Never Quit: UM 4x400 Relay

cyclones500

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I’m not sure what is more grueling, 400 hurdles or open 800???
A high school friend/teammate & I had discussions about that (many years ago) - we agreed they're probably to 2 most grueling/challenging. He ran 400 hurdles and made it to state (I never did hurdles of any length). I did 400/4x400 and I couldn't imagine doing it while having to clear barriers.
 

twincyties

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A high school friend/teammate & I had discussions about that (many years ago) - we agreed they're probably to 2 most grueling/challenging. He ran 400 hurdles and made it to state (I never did hurdles of any length). I did 400/4x400 and I couldn't imagine doing it while having to clear barriers.
I think they’re equally evil. I thought hurdles were harder on the legs while 800 harder on the lungs.
 
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twincyties

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I was a career cross country runner (2 miles at that time) before I got on the track and started running the 400 and 800 so lungs weren't an issue for me.
Agree. I also ran cross country. What held me back on 800 (ran about 2:03-2:04) was leg strength. Just saying relative to each other.
 

BCClone

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I was a career cross country runner (2 miles at that time) before I got on the track and started running the 400 and 800 so lungs weren't an issue for me.

Agree. I also ran cross country. What held me back on 800 (ran about 2:03-2:04) was leg strength. Just saying relative to each other.
Seems the XC runners always have a shorter stride whereas the pure 800 track guys (sub 2) will be almost at that 400 glide stride.
 
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VeloClone

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Agree. I also ran cross country. What held me back on 800 (ran about 2:03-2:04) was leg strength. Just saying relative to each other.
Yes. My coach brought in a former runner of his who was running in college at the time to help me a little with my form when I was training for State my senior year. I could run with the form they wanted me to but it broke down my last 300 everytime and my calf strength was the culprit.
 

VeloClone

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Seems the XC runners always have a shorter stride whereas the pure 800 track guys (sub 2) will be almost at that 400 glide stride.
I had a really long stride for cross country which made my transition to the track easier. I only ran on the track my senior year but won our district and made it to State.

I have to give my cross country coach credit though. He coached boys and girls XC but only girls on the track. I was frustrated I didn't make it to state in XC so decided to go out for track. But I was done with distances and said I was going to do the 200 and 400. After about a week of practices with that coach watching from afar, he pulled me aside and said if I could convince my coach to let me run the 800 I would go to state. Nice psychological ploy there framing it as me having to convince my coach rather than him trying to convince me. I switched to 400 and 800 (and long jump for fun) and he proved to be right.

Looking back, I wish I would have run track earlier. I think more experience would have helped and the spring middle distance work would have made me better on the XC course as well.
 

ImJustKCClone

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I’m not sure what is more grueling, 400 hurdles or open 800???
Our youngest did the shuttle hurdle in Jr High and the 100m hurdles in High School. He filled in once on the 400 hurdles. He was a pretty cocky kid and didn't think it would be much more of a task.
Notice I said "once". He was basically staggering to the finish after the last one.
 

VeloClone

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Our youngest did the shuttle hurdle in Jr High and the 100m hurdles in High School. He filled in once on the 400 hurdles. He was a pretty cocky kid and didn't think it would be much more of a task.
Notice I said "once". He was basically staggering to the finish after the last one.
This is why I have a ton of repect for the 400M H and steeple chase guys and gals. Those are real men races whether on the men's or women's side.
 
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VeloClone

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Another comment on David Wottle's 1972 Olympic gold medal race I posted above. I had never heard or seen it until I took a sports psychology course in college. They played it with commentary by Wottle. He talked about how he broke the race down into small achievable goals: just get in contact with the rest of the field, just pick off that last guy, just pick off another guy, just pick off another guy, etc. With those goals he was able to position himself to finally be right where he wanted to be at about 180 meters because he always had an impressive kick. It says a lot about how you develop mental toughness and deal with adversity.

Interesting note, Wottle was a career miler. He only ran the 800 in prep for qualifying for the Olympics that year and went back to his mile exclusively pretty much as soon as he got back from the Olympics that year.
 
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BCClone

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Our youngest did the shuttle hurdle in Jr High and the 100m hurdles in High School. He filled in once on the 400 hurdles. He was a pretty cocky kid and didn't think it would be much more of a task.
Notice I said "once". He was basically staggering to the finish after the last one.
It’s always fun to watch the sprinters do distance stuff. Was standing by a friend who coaches our old HS. Had this kid in a DMed take the baton and take off like his hair was on fire From last to first in 150 meters. I told my friend that he found himself a guy for the 800 leg, my friend said he wondered if he forgot what he was running. At 200 meters the kid was looking around and starting to gas. He was walking out of turn 4. He thought he was running the 4x2 at first, then thought he had a 400 so when he crossed the line after the first lap, he stepped off the track, a teammate pushed him back on and he went 10 meters and walked back off the track.

Kid came over and told his coach he thought he was running a 200.
 

VeloClone

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It’s always fun to watch the sprinters do distance stuff. Was standing by a friend who coaches our old HS. Had this kid in a DMed take the baton and take off like his hair was on fire From last to first in 150 meters. I told my friend that he found himself a guy for the 800 leg, my friend said he wondered if he forgot what he was running. At 200 meters the kid was looking around and starting to gas. He was walking out of turn 4. He thought he was running the 4x2 at first, then thought he had a 400 so when he crossed the line after the first lap, he stepped off the track, a teammate pushed him back on and he went 10 meters and walked back off the track.

Kid came over and told his coach he thought he was running a 200.
I want to laugh at this, but I feel his pain too much.
 
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jctisu

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I think they’re equally evil. I thought hurdles were harder on the legs while 800 harder on the lungs.
That’s well said. The pain for the 400 Hurdles around the final turn is something to behold. But yes the lungs for an 800 burn to no end.

The trick with the hurdles is you don’t jump them so the leg fatigue can be very limited. You run a hurdle, you don’t jump or leap them. Your form should hardly change. It’s why you see some people’s 400 and 400 Hurdle times differ only slightly.

At my peak I was a 50.2 open 400 and a 51.4 400 Hurdler, so almost no difference.
 

jctisu

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I had a really long stride for cross country which made my transition to the track easier. I only ran on the track my senior year but won our district and made it to State.

I have to give my cross country coach credit though. He coached boys and girls XC but only girls on the track. I was frustrated I didn't make it to state in XC so decided to go out for track. But I was done with distances and said I was going to do the 200 and 400. After about a week of practices with that coach watching from afar, he pulled me aside and said if I could convince my coach to let me run the 800 I would go to state. Nice psychological ploy there framing it as me having to convince my coach rather than him trying to convince me. I switched to 400 and 800 (and long jump for fun) and he proved to be right.

Looking back, I wish I would have run track earlier. I think more experience would have helped and the spring middle distance work would have made me better on the XC course as well.
Biggest mistake for XC coaches and runners is not focusing on strength and speed work. You should still be doing speed training for XC.
 
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CloneFanInKC

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That’s well said. The pain for the 400 Hurdles around the final turn is something to behold. But yes the lungs for an 800 burn to no end.

The trick with the hurdles is you don’t jump them so the leg fatigue can be very limited. You run a hurdle, you don’t jump or leap them. Your form should hardly change. It’s why you see some people’s 400 and 400 Hurdle times differ only slightly.

At my peak I was a 50.2 open 400 and a 51.4 400 Hurdler, so almost no difference.

The bold above is impressive!

Completely agree regarding the comment on form not changing much due to hurdles.
 
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enisthemenace

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My daughter‘s first middle school track meet she ran the open 400, open 800, 4x400 and 4x800. I wondered if they wanted her to quit or something.

Now she’s in high school. Open 100, 4x100 and long jump :D
 
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