“what is 7X400 mean?”

Posted: 06/02/2011 in Running, Worth Checking Out

My friend, and fellow runner, Shasta was looking at yesterday’s post and asked about a strange workout that I had posted for yesterday “7 x 400.”

When it comes to running, I often just strap on the shoes listen to music and go in one direction for a really long time and then turn around. This habit might lead to comments about me being easily entertained, but it is easiest and most straightforward way to train. The benefits are huge and it is an awesome way to get into the sport.

As you keep going there are a couple of things that you can do to add variety and improve your running. The easiest to explain would be…


 Interval workouts are made up of a set of short, faster paced runs over fixed distances from 200 meters to one mile, interspersed with periods of light recovery jogging.  Most of my runs are on a path, but these work far better on a high-school track.

There are a ton of different interval workouts, but they usually fall within three different categories:  

  1. Repeats– the distance of the repeating running segment does not change. The 7 x 400 is an example of this.
  2. Pyramids– the distance of the repeating running segments peaks and then returns to the beginning distance (200 meters, jog, 400 meters, jog, 800 meters, jog, 400 meters, jog, 200 meters)
  3. Ladders – the distance of the repeating running segments either steadily increases or decreases. This is like doing half of a pyramid (200, 400, 800)

 Regardless of the type of interval training workout you do, they are really effective in helping improve speed on distances.

 Some final interval training tips:

  • Make your life easy, no need for fancy equipment, Interval workouts are typically run on a track due to the ease of running predefined distances.
  • How fast should you run? Use a pace calculator to figure out how fast you need to run for your goal time.
  • Remember to do a recovery jog following your repeats. The distance should be half of your interval distance or more depending on whether you are a beginner or have some interval training experience. Don’t hurt yourself, and remember to drink lots of water.

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