Chasing Greatness

Steal my 400m program (Week 2)

3.28K 7

Each Monday, for the next 10 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.

HS 400m Training
Pre-season – 12 weeks
Mesocycle 1, Microcyle 2
General Preparation Period


M: 10 x 20m accelerations from various
positions @ 90%. R = 2’. 10 x 2 Standing
Long Jump into pit.

T: 10 x 100m, 5x100m @ 65-70%. R = 45”, 3’
Bodyweight circuit (10 exercises @ 30” on,
30” off)

Preferably done on the grass. Barefoot if
athletes have access to field turf.

W: Mile run. 3 x 250m hills. Walk back
recovery. 800m warm down on grass, barefoot
if possible. Core.

TH: 8-10 x 200 @ 70% B: 34-35, G: 39-40
R = 2’ 800m warmdown on grass, barefoot
if possible.

F: Cross Fit Workout (runs preferably on
grass)  Run 800, 50 pushups, run 800,
100 crunches, run 800, 50 split squats
(25 each leg). 10’ warmdown run on grass.
Hip mobility.

Workout parameters: The bodyweight exercises
can be done in any order. So athletes can
start with pushups and end with split
squats, as above, or they can start with
crunches and end with pushups. It all
washes out in the end. (For example I wouldn’t
do split squats first because that would
cash out my legs for the rest of the
workout). The workout should be timed and
final times written down for later testing
comparison. The goal of the workout is to
finish the entire workout as fast as possible.

Sa: Off
Su: Off


For speed training drills and progressions,
bodyweight and strength training exercises,
dynamic warmup drills, etc, CLICK HERE.



  • Diane says:

    Are you doing any weight training during this time?

    >>>Diane – For the first 3 weeks of the season I have the athletes just doing bodyweight circuits to get them acclimated to the program. Then (as you will see) from weeks 4-8(give or take a week depending on the results) they will be in the weight room doing hypertrophe type training – full body weight training, 3x per week.

    I certainly wouldn’t argue with you if you said I should put them in the weight room right away. Last fall I had a group of short sprinters do 8 weeks of circuits. When they finally got in the weight room, they set new personal bests in the squat, deadlift and bench press, despite not having lifted an actual weight in almost 6 months. With these young kids, the longer I can keep things general, the better. (In my opinion, of course.)


  • Steven Spadafino says:

    I find that I’m having better luck getting my athletes to buy into and give better effort doing bodyweight circuits or plyos after a dynamic warmup and before we do our running as opposed to doing it at the end of practice when they are tired and leg weary. I give at least 10 min. rest before they run so their form won’t be terrible. Is this an acceptible adjustment or a BIG No-No?

    >>>I don’t have a problem with that plan because you have a reason for why you’re doing it *and* you’re getting results. The opposing argument is that improved running skill (especially if it’s a speed day) is the most important part of the training and should be done without fatigue or the rate of improvement as well as neuromuscular efficiency is diminished. Do I do it that way? Generally, no. But is it a BIG No-No? Not if you think it works for you, your athletes and your situation.


  • Bernie Smith says:

    Latif could you please give some examples of hip mobility exercises that you would use.

    >> Any hurdle mobility exercises – marches, over 2 back one, over under, spider, etc.

    trail leg drills on all fours or against a wall, fire hydrants, straight leg, up and back, lunge matrix, etc.

    Most all of these drills and many more are covered in Complete Speed Training ( )

    – Latif

  • Pat Henry says:

    What type of 250m hill work are you talking about? (A slight angle or a rolling hills setup?) If you did not have hills what would you recommend instead?

  • K. Brown says:

    Latif what do you think about these speed and agility clinics that do a lot of indoor work with explosiveness and increasing stride lengths by utilizing state of the art treadmills and machines to train athletes to get faster and more explosive? Do you recommend these for pre season training or find them effective for improving speed?

    >>>Treadmills are a gimmick and completely ridiculous. I do not recommend them under any circumstance.


  • J. Long says:

    If you were going to do an off-season lifting program with little to no running involved, what intensities would you train at and for how long assuming track practices will not begin until February? Would you cycle through various phases such as hypertrophe, max strength, power conversion, etc. or would you just focus on max strength? I am working with 17-18 year old females with 2-3 years of training experience.

    >>>I would keep things as general as long as possible. But yes, I would cycle through the various phases. Now, with females I’d be careful with the hypertrophe work. So, let’s say you were going to do an 8 week hypertrophe phase. For at least half of that, but probably 5 of the 8 weeks, I’d do all bodyweight work. Then 3 weeks of weighted circuits, then roll into Max Strength and then Power Conversion. But my offseason program would have to coincide with the actual season. So if it’s, say, 30 weeks from the start of the program until the END of the track season, I would structure my progressions that way. Not cycle through the phases in a way that you’re doing, for example, power conversion before the season even starts.

    But it depends on when you’re starting because I could also see doing a ‘double peak’ (for lack of a better term) if you’re starting now. But generally speaking, I’m not going to just do max strength for 5+ months straight.


  • Flash Gordon says:

    I have a Question; for the cross fit work out, saying you cant do push ups due to a shoulder injury what else would you recomend to do to replace that?

    >> Just do a different ab exercise, supermans, whatever. The purpose of the workout is just to do a general strength/conditioning exercise to tire you out between the 800s. We had a similar situation like this last winter. I just had him double up on ab work. It meant he ran faster than everyone else because the ab work is less time consuming than the pushups, but oh well. No big deal.


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