Track Workout: 400 Meter Repeats

Natasha Hastings takes a victory lap around Hayward Field after qualifying for 2016 Olympic games. Photo via KVAL.

Natasha Hastings takes a victory lap around Hayward Field after qualifying for 2016 Olympic games. Photo via KVAL.

By Takia McClendon

Whether you're a runner, walker, or fitness enthusiast, odds are you've been to your local high school track for a workout. Maybe you tried sprinting? Or maybe you tried walking the track with weights? Either way, you may have found yourself bored or realized you're not sure how to actually workout on a track.

I've been there before. After a few laps around, running the track can get a little boring. That's why I'm putting a little spin on one of my favorite track workouts, Deek's Quarters, and making it beginner friendly. 

What is it? 

City Fit Girls' take on 'Deek's Quarters' (400 meter repeats). Rumor has it that the workout was made popular by Rob De Castella of Australia, the former world record holder in the marathon. It consists of 8 x 400s (8 full laps around the track) with 200 meter strides in between in each lap. 

If you're new to track workouts, we've put a little twist on Deek's Quarters to make the workout beginner friendly. We'll call our beginner-friendly version 'Hasty Hastings'. 

Where to do it:

This workout was designed with a track in mind but feel free to do it on your favorite trail. 400 meters is equivalent to about a quarter of a mile. 

Why Hasty Hastings? Natasha Hastings is a gold medalist in the 4x400m Relay and she was the 2013 U.S. Women's Champion in the 400m. She finished 4th in the Women's 400m Final in Rio 2016 with a time of 50.34 seconds. She has already hit the ground running (pun intended) to gear up for next year's USA Track & Field Championships. Challenge yourself by channeling Natasha's speed in this workout. 

Beginner-Friendly Workout: 

Warm-up: Start out with a very easy 10-15 minute jog around the track. If you're doing this workout with friends, you should be able to hold a conversation with them.

Skill Drill: Finish your warm-up with 2 sets of A-Skips for 30 meters. This drill will help you develop leg strength and promote good running form. 

Hasty Hastings: 4-6 x 400m with 200m light jog after each lap. Did you know a full lap around the track is equal to 400 meters? For this workout, we'll run around the track 4 to 6 times (depending on your ability) at your 5K pace. Your 5K pace should be faster than your warm-up run. 

How to do it: Run at 5K pace around the track 1 full time. After a lap, jog lightly for 200 meters (halfway around the track) to recover. Repeat this 4, 5 or 6 times depending on your ability. 

Cool down: Light jog for 10 minutes before stretching. 

Intermediate to Advanced: 8 x 400m: 

Want to take it beyond the Hasty Hastings 400s? Try the original 'Deek's Quarters' workout:

Warm-up: Run easily for 20-25 minutes; follow with 6 x 20-second strides. A stride is a quick acceleration for about 20-30 seconds. 

Workout: 8 x 400 meters (one lap of the track) with 200-meter strides between intervals. 

Run the 400’s at (4-8 seconds per mile) faster than your current 5K race pace and the 200’s at a pace that’s about a minute per mile slower than your 5K pace.

Cool down: Run easy for 20-25 minutes before stretching. 

View the original workout here via Competitor.  

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