Made a major advance in my sporting pursuits last night. I attended a small twilight athletics competition after training last night. Because it was a small meet, event choice was limited - 1500m, 400m and 2 miles.
I am a sprinter by nature, but have always struggled with the 400 metres, and to a lesser extent with the 200, so I didn't expect any miracles with the 400 and was doing it more as a training run and to participate in the program.
During my training session, I did a number of 400m runs with a break (usually a lap of walking) in between. The first run was like so many 400m runs of the past, a good strong start, fading around the 200 metre mark, but it was still around 80 seconds - among the faster ones I've done. I did several more 400m runs, but eased back a bit, as well as some run throughs on the main straight to keep warm.
So, race time comes, I got off to a good start, then eased back - 100m, 150m, 200m and I'm still feeling rather good. Hit the 300 metre mark, still feeling good, much to my surprise, so I decided to give it everything for the run home, and instead of running out of steam, I actually got faster, finishing strong.
The final time was 74.55 seconds, somewhat better than expected, but more significantly, with what happened, I feel I will improve on that dramatically, because it's as though I've unlocked an energy system that until now has been largely inaccessible (but most people have).
For the future, I will work on my 400 metre race more and see what I can do with this new found ability, and I will experiment with 800 and maybe 1500 metres to see what effect this has in the middle distance range, which has always been the most difficult for me. Another benchmark will be my 3km cross country runs, where my performance is now well studied, with a couple of recent PBs among them.