A quick thank-you is owed to Runner’s Tribe for the opportunity to talk about myself, which is something I try not to make a habit of. Hopefully some perspective into my routine and training proves interesting.

I’m based in North East Melbourne and lucky to be surrounded by trails – including Yarra Flats and Westerfolds Park on the one side; and Warrandyte and the Yarra Valley on the other. Since 2014 I have been fortunate enough to have Rod Griffin guide my training. With Rod in Ballarat and me in Melbourne, this is generally by correspondence and we debrief regularly. In the last year, I have also enjoyed training with many members of Philo Saunders’ RunCanberra group, including Jaryd Clifford who is about to tear it up in Finland at World Juniors. The considerable cross-over in our programs has been fantastic, and the opportunity to jump on the back of the train for sessions long and short has helped push me well beyond what I thought was possible.

My training is predominantly aerobic as I target events 1500m up. In the past I have run up to 150km a week; however, we have found that mileage in the 115km-135km range allows me to recover much more effectively from the higher intensity work, and for the time being, my Sunday long run is back at 90-95minutes. With this moderate approach I have still enjoyed a bit of success over the longer events, running a 30.32 road personal best at the recent Southern Cross University 10km on the Gold Coast.

A particular focus this year has been on increasing my speed. Hard strides and decent 200s year-round, at the end of easy runs and sessions have ensured that instead of using the first few sessions to get back up to speed, by the time specific 1500m work rolls around, I’m ready to go. I hope this stands me in good stead to run a 1500m pb this coming domestic track season.

Also noteworthy is a recent trip to Flagstaff in Arizona, USA, in May-June 2018. Having previously done stints at Falls Creek (1600m) and a brief trip to Perisher (1800m) last year, this was my first experience of living and training at 2100-2200m – which was both a lot of fun and bloody hard. In the aftermath of a few injuries in 2017, being able to work-in with and sit off a group of guys such as Matthew Clarke, Michael Roeger, Jaryd Clifford, Philo Saunders, and Brad Milosevic exposed me to a new level of fitness, and has provided a sound platform of aerobic fitness for the 2018 Australian road season.

As always I appreciate the assistance of Mizuno Running Australia, which has helped me out for a few years now, as well as Andrew Wynd and the team at Balwyn Sports and Physiotherapy who keep me in one piece?

4 Key Sessions:

1) 2x(8-12min threshold, 4×150-300m hills).

This is a regular Saturday morning session I do throughout the base period, as well as an aerobic top-up session in the midst of a track season. It’s a pretty standard mix of work. I run the first threshold somewhere in the range of 3.10-15 min/km pace, and the second to threshold HR, which for me is around 170-75BPM and I don’t worry about the pace. In winter, I’ll run the hills fairly steady while during track season I prioritise the speed of the hills. Depending on its exact make-up, this session usually takes between 30 and 45 minutes.

2) 2k, 1 mile, 1200, 800, 400 with one lap jog recoveries.

I completed this session 10 days out from my 3000m pb, as well as in preparation for the USA this year. It combines a good amount of aerobic volume with specific pace work at below and above race pace. In its most recent rendition I split 5.57, 4.37, 3.22, 2.10, 58.

3) 2x(400, 3min, 400, 5min), 2x(300, 3min, 300, 5min), 6×200 on a 2min cycle.

I ran this session recently in Flagstaff at the NAU track which sits at 2100m – making recovery not a lot of fun. Philo placed it 10 days before a race, making it a good example of a 1500m peaking session that is A) specifically hard and B) long enough before a race to enable full adaptation. The pace was to alternate between 60-61 seconds on each first rep of each set and 4-5 seconds quicker on each second rep for the 400s, with the same cutdown for the 300s. The 200s at the end of the session were rhythm work, run off reasonable recovery, and working on lactate clearance. I split 60.7, 55.4, 61.7, 56.4, 45.8, 42.9, 46.6, 42.4 with the 200s starting at 32 and working down to 29. I had a good view of the boys rolling 53-54s on this one.

4) Fartlek.

While I’ll often do thresholds of 4-8km, or 10 and 5min reps, in the last year we have been using more fartleks, of 16-30minutes with short float recoveries. Variants on this theme include longer fartleks such as 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1min with half of the previous rep float recovery. Shorter fartleks such as 8x70sec on/50 sec float (“Quarters”), and 1x2min, 4x1min, 4x30sec with equal float recovery also have their place and when I can click over 5km in one of these, I know I’m in solid aerobic shape.

Thanks again to Runner’s Tribe for this opportunity. Thanks for reading, and wishing everyone happy and healthy training in 2018.