“No doubt a brain and some shoes are essential for marathon success, although if it comes down to a choice, pick the shoes. More people finish marathons with no brains than with no shoes.” Don Kardong – 4th in the 1976 Olympic Games marathon
“Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.” Tim Noakes – Author of the Lore of Running
“There’s not a better feeling than when you have found that moment of balance and harmony when both running and life come together. Then you know why you run and that you couldn’t live without it.” Joan Benoit – First ever winner of the Women’s Olympic marathon in LA, 1984. Former world record holder for the marathon
“The most powerful lesson you can learn in running? You’re capable of much more than you think.” Amby Burfoot – Boston marathon winner 1968. Author of The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life.
“Scientific testing can’t determine how the mind will tolerate pain in a race. Sometimes, I say, ‘Today I can die.'” Gelindo Bordin – Winner of the 1988 Olympic Games marathon and European Champion in 1986 and 1990
“As powerful as our legs are, as magnificent as our lungs and arms and muscles are, nothing matters more than the mind.” Scott Jurek – One of the worlds best ever Ultra Runners. Winner of the Spartahlon 153 mile race on three separate occasions (2006-2008).
“The idea that the harder you work, the better you’re going to be is just garbage. The greatest improvement is made by the man or woman who works most intelligently.” Bill Bowerman – Co-founder of Nike and coach to 31 Olympic athletes and 16 sub-4 minute milers. Coach to the great Steve Prefontaine.
I think I trained quite hard as a young lad, but no more than my contemporaries as far as I remember. I’m sure some trained even harder. So here is an extract from my diary aged 17. The Sunday before this I had finished 64th in the Mike Sully Cross Country race.
|Monday 5/11||3 mile steady run on hilly roads||5 mile steady run on flat roads. Played squash in the evening|
|Tuesday 6/11||5 mile fartlek on flat roads. 12 efforts||3 mile steady run over very hilly roads|
|Wednesday 7/11||3 mile steady run on hilly roads||5 mile hard run on flat roads|
|Thursday 8/11||3 mile hard run on flat roads||12 hill efforts on Dapps Hill. Plus 2 miles warm up and down|
|Friday 9/11||Rest||3 mile hard run over hilly roads|
|Saturday 10/11||10 mile steady run over hilly roads||Rest|
|Sunday 8/11||3 mile easy run||8 mile steady run over hilly roads|
Total mileage for the week was recorded as 55. I also recorded everything I ate and the estimated number or calories I consumed. All I can say is that I ate a lot of cake!
The following week I finished 3rd in the Bath and Wansdyke cross country championships and a few weeks later I finished 16th in the Gwent League cross country, which I noted was my best cross country run of the year so far.
I would like to see how this compares to the 17 year old runners of today.
“The Athlete defeats fear and conquers himself!” Franz Stampfl – The pioneer of interval training. He coached Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher and his methods influenced Roger Bannister and aided him to break the four minute mile.
“Top results are achieved only through pain. But eventually you like this pain.” Juha Vaatainen – 1971 European 5000m and 10,000m champion.