Friday, February 20, 2009

One Path to Huge Aerobic Fitness

The eminent Hodgie-san recently posted this gem on a message board:
The information below was taken from the Henderson book "How They Train: Road Racers" published in 1970.
From Joe Henderson's book published by T&FN 1970. 
Ambrose Joel Burfoot. 6'0'', 140 lbs. Born Aug. 19, 1946. Began racing at age 17. "Serious competition will probably cease for me before jogging does. I believe I will continue running or a very long time." Self coached influenced by John Kelly. 

Best Times: 440 yds-57.9; 880yds.-202.5; mile-4:19; 2mile-8:45.6; 3miles-13:44.8; 6miles-29:26; Marathon-2:14:28.8 Favorite race, marathon. 

Training: (1968 season) twice a day (6:30 a.m., 3p.m.) 7 days a week 12 months a year. About 115 miles per week. longest ever training run: 38 miles. 

Description: "Under ideal conditions of good health, sufficient time (both for necessary training and the even more ecessary relaxation) and proper motivation, I would train as follows: 
Mon.-Sat. 10miles a.m. 15miles p.m.; Sun. 25 miles. 

I accomplished this schedule during the first two weks of February 1968. All running was at approximately 7:00 pace. Without any speedwork at all, I then went onto the track (indoors) and ran 8:45, which is still far nd away my most startling running performance. I ran with an ease which absolutely amazed me. I then began thinking about more track meets and adding a little speed, and got slower every week. By mid March I was a consistent 9:02 2 miler. 

I spent the fall of 68 training 5 or 6 times per week. My weekday runs were 15 milers, while on the weekend I got out for longer runs including a 38 and a 36. I averaged 85 over this period and only topped 100 once. Yet, I felt very good and began doing "Oslerian pickups" (gradual accelerations). On my 15 I would run easily for 2 miles, do 7x800m pickups in the next 10-11 miles, and then do hard, short pickups for the last two miles. (This is the training that led to his 2:14 race in Japan which was within 1 sec. of the then AR. held by B. Edelen.

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