400 metres Training
A training program has to be developed to meet the individual needs of the athlete and take into consideration many factors: gender, age, strengths, weaknesses, objectives, training facilities etc. As all athletes have different needs, a single program suitable for all athletes is not possible. The program supplied here is just an example and will require updates to meet your specific aims and objectives.
Prior to starting any training, it is recommended you have a medical examination to ensure it is safe for you to do so.
The 400m sprinter derives 14% of their fuel from the anaerobic alactic (phosphagen) energy system, 48% from the anaerobic lactic (glycolytic) energy system and 38% from the aerobic system. The following table provides possible training loads for the development of each energy system. The "% effort" column is calculated using the athletes current 100m time.
Overview of the Training Program
The seasons training plan is based on six phases where each phase comprises of a repeated four week program. The workload in the first three weeks of the four week program increase each week (easy, medium, hard) and the fourth week comprises of active recovery and tests to monitor training progress. The aim of the four week cycles is to:
Remember a training program is athlete specific and the results of the tests in the fourth week can be used to adjust the training in the next four week cycle to address any limitations.
The content and quantity of training in each week and phase will depend on many factors. The Planning page provides an insight into the process of data gathering and preparing training programs
Example Training Plan & Programs
The objective of each phase, with links to examples of a season's training plan and four week training programs for phases 1, 2 and 3, are as follows:
The content of the four week programs in phases four and five depends very much on the athletes progress and competition races. Your aim in these phases is to address any limitations the athlete may have in order to bring him/her to a peak of performance for the major competition in phase five.
400 metres Race Focus
400 metres Potential
Take the your best 200 metres time and double it - subtract the result from your best 400 metres time. Suitability to 400 metres racing:
To determine your potential 400 metre time (based on your current 100 metre time) and the pace for each 100 metres of the 400 metre race visit the 400 metres pace page.
The following evaluation tests can be used to monitor the sprint athlete's development:
Sprint Time Predictors
Based on test results it is possible to predict potential times for a sprint event. The available sprint time predictors are:
Rules of Competition
The competition rules for this event can be obtained from:
The reference for this page is:
The following Sports Coach pages should be read in conjunction with this page:
The following books provide more information related to this topic: