Posted by: Drew | August 15, 2007


Last night I was scheduled for 6x400m at 5-K pace.  I was supposed to be completing my laps in around 2:05.  Here were the splits for the six 400’s (with a 200 meter walk of about 1:50 between each):

  1. 2:00
  2. 1:55
  3. 1:45
  4. 1:46
  5. 1:38
  6. 1:26

On one hand, I’m slightly pleased that I was able to maintain or increase pace as the number of reps increased.  On the other hand, it’s a little dumb to burn that hard when you’re not “supposed” to.  The last one was more of a “well, I’m already blowing my suggested pace out of the water, why not let ‘er rip?”  The first five felt good, and I think I could have maintained the intervals at about a 1:45 pace for 10 or more reps.

So… does this mean my suggested pace is too slow?



  1. Drew,

    As I was reading your post, I had already been thinking a version of the question at the end of your post, “how did you determine your goal of 2:05 per 400?” – which is another way of asking if your pace target might have been too slow to begin with.

    Your pace target has a lot to do with the distance of the race that your training for and the effort level (in terms of your heart rate) that you’re trying to achieve in the workout itself.

    Depending on what you’re doing, my initial thought is that the pace target looks a little slow for you. It’s typical to pick up the pace in the last interval, but you really should not be able to pull 40 seconds off of your target pace to close out the set (2:05 vs. 1:26).

    I’m guessing that an optimal target for you would be somewhere around 1:39-1:41 – this would be a hard effort and would get a lot out of your workout.

    It’s fairly straight-forward to calculate exactly your pace targets based on your goals. Contact me if you want me to help.

    Coach Joe English

  2. Joe,

    Good question. I input my most recent 5-K time into the McMillan Running Calculator, and somehow mashed out 2:05 as a 400 time. As I revisit the MRC to see exactly how I came up with 2:05, it appears as though I was looking at “cruise intervals” instead of “speed workouts for long-distance runners”. When I look at the other side, it suggests 1:52-1:58 per 400.

    Another thing for me to take into consideration is that my level of fitness is greatly increased now than it was at the time of my last 5-K trial (less than 7 MPW then compared to 20+ MPW now).

    I don’t want to get injured, so I’m not going to be burning any more 86 quarters, but I am interested in making sure the workout is valuable to my fitness level.

    Thanks for stopping by! Come over any time and offer your thoughts.

  3. […] See this post for my recap of the track workout.  The interval times will need to be adjusted going forward. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: