2400m TrainingThis Presentation outlines my own personal beliefs in 400m coachingBut as with all good coaching they are still evolving!
3400m TrainingThere are certainly many other very successful models of training 400m and I certainly do not claim that the concepts here are in anyway unique, but I hope to share my experiences and how they have shaped and continue to shape the work I do with the athletes I work with.
4400m TrainingIt is perhaps accurate to say that to a large extent the beliefs and methods I have developed, reflect the type of athletes I have been fortunate enough to work with.Equally I have had to adapt or revise these concepts as I have come to work with athletes of different qualities/characteristics.
5400m TrainingIn my formative days as a coach, I worked mainly with 400m Hurdlers athletes – where success was I believed to be in the establishment and maintenance of good rhythm.An male athlete running 3.8 seconds for a 35m distance can be successful if their slowest 35m unit does not slow to greater than 4.5 seconds.
6400m TrainingThe athletes I have had most success with at 400m have tended to be 400/800 type 400m runners, whose strengths lie more with extended speed endurance rather than pure speed.Again therefore the focus on training has been on the establishment and extension of good rhythmical running
7400m TrainingWith Establishment of Speed Rhythm as its principle aim, we can look in more detail at the 400m programme
8400m TrainingThe basis of the approach is a simple ‘long to short’ model, that is:ENDURANCE followed byLACTIC TORANCE, followed byLACTIC POWER, followed byRACE SPEED and RACE MODELLING
9400m TrainingThat said these phases are more for emphasis, than totally distinct aspects - I would describe the idea of the overall year as to blend or mix the aspects/qualities required for 400m through ALL of the training year.
10400m TrainingFor example speed can be addressed from a purely technical/biomechanical perspective in the early part of the training year.With small units then developed over short distances. With speed units developed periodically as the year progress, starting with very short distance work such as rolling 30m
11400m Training Heavy Medium Light V Light Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Main Goal of PhaseEnduranceLactic Tolerance 1Lactic Tolerance 2Lactic PowerSpeed & Race PrepCompetitionEndurance CVHeavyMediumLightV Light3 min Rec Lactic Tolerance6 min Rec Lactic TolerancePure SpeedSpeed RhythmLactic PowerExtended Tempo [track]Extended Grass Repeat work [1-4 mins durtion]Short Grass Repeat work 20 to 60 secondsConditioning StrengthConditioning Power
12400m TrainingThe first phase of the training year is of course establishing a good endurance /background base.Although some of this is steady cardio vascular work, a lot of extended repetition work – upto 4 minutes - is done on grass.Short and long repetition grass work remains throughout the year, whether as loading or recovery sessions
13400m TrainingThe main thrust of the programme is lactic tolerance training – establishing the athletes ability to establish good rhythm control utilising the main energy system used by 400m the anaerobic lactic acid system.This is introduced in the conditioning phase, with grass repetition work, but longer reps and therefore slower accumulation of lactic.
14400m TrainingThe main winter running conditioning lactic tolerance work targets repetitions of 350m,320m or 300m and start with 3 mins recovery.The volume for these Track training sessions are typically 1500m to 1800m in total, though can sometimes be extended to 2400m [2sets 4x 300] but with slightly reduced target times.
15400m TrainingIt should be recognised that as physiologically women athletes work into lactic debt at the same rate as men, both repetition distance and total volume may be less than for their male counterparts, to achieve same type of workout.
16400m TrainingThe same types of workout are then repeated in the late winter [Mid January to End February] but with 6 mins – where of course the intensity quality of the runs is much higher -ALL work outs have target times set for individuals .
17400m TrainingFor example the target times for such work outs for Martyn Rooney off 3 mins might be start at and progress to 38.4 – 39.4Before repeating the same kind of work off 6 mins where the target times might initially be 37.8 – 38.8 and progress down to 36.8 – 37.8
18400m TrainingFrom Lactic Tolerence – work shifts [or blends] into Lactic Power work – similar distances are run , but with big recoveries, so rather than developing the individual ability to handle high levels of lactic acid by-products in the system, it becomes more the ability to run at or near race speed, expressing force with the lactic acid system .
19400m TrainingSo sessions here might be 3x 300m, 2x 350m or – 250 all with near full recovery but at or around race speedExtended Speed rhythm is also worked on the track at 3x 450 or 2x 500 but at slower than race pace [so going through 400m in 47 or 48 seconds]
20400m TrainingRace Rehearsal work is based around envisaged concepts of the times the athlete wants to go through identified points during the race.Therefore accurate recording of such times from actual races is highly useful in developing such race modelling
22400m TrainingIt is important that an athlete can feel or sense the time that they are working at – so 200m or 250 repetitions from blocks are important in instilling this sense of race speed.It is also vital that such intermediate times can be developed and achieved with a sense of controlled speed and relaxation.
23400m TrainingIn the ideal scenario, the athletes technical and conditioning development is already established for the year coming into the season; they are strong, have great speed endurance and basically look to use this competition phase to refine the skills and in particular rhythms they have established previously.
24400m TrainingPure Speed Development as mentioned previously starts with technical speed and short 30m rolling work.Its is periodically worked into the lactic tolerance phases and gradually increased 50m, 60m and by time of lactic power phase 100m or 120m held top speed sessions are included.With an additional long training camp around new year, speed and speed rhythm could be looked at earlier as the focus for a phase.
25400m Training Heavy Medium Light V Light Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Main Goal of PhaseEnduranceLactic Tolerance 1Speed RhythmLactic Tolerance 2Lactic PowerSpeed & Race PrepCompetitionEndurance CVHeavyMediumLightV Light3 min Rec Lactic Tolerance6 min Rec Lactic TolerancePure SpeedLactic PowerExtended Tempo [track]Extended Grass Repeat work [1-4 mins durtion]Short Grass Repeat work 20 to 60 secondsConditioning StrengthConditioning Power
26400m TrainingIn 400m racing there is emphasis on rehearsing and executing sections of the raceThe startRelaxing at Speed on the back straightWhere to Push into the bendPosture coming off the turn – so stride lengthen doesn’t shorten too early
27400m TrainingThe experience of Athlete important in determining how much practice and how many races are needed to establish race rhythm – typically David Gillick is very good at this and can therefore operate close to top race level very quickly. Martyn Rooney may take longer to reach this level of performance and hence require more racing rhythm development work in his programme, or simply more races!
29400m TrainingIn summary, there may be athletes with different characteristicsSpeed based 400m Runner [200/400 type]Strength Based 400m [400/600m type]
30400m TrainingThe amount of work spent working below or at race tempo as against above race tempo probably sums up how I address working with these two basic types of 400m runners.The Aspects/Qualities through out the year maybe in part differently addressed or weighted – but establishing the key aspect of Sustained Rhythm underpins all in my philosophy.