Training Benchmarks for the 400m

Recently I’ve noticed an emphasis in some threads on this forum about the importance of aerobic capacity in the 400m, a capacity that may not be adequately trained and maintained even if quite a lot of Speed End and Special End are included in a training program. I’m not saying the emphasis is new, its that I just noticed it.:slight_smile:

As a result, I wanted to establish a few training benchmarks for us to meet in the next three months in order to meet our goals during this Spring’s track season.

Goal: 56.0 or better in the 400m by May.
Currently running 25high in the 200m and consistent sub-60 in the 400m.

Benchmark #1 - Speed
200m open time of 25.0-25.5

To run a 56.0, we need to split 27-29, or perhaps 26.5-29.5. We need 200m open time at least one second faster, maybe even 1.5 seconds faster, than opening 200m, hence 25.0-25.5sec.

Benchmark #2 - Special Endurance
5-6 x 200m @ 29sec or less, off 2min rest

From the Lactate Thread and elsewhere, a good measure of Special Endurance is the ability to run the workout above with all reps at least as fast as the planned come home 200m.

Benchmark #3 - Aerobic Capacity
3x3x300 @ 59sec with a 100m slow jog between runs and 7min rest between sets

This was taken from a recent discussion which involved KitKat and others, some of which can be found in the links below.

Do these seem reasonable, and are there other benchmarks others look for to gauge progress and direct training emphasis?

man or woman. Or boy or Girl?

Girl, 17yo, 5’8", 125lbs., about 2years total running experience, began running about 1/3 of the way into the track season her sophmore year (ex-basketball player), ran one whole year of track as a junior but had nagging injuries (shin splint, tender knee, pain in foot) so training with pain all season. Ran mid-26 her first and only 200m, ran 60.x her second timed 400m ever. Because of injuries, ran only 4x400, but ran a 57.2 split to qualify for regionals (North Texas).

Since then, has run high 25 200m. One training session, ran a 26.0 (hand held stop watch) from a standing start after running a 26.5 about 5 minutes before.

All injuries, aches and pain are gone, training hard for 5-6 months.

That seems reasonable. In my experience with women I’ve found women tend to have bigger discrepancies in their 200 splits. I had a couple of girls run high 55 both split 25.7 and about 30sec for second 200.

I’ve also found the women could not handle the amount of volume the men could.

This could just be because they were more sprint oriented. Perhaps others can give you different experiences.