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Steve Ovett

Steve Ovett
Image: Daily mail













Steve started off as a sprinter, until one day when he accidentally joined the distance running squad for practice…

Notable achievement(s):
In 1983, lowered the mile WR to 3:48.8 passing Sebastian Coe’s previous WR
Set 3 1500m WR 1980-1983
2 x Olympic gold medalist, 2 x Olympic silver medalist

Personal bests:
400m: 47.5
800m: 1:44.09

1000m: 2:15.91
1500m: 3:30.77
Mile: 3:48.40
3000m: 7:41.30
2-Mile: 8:13.51
5000m: 13:20.06
Half Marathon: 1:05:38

“It’s an intuitive feeling that I’ve got. I’ve always worked on understanding myself, you have to in training, you have to know yourself and your body and what it needs and what it doesn’t need to a fine degree. I think this understanding heightened the intuition to a certain extent.”

Base phase – 24 weeks
  • Aerobic development was stressed
  • Aerobic runs: easy steady-state (7minute pace), medium (5:45-6min pace), steady-state (5:20-5:30 pace)
  • High mileage: 100mpw average with a high of 120mpw.
  • Running twice a day
  • 4 week cycles, each progressing and shifting workload into more specific training: early cycle = consist of two medium-steady-state runs, two fast steady-state runs, and the rest easy steady state runs; mid cycle = two longer aerobic repeats, one fast steady run, two medium steady runs, and the rest easy runs with sprint drills and mobility exercises; later cycle = two days of long repeats, one medium steady run, one progressive run (8km steady, 1mi easy, 1mi fast), one day of 8x400m with 300m jog at a pace 4 or so seconds slower than mile pace, and sprint and mobility drills. XC races sometimes included.

Pre-competition phase – 13 weeks
  • More medium paced runs which serve as maintaining aerobic system. Easy runs used with more purpose of recovery than aerobic development
  • All sorts of intervals included:
    • Shorter intervals with short rest between reps, but long rest between sets. eg. 4x(4x400m), 30sec between reps and 5min between sets.
    • Straight sets of eg. “8x400m in 62 with 200m jog, , 6x500m hill with jog down, or 12x200m with 200m jog.” – Steve Magness
    • Ladder workouts
    • smooth relaxed intervals, ensuring smooth rhythm and form
Race phase
  • Training for performance already done, this phase ties the pieces together, reduces load, increases freshness and form to bring about peaking. No workout PBs were to be [purposefully] set in this phase.
  • Within a 14 day period: 2 relaxed intervals, 1 race pace practice/stimulation and 1 normal repetition session were included.
  • “your training should be sufficiently comprehensive to maintain all the various aspects of fitness, yet not so severe that it takes away the freshness that is needed to produce good race results.” – Harry Wilson
  • Lactic Threshold work

Source: Running My Way, coach Harry Wilson

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