Chasing Greatness

Preseason training for 400m runners (Week 8)

4.2K 7

Be sure to listen to this week’s ‘Audio Breakdown
because I have some good information to share and
as things are now starting to change as we draw
closer to the season, you’ll want to understand
why I’m shifting in a different direction and what
I want to accomplish. 

Each Monday, for the next 4 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.
For Week 3 workouts, click here.
For Week 4 workouts, click here.
For Week 5 workouts, click here.
For Week 6 workouts, click here.
For Week 7 workouts, click here.

M: 6 – 8 x 40m, 6-8 x standing triple
R = 4′

Lift Day 1: Circuit format. 2 x 8 Rest between exercises
90 seconds. 3′ sets. Use challenging weight

Bench press
Pull ups
Step ups
One arm row
T: 4-5 x 300 hills R= walk back

10′ warmdown jog @ conversational pace

Lift Day 2: Circuit format. 2 x 8 Rest between exercises:
90 seconds. 3′ sets. Use challenging weight

Bulgarian split squat (back leg up on bench single leg lunge)
Chin ups
Clap Pushup
Box Jump

W: 3 x 8 x 100m @ 75%, R= 45 seconds between reps, 90
seconds between sets

B: 15.0 – 15.5
G: 17.8 – 18.3

Core – stabilization.
Hurdle mobility.
10′ static stretch

TH: 4-5 x Split 600s. R = 7′ (Workout of the Week!)

B: 33/48/33
G: 38/50/38

Lift Day 1

F: 2 x 10 x diaganols R= 5′ sets

Here’s how it works: Run on a football field, from the back
of the endzone to the back of the opposite endzone, but on
the diaganol.

Finish, then do a set of 10 (each leg) bodyweight exercises. Alternate
between prisoner squat, split squat, lunges each time you get to this
‘leg station’.

Walk the width of the field for recovery. Run the diaganol again.
Finish, do a set of 20 ab exercise. Athlete’s choice: crunches, bicycles,
russian twists, toe touch, etc.

Walk the width of the field for recovery. Run the diaganol. Do a different
leg exercise. Repeat the process.

One set = 10 intervals. Only do bodyweight exercises for the first set!

Lift Day 1.

It may seem like a long time, but there are less than
7 weeks to go before indoor track starts in most
areas. And I’m starting to get into full gear to
be ready to roll when it starts.

If you haven’t listened to the above audio, I highly
recommend you do so. It’s good information that
will help you and your athletes. (I’ll admit it’s
long, but I gave you the option to download the

If you’re looking for drills and exercises to teach
that are on video, you want Complete Speed Training.



  • Joe Horn says:

    Latif – Great comments. Thanks for all your info! Remember to tell your students concerend about days until first meet. :”Don’t count the days, but make each day count . . .each day is a gift, isn’t that why they call it the present.” Thanks for all your inforamtion.
    Joe Horn

  • Rob Jackson says:

    Latiff,You are super cool.You’re the man.I’m the 59 yr old masters athlete who e-mailed you awhile ago.Since listening to you over the past 8 weeks you have inspired me to do what I do best.Take up coaching again.I got away from it for a long time,more for selfish reasons that I was still competing myself,and I still am competing@800/400 this coming spring/summer,but I have toned it down to the point where I realize at almost 60 yrs old,it’s time for me to give back and try and make a diierence in some kids life.I refuse to coach adults,they don’t listen and they think they know every dam thing.
    Thanks for all your inspiration.God Bless you.May your season be blessed.Rob Jackson-Assistant Coach Charlotte 49ers Youth track Club.My kids are tickled pink,because I run with them ocassionally on their long runs and their hill sessions.

  • Gary says:

    Latif, as a master’s sprinter I would like to thank you for posting your 12 week GPP for the 400 meters, very much appreciated by all I’m sure. I’d be very interested to know how the Thursday split 600’s went for your team, this workout has been a staple for the U Minn. track team with excellent results, please let us know.

    >>My pleasure. Glad you appreciate it. I’ll let you guys know how those workouts go. But yes, I stole that workout from the Wheaton College and UMass Lowell coaches who, no doubt, stole it from the Minnesota program who, I believe, stole it from Baylor. As the saying goes ‘The best coaches make the best thieves’.


  • Mark Cline says:

    I subscribe and really like your “Complete Program Design for Sprinters”. I know that you mention that a 200 runner may split time with both the short and long sprint programs. What about a 400 runner who also runs the 4×800. You have mentionend not to use cookie cutter programs, but what workouts might be missed by a 800 runner using your “12 Week Long Sprinter Program” and what would be the workouts that ideally you would use instead.
    Mark Cline
    River Valley H.S. – Bidwell, Ohio
    Sorry to post this question in this blog, and if you have answered this elsewhere please point me in the direction

    >>I prefer questions be posted in the blog versus emailing them because I get so many emails, most of them demanding free stuff, that I generally answer them last simply due to being overwhelmed.

    Good question, however. For example, where I live we run the 300 and the 600 (and the 4×4). The way we split our team the 600 runners are considered ‘mid distance’. Well, they were before I got there. I’ve started to adopt some of the 600/4×4 types into what I call my ‘super long sprint’ group. Point being, some athletes whose ‘home’ is under the umbrella of my sprints group need more ‘endurance’ (for lack of a better term) based workouts than I am running in my 300/400 based program. So, generally, once per week they’ll join the formal mid distance group for a workout more conducive to addressing the energy system demands of their other event/s *and* on our lower volume recovery/aerobic days, they’ll get more volume or get sent out on the roads for aerobic work.

    Even though I’m having my 400 types go out for some road work during GPP, I’m still not sure I’m sold on the value of the idea. Mike Boyle, for example, says that interval work develops aerobic capacity better than steady state runs. So if that’s the goal of those runs, perhaps higher volume interval work is more effective than a 3 mile run.

    So what workouts might be missed? Using this week as the example, for 800 types:

    Monday: I *might* add some grass tempo work after the speed work to sneak in some aerobic work
    Tuesday: 1-2 miles before the workout and 1-2 miles after
    Wednesday: same
    Thursdsay: possibly 1-2 miles after the workout
    Friday: I’d have them to a higher volume of interval work. 8-12 x 400 at extensive tempo pace, for example.

    Hope that gives you a better idea of what I’d do for a long sprinter with middle distance characteristics whose *primary* event is still a sprint event.


  • Dirk says:

    We are in our pre season and had our first meeting. We changed from standard track events 100 = 150, 200 = 300, 400 = 600, 800 = 1000. My question is: is there any were that i can get times to compare with what our athletes acheived? On my web site we have the results of the meeting and if possible please give me

  • eric says:

    hello latif, for the past few weeks ive been printing out your workout s for this 400m training and what i didnt take in consideration is ther fact that my son just turned 11 and i know he wont be able to run these times so i can re adjust alot from this program and he wont run until around the 3rd week of march. so not to go too far back but for example week 1 monday is a speed work day so i know he’ll be sore, then on tuesday its more speedwork so he’ll be more sore on tuesday then on monday and i feel by wednesday he wont be any good and just complaining that his legs u think this is too much for him? if i cut it in half (workout) would it be effective?

    >>> I’m not sure which week you are referring to, but I can say this with confidence: There are no back to back speed workouts in any week of this program. In fact, there is only 1 speed day per week and it is on Monday for the entirety of the program.

    It’s not a simple as ‘cutting the workout in half’. The secret to being a successful sprints coach is knowing when and where to shut the workout down. So if he’s getting sloppy on his 3rd 20m sprint, shut it down. If he’s a beast and can do 8, shut it down at 8. If he’s doing repeat 100s at tempo pace and he can’t hit his time after 4 intervals, shut it down. If he’s a beast and can do 25 before his times drop off, shut it down at 25. There is no ‘magic’ number of intervals or reps. The number depends on the individual athlete’s current level of conditioning. As an athlete in HS I was very weak and had poor base conditioning. So kids who weren’t good used to beat me in workouts. Yet I’d beat them by 5 seconds in a race. Should I have done more because I had more talent or less because I wasn’t in good shape? The answer is less, even if it’s less than JV type kids, because where I fall off is where I fall off and that is going to differ by athlete, even if all other things (training/biological/chronological age, PR, experience, mental toughness, etc.) are equal.

    The technical term is ‘biodiversity’. Sure that makes it harder to coach when you have 30 kids in a group and they all fall off at different times. But it’s also why my kids run faster than others, because they are not overtrained or undertrained. The program is individualized as much as possible.

    I know you wanted me to say ‘Do X repeats at X speed on X day’. But I can’t because I don’t know. And anyone who tells you they do is lying to you.


  • Flash Gordon says:

    I have two questions really. The first one is that i cant do most of the lifting excercises because of a bad shoulder. So i was wondering if you had an alturnative that would not require weights? My other question is that i have had a bad groin for the last couple days and i tried icing and foam rolling but i doesnt seem to be getting any better. So i was wondering if you had a better solution then what i was already doing?

    >>> If you have a shoulder issue then you’re going to have to avoid upper body lifts. There are no alternatives. For lower body lifts, I would do the same exercises contained in the program, you’re just not going to be able to use heavy weights. I would ask to see if there is a weighted vest that you can wear to add weight and/or hold the heaviest medicine ball or, better yet, kettlebell you can find. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing since strength training is as important as anything else you do in track. With your groin (there’s no such thing as a ‘groin’, you’ve either pulled your hip flexor or your adductor) I would switch to heat, except right after activity (ice). You may need to take a couple days off from running to let it heal. Heat, ibuprofin, hydrate, eat healthy, get enough sleep and don’t do anything to aggravate it. When you’re ready to start running again, make sure you don’t rush or half ass your warm up. Better to have this issue now than during the season.


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.