“When I ran 2.10 at Berlin in 1997, I wore brand new shorts & singlet. By 35km I started to suffer from a marathon ailment which is barely spoken or written about, namely the good old fashioned ‘knob chafe’.”  – Shaun Creighton


  • Coach: Pat Clohessy
  • Date of birth: 14 May 1967
  • Hometown during career: Canberra (but from Armidale originally, and also spent 3 years in Ballarat)
  • Date of retirement from elite running: March 2004
  • Personal best: 2:10:22.
  • Career highlight: Breaking Ron Clarke’s then 31-years-old Australian 10,000m record.
  • Major championships medals: Gold 3000m Steeplechase World Student Games 1991; Gold World Student Cross Country 1992; Silver 5000m IAAF World Cup 1998; Bronze 3000m Steeplechase IAAF World Cup 1992.

All the below information about the training of Shaun Creighton was taken from Australian Marathon Stars. To read the full story buy now, or join RT Addict to read the online version.



Intro by Len Johnson

Many of those making up Australia’s fastest marathoners are versatile, capable of performing well at road, track and cross-country, and over a range of distances at all three.

Shaun Creighton certainly sits at the most versatile end of the spectrum. Of his nine companions in the all-time top 10 men, only Pat Carroll goes close to him in that regard. Even there, however, it is Creighton first, daylight second.

Consider Creighton’s range. He ran 3:38.59 for 1500 metres; 7:41.60 for 3000 metres; 8:16.22 for the 3000 metres steeple; 13:17.76 for 5000 metres; 27:31.92 for 10,000 metres; and, 2:10:22 for the marathon. His steeple time remains the national record; his performances for 3000 and 10,000 were national records when he set them; when he ran his 13:17.76 only Ron Clarke and Dave Fitzsimons had ever run faster.

For Australian Marathon Stars, RT interviewed Shaun in-depth regarding his career, training and much more. Below is a snippet of his training.

Seville 1999 World Championships from left to right Steve Moneghetti, Sean Quilty, Pat Carroll, Shaun Creighton



What did a typical week’s worth of training consist of on a day to day basis during a hard training phase?

I didn’t have a “standard” week, but had a standard weekly structure. A typical week when training for a marathon was as follows:


  • AM: 9km easy
  • PM: 16km easy


  • AM: 9km easy
  • PM: Session of 4 x 1 mile on trails


  • AM: 25-28km easy
  • PM: Rest or 9km


  • AM: 9km easy
  • PM: Fartlek session (e.g. Mona fartlek*)


  • AM: 9km easy
  • PM: 16km easy


  • AM: Tempo run (often 30 min)
  • PM: 9km easy


  • AM: 35-40km easy
  • PM: Rest or 9km

Total km’s when training for the marathon was usually between 200 – 210km’s per week.

Mona fartlek refers to a 20-minute fartlek session consisting of a 2×90 second surge/90 second float, then 4×60 second surge/60 second float, then 4×30 second surge/30 second float, then 4×15 second surge/15 second float.


Shaun at the 1993 Stuttgart World Champs


If you had to choose one favourite session that you believe really worked for you and got you fit, what would it be?

Whether training for the steeplechase, 5k, 10k or marathon; running four hard repetitions of a mile with a 2-minute rest between reps (on or off the track – usually off the track but on the same course for benchmarking purposes) got me fit and was a good benchmark. When training for the marathon I’d sometimes do five instead of four reps.

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All the above information about the training of Shaun Creighton was taken from Australian Marathon Stars. To read the full story buy now, or join RT Addict to read the online version.