Chasing Greatness

Preseason Training for 400m Runners (Week 3 of 12)

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Each Monday, for the next 9 weeks (and a total
of 12 weeks), I’ll be posting a preseason
training program for developmental 400m

I get so many questions about this event I’ve
decided to share what I’m doing. This way
you can copy it, pick it apart (respectfully),
or flat out steal it. Use it and see just
how much your athletes improve.

Of course, feel free post your comments and
questions below. I can’t guarantee I’ll
answer all of them, but I’ll do my best.


For Week 1 workouts, click here.

For Week 2 workouts, click here.
HS 400m Training

Pre-season – 12 weeks
Mesocycle 1, Microcyle 3
General Preparation Period

Warmdowns should be barefoot, on grass if

M: 5x20m, 4x25m from various positions @90-95%,
R = 2’ – 9 x 2 Standing Long Jump into pit.

Bodyweight circuit (10 exercises @ 30” on,
30” off)

T: 4 x 250m hills. Walk back recovery.
Mile warm down. Hurdle Mobility.
Core (stabilization).

W: 2 x 10 x 100m @ ~70%. Preferably on grass.
R= 50”/3’

Bodyweight circuit (10 exercises @ 30” on,
30” off)

TH: Warm up. Mile jog. 3 x 600@ B= 2:09-2:18,
G= 2:24-2:33 R=3’ (on grass) Mile jog. Hurdle
Mobility. Core (S)

F:  20’ run. Bodyweight circuit (10 exercises
@ 30” on, 30” off). 400m barefoot warmdown.
15’ static stretch.



  • Hey Latif,
    I don’t know if you answered this already, but my question is when you are finished with your preseason training for 400 runners, do you start with your GPP in complete program design for long sprinters?

    >>>The first 5-6 weeks of the 12 week Long Sprint program I give you in Complete Program Design for Sprinters could be considered the condensed version of the 12 week Fall/Preseason program I am posting now. The first 8-10 weeks of the fall program are all GPP, then the last couple 2-4 weeks are Special Prep.

    I would continue on with SPP once the preseason program ends for those that did it, but start with GPP at the beginning of winter track for those that didn’t. When plotting out the 12 week preseason program, I based the training phase lengths by working backwards from the Championship Meets held in late February/early March. I use all the same priniciples in Complete Program Design except that the progressions would be twice as long since athletes doing the preseason program would have 25+ weeks instead of the traditional 12. This is why your athletes doing this program will be so much better than everyone else and why coaches running progressive, 21st Century programs have more success than run of the mill coaches and programs.


  • mark says:

    Hey Latif

    I coach the middle school kids (4th-8th grade) in a very competitive program. We are a small Archdiocese school and finished 4th in the City Champs held at Franklin Field last year.

    For the 400 workouts with this age group, how much would you reduce the workout for the kids? I assume your workout is for HS kids.

    Mark Winter
    SFA School

    >>>Good question and that is a large age range. The answer, therefore, is not that simple. Biodiversity, talent, mental strength all factor into the ability to handle volume. So with prescribing volume, I try not to give specifics. Let’s say the workout is written as 8×200 @ 75% R=2′. That’s just my goal. For some kids they might not be able to hit their times after 4 x 200. The workout ends there. Another kid the same age might get through 7 x 200 before their times fall off. For him/her the workout ends there.

    What separates great coaches/programs from the run of the mill ones is the coach’s ability to manage volume and intensity on an individual basis. So the answer is: It depends.

    Once your kids can’t hit the times with the prescribed rest, whether its a tempo workout or a speed workout, the workout is over. With speed I’m looking at time as well as technique. If a kid is falling apart there is nothing more to gain from the workout so they are done. That is where the Art of coaching replaces the Science.

    Probably not the specific ‘Do this # of repeats at this age’ answer you were looking for. But if you take the time to individualize things even amongst the large group, you’ll get far better results than running a cookie cutter, one size fits all program for the entire group of kids.

    In my workouts I write down goal times for all my athletes, even the slowest ones. Once they can’t hit their times (I write them *all* down after *every* interval), I start shutting them down. So once we get to the halfway point (or so) of most workouts, you will hear me start shouting out ‘Bill, Jane and Tom, you’re done. Mike, one more and you’re done’. So the workout ends on a rolling basis based on a host of factors.

    When you want to know more of the art and the science of putting those workouts together and knowing when to say when during workouts, I recommend this program:


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