Why I Switched to the 400 meter Hurdles

Today's blog post is looong overdue, it's a topic I have been wanting to write about since before my official 2016/17 track season started. Long story short I have been in a creative/motivational slump for the past few months. As you imagine my desire to write has been quite low, but now I am back and consciously making the effort to create... so here we are.

This season I decided to challenge myself by switching my main event from the 100 meter hurdles to the 400 meter hurdles *GASP*. I know, I know - What was I thinking ?! Truth be told I have been wanting to give the 400mh a fair chance since my 2nd year in college.

Amber Rosario in the 300m hurdles in High School

Amber Rosario in the 300m hurdles in High School

In high school, like most hurdlers, I did the 300 meter hurdles and was pretty good at them, but due to a multitude of reasons I always felt that I never met my full potential in that event. Similarly, throughout my college career I ran the 400mh here and there but never actually trained for them properly. So, once again I felt that I had so much more potential in the long (distance) hurdles than I ever reached. After a while of asking my coach to train me seriously in this event, this 2016/17 season is the 1st season where the long hurdles became my primary event.

Now, going into this season I knew that this was going to be a challenge for me. The 400 meter hurdles is known as one of the hardest events in track and field, some even argue it is the hardest. This argument happens for a good reason. The 400mh are not only extremely taxing physically on the body, but mentally they can be quite cruel and that is where I struggle the most.

Frankly, I have struggled with the long hurdles since high school. Someone with my body type, 400 meter capabilities and hurdle technique should hypothetically have run 43 seconds in 300mh and 60 secs/well below in the 400 meter hurdles. However, I have had the mental hang ups of someone who is not at all confident in the event.

This is the reason I decided I wanted to give the event a fair try. I decided I wanted the challenge of tackling this gnarly event because I wanted to push myself to overcome the mental hurdle that this event has been for me. I knew I needed a consistent season of training in this event to become comfortable with them to run my best, so here I am. 

Amber Rosario 400m hurdles, Lane 7 @ Claremont-Mudd Scripps

Amber Rosario 400m hurdles, Lane 7 @ Claremont-Mudd Scripps

I'm about five 400m hurdle races into the season and boyyyyyy has it been tough. It has mentally been one of the roughest seasons for me, I've been running embarrassing times, stuttering to the hurdles, and stifling my stride. It has been hard.  I found that I really had to reassess my approach to the race. I wrote a Facebook post kind of discussing my feelings this season so I won't drag it on here. But, Although it has been surprisingly hard, I am slowly but surely getting the hang of the event.

So there you have it, the reason why I made the switch to the 400 meter hurdles. Now, I can't say just yet if I will be running the 400mh for the rest of my career or even the whole season but I know I will run them until I feel I have the complete hang of them. My ultimate goal is to dip under 60 seconds in the event, a goal that I know for a fact I can achieve.

I will try my best for the rest of the season to keep you all updated on how it's going, but until then follow my Facebook page where I share more frequently on there.

Amber Rosario after UCSD meet 4/22/17      Facebook.com/ambivurt

Amber Rosario after UCSD meet 4/22/17



Most recent race: Amber Rosario 400m hurdles
 on 4/22/17 @ UCSD Final Result: 1:04.68