Appendix from Charlie's Spedding's book - From Last to First

1984 training log from May 13th (won London Marathon in 2:09:57)
to August 12th (3rd at Olympic Marathon in 2:09:58)

APPENDIX 

The following is an exact copy of my training diary from the London marathon to the Olympic marathon. After each week I have added comments to explain my reasoning.

May 13th

Mon 14th
Tues 15th
Wed 16th
Thur 17th
Frid 18th
Sat 19th
Sun 20th
London Marathon    1st in 2:09:57

too stiff to run
rest
4 miles easy run
5 Miles steady run
5 Miles steady run
6 Miles steady run
10 miles in 65 minutes

I ran only thirty miles this week because I was mentally drained and my legs were very sore. Steady running for me was about 6 minutes per mile, and an easy run was 7 minutes per mile or slower.

Mon 21st
Tues 22nd
Wed 23rd
Thur 24th
Fri 25th

Sat 26th
Sun 27th
7 miles steady run
9 miles steady run
7 miles steady run
5 miles steady run
am. 5 miles steady
pm. 6 miles easy
7 miles including 12x100 yard strides with 100 jog, to stretch legs
10 miles steady

 I was in no hurry to rush back into training and only felt fully recovered after 56 miles of steady running. The real benefit of taking two weeks to recover was clear in how eager I felt to start training again.

Mon 28th
Tues 29th


Wed 30th

Thur 31st
Fri 1st June

Sat 2nd
Sun 3rd
15 miles in 90 minutes
am. 7 miles steady
pm. Track - 6x1000m (with 2m 30s jog)
2 min 57 sec, 2:57, 2:55, 2:55, 2:52, 2:52
am. 8 miles steady run
pm 5 miles steady
15 miles in 90 minutes
am. 7 mils steady
pm. 5 miles steady
Race - Northern 5,000 metres, 11th in 14:30
15 miles easy - felt tired

 I wasn't sure how I would go in my first track session, so I ran the first two kilometre reps conservatively. I ran the next pair a little quicker, and because I felt good, I ran the last two quicker still. I didn't want to start too fast and be forced to slow down, because that is bad for self confidence. The race was a poor performance, but a decent training session. I increased my miles for the week to 91.

Mon 4th

Tues 5th

Wed 6th

Thur 7th
Fri 8th

Sat 9th

Sun 10th
am. 7 miles steady
pm. 5 miles steady
am. 7 miles steady
pm. Track - 10 x 400m (90 sec jog) at 64.2 sec
am. 7 miles steady
pm. 7 miles steady
15 miles in 89 mins
am. 7 miles steady
pm. 5 miles steady
am. 5 miles steady
pm. Race - Blaydon Races - 3rd to Kevin Forster in 25.50 (5.6 miles)
20 miles steady

 This week shows the typical structure of my marathon training. Two long runs: a 20 miler feeling comfortable to build endurance, and a 15 mile run at a brisk pace without straining. Two speed sessions: a track session of 400 metre reps may seem short for a marathon runner, but I needed to work on speed all the time. Even a marathon is a race won by the fastest runner. The other speed session could be another track session or a race or a hill session. Monday, Wednesday and Friday were always steady running to recover from the faster work. My volume of running was up to 101 miles for the week.

Mon 11th

Tues 12th

Wed 13th

Thur 14th
Fri 16th

Sat 16th

Sun 17th
am. 6 miles steady
pm. 8 miles steady
am. 7 miles steady
pm. Track - 16 x 200m (200m jog) at 31.4 sec
am. 7 miles steady
pm. 7 miles steady
15 miles in 86 mins
am. 5 miles steady
pm. 7 miles steady
am. Track - 5 x 1600m in 4 min 40 sec with 400m float in 90 sec.
pm. 4 miles easy
20 miles steady

 The Saturday track session was one of my benchmarks. It was basically 10,000 meters of continuous running made up of four laps in 70 seconds, then a lap in 90 seconds, with the whole sequence repeated 5 times. It adds up to 31 minutes for 10K. There are no rest periods during a marathon, and this session trained me to recover from mile efforts while running at six minute per mile pace. 103 miles for the week.

Mon 18th

Tues 19th



Wed 20th

Thur 21st
Fri 22nd

Sat 23rd

Sun 24th
am. 9 miles steady
pm. 5 miles steady
am. 5 miles steady
pm. Track - 3 x 800m in 2 min 9.5 sec (2 min rec.) I was supposed to run 6 x 800 but my calves were getting a little tight so I changed the rest of it to 2 x 400m in 64 and 5 x 100m strides
am. 8 miles steady
pm. 7 miles steady
15 miles in 91 mins
am. 6 miles steady
pm. drove 4 hours to London
am. 2 miles easy
pm. AAA 10,000m. Dropped out 5K (14:35); ran 5 miles in the evening
15 miles steady - drove 4 hours home

This was a bad week. My calf muscles were tight from the build-up in my training. I ran the AAA 10K because I was defending champion, but I wasn't in shape to run a track race at that level, and I wasn't motivated enough either. It was a mistake to run the race, but I knew my mind was on Los Angeles, and I wasn't too worried. 89 miles for the week.

Mon 25th

Tues 26th


Wed 27th

Thur 28th
Frid 29th

Sat 30th

Sun 1st July
am. 6 miles steady
pm. 9 miles steady
am. 6 miles steady
pm. Track - 5 miles on the road in 25 minutes, then 800, 1000, 800, 1000, 800 (all with 2 mins rec.) in 2:18, 2:51, 2:18, 2:52, 2:16
am. 6 miles steady
pm. 8 miles steady
20 miles steady
am. 7 miles steady
Flew to Boston for heat acclimatisation
am. 9 miles steady
pm. 6 miles with 20 mins of 15 sec stride/15 jog
15 miles steady (75 F and 80% humidity)

The track session was designed to work on pace, with the tiredness of 5 miles fast running in my legs. I swapped the 20 miler to Thursday because I was travekking the next day. Saturday's session was done with a running watch. Every time the watch hit a minute or 30 seconds I strode hard for 15 seconds, leaving me 15 seconds to recover before I went again. This gave me a high heart rate for 20 minutes and worked on my speed. I couldn't do both things for twenty minutes using the long repetitions of marathon training.
Spending the last 6 weeks in the heat and humidity of Boston was essential if I was going to cope with the weather in Los Angeles. 102 miles for the week.

Mon 2nd

Tues 3rd

Wed 4th

Thurs 5th
Fri 6th


Sat 7th

Sun 8th

am. 6 miles steady - hamstring pulling
pm. rest and treatment
am. flew to Atlanta
pm. 7 miles steady - leg ok
8 am. Peachtree 10K road race - 11th in 29:30
pm. 5 miles easy then flew to Boston
16 miles steady (85 F and 85% humidity)
am. 6 miles steady
pm. 2 miles easy, 1 mile hard effort, 1 mile steady, 10 x 600m Pump House hill, 2 miles easy
am. 6 miles easy
pm. 9 miles - felt good
21 miles interval session on the road. Timed efforts of these minutes 5, 1, 2, 4, 1, 2, 5, 1, 2, 4, 1, 2, 5 mins steady running between; 10 mins steady at start and finish, no jogging at any stage. Very tiring. I had to lie down for 2 hous afterwards.

This was a big week, despite covering only 92 miles. A 10k race, and a tough hill session set me up for the hardest session I ever ran. Sunday's session was the perfect session to prepare me to race the marathon rather than to run it. Using a continuous watch I ran steady for 10 minutes, ran hard for 5 minutes, then steady for 5 minutes. The next effort was 1 minute, then 2 minutes, then 4 minutes, with 5 minutes steady in between every effort. I repeated the sequence except the third effort was 5 minutes instead of four. I repeated both sequences again. This session teaches total concentration, pace judgement, and the essential ability to surge and surge again on demand as you get more tired. I used different periods of effort so i could go with someone else's surge in a race, when I didn't know how long the surge was going to last. This is not a session to get you fit, you have to be fit to contemplate it. It is the session, which I believe, changed me from a marathon runner to a marathon racer.

Mon 9th

Tues 10th

Wed 11th


Thur 12th
Fri 13th

Sat 14th

Sun 15th
am. 6 miles easy
pm. 10 miles easy
am. 6 miles steady
pm. 8 miles steady
am. 6 miles steady
pm. Track - 2 x (2 x 800, 1 x 1600), 2 x 800 all with 2 min 30 jog 2:15, 2:14, 4:29, 2:13, 2:15, 4:28, 2:15, 2:11
15 miles in 88 mins
am. 5 miles steady
pm. 7 miles steady
4.8 mile road race 1st in 22:49
pm. 8 miles steady
20 miles steady (85 F, 85% humidity)

I needed two days of steady running before I felt recovered from last Sunday. The significant part of the track session was trying to run the miles at the same pace as I ran the half miles. It was nice to win a road race. 107 miles for the week.

Mon 16th

Tues 17th



Wed 18th
Thur 19th

Fri 20th

Sat 21st

Sun 22nd
am. 6 miles steady
pm. 8 miles steady
am. 6 miles steady
pm. Track - 600 in 93.3, 45 sec jog, 1200 in 3:34, 100 sec jog, 4 x 200 in 30 with 20 sec turn around, 45 sec jog, 1600 in 4:50, 2 min jog, 800 in 2:05.9 (sprint and coast alternate 50m), 45 sec jog, 1600 in 4:48
15 miles in 90 mins - tired.
am. 7 miles steady
pm. 8 miles easy
am. 7 miles steady
pm. Track - 2 sets of 8 x 200 with 20 sec jog, av 30 sec.
am. 6 miles steady
pm. 7 miles steady
Race 8 miles: 3rd in 39:22. Felt flat.

Tuesday's track session looks complicated, but it was all about running something fast and recovering at slightly quicker than marathon pace. Friday's session is one I used to do as a 5,000 meter runner, and fast reps with short recoveries have always helped me to peak. The marathon was getting close and I wanted to be as sharp as possible. I ran poorly in the race because i couldn't commit myself fully. My sub-conscious was saving everything for the one that mattered, and I knew from past experience that deep in my mind I was still a caterpillar waiting for the right day to transform. 98 miles for the week.

Mon 23rd

Tues 24th
Wed 25th

Thur 26th

Fri 27th

Sat 28th
Sun 29th
am. 6 miles steady
pm. 7 miles steady
28 miles in 2:55 (85F and humid - lost 9 lbs in fluid) felt strong
am. 6 miles steady
pm. 7 miles steady
7 miles steady
7 miles steady
am. 5 miles steady
pm. Track - 10 x 400 with 90 sec jog, av 62 sec
8 miles easy
18 miles interval session in 1:43. timed efforts of (mins) 4,1,2,4,1,2,4,1,2,4,1,2 all with 5 mins steady between, 10 min steady start and finish.

I think it is important to run further than the marathon on one occasion about three weeks prior. I gave myself two days of steady running to recover before doing another speed track session. I finished my intense training with another interval session, but reduced it slightly because I knew I was in good shape and didn't want to over train. 104 miles for the week.

Mon 30th

Tues 31st

Wed 1st Aug

Thur 2nd

Fri 3rd
Sat 4th

Sun 5th
am. 6 miles steady
pm. 6 miles steady
am. 9 miles steady
pm. 5 miles steady
am. 6 miles steady
pm. Track - 6 x 800 in 2:10 with 2:30 jog in 91F, 85% hum.
am. 5 miles steady
pm. 5 miles steady
15 miles in 96 mins (85F) felt good
am. 5 miles easy
pm. 5 miles steady
Race - 5 miles 1st in 24:09 Felt strong

I reduced the mileage to 84. I felt sharp in my track session, and very fluent when winning a 5 mile race. I was getting nervous, but knew I had trained well.

Mon 6th
Tues 7th
Wed 8th

Thur 9th
Fri 10th
Sat 11th
Sun 12th
am. 9 miles    Flew Boston to Los Angeles
6 miles steady
am. 6 miles steady
pm. Track - 5 x 400 with lap jog av 60.9
5 miles steady
5 miles steady
rest
Olympic Marathon - 3rd in 2:09:58

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