Thursday, 7 May 2009

Marathon Training Pushing The Limits

It is possible to get a clue to the type of training needed to maximise an athletes potential by
comparing the training regimes of the three great Australian marathon runners Derek Clayton, Robert De Castella and Steve Moneghetti because they were of similar basic speed, around 54-56 seconds for 400m, and trained almost identically in terms of annual volume. Derek Clayton differed from the other two in that he ran consistently at what has been described as ‘nerve shatteringly fast’ speeds. He rarely ran hills and did virtually no interval or repetition running. De Castella and Moneghetti however trained almost identically except for Tuesday. De Castella was more inclined to do a threshold workout involving a longer fast run or long hill repeats while Moneghetti used a shorter fast MVO2 fartlek session. So while Clayton regularly ran long and fast, De Castella added at one high quality threshold session to his week but none of Moneghetti’s fast workouts exceed 20 to 22 minutes.
These are important differences because, despite having inferior times to Moneghetti over every distance from 3k to 21.1k, De Castella was the superior marathon runner in terms of time and results. When one considers that De Castella was able to run 2:07:50 for the marathon off a 10k of 28:04 and a half marathon of around 1:02 hr it suggest that Moneghetti’s 10k of 27:48 and a 21.1k time of 1:00:06hr should have formed the basis of a sub 2:06:30 hr marathon, yet his current PR is 2:08:16. Seen in these terms Clayton’s strength was even more amazing because he managed to run 2:08:34 hr off a PR of 28:45 MORE
Thur 7th
sandhill run = 1.15
Fri 8
Run/walk with
niz on the nature trail
sandhills, atrocious weather very strong winds and heavy rain!
tried sprinting each
sandhill and cruising the flats = 1.30
The weather cleared up to leave a lovely sunny wind free evening, cycled with Carole, Clive, Brian and
Niz, went on one of Andy and Magots routes, out along the coastal path cycle route to Woodvale traffic lights, then straight across onto Rosemary lane for a mile before turning onto the Cheshire lines cycle path [ disused railway line] we then headed for the SHIP INN we had a couple of re hydrating pints before returning home along the canal tow path, FANTASTIC EVENING!
Sun 10th
sandhill 6 with Jon plus run down and back inc 8 x 120 m spints, max 14.1 mph = 1.14


Thomas said...

Actually, Deek once said that he could have run faster 10k times if he had trained for a 10k. But because he was always training for the marathon, 10k races were always just a sideline.

Ewen said...

Thanks Rick. Interesting reading. It certainly highlights the importance of volume for good marathon running, and not to neglect speed (especially at the highest level). I know I'd be a 70+ sec 400m runner now, but for me I think volume is the most important thing - even for 3 to 5k racing.


Yes Ewen volume is really important.
when I first started running I use to run 3 x per week, club intervals and speed session tue and wed and long run sunday on the other days i cycled esy... my speed got real good but i had poor races, i replaced the cycling with easy runs and i quickly improved my 10k time from 38 mins down to 35.15.
session 2
in the autumn of 97 i followed lydiards oringinal base training, i did 10 hours per week, inc 1 fartleck run, a leg speed session and a long hill run, i raced every two weeks had had some fantastic races , setting a p.b. in one very hilly 8.5 mile race and averaging over 10 mph!
infact when i started on the anaerobic training my races went backwards!

Mike said...

Hey Rick - In regards to your comment on my blog concerning the M40-44 WRs - I believe the data you have is old.

The M40-44 400m record is 47.82
The M40-44 800m record is 1:48.8
The M40-44 1500m record is 3:44

You can find all the records for all age groups here:

The Mile records don't seem to be on this site however. My favorites there are Coughlan's indoor 40-44 record of 3:58, and the 65-69 record of 5:11.4!!


cheers mike, i got my record times from the link on 'young legs for old runners'
cheers RICK

by7 said...

DeCastella and Moneghetti all shared the same coach (Chris Wardlaw).
Chris (whom I had the pleasure to personally know and race with during his recent years in HK) has exposed his training philosophy in many papers and there is a great trainig plan available on the web.
He is now coach to Mottram
His enphasis was on volume, consistency and long intervals


Thanks for that info by7 I'll look up Chris Wardlaw.
cheers Rick

by7 said...

personally I love the programs in the book of Brad Hudson (Run faster from 5k to marathon).
They look very sensible and well cut for our level