Outback Quarters

Yesterday I talked a little bit about the training of Rob DeCastella and Steve Moneghetti, but didn't go into detail about their 'complex training' philosophy. Basically, while influenced by the legendary coach Arthur Lydiard, a later generation of Australian runners took his approach and devised a program that incorporated all of the Lydiard elements, i.e. hill reps, intervals, lots of mileage into a weekly schedule that they would repeat all year round (hence, complex training). One of the famous workouts from their program was a session of 8 x 400 w/ 200 recoveries. OK on paper this sounds ridiculously easy, but here's the catch. The rest breaks aren't really rests. Deke would do his quarters in the 62-64 range with the 'recoveries' at around 40-45 seconds (5:20 - 6:00 pace). Yesterday I laced up my racing flats and did this workout at Rocky River High School. I felt really on and hit every single 400 in 80 on the nose and all of my 200 floats were in the 55-57 range (about 7:30 pace). Adding up the 8 400s and the 8 200s I hit a 3 mile time of 18:11. Not bad for what was pretty much a hard fartlek workout.

Another similar workout that Moneghetti devised, which has been coined the Mona Fartlek, is a session of 2 x 90 seconds, 4 x 60 seconds, 4 x 30 seconds, and 4 x 15 seconds with equal time float recoveries. I have done this a few times in the past in the winter and this one definitely kicks your butt if you do it right.

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