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Stephen Georgiou 04-17-2008 06:17 AM

400m time guidelines

Just out of curiosity, what would be considered a respectable 400m time for a mortal male assuming you were going for a single all out lap (obviously im not referring to one of those 43sec world records held by the gods)?

is this about right?:

elite: sub 50 sec ?
excellent: 50-60 sec ?
good: 60-90sec ?
fair: ?
not so good: ?
poor: ?


just after some opinions



Grant Scalf 04-17-2008 07:08 AM

Re: 400m time guidelines
I think you have it pretty close. My guess is something like...

Elite: <47
Advanced: <55
Intermediate: <1:05
Novice: <1:15
Untrained: <1:30

All times are for a male and total conjecture.

Aaron Moburg-Jones 04-17-2008 07:18 AM

Re: 400m time guidelines
My unscientific take:

All times for non-professional runners

Excellent: 53-60
Good: 60-72
Fair: 73-83
Untrained 96-120

I was a very average track and crosscountry runner and ran 54-56, which is better than almost anyone who doesn't train as a runner could run. It was was by no means special and I doubt I could do it anymore. I think anyone who is not a track athlete (or trains specifically for the long sprints) that can break 60 has achieved something on par with a 2x bodyweight squat. But I could be TOTALLY wrong.

I'm curious what other people think because I usually underestimate how hard I think running is and overestimate how hard I think lifting is (I CANNOT do a 2x bodyweight squat and just achieved a 2x bodyweight deadlift).

Jackson Smith 04-17-2008 07:28 AM

Re: 400m time guidelines
I take it these times are for a single 400m effort. What pace do you guys usually hold for interval workouts, i.e. 6 or 8x400m? I usually hold around 1:20, and my 5k time fluctuates between 18:45 and 19:30.

Scott Allen Hanson 04-17-2008 08:03 AM

Re: 400m time guidelines
These times look reasonable except that I'd say that the average untrained person would have a very hard time finishing a 400 in under 2:00. I have novices (generally older adults) who have been CF'ing for several months who are challenged to break 2:00 for a 400 during a WOD, and I consider them to be way ahead of a similar, untrained individual.

John Seiler 04-17-2008 08:20 AM

Re: 400m time guidelines
I agree with Scott. I think the posted times are pretty legit for recreational athletes (Aaron's numbers seemed best IMHO) particularly in the elite and excellent categories, but way out of whack for the untrained. For those of us who've been training for most of our lives and around similar people, the frame of reference is shockingly different than for the sedentary. There are many adult, non-diseased people out there who would be wiped after a 400m jog.

Carl Pawluk 04-17-2008 08:30 AM

Re: 400m time guidelines
I'm with Scott.

I've only been doing 400's on a treadmill at the Y and my time is 2:15. I'm pretty sure I'd have a faster time on the track, but I'm not sure. That being said, I think putting 2:15 in the "untrained" category is a little much.

To me, the times in each category should be much more broad. I've been CFing for a couple of months and would say that I'm way above average as far as fitness goes and there's no way I could maintain sub 2 min. 400's.

Keep in mind, that there are hundreds if not thousands of CFers that train everyday and aren't fleet afoot. I don't think those people deserve a category titled "untrained". Not all CFers are 20 years old either.

Based on age, weight, etc. I would say that a sustained 2 min. 400 is satisfactory. I'm not saying that my times are satisfactory, because I've got a lot of room for improvement.

Try polling the forum on what exactly each of us are running 400's in. Maybe I'm slower than I thought, but I would bet there's a pretty wide range of times.


Jacob McBride 04-17-2008 09:20 AM

Re: 400m time guidelines
Senior year of high school I ran a 53.5. By next Fall I need to be running 50 or lower. A male [b]athlete[/b] that is untrained should be able to put in a 400 in less than 70 - 80 seconds. I guess an older male athlete would be around 2 minutes, but that's what I run an 800 in.

From a track athlete's perspective:

Elite < 45
Advanced < 50
Decent < 56
Poor <\ 70
Untrained > 70

<\ being less than or equal to

If running isn't something you're good at in any way, don't feel bad about a 2 minute 400, but [b]if you can run well[/b] and you consider yourself to be an athlete, then you should be sure to maintain a 400m that's under 60 - 65 seconds.

Martin Schap 04-17-2008 10:14 AM

Re: 400m time guidelines
I don't think putting 2 minutes as untrained is unfair. It's just a category. If you don't like being in that category work hard and move up. Plenty of people who have not trained in a long time could run an 8 minute mile. When I was injured and hadn't run (or done virtually anything else) in several months I gutted out a 10-something 1.5 miles, which was something like a 7 minute mile. According to my training habits at the time I was untrained, but according to the standards in this thread I would have fallen into beginner or something. Taking it one step further, I was the fastest candidate out of the pool, so maybe I was elite? It's all just words. Keep improving.

Arturo Garcia 04-17-2008 10:53 AM

Re: 400m time guidelines
I have never been on a track. I have, however, tried "sprinting" a couple of times recently, and my goodness, I'm spent after a distance that doesn't seem to be much more than 100 meters, if that. It takes me like 17 seconds.. I'm slow too. I honestly doubt I can keep up a "high" speed (high for me, not compared to others) for 400 meters, probably not even 200 meters... I have a new respect to those who can do 400 meters so fast. I need to start practising longer runs, but still in a range where I can maintain a "high" speed. I hate jogging. :)

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