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400m Specific / Special Endurance Session

Tom Crick

Here is the running part of a Specific Endurance session for the 400m for a senior athlete specialising in the event. Before we began this session we had already done an active dynamic warm up, 20 multiple jumps, 6x10m, 2x20m roll over starts. The main session was 5x200m [2min] in 27s for an athlete aiming to run 52-53s for the 400m (25/27=52s or 25.5/27.5 = 53s). The athlete's 200m PB is 24s making 53s a realistic target. After 20min of rest we finished with some upper body general strength and 6min of core work. PLEASE EXPAND THE VIDEO TO FULL SCREEN TO READ THE TEXT COMMENTARY!

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Comments (2)

  1. Posted by Tom Crick on 10/12/2012 at 02:36 PM - Admin Comment

    I recently got this question from someone regarding the ‘lactic ball’. QUESTION: “I was looking at the way Mica curled up into a “lactic ball” and presumably the intent is to use bodyweight to compress the muscles and joints of the legs in order to restrict blood flow. But I was wondering if I was missing something (i.e. was she resting her head on her hands in order to provide another pressure point on the quads via the elbows, or was she simply camera shy?)”

    ANSWER: In terms of the lactic ball, you are right the aim is to use bodyweight to restrict the blood flow back out of the affected muscles. In terms of doing this I’ve found that kneeling on your own legs and then tucking your head down to your chest works best. However, this is very painful so she is not doing this perfectly – placing her elbows on her legs is her “resting” while the pain subsides a bit before curling up again and the video just caught her at that point!

    One thing to keep in mind with respect to holding any position for a long time and inducing high levels of lactic build up is what is commonly known as muscle crush syndrome or rhabdomyolysis. This is a very, very rare condition that can occur with very fatiguing exercise. You can find more details here:

  2. Posted by Tom Crick on 11/12/2012 at 01:43 PM - Admin Comment

    QUESTION: Why exactly do you use the “lactic ball”?

    ANSWER: For me the key reason for using the lactic ball after this 5x200m session is because I base my programme around fairly low volume high intensity training and I only want to do one 400m specific session a week (the rest of the time I’m working acceleration, max velocity and speed endurance and general conditioning/aerobic development). Therefore, I want to get the most out of that single specific 400m session and using the lactic ball may well enhance adaptation to this session. However, if I was doing 400m specific sessions 3 times a week it would probably be overkill and drain the athlete’s reserves. So if you are going to use it I would suggest maybe only use it with senior athletes for a lactic based session where you then have a day or two off afterwards or at least 48 hours until the next high intensity, fast or lactic generating session.


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