Me: Hey, honey, Sawyer's at preschool. Wanna... ?? You know....??
Me: Run x400's at the park?
Him: You're joking.
Me: [giant cheesy smile]
This is what I learned about x400's
I've never done track work before. Heck, I've never even run on a track before. Ever. But the running magazine and the running group always talk about x400's. (Is that even the right way to type that?) So I run-trackered where the closest 1/4 mile stretch of road would be and planned to figure out what this was all about. The park is almost exactly 1 mile from the house. Perfect warm-up distance.
While we ran there I asked Stephan a few questions about [he calls them] "quarters".
When did you do quarters in school?
Whenever I was in trouble. I was a pole-vaulter, so running was punishment.
How does this work?
So when you get to the starting line someone says go. You sprint for 1/4 mile (or about 400 meters) and stop running when you get there. You can either jog again for interval work, or actually just stand around like this [he puts his hands on his hips and starts shaking his head and pretending to walk and puke at the same time]. Then when someone says go, you do it again. In high school the coach would blow a whistle every 2 minutes. So if you ran faster, you'd get a longer break.
You were all-out sprinting?
Um, I gave it like 90% for the first 300, then whatever I had left after that.
This is what happened when we did 4 x 400's
The plan was to run once around the path (for 400 meters) and then walk half way (for 200 meters) and then run again the next 400. That would give me plenty of time to catch my breath.
I had to stop about 50 yards before the first 400 was finished, which sucked. (It was also 18 degrees, and air temp was not kind to healing lungs). On the next set Stephan told me my form was all wrong for sprinting. I'm a heel-striker, and he says you have to sprint off of your toes. We took 200 meters to practice a little and on the second 400 I tried the new way.
I had to "sprint" pretty slowly, and the new form twinged my legs in new and exciting ways, BUT we finished the next 3 x 400's without dying! And thusly ended my first x400 workout.
Wool socks - toddler breath in the morning - having an athlete for a husband - being cancer free for 5 years - compression sleeves