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400meter improvement

Answered By Mick Grant & John Molvar

Question

I am 13 years old, and I run the 400 meter run for my girls school track team. Last season, my record was 1:13, but I am striving for the school record. I run at least a mile almost everyday. I find that during the run, I start off well, but end up burning out the last 100 meters. I have tried some excercises, but none seem to get me closer to 1:02.8 (school record), and since I have not been in meets lately, I can't get close to my record. I do much better running with people a lot faster than me, and that's how I set my record in the first place. Sincerely, Katie

Answer

Dear Katie, You must be patient. Start your runs out more slowly and run faster the second half. Have fun with your runs. I like young athletes to develop their speed and running efficiency. Work on your 200m time. You want to gradually develop your speed and strength. You also want to begin to learn about pacing. For 400m pacing, make some short term goals of gradual improvement and go for specific 200m splits. See the sample table below: Time 200m splits 1:12 35-37 1:10 34-36 1:08 33-35 1:06 32-34 1:04 31-33 1:02 30-32 1:00 29-31 If you can run even or "negative" splits, that is even better! Negative splits are when you run the second half of the race faster than the first half. Good luck! Fun first, Mick and John

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