400m for u15boys….Its been several years now since NGB says its far too far for young lads to run, and 300m is a touch easier for these fragile lambs.
Has there been any evidence that delaying running 400m for 2 years benefits development when reaching u17yr ?
If not should this NGB directive be change back and return to what has produced the likes of Roger Black and his mates ?
(ps. I have trouble even walking 400m these days ).
Roger Black didn’t run a serious 400m until he was 18. I think his main sport was rugby and he only really did schools athletics until then. Of the fastest British 400m men, I think only Derek Redmond ran the event regularly as an under 15. Like Black, Iwan Thomas didn’t really take up the sport until he was in his late teens (from BMX where I think races are of a fairly similar duration to a 400m).
As I understand it, the thinking is not so much that racing 400m is too tough for under 15s, but that it is not a good way of developing adult 400m runners. I think this may well be true, but as so few highly ranked under 15 boys in any event become top seniors I am not sure whether it will make a big difference in terms of producing quality seniors. I think many of the top senior 400m runners who were actually club athletes at under 15 were doing other events e.g. 100/200m, 800m, perhaps hurdles or jumps.
I think it is still too early to tell if it has made much of a difference at Under 17 (sample size of years is probably too small), Under 20 and certainly senior level yet.
Of course, under 15s can still do 400s at open meetings or if they are in a competition where you can compete as an under 17.