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 Post subject: 400m & peaking
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 11:05 pm 
I've read much of your advice. It is very insightful. I have coached several years, and run for many more. I have experimented with numerous workouts over the years and am always trying new things. I've found that I run my best 400m dashed when my differential is about 2.8 seconds. The only way I have found to reduce it is to go out slower. When I've tried it in the past, I generally don't improve over the last 200. I am a 22.6 man and my best races are run when I go out in 23.2 - 23.5. I run in the 49.5 - 49.9 range. I believe that I train quite scientifically and with dedication, but the 2 second differential seems unattainable. Also, 3.5 + 45.2 = 48.7. I don't think I could run that fast downhill. Oh, by the way, I'm 36. Any thoughts? One more question: how would be your advice on peaking for the 400m for the final 3 weeks preceding the "big meet". Rest is very important during this time for even the elite sprinters. As I age, I think that I should employ even more. Thanks for your thoughts.


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 Post subject: 400m & peaking
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 8:48 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 10
What's happening?

Good question, just a little background on me, I have been coaching and running the 400 primarily for over 30 years, I am 48 years old, a former world class 400 meter runner (45-46) my times and a little faster on 4x4 splits. I have coached state champs, I run a speed camp, also I still actively coach, now enough on the background.

When you speak of your 200 differential, I am assuming you are not talking about a negative split and from the looks of your comments you are not. You mentioned going out in 23.2- 23.5 and it appears your are coming back in 26 and change. What times are you looking to get (lower them to)? You mentioned you train scientifically and with dedication, but you did not go into detail. Without my knowing that, I will provide some thoughts nevertheless.

My coaching philosophy is this, with respect to male and females and any age group I coach, is this: I coach to go out and attack the first 200 leading into the 300 mark. As an example of time, at the high school level, I m looking at my male runners to hit that point in about 34 seconds. This will set up your final 100, you should be any where from 12-14 seconds, if you are on the low end you are looking at 46 for your 400 time and even at the top end you are still around 48 or high 47. Using these as my base, I can then work from there to lower either my 300 time and or my final 100 time, resulting in lower my overall time.

I employ work outs that will have my runners on a pace to hit these marks. Speaking about peaking for the big meet 3 weeks prior, you mentioned rest, again I would need to know what type of training, what times, events you ran in prior to this as well. But let's just say I do know, here is what I did and what I do for my athletes is this, tapering is certainly what is going on here, your base work is done, conditioning done, tempo work pretty much done. I have them do 150's, easy 100's, 40's, some 250's, I do throw in some 300's as well, I do my target time training.

Of course of this is not done in one day, this is the course of the week. For example on Monday they would do target time for 250's, I have a certain time that must be hit, I stop the clock wherever they are on the track, once they hit that mark, it can be past the finish point or before. If it is past the point, they are moving very good and fast, on target, peaking, if they finish before the point and certainly what is key here is where they finish before, determines what type of work need to be done.

I do target times for the 300 also during this period and also during the course of the year, I conduct this type of target time training, I use it for the indoor season to see where my athletes are, especially again for the big indoor meet. This gives me a gauge going into the outdoor season, as well. Just a little side bar here. As far as rest is concerned, at this point, yes it is important, as you wind down a long season, massages are very good at this point, but also doing this season, take care of the soft tissues, never have back to back hard days, at this point it should be medium and easy days as far as training is concerned. Mechanics and technique focus is important as this point also, so when I am doing easy 100's or 40's the emphasis is on form, mechanics, keeping my mindset on being fast. Hope this helps.

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