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Can you use your 150 meter fly time in practice to determine your 400 meter performance? A 150 fly is simply running 160 meters and timing the last 150m.
Yes and No.
First it would be scary to consider Usain Bolt’s 14.35 150 meter fly time which is probably around 13.35 subtracting 1 second for acceleration out of the blocks. My chart below doesn’t go into unknown territory, but you can easily create one yourself using Microsoft Excel. if you are curious.
Our workouts back then consisted of 3 x 150 meters with full recovery, though today in hindsight, I would limit that to only 2 x 150m.
What does this chart mean?
In 1991, I was training short-to-long and focused on the 200m with the odd 400 meters thrown in. My 150m fly times were around 15.6 back then, and it equated to several legal 22.0X FAT times. I ran a legal sub 22 second 200 meter just once, and that was into a headwind! (…Clint Austin from Texas, where are you now?)
Of course, a 15.6 sounds pedestrian compared to a 13.3, but I am human after all.
In 1992, my coach reversed my training around using a long-to-short approach, and my 150m fly times were not as fast compared to the previous year (15.8 to be exact – a 0.2 second difference), but I did run a legal 22.24 for 200 meters and a 48.36 / 48.37 in back to back Semi-Final and Final 400 meter races. This is fairly consistent to the chart.
Speed is the Key
Speed is the key here, and if you improve your speed, then your speed reserve will follow.
What does this mean to you?
According to the chart (remember, this is only a chart… a real FAT timed performance is what really matters) you will need to run at least 16.5 or faster if you want to break 50 for the 400 meters.
Since it is late May, consider a 2 x 150 meter workout (only if you are a 200/400 runner!) with full recovery and let me know your thoughts below.