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400 metre Control Tests

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

Objective

The objective of this test is to monitor the speed, speed endurance of a 400 metre athlete.

Required Resources

To undertake this test you will require:

  • 400 metre track
  • Cones
  • Stopwatch
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

This test requires the athlete to undertake a series of sprints, with recovery, over 150 metres, 300 metres and 600 metres.

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The assistant marks the 150 metres, 300 metres, and 600 metres sections on the track  with cones
  • The assistant gives the command "GO” and starts the stopwatch
  • The athlete sprints the 150 metres section as fast as possible
  • The assistant stops the stopwatch when the athlete's torso crosses the finishing line and records the time
  • The athlete has a 15 minute recovery
  • The assistant gives the command "GO” and starts the stopwatch
  • The athlete sprints the 300 metre section as fast as possible
  • The assistant stops the stopwatch when the athlete's torso crosses the finishing line and records the time
  • The athlete has a 15 minute recovery
  • The assistant gives the command "GO” and starts the stopwatch
  • The athlete sprints the 600 metre section as fast as possible
  • The assistant stops the stopwatch when the athlete's torso crosses the finishing line and records the time

Assessment

I have been unable to locate any normative data for this test.

For an assessment of the test results enter the athlete's times for 150 metres, 300 metres, 600 metres and then select the 'Calculate' button.

150 metre secs   300 metre secs   600 metre secs
       
Speed Endurance Index   Target Value
Strength & General Endurance Index   Target Value

Calculations are based on Dick (1987)[1] table of controls for 100/200m/400m athletes.

Speed Endurance Index

If the athlete's speed endurance index is greater than the target index value, and provided the 150 metre time is in line with training targets, then more speed endurance work (lactic anaerobic) is indicated.

Strength & General Endurance Index

If the athlete's strength & general endurance index is greater than the target index value, and provided the 300 metre time is in line with training targets, then more strength and general endurance work (aerobic) is indicated.

Predicted times for the 400m control tests

The following calculator will predict the times for each of the control tests based on the athlete's target 400 metre time. Enter the Athlete's target 400 metre Time and then select the Calculate button.

Athlete's target 400 metre time is seconds  
150 metres secs   300 metres secs   600 metres secs

Calculations are based on Dick (1987)[1] table of controls for 100/200m/400m athletes.

Analysis

Analysis of the test result is by comparing it with the athlete's previous results for this test. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's 400 metre speed and speed endurance.

Target Group

This test is suitable for sprinters but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.

Reliability

Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore the test reliability.

Validity

Test validity refers to the degree to which the test actually measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor the effect of training on the athlete's physical development.

Advantages

  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • The test can be administered by the athlete

Disadvantages

  • Specific facilities required
  • Assistant required to administer the test

Free Calculator


References

  1. DICK, F. (1987) Sprints and Relays. 5th ed. London: BAAB, p. 22-23

Related References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • GOLDFINCH, J. et al. (1988) Induced metabolic alkalosis and its effects on 400-m racing time. European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology, 57 (1), p. 45-48

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2000) 400 metre Control Tests [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/con400.htm [Accessed

Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: