Friday, March 30, 2012

Quality sprints / 400m event run

Today, I started with some striders and a 400m event run. I said I was going to keep it light in quantity today, and I did... more or less.

800m warmup, dynamic stretches, drills

saucony spikes on

2 x 100m @ 80% - 14.5, 14

400m event run - 56.5 (27, 29.5)

2 x 200 - 26.5, 27.5

That was the fastest 400m training run I've done. I set a goal of 27, 30 for splits and I beat it. Yes! I felt strong on the last 200 so I think the training is paying off.

5450 m total sprints this week. Weight is good: 139.4 after workout.

Being in shape to run this race - the 400m - feels like a constant battle. Never ends. I feel like if I missed a week of workouts, I'd backslide considerably. It reminds me of being a doctoral guitar student and practicing constantly. But, the great thing about track training, it doesn't take nearly as long. Preparing for a solo guitar performance, I'm putting in up to 30 hrs a week compared to only about 6-8 hrs per week on the track, stairs and weights. Since I've never been a 400m sprinter before last year, I feel like I'm constantly trying to maintain what little long sprint endurance I've gained, and feel that it would leave me almost the instant I stopped training. The same exact feeling I had as a guitarist in college. In both cases - 400m and guitar, I started late. Now, after all these years, I can go months without practicing guitar and in 2-3 weeks be ready to play a respectable concert. Not so with track.

So, I will continue to hammer the long sprints - 600s, 500s while alternating with stairs, resistance, and fast 150s. It tickles me to remember 8 months ago when I adamantly said I'd never run another 400m race. Like Latif Thomas says in this video - he hated the 400m but has now 'developed an appreciation for it.'

Tomorrow, I'll do resistance work. Sunday - rest day: a 10 mile hike in beautiful the Cumberland wildflowers. Monday - bust ass ... again. Maybe some crosstraining. I'm amazed at how doing pool laps with vigorous kicking burns the quads so quickly.


  1. Too broad of training, in season, will reduce chance of best performance. Avoid hard swimming/kicking in a pool during season - completely. A 10 mile hike is not a rest day - no matter your fitness level. Take one intense day out of training this week to properly integrate the long hike and allow adequate recovery\prevent staleness. Better to be under trained than over trained. Part of your fear of losing fitness is mental. Periodic breaks, properly timed, can result in a peak performance, not a immediate decline.

  2. This is still early season. With 2 weeks in between meets, I can push on the off week. I am squarely targeting what I feel is my weakness by quantity workouts. My sprint speed won't change much, but the 400m is all about the 2nd 200m. That is what I'm working on most. My rest days will be light days before the meet.

  3. Agree with the increased training volume. Disagree about rest. The point is, a 10 mile hike does not qualify as a rest day. Rest is extremely important to be integrated into the weekly program. When significantly upping training volume/intensity rest is what is required. Yard work, a very stressful week at work, hours on your feet hiking, etc, interferes with the bodies building processes. It's not like your workouts are walks in the park. Your body is under very heavy physical stress. You just upped the stress significantly. Improvement is the sum of repeated cycles of stress, rest, recovery, growth. Extra or non sport specific activity\not enough rest can break the cycle resulting in no improvement. When those extra activities cannot be avoided - such as a 10 mile hike - the recommendation is always, always, always, and always, to reduce training volume/intensity. Basic sports science.

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  5. Sit on my ass? That should be a pretty easy assignment. Thanks coach!

  6. No problem. Athletes can easily fall into a trap of too much. Especially dangerous period is right after successful competition.