Running tip #85
Like a pie, one workout can be divided many ways to accomplish different goals.
Let’s take the standard 8 X 400m (one lap around the track … or, eight slices of pie … also called “quarters”).
Endurance option: Run the 400’s at 5k pace with 200m jog … or 1/2 the distance … recovery.
Endurance option 2: Run the same workout above with 1/2 time recovery … i.e. for a 25:00 5k, run 2:00 per 400m with 1:00 recovery between each. Obviously, if you are trying to run a faster 5k, you should do the 400’s at 90 seconds with 45 seconds recovery, etc.
Fartlek option: with no track available, run the equivalent of 8 x 400m using your watch to slice the pie. 8 x 2:00 with 1:00 recovery.
Speed option: Run 8 X 400 fast (way faster than race pace) with one lap jog … or equal distance recovery.
Speed option 2: Run 8 X 400 fast with equal time recovery … i.e. if you run each 400 in 80 seconds, then take 80 seconds recovery (much shorter recovery than equal distance b/c jogging a 400 will take twice as long as fast 400).
Strength option: Run the 8 X 400m UP HILL (with jog down recovery).
Leg-turnover option: Run the 8 X 400m DOWNhill (with jog up recovery).
Anaerobic threshold option: Run the 8 X 400m at goal pace with LIMITED recovery … either with a 100 jog limited distance or with a 1/4 limited time recovery … i.e. 90 seconds per 400 with 22-25 seconds recovery.
2-mile Race option: 8 X 400m with zero recovery.
p.s. Here’s a great article from New England Runner on “Training for Speed” with 400’s.