Welcome to August’s Workout of the Month, 400M Repeats!
This month we’ll cover a classic track session that everyone loves to hate, 400M repeats. This is a great workout for runners of all levels and can be ramped up or down based on your goals. Are you starting to get fit or increasing speed, maybe you’re working on lactate tolerance or maintaining 5k pace. No matter what your race day goal is, the variety with this workout provides will help you reach it.
Why to do it
To build speed and strength, to run race pace specific work. To build pure speed or to increase lactate tolerance. Each of these is a powerful tool depending on the event you’re training for and where you are in your training cycle. These are also fun workouts and you’ll enjoy performing whatever style you choose.
When to do it
After you’ve trained to train. That means you should have a solid base of mileage and your body should be prepared for hard work. To develop speed, run fast with longer rest whereas if you want a race pace workout, run at race pace with slower running rest.
What to do
Start with a solid warm up before you hit the hard stuff. A good warm up can be anywhere from 1 to 3 miles or 15 to 25 minutes. Be sure to include drills and strides to get your legs ready for some serious work. From there, you can choose from two kinds of 400M repeats: one for speed and one for endurance.
Speed: Complete between 8 and 12 x 400M runs with 2 minutes rest. Focus on consistency during this workout because it will get harder to maintain your goal pace as the reps build up. Adding reps, decreasing rest time or increasing goal pace will also raise the session’s intensity. Changing the intensity introduces a new challenge and provides a stimulus that helps your body continue to adapt.
Endurance: Alternations are 400M at 5k pace with a 400M jog at steady pace. Steady pace is not a slow jog but easy enough that you feel reasonably recovered. The key to alternating 400M workouts are that they don’t provide a full recovery. This teaches your body to tolerate more and more lactate, work hard when it’s tired and is great for developing your threshold from half marathon down to 5k pace.
Once you’ve completed your sets, cool down with a light jog and some stretching. Make sure you hydrate and have some protein within two hours of finishing your session, too.
Want to know more about how to fit 400M repeats into your plan? Reach out to a qualified coach who can help you achieve your goals while staying happy and healthy.