Queensland 49.66

Well done to the 400m NSWIS Fast Track team - great breakthrough by Matt Lynch. Makes Lynch number 2 in 2012 behind Ben Offereins (46.20). Conditions weren’t great in Newcastle, and he really had no-on to push him to the line as he went hard from the gun and had a good lead by the 300m which makes the run all the better. The women’s 400m was won by Tamsyn Manou in a slowish 53.14, which suggests the conditions were tough for the quarter milers.

In the 200m, Lynch’s stablemate Kevin Moore (PB 46.13) ran 21.39 (-0.9) and has a 400m lined up this Saturday (28th Jan) in Adelaide. All the big guns are in Adelaide - Offereins, Steffensen, Solomon, Wroe, Troode. Should be a cracking race.

Someone has pulled out of the Adelaide men’s 400m and Matt Lynch, winner of the Hunter TC race, has today been invited into the race. Needless to say, AA expect him to find his own way from Gosford to Adelaide and back and come good for the airfares, accommodation and meals. They’re not bad. I know Matt and like most student-athletes, he works part-time which can be onerous given the intensity and regularity of his training regime and he can ill afford the cost of interstate travel.

Yet, under the rules AA have created as guardians of the sport anyone who is accepted but declines to race in any of the three designated obligatory meets - Adelaide, Perth and Sydney - is automatically ruled ineligible for Olympic team selection.

It is, IMHO, nothing short of an outrage. The unmitigated arrogance of those who designed and/or approved of this aspect of the selection criteria is simply stunning. There apparently is no hardship clause. The only way out of this entrapment is for the incapacitated athlete to provide a medical certificate and go through the relative indignity of pleading their case to some faceless bureaucrat at AA who will suspect them of lying and, if they are, they’ll have been most likely forced into it as AA put promotion ahead of high performance. And they wonder why they had no individual track athletes in Daegu from 100 through to and including the 800m - men or women!

Speaking to a bloke who is ‘in the know’ earlier this morning and I believe Matt Lynch will be in Adelaide to run the 400m, as the funding has been found. Adds another quality in-form athlete to the field. Not sure who Matt Lynch is replacing. I guess we will find out when AA update the start lists.

Chasing gift money ended the career of Ambrose Ezenwa a few years a ago when he choose to run in gift over grand prix, he ended up straining a Achilles
on uneven grass, required surgery, retired after unsuccessful comeback from surgery.

Adelaide Track Classic
Saturday 28th January 2012

Mens 400m
Alex Beck QAS
Jarryd Buchan VIC
Alex Carew VIC
Matt Lynch NSW
Kevin Moore NSWIS
Ben Offereins WAIS
Sean Wroe VIS
Clay Watkins SAIS

Unfortunately John Steffensen, Steve Solomon and Chris Troode have pulled out, but with Offereins there with Moore, Lynch & Wroe it should still be a very good race.

Thanks. Youngy is this the lane draw too? I cannot imagine Eric Hollingsworth, who does not coach Sean Wroe, would allow Wroe to be drawn outside of the favoured four lanes. There will be intervention if he is because the AA high performance manager, who does not coach Sean Wroe, apparently still cares and would only be acting to right a wrong.

On another mnatter - I spoke to Solomon’s coach Fira Dvoskina and she indicated Steve is at the AIS and training only at 70 per cent of max speed, which she agreed is totally aerobic. With the Olympic Trials only 5 weeks away I would doubt he could be ready to race by then (March 1-3) and even if he was, he’d come in underdone and may do his selection prospects a disservice. At least under the Australian system there is actually a process of selection which can give athletes extra time for find form and run qualifiers. My guess is Solomon will provide medical certificate and ask for that extra time. For those who care to know, Solomon is the schoolboy who at 17 last April won the Oz Open national title in 45.5. He shredded his hammy at a school carnival in Sydney in September or October 2011 in a 200m race at the halfway but ran it out in 21.2sec, hence the long convalescence.

The names are listed in alphapbetical order. Lane draw will be done on the day of the race, once all athletes have checked in.

The track record for SANTOS stadium, Adelaide is 45.54, by Michael Rehardt (QLD) on 23/03/2002. The first four past the post in that race all broke 46s. (Paul Pearce 45.84; Clinton Hill 45.85; Patrick Dwyer 45.95).

The only other sub 46s times at SANTOS stadium were in 2005 when Michael Blackwood 45.68 beat Daniel Batman 45.98 on 19th Feb 2005.

The best recent time was Joel Milburn running 46.17 in March 2010.