Last Updated on January 1, 2023 by Andrew Pirie

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400-Meter Training Articles

Undoubtedly, 400-meter training is challenging. Vomiting is most likely to occur during this sprinting event, and the training itself can be taxing. The sole drawback is that the event’s training is unclear. Nobody seems to concur on what is most effective.

The following is a 400-meter training program based on the methods of Clyde HartHe was the great sprinter Michael Johnson coach and currently coaches the only white man in a long time to win the 400 in major meets like the Olympic games and world champs Jeremy Wariner.

He said that the 400-Meter Training was 90% anaerobic and 10% aerobic many years ago. Obviously, this kind of thinking resulted in coaches creating virtually entirely anaerobic regimens.

400 Meter Training
Jeremy Wariner. 400-meter

400-meter training high-intensity long rest and planning a season

Such workouts comprised extensive breaks in between reps and full-out sprints. A typical 400-meter training session may start with two 300s, followed by five maximum-pace 150s. At the conclusion of the workout, this leaves nothing in the tank.

Let’s now prepare the scene.

Say your season begins in July and lasts for seven months.

The majority of coaches will work to get their athletes to peak at some point this season, usually at the most significant race.

400-meter training in the manner Hart suggests, with the athletes peaking and starting again each time they have a significant competition as opposed to only having one peak.

Keep in mind that this program includes only the running portion. It is recommended that you take one of our strength programs and one of our plyometric programs and perform both of these three days per week.


400 Meter Training Planning

For the purposes of this 400-meter training plan, we’ll assume that a significant competition occurs every six weeks. As a result, the programme will last six weeks and will restart following each competition.

Only the strength and power training, which definitely needs to be progressed, needs to change.

Also keep in mind that 400-meter training isn’t just for runners.

For people looking to improve their overall fitness, get in shape, lose weight, or prepare for other team sports, this is frequently a suitable running regimen.


I must also state that this 400-meter training program is based on elite standards.

  • Following this program as RXed is under the assumption that you are
  • Running a sub-52sec 400-meter at your peak. The volume and repetition times should be adjusted to suit your current level.
  • For a sprinter with a 400-meter time of 52 – 58 sec, you should scale back about 10%. For those running 58 – 64 sec, scale it back a further 10%.

Beginners and slower runners alike should considerably slow down and reduce interval times to 85% of race speed for each distance. As a beginner, it is advisable that you reduce the program’s loudness by 10%.

For the training program and full article, click here.


Weight Program 400m-Meter Training and 400m Meter Training Hurdles

from elite track forum

Speed days do the main lifts (Run in the morning, lift in the afternoon)

DAY #1- Power cleans 5×5 (Olympic Lift)
  • Back Squat 5×5 (Core Lift)
  • Bench 5×5 (Push)
  • Lat pulldown 4×8 (Pull)
  • hyperextensions and Abs

aux lift (bis tris abs traps calves)

Day #2- Push Press (Olympic lift)
  • Deadlifts (core lift)
  • Incline DB bench press (push)
  • Tbar Rows (pull)
  • hyperextensions and Abs
  • aux lift (bis tris abs traps calves
Day # 3
  • Weighted dips (push)
  • Hang Clean (Olympic Lift)
  • Front Squats (Core Lift)
  • Pull-Ups (Pull)
  • hyperextensions and abs


Then repeat this cycle


400-Meter Training: Effective Training for a Grueling Race

by Drew Roberson

 You will need to understand how to train for the 400-meter dash if you’re such a glutton for punishment that you want to run it. Enter the next 400-meter race in your neighbourhood if the sight of mature men throwing up at the finish line thrills you, but please take some painkillers first. Even though running the quarter-mile is never going to be simple, science and the right kind of training can help you get physically ready for the challenge at hand.

The two main energy sources for running the 400 were found by a Finnish study that was cited in Running Research News by Owen Anderson.

Anderson states, “As you plan your workouts, remember that muscles have two key ways to obtain energy during a 400:

(1) Creatine phosphate itself generates energy, and

(2) Glucose breaks down to form lactic acid.”

  1. The study also showed creatine phosphate is depleted by almost fifty percent after only 100 meters and then slowly depletes almost completely by 400 meters.
  2. Creatine phosphate levels do not return to normal levels for a full eight minutes following the race.
  3. Therefore, it would make sense for 400 runners to repeat 100s almost all out with five to eight-minute recoveries. These jaunts will increase the muscles’ ability to use creatine.

Since the discovery that lactic acid levels were highest at about 300 meters, Anderson concluded that 300s “do a fantastic job of maximizing muscles’ ability to break down glucose.

“200-meter sprints, however, were found to be inefficient for 400 training.

The creatine phosphate levels had already dropped in half at 100 meters, and the rate of glycolysis didn’t reach its peak until 300 meters. 

Unfortunately, it was discovered that the greatest workout for developing a muscular tolerance to acidity consisted of 400 intervals with only three minutes of recovery. Because the creatine phosphate levels were too low to provide any substantial advantage, intervals longer than 400 metres were useless. I hope none of this is unclear to you. In essence,

Anderson came to the following conclusion with the aid of Finn’s research:

  1. 100s run at close to full speed with full recoveries (5-8 minutes)
  2. 300s run at close to full speed with full recoveries (8 minutes or longer)
  3. 400s run at close to full speed with short recoveries (3 minutes)

These guidelines offer quarter milers a scientific roadmap to design an effective workout program, but it is not written in stone anywhere that you should only run 100s, 300s, and 400-meter training.

I briefly trained with the Santa Monica Track Club in college and still incorporate workouts learned from Joe Douglas, the Santa Monica Track Club head coach, and John Smith, the UCLA head coach.

They instructed me to run 350s for time and to add 7 and 6 seconds, respectively, at the beginning and end of the season to obtain my comparable 400 timings. As a result of not having to think about the torturous final 50 metres of the 400, you can run more comfortably while practising.

Over the past few years, I have consulted with Brooks Johnson, the former US Olympic coach, whose training philosophies almost mirror Owen Anderson’s.

In a nutshell, Johnson’s sprint theories are the following:

  1. Speed is a runner’s greatest asset and should be trained from day one. Athletes need to train at speeds faster than race pace so that race pace becomes their “comfort zone.” Two-speed workouts per week are recommended for 400 runners. Example: (6X30m w/370 walk/jog rec.)
  2. Train to increase your lactic acid tolerance and base twice a week. Example: (6X300 in sets of 2 with a quick 100m jog recovery. Allow full recovery between sets.)
  3. And should train the oxygen system once per week. Example: (20-minute easy jog followed by 20 minutes of easy form strides)
  4. Athletes should take two days off per week to allow their bodies to recuperate from training fully. The conclusions of the Finnish study dovetail with the proven training techniques of the four coaches quoted here. With the resources available, you should be able to construct a solid training program. I have constructed a few sample weekly programs below to get you started.

400-Meter Training Early Season

  • Mon 3-4 X 300 w/full rec.
  • Tue 7-8 X 100 w/full rec.
  • Wed 20 minute easy jog w/20 minutes of easy strides
  • Thu rest
  • Fri 6 X 30 w/370 jog rec. & 3 X 100 w/300 jog rec.
  • Sat 2 sets of 300-jog-100-300 or 3-4 X 350 w/3 min. Rec.
  • Sun rest

400-Meter Training Mid Season (lacking speed)

  • Mon 2 sets of 300-100jog-300
  • Tue 8-10 X 100 w/5 min. Rec.
  • Wed 20 min. easy jog w/20 min. of easy strides
  • Thu 6-12 X 30m w/370 jog or walk rec.
  • Fre rest
  • Sat race
  • Sun rest

400 Meter Training Mid Season (lacking stamina)

  • Mon 2 sets of 300-100jog-300
  • Tue 8-10 X 100 w/5 min. Rec.
  • Wed 20 min. easy jog w/20 min. of strides
  • Thu 2-3 X 350 w/3 min. Rec.
  • Fri rest
  • Sat race
  • Sun rest

400 Meter Training Peaking Season

  • Mon 2 sets of 300-100jog-300 or 3X 350 w/3 min. Rec.
  • Tue 20 min. easy jog w/20 min. of strides
  • Wed 3-4 X 150 w/full rec.
  • The 6 X 30 w/370 walk rec.
  • Fri rest
  • Sat race
  • Sun rest

400m Training Part 2 How to Decrease 400m Time

Michael Johnson is Clyde Harts’s most prestigious student before.

As far as 400-meter training, google Clyde Hart, arguably the best 400 coach in the world. Consequently, his runners have ranked #1 in the world 16 out of the last 21 years. They are now one and three on the all-time world list and have won 3 of the last 4 Olympics (finishing second in the other) and 6 of the last 8 World Championships.

While another of his athletes won the last World Championship (I wrote this In July of 2011), this is his seminar.


The importance of the 400m Start

Before any athlete learns how to run 400m faster, it is important that they understand the value of the start and the acceleration in their race. Young 400m athletes will tend to run the 400m with the idea that they should start out slow and progressively build their speed over the duration of the 400m.
Don’t do this. If a 400m runner goes out too slow from the start, they will not be able to utilize a key energy system that allows for a 6-7 second window where no lactic acid and hydrogen ions will be produced. This happens to be the first 6-7 seconds of any maximal effort, which ends up being the first 6-7 seconds of the 400m race. If anything, use this opportunity to your advantage and power out of the blocks like a lean, mean, 400m racing machine.

Strategy for 400-meter training

Maintain your form for the final 100 metres while gradually picking up the pace after cruising for the first 50 metres at race speed. Workouts that are performed to practise a technique are referred to be EVENT workouts. 3 x (350m rest 1min 100) 500 seconds of event rest

A speedy opening 50 metres, a relaxed first 200 metres, a 10-minute rest before the final 100 metres, which was subsequently cut down to perhaps 5 metres, made up the race’s final distance. Therefore, make an effort to keep your stride frequency and length constant throughout the entire race. At the finish line, instead of taking a lengthy stride, allow a shorter step to happen while maintaining cadence.

The 400m is sometimes referred to be the dreaded long sprint that nobody enjoys running, although aside from speed endurance, it is mostly comparable to the 200m. Similar to the 200m, the 400m race begins with a driving phase or acceleration. The 400-meter runner will try to accelerate out of the blocks, reach, and then maintain a nearly maximum racing pace. The main challenge in the 400m is not just perfecting the energy system training, but also teaching athletes how to sprint the 400m faster so they can succeed beyond the 200-300m barrier.

400-Meter Training
400-Meter Training

Holding Form

Improved by Strength Endurance Upper body strength from exercises like running arms with good form 5 x 15 each arm with 30s rest.


Do two aerobic runs a week, 20-45min max. This was for the first 3 weeks mostly, but the offseason was usually 6 weeks.

Longer reps 2 x 800m or 3 x 600m rest 15min


Common key workout In pre-season

  • 3 x 350m rest 5min, later in the season it becomes 3 x 350m rest 3min, every 50m at the same speed.
  • One Speed workout was called 60 -40m
  • 2 sets of 2 laps of 60m at 95% slow down 40m then pitter-patter jog 40m than 60m at 95%
  • 40m slowdown – pitter-patter jog 40m. rest between sets 5min
  • Speedwork often was 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 on the bend with full recoveries.


Weight Training

Three Gym sessions a week, usually in the morning from about 9 am till 10 am – over in an hour. On any day, sometimes done Mon-Tue-Wed or spread out in a week.

Weights are general all bodywork with short recoveries and usually 3 sets of 10, restless than

1 min, maybe 30 sec. No squats, no Olympic lifts, Also did a good variety of core work, e.g., 3 x 30m sit-ups 1 min rest Gym did not change in format throughout the season No hefty lifting, make lunges.

Normal Warm-up

  • 4 laps jog straight – run bends
  • Stretch 30min
  • Drills 4-5 x 30m over a speed ladder with a fast cadence.

This Michael believed was a significant effect on his turnover. These were done with a flattish footed contact, not with feet pointing down and a quick recovery. Buildups sometimes, for example, 3 x 150m with each 50m quicker.


Then work out

  • Competition Warm-up
  • 4 laps as usual
  • Stretch 30min
  • 3 x 100m – first moderate, harder, fast with full recoveries
  • A few pre-race drills


At the Competition

  • Expect the unexpected
  • Visualization
  • Train the mind to control the body in competition in a way that is wanted.
    Sustained Speedwork
  • 60m & over was at 95% – never 100%.

and did longer work for stimulus, not for race pace rehearsal, so nearly all were at paces slower than race.



6 x 100m at 95% non-timed from standing start rest 5 min
Better to undertrain than overtrain

  • Workout Accuracy
    cones every 50m – beeper sounded at set intervals – athlete ran each 50m at the same speed. – Be on the buzzer
  •  Standing starts
  •  Workouts are done at times planned, not faster – not slower.


Important not to go faster than predetermined targets, even with 200s in 32s!!


Annual Plan: The program includes a plan that divides:

  • Off-season – 6 weeks (first 3 weeks on grass)
  • Pre-season
  • Early season
  • Late Season

The program is similar all year round:

  • Monday – Tempo 200s starting with more at 32s and progressing to less late in the year in 25s
  • Tue – long reps starting at 2 x 800m progressing to 2 x 450
  • Wed – 350m reps x 2-3 – improving in speed
  • Thu- hills, speed or event-specific
  • Fri – similar to Thurs
  • Sat – similar to Thurs
  • Refreshing Base

The coach needs to decide when to refresh the base by going back slightly from quality to quantity, even if just for a week or two mid-seasons, important not to take too much from the base.


Clyde Harts Monday 200m Repeats

From Speed Endurance.com


Michael Johnson is Clyde Hart’s most prestigious student before.

I decided to analyse one of Clyde Harts’ more well-known “Monday” routines as September is just around the corner. The 200-meter repetitions are the event. Now, any clown (*cough* Coach Al* *cough*) with a whistle and clipboard can administer a workout. But I think you should start by asking questions.


Why are you doing this workout?

The question is, in essence, how much, how quickly, and how much recovery. In Clyde Hart’s example, he asserts that you should go less frequently and faster with a shorter recovery. And by short, I mean. If you didn’t have your cardio fitness in order before coming, you will rapidly rediscover it. He prefers to begin his season by running 15 × 200 metres (or a total of 3000 metres) in roughly 35 seconds with a 2-minute, 20-second rest. About three seconds slower for women.

As the season progresses, you get down to 5 x 200m with only 1 min 40-sec recovery for regular College guys. But of course, Michael Johnson is no ordinary human.    His goal was in 3 x 200m with 1 min 30-sec recovery. If you want to get a logical overview of the repeat 200s, here it is presented in a chart.


400-meter training:  Historical Approach to the 400 Meter Dash

Many long sprint coaches have either heard about or believed in a philosophy similar to this one:

Above all, 400-meter training should be broken into four segments, 100 meters each. Every 100 meters is run a certain way, especially the first three. I tell runners to run the first three my way and the last 100 their own way.

In contrast, I have them run the first 100 very fast. Hence they learn to come off the first curve as relaxed as possible. They run the backstretch without slowing down, yet without using up too much energy.

The key is the third 100. This is where too many people slow down.

Drill into your runners that they must start to work again when they hit that second curve. Everybody seems to think this is the place to slow down, so they will have the power to come off that last curve and kick the straightaway.

However, there isn’t anybody going to kick in on the last straightaway because fatigue is setting in. Teach your 400 athletes to run that second curve hard. Also, this is not easy to teach. Work on this all year long, relaxing in that second curve and in that second curve running it fast.

In conclusion, many track coaches have agreed with this assessment of the 400-meter dash for well over twenty-five years.

If we asked coaches today what they observe when high school athletes run this event, they will note a clear slowing down at the 200-meter mark.

Hence, as a result, they will tell their athletes to run “fast but relaxed” through the curve, and they will also say something about maintaining form in the final 100 meters.

Read the Full Article here.

400 Meter Training Schedule of Mark Richardson

Mark Ashton Richardson (born 26 July 1972) is a former British athlete who competed mainly in the 400 meters.

He competed for Great Britain in the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, the United States, in the 4 x 400-meter relay, where he won the silver medal with his teammates Iwan Thomas, Jamie Baulch, and Roger Black. This team set a UK record, 2:56.60, in the process. 

At the 1997 World Championships in Athens, Richardson quickly ran the anchor leg for Great Britain in the 4x400m relay, winning the silver medal.

His unofficial split time was 43.5. On the 7th January 2010, and announced that Great Britain’s 1997 World Championship 4x400m relay team is to be awarded the gold medal they were beaten to by a U.S. team, including Antonio Pettigrew, who admitted in 2008 to using performance-enhancing drugs.[1] .

Richardson’s official personal best in the 400m was 44.47.

.Below article is from peakperformance.com


400 Meter Training  Schedule

Mark Richardson was asked in the spring if Michael Johnson could be beaten. He hesitated, and then replied: ‘Well, not at this point in time. He’s untouchable, but in future years it’s a goal to work on’. Who would have thought that just a few weeks on from that, he would actually beat ‘the untouchable’ (though admittedly he lost when the two met again shortly after)?


Besides, Richardson was a member of the British 4 x 400m team that finished second behind the Americans in the 1997 World Champs and the ’96 Olympics. At the Worlds, he finished fourth in the final of the individual event, beating new British record holder Iwan Thomas. Now that he has one win over Johnson under his belt, he could well challenge him for gold at Sydney 2000

Above all, Richardson was asked about his training schedule, how he prepared for competition, and what diet he followed, as well as about vitamins and supplements, and watched one of his track workouts. Here is what he said.


To read the full article, click here

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  1. Anderson, O., Ph.D. (1992). Step by Step Through 400 Meters: Understanding the process can help your training and racing. Running Research News, Volume 8, Number 6, 5-7.
  2. Johnson, B. (1995) Coaches Notebook.






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