Saturday, 22 Jun 2024

400 Meter Run Test

The 400 meter run test is a challenging and widely used test that measures an athlete’s ability to run quickly over a short distance. It requires participants to give their maximum effort and complete 400 meters in the quickest possible time. This test has been particularly valuable in triathlon training, as it serves as a measure of kick speed.


The aim of the 400 meter run test is to assess an athlete’s speed and anaerobic capacity. By running at maximal effort for 400 meters, athletes can gauge their performance and identify areas for improvement.

Equipment Required

To conduct the test, you will need an oval or a 400m running track, a stopwatch, and recording sheets. These simple and affordable materials make it easy to administer the test to multiple participants simultaneously.

Test Procedure

To begin the test, all participants line up behind the starting line. Upon the command “ready, start,” the clock starts, and the runners begin their sprint. They must complete the designated 400m route as quickly as possible, without stopping. The stopwatch is stopped when the participant crosses the 400m finish line.


The total time taken to complete the 400m run is recorded, rounding to the nearest second. This score provides an objective measure of an athlete’s performance in the test.

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Reliability and Limitations

The reliability of the 400 meter run test is influenced by factors such as practice, pacing strategies, and motivation levels. Athletes should familiarize themselves with the test and develop effective pacing strategies to maximize their performance. Additionally, motivation plays a significant role, as participants who are highly motivated tend to achieve better results. When these factors are addressed, the test can provide reliable and valuable data.

Advantages and Disadvantages

One of the main advantages of the 400 meter run test is that it allows for testing multiple participants simultaneously. Moreover, it is a cost-effective and straightforward test to administer. However, it is important to note that good pacing is crucial for optimal performance, and motivation levels can greatly influence test results.

Additional Notes

  • If a 400m running track is not available, an appropriate route over a 200m out and back course can be used, taking into account changes in wind.
  • It is common for participants to finish the test closely together. If limited assistants or stopwatches are available, consider separating participants into smaller groups.

The Test in Action

The 400 meter run test was featured as part of the eTID Talent Identification Testing Program for triathlon. This program utilizes various tests to identify promising talent in the realm of triathlon.

Similar Tests

  • 300m run: Measures the time taken to run 300m on a track, testing anaerobic capacity.
  • 45 Second Run: Assesses speed endurance by measuring the maximum distance covered in 45 seconds.
  • 800m Run Test: Measures the time taken to run 800m.
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Related Pages

  • Other Anaerobic Capacity Tests
  • About the eTID Talent Identification Testing Program
  • ETID Fitness Testing for Triathlon


How does the 400 meter run test assess anaerobic capacity?

The 400 meter run test primarily evaluates an athlete’s anaerobic capacity by measuring their ability to maintain a high-intensity effort over a short distance. It requires athletes to sprint 400 meters at maximal effort, challenging their aerobic energy systems.

Can the 400 meter run test be conducted on any type of track?

Ideally, the test should be conducted on a 400m running track. However, if a track of this length is not available, a 200m out and back course can be used, taking into account changes in wind to ensure accuracy.

Is good pacing important in the 400 meter run test?

Yes, pacing is crucial in the 400 meter run test. Proper pacing helps athletes maintain their speed throughout the entire distance, maximizing their performance. It requires strategic planning and control to achieve optimal results.


The 400 meter run test is a widely used assessment that measures an athlete’s ability to sprint over a short distance. By completing the test with maximal effort, athletes can gauge their speed and anaerobic capacity. The test requires minimal equipment and can be administered to multiple participants simultaneously. Good pacing and motivation are key factors influencing performance, and athletes should strive to optimize both. With its simplicity and effectiveness, the 400 meter run test is a valuable tool for assessing an athlete’s running capabilities.

To learn more about the 400 meter run test and other anaerobic capacity tests, visit our website for comprehensive information and resources. Challenge yourself and improve your running performance with this renowned test.

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