Russ Dessaix-Chin

Tom Fawthorpe RT Journal | The Workout Series

My training is mainly based around the old saying of quality over quantity. The main reason behind this is due to injuries I have suffered in the past. When I was a bit younger I didn’t really listen to my body and ended up paying the price with numerous stress fractures. I was so obsessed with trying to run 100km per week because that’s what everyone else was doing.

Now that I’m a little bit older and wiser, I understand my body and the amount of training it can handle. Instead of doing extra Km’s a week, I now put a bigger emphasis on my strength and conditioning by doing 2-3 gym sessions. I have been doing this for the past 3 years and have noticed big improvements in my running. I also understand now that it doesn’t hurt to miss a day if I’ve got a niggle and that consistency is a big key to running well.

I am currently based in Melbourne training in the outer eastern suburbs. My training week is slightly a bit different to most groups with my main sessions being on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday rather than Tuesday and Thursday like most groups. I have had this training routine since I first joined with my coach John at the age of 13 and it has worked for many years.

My 3 Top Workouts

Abbey Walk Hills

I generally do this session on a Saturday morning. It is my hill session which I’ve done now for the last few years. A rep of this hill is roughly 850m long. It starts off flat for the first 100m and then a right turn into a gradual hill which is around 300m long. The rest of the rep is very undulating with some sharp little hills that sting you pretty quickly. I will generally do 5 reps of this circuit and normally average around 2.36-2.38 per rep, with my last rep normally being slightly quicker. The recovery is a 400m jog back down to the start. This is our go to session if I need to get into shape quickly. When I nail this session it gives me a lot of confidence as my next couple of races I always end up racing pretty well. It’s a great session before a 3km and 1500m because it works you aerobically, but builds up lactic in the legs like a 1500m race would so it’s a good combination.


6x3min with 1 minute recovery

This is probably the hardest session I do and that’s why I enjoy it. No matter what shape I’m in I always find this session to be very tough. I enjoy the mental challenge this session provides as I always have to grind it out. I think I find this session hard because of the short 1 minute recovery between reps. We generally do this session at Lilydale Lake which is a fairly flat 2.5km gravel trail. Normally I will average just over 1km out for each rep.


1x1km, 2x500m, 4x200m, 8x100m

We do this session at 1500m race pace on the track. I really enjoy speed endurance sessions and this is easily my favourite session. I normally look to hit the 1km in 2.28-2.30 and the 500m in 70-72. The 200’s are normally a bit quicker than my 1500m pace depending on how I’m feeling. The 100’s at the end are normally flat out. Recoveries in this session are generally pretty lenient as there is a huge emphasis on getting in the quality of this session. This session always prepares me well for a 1500m as it gets my body use to the feel of running at race pace.


All the best with your training.