The 400-meter dash is a short-term race that is often a part of competitive running or track and field events. Preparing for the 400-meter dash includes training to increase speed and lower the total time. Developing and honing techniques like these can make the difference between a win or a loss.
Divide the race into segments. Instead of approaching it as 400 meters, think of it as two 200-meter stretches or four 100-meter stretches. Pushing hard in the initial stretches can result in a lower time. This can help the runner to conserve energy and finish the race strong. Managing speed in this manner can help to alleviate the physical and mental stress experienced when runners attempt to increase their speed at the end of the race, when they are nearly exhausted.
Practice and incorporate the slingshot method, advises coach Rich Lasorsa, in an article on the Everything Track and Field website. The slingshot method is focused on building up enough momentum to help a runner “slingshot” himself forward. This can be done by practicing acceleration of speed 20 meters before and during the curves of a track in order to propel oneself into the straight stretches of the track, thereby reducing the overall time.
Relax and concentrate. It is important for a runner to focus on completing the race instead of how tired he may be. Lasorsa advises runners to identify one technical movement and place their focus on that. For example, when thinking about how tired the legs are, a runner can concentrate on swinging their arms back and forth. The goal is to keep the body moving and maintain momentum in some part of the body even if it’s not the legs.