Anyone use his training plan with good results?
It's pretty standard among Australian distance runners.
Pretty much every Aussie distance runner of the 80s and 90s.
Deek 2.07, Moneghetti 2.08, Pat Carroll 2.09, Creighton 27.34, 13.19, 8.16sc, Darren Wilson 27.37, 60.02. Simon Doyle 3.31. Nick Harrison 2.10. Andrew Letherby 2.11. Kerryn McCann 2.26. Lee Troop 13.14, 2.09. Julian Paynter 13.24, Chris Wardlaw 2.11 etc etc.
It's a simple approach devised by coaching legend Pat Clohessy and built on by distance guru Chris Wardlaw.
The theory is that the weekly structure stays much the same year round. The variations from build up to peaking are more subtle than in many programs.
The emphasis is on consistancy rather than dramatic variations in workload.
For a slow jogger like myself it worked well. I went from 35mins to 33mins for 10k. Many of the ave guys did very well on the program. I saw a few solid club runners work their way to sub 2.20 marathons on this sort of program.
Thank's for the information. Sounds good to me. I'll give it a go.
A typical week in the program.
Mon -am. 8km easy.
pm. 16kms easy.
Tue -am. 8kms easy.
pm. A fast 15min run and a 15min fast hill circuit.
Wed -am. 8kms easy.
pm. 25kms steady.
Thu -am. 8kms easy.
pm. 8x400m fast with brisk 200m float between.
Fri -am. 8kms easy or rest.
pm. 12-16kms easy.
Sat - Race day.
Sun -am. 35kms in the hills/forests easy but working the hills.
pm. 8kms easy.
Obviously the actual volume you do will depend on lifestyle,ambition and how sound your body is.
Maintain high volume year round. In the build phase you keep up the regular quality work but just don't push it so hard. Long runs and volume is the key to the program. Wardlaw always said you first have to be fit enough to train. From there it will take at least 4 years of consistant work to reap maximum benefits. It's not a quick fix program.
It had its beginnings when Pat Clohessy was coaching at Xavier College (secondary boys school). He coached deCastella there. Clohessy thought that Lydiard's training wouldn't maintain a boy's interest in the sport so he added in variety. Then he stuck with the approach when he coached mature athletes. Personally, I prefer Lydiard.
Do u know what sort of training Doyle did - was it similar to the complex approach?
Doyle was coached by Clohessy. As far as I understand (he lived interstate from me) he used a similar program to othe Clo athletes. I believe a 20k mid week and usually a 25k sunday long run and less overall kms than the longer guys -maybe 120-140kms per week. I know at one stage he was doing a session of long forest surges 5x5mins or so with Shaun Creighton. Obviously as 1.45/3.31 man he emphasised faster track work than Deek.
One thing to remember is this was still cyclical it is just that the adjustments are less severe than in some programs. So those 5x5min forest surges would probably become a more structured session leading into key events. I know Doyle also did sessions of short hill sprints. Again these probably morphed into short fast track reps towards the key events.
None of this is a great deal different to the training Mottram, Bermingham and Johnson have used in recent years.
Running isn't rocket science. Do a lot of it for a long time and stay healthy and you'll be 99% of the way there.
Wardlaw ...he once used the metaphor of tearing a phone book in half. It's pretty easy with only a few pages(miles) ..but keep piling on the pages (miles and miles) and it indeed becomes quite tough to rip in half. He relates this not only to the buildup of aerobic conditioning , but also to general musculoskeletal strength that is developed as a necessary precursor to the higher intensity/injury risk periods. The training includes always a lot of fartlek , hills and speed within the runs ..so it is never too far away from a brief peak. This sh#@ works and most Americans now are seeing the results of going back to the old tried and trued.
I think the system works particularly well for runners with real work responsibilities . ... Wardlaw could name at least 50-60 runners from around his club alone that could run 29 something 10km or better off of this training.
Yeah, the group of 28-30 min 10k guys running around the Dandenongs on sunday mornings in the 80s was huge. I remember one morning looking around the 20 or so guys I was running with and realised I was the only non sub 2.20 mar /30m 10k guy there. I quietly slid back to the bunch behind being led by a 3.55 miler!!
Up until the last year or two the depth in Australia had dropped dramatically. Wardlaw was in Hong Kong, Clo's somewhere up in Qld. Just no one out there getting a huge bunch of guys doing the solid tried and tested stuff.
I should mention that 52yo Deek currently runs about 40kms per week and is now a muscular 90kgs (200lb). He is a serious karate man these days.
Anyone know where I can find some comprehensive literature on the complex system, either on the web or in a book?
Google Glenhuntly Athletics.
There are two 'Rab' Wardlaw training plans
on that site.
That is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. Thank you HRE.
Great stuff. keep it coming.
I read that Deek in between his hill repeats on tuesdays and track sessions on thursdays he ran his medium long run of 18 miles on the flats. That's not including his 2nd run of the day. How long does it take to get used to running a track workout the day after a medium long run? I've never tried a hard workout after running a longish run.
Since this is something new, I plan to make my medium long run about 13 miles to start off with and maybe only start of with 4x400m/w200r jog float instead of the full 8x400 that Deek ran for my thursday workout.
My mate Sean Williams has been putting a good group together in Sydney for the last 5 years including Ben St Lawrence, Tim Rowe, Lara Tamsett, and some good youngters such as Harry Summers.
Elsewhere in Sydney Ken Green has a group including Jeremy Roff and Jeff Hunt. Jamie Harrison coaches in the Western Suburbs and I think Lloydy is coaching a squad in Sutherland.
Although I would agree with you about there not being as much depth as there was in the 80s, there are signs that things are heading in the right direction.
It would be interesting to see the all time Aussie rankings in order to see where today's guys fit in.
Yeah things are looking up. I remember a Ken Green running in the pack at Ferny Creek back in the day, I imagine it's the same guy. Sean Williams program looks pretty much like the sort of stuff Rab and Clo were doing.