Tip: High School Runners: Be the athlete who asks to run on the 4 x 400m relay. - NikeRunning.com
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May 8th 2012, 8:51pm | 2305 views
High School Runners: Be the athlete who asks to run on the 4 x 400m relay.
High school runners, I have a simple question for you: When was the last time you asked to run a leg on the 4 x 400m relay? Whether you run the 100m and 200m or the 1,600m and 3,200m, a hard, fast 400m lap is a great way to get a deep anaerobic stimulus. And it's more fun to get that stimulus with a baton in your hand while trying to run down other runners than going all out in a 300m or 400m in practice.
United States Track and Field (USATF) coaching education refers to this type of work as Special II endurance, and this type of stimulus is critical for virtually all athletes who race on the track. While this stimulus is important and the thrill of running down other runners is exhilarating, the reality is that most athletes shy away from the event, claiming they're too tired or something is tight and they can't run. But if the stimulus will help you set new PRs later in the season, why not be the athlete that goes up to your coach and asks to run a leg on the relay? At many small meets your coach can enter multiple 4 x 400m relays, so even if you're not one of the four fastest 400m runners on the team you can still get a chance to run on the "B" or "C" team.
Again, both distance runners and sprinters will benefit metabolically from this stimulus. Following the 4 x 400m you can do some light General Strength and Mobility such as the Back Routine and Myrtl. Bottom line is that running a 4 x 400m leg is always uncomfortable, but it's a unique opportunity to get a great anaerobic stimulus, a stimulus that is more fun to get during a race situation than during practice.
*Coach Jay's advice is provided as general training information. Use at your own risk. Always consult with your own heath care provider for questions relating to your specific training and nutrition.