Saturday, April 21, 2012

Meet report - gambled and lost

56.36 400m  - my slowest time this season outdoors
Even slower than my indoor championship race.  One consolation is - even this slow time for me would still presently rank #1 in USA M50.  And, it's faster than both my races at the Nationals last year.  But it still sucks!  Substandard performance.  Opportunity lost!

Went out hard... too hard.   The difference in this race among all the others was simply the last 50m.   I was rigging hard and it must have taken me 9 sec to run that last 50m.  I stumbled over the finish line instead of running through.  Conditions - it was a good day to run.  Cold, 52º, light wind, good track.

I know I went out fast because only one guy had made up the stagger by the top of the last turn ... that long, endless lane 8 turn.  The winner of my heat ran 49+.   Actually, very disorienting running in lane 8.  Hard to know where I was.

You can tell yourself all the things you're going to do in that last 100m... but it's like amnesia.  Easy to forget what it feels like to be in that situation.  It's almost indescribable.  The pain is both physical and mental.  This one hurt just as much as the others, even though it was not as fast.  Like J. Chinn said, 'the 400m is a rhythm, sometimes you get it just right.'

Not today.

This is my tenth 400m race this year.   Insane for a masters sprinter.  I think I'm getting burned out on this race.   I realize that my PR at APSU was the result of a longer training cycle.    Two weeks before my PR, I was doing hellish 6 x 600m workouts and paring down over a two week cycle.  I don't think I can improve by racing every weekend.  This goes against Coach Page's statement that 'the best training is racing.'   Not always.  Maybe for shorter and longer races, but not the 400.   Hell, look at world class sprinters like Bolt.  I don't think he's running more than 5 races this whole season.  400m superstar Jeremy Wariner has 8 meets on his schedule this yr.  I've done 11 meets, and if I go to Puerto Rico in July, that will be 9 more.   But, I have 5 weeks off beginning May 12.

I think it's a fantasy to try and run an 800m race immediately after an all-out 400m.   I was talking about doing it, but it's that amnesia thing again.  It takes 30-40 min after a 400 race to even feel normal.   If I can get 40 min rest, I may try it, but I think that they run consecutively.  Maybe I should skip the 400m and run the 800m instead in these 'junk meets'?

Anyway.  I feel good physically.   Maybe even good enough to train tomorrow.  My weight is good, 138.6 after race.  Just a little mentally tired.


  1. Man:
    I feel your pain! Believe me, from one 400m runner to another I know exactly how you felt over that last 50meters.
    Through trial and many error, I have figured out my own personal approach to running the 4, and with 10 races this year, by now you should have an idea of how you best run it also. For me, I would rather save a half a second over the first 200, than give 1 to 2 full seconds back over the last 120m. That red line is very fine and it takes a while before you figure out exactly what running right on it feels like. When you rig up and have a ways to go, you are just throwing away all that time you banked over the first part of the race!!

    That said, you did race a 2 less than 24hrs before the 4, so that would also take a little sting out of your legs.

    My pb, 53.97 came out of lane 8! You know what, all those bastards were by me before the 200m turn but I tracked all but one of them down. It is very exillerating coming off that 120 mark knowing that you have a little left for home and the chase is on!

  2. Yea man, today's 400 was a suicide mission. I paid the price. Live and learn.

  3. I think the upcoming 'meet hiatus' will be perfect if you use the time well and perhaps you need to take a break from the 4 and have fun and experiment a bit in the "junk" meets (but don't get hurt!).