A Faster 400 With Baylor Track | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

A Faster 400 With Baylor Track

March 1, 2009 | Featured in the March 2009 Issue

Must See Track & Field Videos

Running a quarter-mile on a track is easy. But attacking it to win a race requires a game plan. “It’s one of the most difficult events to manage,” says Mike Ford, assistant track coach at Baylor University, the reigning two time NCAA men’s indoor/outdoor 4x400 relay champs. “Young quartermilers don’t understand the concept of race distribution. It’s a sprint, but you also need endurance.”

Below, Ford offers some advice on the quarter-mile and how to be the alpha of the pack.

Train for endurance. You need more than sprints to improve your 400. Work on speed endurance [600s, 450s and distance running] three times a week. This will keep your body in top running form during the final 100 meters of the race.

Know your opponent. Be aware of what type of runner you are competing against. Type-A runners have quick feet and a fast kick at the end of the race—they typically run the 200, as well. Type-B runners keep a quick pace early in the race but lack the ability to outrun a sprinter in the final 200—they’re usually strong in the 800, too.

Have a strategy. Before the gun goes off, have a plan. Start by making sure the blocks are set properly. Then focus on the start and having a quick first 50 meters. It’s important to keep good running form along the straightaway before reaching the final 200 meters. Depending on your position, be ready to make your move to sprint past your opponents while keeping your form through the finish.

Practice makes perfect. Work on your race strategy during practice. Don’t try anything during the meet that you haven’t worked on already—such as sprinting for the first 300. Run how you’ve practiced.

Be great in eight. When practicing, run in all eight lanes. This will help perfect your game plan and prepare you for winning in any lane on the day of the meet.

Check out the Track and Field Channel at STACK TV. 

Matt Siracusa
Matt Siracusa
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Baseball Catcher Technique Part 8, Youth Catcher Drills

There are many youth baseball players that want to learn how to catch and this article will allow coaches to teach some fundamental youth catcher...

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

Improving your Hockey Shot on the Ice

Top 3 Hockey Training Mistakes

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

How the San Antonio Spurs Turned a Group of Castoffs into Stars

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

Does Grunting Improve Your Sports Performance?

Fixing Your Basketball Shot: Corrective Drills

Catcher Technique, Part 9: What to Expect at a Baseball Showcase

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

Develop an Unstoppable Crossover Dribble With Just 3 Drills

4 Common Mistakes Made When Coaching Young Athletes

How David Ortiz Maintains Peak Performance

Use These 3 Grips to Throw a Changeup They Can't Hit

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

How to Recover After Getting Hit by a Pitch

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

3 Offensive Line Drills That'll Help You Keep Your QB Clean

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

Three Benefits of Being a Young, Multi-Sport Athlete

Andrew McCutchen Is Raking His Way to Consecutive MVP Honors

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

Tony Wroten's Lethal Crossover Leaves Defender in the Dust

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

Matt Kemp on His Way Back to MVP Form

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity