10 Tips to Master the 400m Dash

John and Jon working on their 400m dash after John's return to running

Hey there fitness enthusiasts and fellow runners! 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️ Ready to dive into the exhilarating world of training for a 400m race?  After heading to all of these elite competitions and watching the best in the world, Dr. John was inspired to run his own 400m dash.  Since we are all active people, we decided to do it together!  At Mobility-Doc we of course couldn’t just run without properly warming up.  That would be irresponsible!  Instead we used a primer and other running warm ups to optimize ourselves to run the best possible 400m we could.  Join us as the Mobility-Doc team takes on this challenge together!  This blog is going to detail a bunch of tips and tricks about how we can help you get to the finish line faster!

 The 400m dash is not just a test of speed; it’s a symphony of strategy, endurance, and sheer determination. So, let’s break down the steps to conquer this exhilarating event!

1 - Know Your Distances

The 400m dash is a one-lap sprint, falling under the “middle-distance” category. It’s not an all-out dash like the 100m, nor a marathon-like endurance challenge. Finding that sweet spot between speed and stamina is key. 

2 - Warm Up Wisely

We started with a Mobility-Doc Method Primer.  This primer was made to open our hips and activate the glutes so we can get full use of the muscles.  The three exercises we used are:

brettzel 2.0 stretch for the 400m dash warm upBring your knees into a 90 90 position with the heel of your “top leg” pulled close into your butt.  Squeeze through your top glute and try to get that top knee toward the ground.  Hold for 30sec/side

Single Leg Glute Bridge for the 400m dash warm uppush through your bottom foot and squeeze your glute to fully extend your hips.  Be careful not to extend your back and keep your spine neutral.  Do 10/side

Jump Splits squats for the 400m dash warm upGo into a split squat position.  From here explode up and change your leg position so the opposite leg is in front.  Do 10 total (5/side)

Detailed video explanation of this whole event below!  Just keep reading!

3 - Track Warm Up

Start your training sessions with a dynamic warm-up that gets your muscles firing and blood flowing. We started with an easy ½ mile run around the track followed by drills of high knees, butt kicks, high knee skips, and gates. Lastly we worked our 70m start and rubberbanding through the turn and then jogged the rest of the lap.  We want those muscles ready to rock!

Jon working his high knees for his 400m dash warm up

4 - Training

Your training plan should include a mix of speed work, endurance training, and recovery. Short bursts of high-intensity sprints will improve your speed, while longer runs enhance your endurance. Don’t forget those rest days and to do your active recovery work; they’re just as important as the workouts!

5 - Fine Tune Technique

Work on your form and technique. Powerful arm swings, quick turnover, and a strong core are your secret weapons. Because this is a longer sprint, you’re more likely to start losing your form towards the end so this is KEY! Every detail matters when you’re gunning for that finish line!

6 - Mental Fortitude

Endurance isn’t just physical; it’s mental too.  Training isn’t always linear.  Keep that into account and know that everyday you spend working towards your goal counts.  Even if it wasn’t perfect.  Stay focused, maintain a positive mindset, and power through any moments of doubt. You’ve got this!

Pigeon stretch for a primer

7 - Recovery

Proper recovery is essential. Stretching, foam rolling, and active recovery is just as important as the rest of your training.  Sleep, hydration, and nutrition play a big part too!  The right mix of everything keeps your body healthy and ready to take on your runs time and time again!

8 - Listen To Your Body

Pay attention to any signs of overtraining or injury. It’s better to take a step back and recover than to push through.  Taking 1-2 days off is way shorter than the 2-3 weeks or even months it can take you to come back from a full blown injury!

9 - Consistency is Key

Like any sport, consistency is your ticket to improvement. Stick to your training plan, give it your all, and watch those personal records stack up!

10 - Celebrate Every Victory

Whether it’s shaving off a second from your personal best or conquering a tough workout, celebrate your progress. Every step forward is a win.

Watch the video of our first 400m dash timed trial!

As the season continues we are going to continue training and working on improving our times and form.  Both of our Dr.’s have their own specific goals set for the end of October.  Dr. John G. is aiming to do a sub 70 second 400m dash and be as close to 60 seconds as possible!  Dr. Jon S. is looking to achieve a 55 second 400m trial.  Check our socials for updates and we will give you an official one in October!

If you’d like to join us make sure to join our running groups on Strava and Garmin!  We will see you on the track!  Happy running!

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