When Jeremy Wariner or Michael Johnson does a 2 x 350 meter workout, those times are well under 40 seconds. That doesn’t mean YOU should do a 2 x 350 meter workout.
The purpose of this workout is for “speed endurance”, or to be exact, special endurance.
The ultimate goal of the workout is to reach near top speed, relax, and maintain it as long as possible. A full recovery, anywhere from 20-30 minutes is required between the 2 runs.
The numbers below are approximate and derived by subtracting 1 second for acceleration out of the blocks from a desired 400 meter time. The “pace” is used to determine your splits for the set distances.
I use pre-defined hash marks so I know exactly the distance covered. No second guessing, or you’ll see a lot of upset hurdlers!
- The 255 meter mark = 7th hurdle hash mark
- The 290 meter mark = 8th hurdle hash mark
- The 325 meter mark = 9th hurdle hash mark
For example, if I wanted to break 50 seconds for the 400 meters, I would run 255 meters (to the 7th hurdle) in 31.2 seconds or slightly faster with a running start from 10 meter run-in. Once I am able to sustain this pace of 8.16 meters per second for the distance, I move up to the next goal of 290 meters in 35.5 seconds the following week. The next 2 milestones are 300 meters in 36.8 seconds, and 325 meters in 39.8 seconds.
If I do not hit the target time, I stay at that distance until I achieve it.
Once I can do 2 sets of 325 meters in sub 40 seconds, I know I am ready to run a sub 50 second 400 meter (including other factors such as a good start out of the blocks, wind conditions, weather, etc.)
Depending on the time of the season, you are either doing 2 speed workouts and 1 speed endurance per week; or 2 speed endurance and one speed workout per week.
As you can see from the chart below, a slower athlete, whether it is a Masters, Youth, or Female athlete, doesn’t need to go past 300 meters to have an effective workout. The ultimate goal is slightly under 40 seconds.
Sure, I’d love to run like Jeremy Wariner or Michael Johnson, but that doesn’t mean copying their workouts. But it does mean copying their principles!
As Clyde Hart once said from the 2007 USATF Conference, “everyone steals ideas from everybody”.