400 Meter Training Workouts – the 6×200 meters

I had a lot of email questions on the 400/800 Meter Training Workouts – The Beakdown, so I thought to add a few more of these workouts. (I wish readers would comment on the blog below the article so everyone can provide feedback)

The Clyde Hart 8×200 Workout

For men,

8 x 200m in 28 seconds.

as the season progresses, then…

7 x 200m in 27 seconds, but with a bit more recovery.


6 x 200m in 26 seconds with even more recovery.

Do you see a pattern here?

For women, the times are adjusted accordingly by adding 3 seconds. (I’ll have to double check my seminar video and audio to confirm this)

This is another one of Clyde Hart’s Train SLOWER to get FASTER philosophies.

We used to do 5 or 6 x 200m in 25 seconds in our training flats by the spring time, walking 200m back to the starting line. The second to last one always “hurt like hell”, but the last one seems to be the fastest and most relaxed despite the lactic acid acidosis in our legs and butt.

And remember, no racing in workouts! (This concept is hard to teach to youngsters, which is why I do my 2 x 325m or 2 x 40 seconds workout individually like a time trial)

The Tom Tellez 6×200 Workout

This is a 6 week cycle.

The starting point would be 200 meters in about 70-75% speed (21+ 200m sprinter would do them 70-75% or about 28-30 seconds, depending on the conditioning of the athlete) This workout was meant to provide “aerobic conditioning” to get through the rounds, among other things.

  • 6×200, 29 seconds, 90 sec recovery
  • 6×200, 29 seconds, 75 sec recovery
  • 6×200, 29 seconds, 60 sec recovery
  • 5×200, 28 seconds, 90 sec recovery
  • 5×200, 28 seconds, 75 sec recovery
  • 5×200, 28 seconds, 60 sec recovery

The above workout was intended for 200 meter sprinters with a PB of 20-21 seconds!

The beauty of this workout is that it’s over very quick! Your lungs may be on fire afterward, but you’ll recover soon enough. If you have a group of athletes, rotate who takes the lead. The secret is running relaxed and efficient.

If you have other variations of this type of workout, please post them in the comments below.

Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at SpeedEndurance.com
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
  • 200m workout

    Run until production drops. As the season goes on the number of 200 and times run should also go up and down accordingly.

    200m run 2 seconds slower than PB, 30 second recovery next 200 ran 2 second slower than previous 200

    5 to 8 minute recover and repeat.

    Workout ends when athlete runs the first 200 4 second slower than PB or runs second 200 4 seconds slower than previous 200.

    Run fast to get faster. Work on aerobic recovery, increase body’s ability to burn oxygen.

  • More good insight guys. Been messing around with different variations of 200 workout runs like these.


    In the 200 workout you gave, by example, if you have a 21 second 200 runner, the first 200 should be in 23.

    Rest 30 sec., and then come back with a 25.

    If the the runs added up to be 23, rest, and then 27, then the workout stops there even if you have only ran twice, correct?

  • All of the above workouts are very useful for a specific area but coaches need to know what weeks or periods of training that these should be used. I know HS coaches who pick this type of stuff up and use it all season long at the expense of true Speed Endurance, Speed, Race Modeling, etc. If planned into a four week or three week block, it can be of great value. I believe it is a major component in what Clyde Hart calls “reloading week”.

  • Very true Jim.

    I learned the hard way, a long time ago, that you can’t just throw a workout out there just for the sake of a work out. There always has to be a reason or principle behind it, and so many factors can can determine if said workouts will be the best thing for the athlete or not.

  • You might have more info than me on the Clyde Hart programmes but I read an interview with him where he said he runs the 200’s sessions as five men realys. Therefore as the number of reps comes down the recoveries come down too. In this he states that at his best MJ was running 3 in 23 off a standing start and 1 min 30 rest!

    This give less recoveries not more as stated above. Other than that a great site and great articles!

  • @Dave – my source for Clyde’s workout was from the 2007 USATF NPEP in Las Vegas. I had filmed the presentation, but at the request of the USATF and Mr Hart, I am not allowed to post the entire lecture. I did post the outdoors drills session on my site with permission.

    Perhaps I can post a snippet of that presentation if there is a demand….

  • Jimson

    I’m pretty sure that the demand will be great. You’ve got my vote for some of those snippets.

    I remember the workout that Dave is referring to, in which as the number of 200s go down, so do the rest times.

    Did Clyde just change up his routine a bit since 2007 to add in more rest at the faster speeds? It would definitely seem that running 200s in 23 with only a minute and a half rest would be a pretty steep hill to climb for your average track athlete. Even doing 27s on 3 minutes has seemed difficult for a lot of people.

  • The section is in the above article Train SLOWER run faster, but still like Chad suggests may have been altered more recently. I’d love the snippets because I’ve been applying those slower pace more work sessions that Clyde Hart suggests and they work!

  • Another way of utlizing the concept from above is in a mixed workout where you combine Speed Endurance / Race Model with it. An example would be to start with a Race Model 250, give 10′-12′ rest, do a 150 Race Model followed by 8-10″ and then 3×200 with 3′ at 3-4″ slower than Race Model pace for the first one and try to keep the next two within a second of the first one.

  • @Jim – one of our classic workouts was 3 x 200m with blocks and spikes, but 1 second slower than your 200m PB (96% race pace). Full 15-20 min recovery beetween runs.

    This, incidently, is the 400m race pace, and not quite enough to trash your legs leading up to the big meet.

  • That 3 x 200 Race Model workout would be done on a Speed Endurance Day in a Speed Week while the one above I described would be done on a Speed Endurance Day in a Concentrated Load Week. I categorize workouts by what week I would use them in a Four Week Block and all the workouts in this blog have been great to see as they are slight variations of ones I use and give me more to incorporate.

  • Australian Darren Clark would routinely ran 6x200m in 23sec (or faster) with 200m jog recoveries.

    Even Lee Evans did similar workouts before Mexico 1968.

  • The secret of this training is with rest factor…
    The 200m session sees the target time being the number of reps plus 20. For example, 8 in 28sec, 10 in 30sec, or 15 in 35sec.
    The rest formula is to multiply the 200m’s time by 4.
    That’s mean if you do 7 x 200m in 27sec then the rest factor is 1min 48sec.

    By mid-May it is 5 x 200m in 25sec for the top kids. If you have got five people per team you only get 1min 40sec rest rather than the 2min 20sec for the 35sec efforts. You have got to GO FASTER WITH SHORTER REST. There are only a handful that can do five in 25sec. Michael Johnson got down to three in 23sec before Atlanta. He was taking 1min 30sec rest and did it from a dead start not a rolling start as a relay.

    I have an athlete in JORDAN who ran national record of 47.67 with this type of training , we progressivly do it with full relaxation , at his best he did 5 x 200m 25.09 (avg of five) with rest 1:40sec , It depends on how you time it. It should never be a race and never be a time trial. It is a progressive session.

    ahmad almatari

  • Hi Jimson Lee ,

    My athlete is 28 years old , yes he is old but never tried such an organised training , he was with another coach before he came to me he did with this coach 48.89 in helisinky world championchips , i begin with him in feb. 2007 i make him a test then he ran 52.7 !!! because he quit in 2006 , after one one of training he ran 49.2 (handtime) and after one month (april) he ran 48.4 and may it was arab championships he ran in the heats 48.88 (electric) and in the finals he ran 47.76 (electric) , after 2 month it was asian championchips , he ran in the heat at lane 8 in the morning with PB. of 47.67 but he didn’t quailfy to the finals..

    in 2008 with alot of injury and quits he ran 48.03 in a bad coniditions , and this year 2009 , i quit caoching because i had a lot of troubles with my federation over 3 years , but track and field its in my blood , so i decided to make a website of coaching and do some other things away from federations and there troubles..

    i have alot of experiance in coaching and i learn most of them from watching my athlete improvment..

    thank you

    ahmad almatari

  • I was a college decathlete running a best 400m time of 51.2. I began doing 200 meter work similar to those listed here last summer. The first time was 15 in 35 seconds with a 2:20 rest. After I was successful at the workout a couple of times (hitting my times and not exceeding my rest), I would go down a rep. This would progress to 14 in 34 sec. with 2:16 rest, 13 in 33 sec. with 2:12 rest, and so on and so forth. I managed to progress to 6 in 26 sec. with a 1:44 rest. The same week I ran this workout, I ran a 48.86 FAT time.

    My training schedule
    200’s were monday, 3 reps of longer sprints were Tuesday (800’s at the beginning of the year to 450’s by the end of the year), a 100 meter workout similar to the 200 progression on Thursday, 3 x 350’s on Friday, and 3 mile hard run on Saturday. I lifted Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. This 200m workout will promote injury free training. It forces your body to be able to handle faster speeds before you can move on to the faster repeats. It makes you stronger, and it improves your cardiovascular and lactic capabilities. For the first time EVER, I was able to run in a meet completely injury free.

    This year I did not stick with this plan. I ran faster repeats with longer rest. I started on track, but I wanted to gain more speed. Near the end I was running 4 200’s in 24-25 seconds with a 5 minute break. I ended up running a season best of 52. I did not have as much time to train, but I don’t think I would have been able to run a sub 50 without my former adhereance to the notion that decreased sprint time should be matched with decreased rest time.

    I too got this method from an interview with Clyde Hart. He made is sound as if he did his 200’s in a 5 man relay where these times would be run. The rest would be 4 times the time of the 200.

  • @Coach Strong – Thnaks for sharing. Every body adapts and reacts differently to different training methods. So trial and error is common.

  • Jimson,Please help me out here.I’m 59 yrs young.I want to run my age for the 400.Last summer I ran 59.25 and a 2:19 for 800. I will turn 60 on June 19th of next year.My goal is to get a life long awaited medal as a National Masters Champion.I live in Charlotte N.C.I am praying that you can send me a program that will help me for next year.I’ve run 5-k’s on the roads-20:50.I won’t make indoor Nationals because of my June birthday.Outdoors are in Sacramento,Don’t have the funds to travel that far.I may have to wait until 2011 to finally realize my dream.God Bless you. Anything you can offer would be appreciated.A long program would be great.Thanks Rob Jackson,

  • this info is really interesting . jimson, coach strong, almatari, i like what you have written, is is not only very useful info but it is actually good for motivation! it makes me want to go and run. i havent ran 400/800 for 4 years but i am really keen to get back into it- im going to try and structure a plan based on your ideas, and give myself a year to get back into shape. hopefuly by summer of 2010 i will be confident enough and fit enough to try racing again. i will try and keep updates on here. firs thing i need to do is improve my core stabiltiy, flexibility, and basic aerobic endurance, all of which have suffered greatly through 3 years of general inactivity. i am 24 so hopefully still young enough to make really good progress!

  • A tough session that is effective – I call it the Kathy Freeman as it was part of her training – 6 x 200m with decreasing recoveries, i.e. 5 min active rest after the first rep, 4 mins after the second down the 1 min between reps 5 and 6. I try to have them run the first 3 reps at close to goal time of first 200 in the 400 (200m best = 2 seconds or so) and the final 3 reps at the time for the second 200 in a 400m. (Goal time pace is run early season, conditioning period (long term anaerobic conditoning cycle) we go a bit slower.) Not easy and not always achieved but if they are close and no appreciable drop off in rep times I feel the objective achieved.

  • Dear Coach Jimson,
    I am a 400/800 runner. this is my senior year in high school. my best 400 is 50.00 and my best 800 is 2:00. i run cross country and as soon as its over i need to start working for track season. what kind of weights should i lift and what is the best type of workout plan for me. i need to run 48 and 1:57 AT LEAST

  • Hi Pad ,

    My website address is : http://www.arabcoach.net

    But the main language is Arabic , I’m trying to help Arab athlete to achieve more with good sport science and programs , but you can use the translate button on the orange tool bar on the bottom of my website..

    You are welcome..

    Ahmad Almatari

  • thanks almatari. i wnet on it but i couldnt find the translate button,
    what do people think of this weekly preparation phase plan? all comments or advice would be appreciated.

    Monday- 6k run or fartlek

    Tuesday – Hills – 200m hill x 12 – 14

    Wenesday- 6k run or fartlek

    Thursday – 200m reps with 2 min recovery 14 in 30 secs

    Friday – rest

    Saturday – 6 x 300m 3 min recovery

    Sunday 5 x 600m 3 min recovery

  • Hi, I am 35 years old and i am training for the 400m hurdles and i want to know your opinion of what i am doing with the 200m reps. I have been doing 8 x 210m on the grass with flat shoes at 30 or 31 secs with 1’45” break and i have done for 4 weeks now. Should I keep doing this and the same pace for a another couple of weeks or should i decrease the reps and 200m times and also breaks?where could this take me? Am i doing this well? I am open to any advices.

  • Really enjoying the dialogue on the Clyde Hart training.

    I am a longtime HS coach and it the past have coached distance and Pole Vault (on our distance days). This year with no PV, I am looking forward to working with the 400m runners and had planned on using the above mentioned principles with them.

    The hardest part is trying to fit it into a weekly schedule w/ dual meets on Weds & any big Invitationals on Fri/Sat. That leaves Tues/Thurs for workout days.

    Assuming the Sprint groups major workout is on Mondays, is it too much to come back on Tues w/ some Clyde Hart aerobic work (thus making Thurs a recovery day)? Trying to figure out where I fit all this in. We normally do our 800m workout on Fri if there is not meet so the 300h/400m ppl are with us on that day as well.

    Any suggestions from anyone would be appreciated!

    PS – I translated some of the arab running site w/ an online translator but still could not find a translation button. Interesting stuff.

  • im a high school athlete and my sophmore year i ran a 57, i was wondering what would be the best workout to get my time near 52 or 50… any suggestions?

  • The complications come in determining how many sets of 200 runs to repete for summer track athletes. Most are completing high schoolstate meets and preparing for summer nationals. While most have not had a good base even at this time,what isa good set number to use in a daily workout using 200 meters.

  • Jimson,
    I sent you an e-mail in 2009. Have’nt heard back since. Maybe you did’nt see it. It’s about my 400/800 training for the Senior Nationals coming up in Cleveland this July. I’ve listed my older times. Updated times are: 60.5 400, 2:25 800. Can you help me with some kind of training. I’ve been at this for awhile now,but I respect your professional advise. Thanks a lot.

    • @Rob, I just checked my email and don’t have it. Then again, I get over 1200+ emails a week. I do my best to respond to all my emails, comments on this Blog, and Facebook updates… not an easy task, so some responses do slip through the cracks!

  • I am working on training some high schoolers for 400/ 800 races. I found a workout 3x split 400m (300m, 1min recovery, 100m… 15min rest… 200m, 4min recovery, 200m… 15min rest… 300m, 1min recovery, 100m). Each run is at best effort. I like the 6x200m repeats talked about here.

    What do you all think of the split 400’s and when would be a good time to use them? What about compared to the 6×200? The runners will be competing in the open 800m and 4×400 events at meets. Maybe a occasional 1600 instead of 800 to work on the strength.

    Thanks for all your ideas.

    • @Eric, definitely in the pre-comp phase, I would introduce split 400s, but for 800m guys, you can do much higher for volumes (600+200 or 500+200). As you get much closer to the meets, then race modeling workouts are best to establish pace, etc.

  • I’m a collegiate 400m hurdler. I didn’t run this last season and have been training for a tough mudder. I’ve decided to go back to run this next season. I’m working on getting a better top speed (pr was 58.7, 400 54s). I’m looking at these 6x200s, could anyone give me a suggestion on the best plan of action for this offseason (end of summer, fall). I’m in excellent shape aerobically but sprinting is a different beast. It’d be greatly appreciated.