On That Time I Fell in Love with 400’s…

Good morning kids! Hope this Thursday is going just swelllllll for you. It is for me, because it’s Thursday, which makes it oh-so-close to Friday, which makes it oh-so-close to the weekend. Remember all of those great benefits I plan to give employees when I become CEO of a much-loved and very successful do-gooder company one day? Well one of those benefits is going to be giving everyone the week between Christmas and New Years off. Because half of the world already has it off, so for those stuck in an office [read: me right now], there’s few others to do business with and the days are a big, fat bore.

Anywho. While yesterdays working hours dragged on painfully slow, the evening was a smashing success. I had signed up for a spin class, but all day long had been beating myself up for not having run since Christmas day and not following my half marathon “training plan” that technically started the same day.

Said training plan had called for a “rest” day Monday, a 3-mile run on Tuesday (I did neither…just some time on the ellip both days) and 5 x 400’s on Wednesday.

I’ve never done 400’s before, but had some input on the ol’ blog on Tuesday from Tracy and Katherine, and motivated by my very slow and delayed start to half marathon training, decided to give them a whirl last night.

As soon as I got to the gym I scoped out a dreadmill that had the lap tracker on it and got to work. I did a very quick warm-up at a 9:30 pace, because I was still signed up for a 7:00 spin class and wanted to make it if at all possible. After loosening up a bit I settled in for the 400’s, which I did at a 7:45ish pace, interspersed with 9:15 laps. I had only intended to do 4, 400 “sprints” as this was my first attempt and I knew my foot was not feeling 100%, but when I got to what I thought was my final cool down lap and saw I was very close to getting a new “PR” in the 5k distance, I decided to stick it out a little longer. I went down to a 7:30 for two more laps, and after finishing the 3.1 miles in around 26 minutes or so, cooled down until I hit the 30-minute mark…at which point, I was DRENCHED in sweat. And it was awesome.

I can handle an elliptical for an hour or longer because I’m still able to read a book or magazine or watch TV. But I usually HATE the treadmill because of the monotony of it. However, I learned last night, that alternating 400 sprints keeps you completely enthralled in the run, and before you know it, 30 minutes (not to mention twice the amount of calories as the same amount of time on the elliptical) has blown by. I may have done the 400’s wrong (if I have, please speak up and tell me now), but whatever I did worked for me. And I can’t wait to do it again (quite possibly tonight). I know for next time, as long as my foot is not in terrible pain I’m definitely capable of going fast for the sprints, and eventually I can build up to the 10 400’s (or more?) in Hal’s intermediate half plan. I’m even MORE excited to finallllly get my Garmin going so I can challenge myself further, by doing these without the aid of the lap tracker, and in the great outdoors.

Accomplishing a 30-minute, sweatastic run on the dreadmill last night was a huge confidence boost. Not only did I get in a much-needed run after a little lull, but doing 400’s (whether correctly or not) for the first time REALLY made me feel like A Runner.

Afterwards I was riding such an endorphin high that I still went to spin class and kept the grossness pouring for another 45 minutes. After about 5 seconds of faux ab work, I finally headed home.

Having loved last night’s workout so much, I’m thinking I may do the same today. Don’t worry–I’m definitely up for it since I did not challenge myself on the sprints nearly as much as I could have, and I know moving forward, I should max myself out when doing speedwork and do a recovery run the following day.

But I’ve sort of enjoyed sleeping in the morning, as much as I hate getting to work without the accomplished feeling of already having knocked out a run. I’m hoping I get back into that routine next week [read: next year. bahahaha]. Not to mention, hitting up the gym after work completely kills my evenings, and I am not a fan of getting home late, scarfing down a dinner (which this week has been homemade–Grandma’s cheese grits Tuesday and split pea soup last night) and jumping straight to bed without a free moment to get something fun in…though, last night I was a giant nerd and managed to watch Biggest Loser marathon episode and see the winner in the season finale. Say what you will, but Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince are so cool and I would like to be best friends with them. And Ramon, who made it to the top 3 and won the BL marathon. 

That’s all for today kids, have a very happy Thursday!

– Have you done 400’s? Did you love them as much as I did? Did I even do them right??

–  What do you like to do during the week when you’ve got lots of freeeee time after the work day? I want to waking up early and start knocking things off a bucket list in the New Year! The fun doesn’t need to be saved for the weekend.



The new winner of the HoneyStingers giveaway is Ashley! Please DM me on Twitter or email me at marathonwiner@gmail.com with your product of choice and mailing address!

And the winner of the TryChips giveaway is Laura! Please DM me on Twitter or email me at marathonwiner@gmail.com with your mailing address!

Second place winner of Try Chips giveaway is Katherine! Please DM me on Twitter or email me at marathonwiner@gmail.com with your mailing address!


4 Responses to “On That Time I Fell in Love with 400’s…”

  1. 1 Tracy December 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    I’m not a fan of the treadmill for repeats, personally, especially not shorter ones (so much time is eaten up with changing the speed). But no, you didn’t do it wrong! The only thing I would be curious about is how you determined your pace – when you did the first one at 7:30, I was taken aback. I can do mine at 8mm pace, and I’m slower than you. Did you check McMillan to see what he thinks?

    Okay, I just did, for you 🙂 I couldn’t remember your exactly marathon time but I knew it was sub-4, so I put in 3:50 – he suggests 400m repeats at 1:41 to 1:49, depending on whether you’re middle distance or long distance. So I guess you were right on!

  2. 2 marathon winer December 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    haha, thanks tracy! yeah, i was definitely going slower than im capable of because it was my first time messing around with it and just wanted to see what it was like (and wanted to still be alive for spin). i definitely want to get to a point where i a. do them outside (need to get that garmin going) and b. go faster, and go for longer. but yay! looks like this was still a first-time win.

  3. 3 sweatpassionandtears December 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Sounds like you did them right! I don’t know what your pace should be, but I’m assuming you got the pace marker from somewhere….and I must say, you are a speed daemon! You’re “cool down” is close to my speed work lol

    If you like the 400’s now, just wait until you get outside! I personally can’t stand running fast on a treadmill (not sure why? maybe because I feel like I’m racing to the wall?), but it’s so nice breaking away and doing some speed on the road.

  1. 1 Fitting it all In « Marathon Winer Trackback on January 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm

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