85. 400 slices of pie

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.

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