ExRower’s 400m Training: Road to Sub-50

Posted In: Training Journals

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    ExRower on #17286

    I would call this a come-back journal since I am now 26, but since my running experience is limited (see below) it is more of a first-time shot.

    My competitive athletic background since junior high is rowing and swimming, with the following exceptions:
    track in 8th grade: ran 63 400m, 2:23 800m, 5:45 mile
    cross country in 9th-10th grade: 19:00 5K
    track senior year of college: 24.0 200m, 51.5 400m, 68 500m all indoors

    Weightroom stats: 5 rep squats at 265lbs, 5 rep bench at 200lbs

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    Jan. 7, 2011
    15′ warmup of jogging, drills, dynamic stretches and a few strides
    6 x 150m in 21 with walk-back recovery (~2:15). This felt good but would become lactic were I to continue.
    Lift:
    8-rep squats at 135,225,235,235
    65lb DB incline bench for 8,8,6 reps
    DB single arm bent-over rows working up to 2x8x60lbs
    8-rep DB RDLs up to 90lbs each hand

    Jan. 9, 2011
    25′ on treadmill, alternating 2-3′ at 5.5-6mph and 1′ at 10mph
    Short bodyweight circuit (pushups, squats, lunges, good mornings, hip thrusts)

    Jan. 10, 2011
    15′ standard warmup
    10x20m accelerations from 3pt and 4pt starts (indoor track, no spikes or blocks)
    Lift:
    Very light single-arm DB hang snatch to re-introduce the movement, up to 3x40lbs each side
    3-rep squats: 135,185,225,245,265,265,265
    3-rep DB flat bench: 50,65,70,75,80,80 (6 reps on last set, will go higher next time)
    Underhand grip pullups: 6, 6 (w/ 25lbs), 6 (w/ 35lbs), 4 (w/ 45lbs)

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    ExRower on #104627

    Jan. 11, 2011

    Extensive tempo day but only had access to treadmill.

    brief walk-jog warmup
    10 rounds of 1:30 at 10mph, 1:30 walk (HR typically beginning at 150 or below and finishing 180 or above)
    brief walk-jog cooldown

    2×30 pushups and a couple ab exercises

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    ExRower on #104666

    Jan. 12, 2011: Off

    Jan. 13, 2011

    Short Extensive tempo + Lift day, but weather prevented running outside.

    2x6x200m on Concept 2 rower with 45s rest, 2:40 or so between sets, done at 1:39/500m pace.

    Lift:
    5-rep deadlifts up to 2x5x225 (went light since it’s been a while…have done 325 before).
    5-rep push-press up to 2x5x95 (light again on purpose)
    8-rep Seated row up to 2x8x150
    8-rep leg curl up to 140lbs
    8 single-leg squats on each side holding 10lb weight

    On the later rowing intervals, HR was starting in 150s and finishing around 170 so maybe a bit intense for extensive tempo. For the given heart rate, this felt easier on the lungs and harder on the legs compared to running (I get a similar effect on the bike too). Anyone have thoughts on this?

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    ExRower on #104674

    Jan. 14, 2011

    “Recovery”/ Fartlek Day

    Ran 3.1mi outside in 23:30, alternating 2-3min easy and 1min hard (85s 400m pace if I had to guess).

    Followed by 5′ easy on the elliptical and a few easy bodyweight exercises.

    Comments: Somewhat hilly. Heart rate creeping up to high 170s towards end of run so I hope I didn’t overdo it.

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    morgan93 on #104685

    In General Prep/Early Season tempo is less about recovery and more about aerobic development. If anything its important to get the heart rate high because the rest of the sessions aren’t too taxing on the CNS.

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    ExRower on #104707

    Jan. 15, 2011

    Short Extensive Tempo day

    14′ standard warmup
    2x10x100m on grass in 15.5-16.0 with 45s rest, 3′ between sets.
    800m cooldown
    2 sets each of lunges and pushups

    HR mostly in high 160s for the 100s, felt good.

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    ExRower on #104767

    Jan. 16, 2011: Off

    Jan. 17, 2011: Acceleration and Strength day

    14′ standard warmup
    8x25m starts w/ 2:15 rest from falling, 3pt, and 4pt positions
    2 x 10-step plyo runs going for distance

    Lift:
    3-rep 1-arm DB hang snatch: 20lbs,40,50,55,60,60
    5-rep squats: 135,225,245,265,265 (matches 5-rep PR)
    pullups, palms facing each other: 10 w/ no weight, 9 w/ 25lbs, 5 and 4 @ 45lbs
    5-rep DB flat bench: 65,75,80,85 (5-rep PR possibly)
    roman chair: 8 and 8 w/ no weight, 8 w/ 25lbs

    I was quite happy with this workout. The snatches will take some time to get back as this is my 2nd time doing them in about 7 months.

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    ExRower on #104822

    Jan. 18, 2011: Long Extensive Tempo day

    15′ standard warmup

    2 x 4 x 300m with 2′ rest, 5′ between sets. Times were 51,49,48,49,49,51,51,50.

    Brief jog/skip cooldown.

    This workout was tough, and I was spent after the last one. I would have liked to run 48s across the board, but I am happy with the effort.

    For (very) early season progression, what would be better for next week between the following?
    (a) same as above but trying to get closer to 48s
    (b) 3 x 3 instead of 2 x 4, also trying for a bit faster
    (c) 3 x {400,300,200}, not sure how pacing would work out
    (d) something completely different

    By the way, my current weekly outline is below. Thursday will become MaxV in a month or so.
    M: Accel+Strength
    T: Long ET
    W: Recovery/Off
    T: Short ET + Lift
    F: Recovery
    S: Short ET or hills
    S: Recovery/Off

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    ExRower on #104846

    Jan. 19, 2011: Recovery Day

    13′ easy on elliptical
    7′ on treadmill, mix of fast walking and 40s segments at 10mph
    5′ bodyweight exercises

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    ExRower on #104868

    Jan. 20, 2011: Short Extensive Tempo + Strength day

    12′ standard warmup
    2x6x200m with 75s rest, 3′ between sets; all run in 31.5-32.0
    400m jog

    Lift:
    5-rep power cleans: bar, 115lbs, 135 (first time doing these, so cut it short)
    5-rep deadlifts: 135,185,225,255,265
    push press: 5×95,5×115,3×125
    seated row, overhand grip: 10×125, 8×150, 4+4+4 drop-set at 162.5-137.5-112.5
    hamstring curls: 10×100, 8×140, 6×150

    200s felt relaxed and were easier than Tuesday’s 300s. Hoping to make steady gains in the cleans, deadlifts, and push press.

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    ExRower on #104875

    Jan. 21, 2011: Recovery Day

    3.1mi in 23:35 on somewhat hilly course, fartlek-style: easy jogging with 5×1′ at a faster pace mixed in.

    Followed by static stretching and foam rolling.

    Outside temp in the high 30’s.

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    ExRower on #104900

    Jan. 22, 2011: Extensive Tempo day, strength endurance emphasis

    Today was going to be hills but due to 29F temp outside, I opted for the following:

    14′ standard dynamic warm-up on indoor track
    2 x 4 x (1′ on, 1′ off) Concept 2 rower at 1:39 pace; 3 x 200m at 1:37,1:36,1:35 with 1:20 rest. 4′ between sets.
    6′ cooldown on rower and stationary bike
    1 set of SL bodyweight RDLs, 1 set of 45 pushups

    The rowing intervals were pretty lactic towards the end, but seems like overall work capacity is improving steadily.

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    ExRower on #104959

    Jan. 23, 2011: Off

    Jan. 24, 2011: Accel + Strength

    12′ warm-up
    2×10 squat jumps, 2×10 lunge jumps
    5x25m starts from 3pt and 4pt positions

    Lift:
    single arm DB hang snatch: 3-reps on each side for 25lbs,45,55,60,65,70
    5-rep squats: bar, 135, 225, 245, 255, 255
    underhand pullups: 8 bodyweight, 8 w/ 45lbs (PR, maybe), 5 w/ 55lbs, 3 w/ 55lbs
    incline BB bench: 8×135, 2x5x185
    2 sets of 8 SL RDL on each side with one 60lb dumbbell

    A bit frustrating today due to time constraints and an extremely crowded indoor track and gym. Originally planned for 9 starts but had to cut it short. Felt weak on squats but could be from the preceding intense exercises on short rest.

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    ExRower on #104984

    Jan. 25, 2011: Long Extensive Tempo day

    15′ warmup
    2 x {500,300,400,200} at 68-70s 400m pace with 2′ rest, 5′ between sets
    800m cooldown
    2×10 good mornings and 30,20 pushups

    The goal today was to get decent volume in, a large portion of it in the form of longer intervals, staying as relaxed as possible.

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    ExRower on #105011

    Jan. 26, 2011: Recovery Day

    12′ on elliptical
    8′ on treadmill (2% incline), alternating 45s at 10mph and 1′ of fast walking/buildup
    10′ circuit of bodyweight exercises

    Sore legs and poor weather convinced me to stay off the roads today and minimize impact.

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