|The start is still important even though it's a 400 metres. For
me, being a 200- and 400-meter runner, it's important that I don't get in the
same aggressive mode as I am in a 200. So I want to get a good reaction but
then stay a lot smoother in the 400 - basically, get a good start and establish
a pace in the first 100 metres since this is the area where the pace of the
entire race is really going to be started. If I haven't run the first 100
metres fast enough, then I'm going to have to make up that time in the second
On the backstretch, the second 100 metres, I just basically
try to relax after the pace has been established and not really try to make any
moves. I try not to slow down or speed up or anything like that, but just relax
for that 100 metres after the pace has been established. Then, try to get a
good 200-meter split, somewhere around 21 seconds. Once I've reached 200 metres
it will look like I'm starting to run faster, and that's not actually the case.
I'm actually just starting to put out more energy and starting to put more
force into it, to try to maintain the pace that I've been running. It takes
more energy to do that at this point because now we are 200 or 250 metres into
the race, so that's why it's starting to look like I'm running faster.
The objective, strategy-wise, during the third 100 metres along the
curve is to establish myself as the leader of the race coming off the curve.
Once I've established the lead the objective is just to make sure that
everything (arms and legs) is going straight up and down, keeping my head
straight and not moving from side to side. I just focus on the finish line and
try to not do anything different, which is the difficult thing to do at this
point because the body is starting to fatigue and it wants to do what it wants
to do. I've got to work against it and kind of balance that with making sure
that everything is just going straight up and down.
The race itself is
certainly intellectual. You're always thinking about something every step of
the way. The 400 is hard to pace since nobody can go out and run 400 metres
full-speed from the gun. So there's a strategy and it's all based on pace and