Robin is a friend of my running coach Wayne Buxton, and he has very kindly put together an insight into his training. As someone who has never met Robin, it is apparent that he was a prolific racer, as you’ll see below, and a phenomenal athlete with incredible performances over three decades.
- Marathon, 2:14.52, Berlin
- 10 Miles, 49.34, Erewash AAA Champs
- 10 KM, 30.02, Swansea Bay
Championship gold medals
- 2000, London Marathon 1st Vet
- 1999, British Vets Half Marathon Champion
- 1998, Avon County 10KM Individual Champion
1. How did you get involved in athletics?
I enjoyed athletics at local school events and whilst at an event I discovered Westbury Harriers by chance and was introduced to training every day with other like-minded runners.
2. Did you do any track?
800m, 1500m, 3000m, 3000m steeple chase, 5,000m.
Winning County Championships.
3. How did you progress/get into marathon running?
I thought I would try a marathon as Bristol was holding its first such event so I entered the local Bristol marathon in 1984 (2.22.52 – 5th) and then decided to enter the 1985 London marathon (2.15.12 – 16th).
4. What would a typical training week in a build up to a marathon look like? (e.g. mileage/sessions etc)
Quality Sessions: Tues, Thurs, Sati.e. Speed Week
Long run: Sunday
Mileage averaged 82 miles per week for 31 weeks
A typical week was as follows:
Sunday morning 19 miles (2 hours)
Monday morning 7 miles, lunch 9 miles, evening 3 miles
Tuesday morning 7 miles, evening 6 x 3 mins (8 miles) on grass
Wednesday morning 7 miles, lunch 9 miles, evening 3 miles
Thursday morning 5 miles, evening 15 x 1 min hills (8 miles) on road
Friday morning 7 miles, evening 8 miles
Saturday morning 6 x 3 mins (8 miles) on grass
Weekly mileage: 107 miles
5. What sort of races do you like to include in a marathon build up and how far out from race day?
The list below details my build up to running three personal bests in four weeks. This was a 31 week training period with 21 races, averaging a race every 10 days and averaging 82 miles per week.
During the 31 weeks I raced on average every 10 days, usually over distances of 5k, 5m, 10k as recovery was quick from short races but the schedule below also included three half marathons and a full marathon.
24/03/94, Keynsham Fry’s 5K, 16.01
03/04/94, Somer 10K, 32.20
09/04/94, Midland 12 Stage Champs, 15.29
14/04/94, Keynsham Fry’s 5K, 15.35
21/04/94, Weston Prom 5M, 26.06
30/04/94, National 12 Stage Relay Champs (1st Stage) 27.08
08/05/94, Pensford 10K, 32.19
16/05/94, Nuclear Electric Power Station 10K, 31.07
19/05/94, Weston Prom 5M, 25.03
29/05/94, Kingswood Half, 1:07.17
05/06/94, Long Ashton 10K, 31.27
14/06/94, Clevedon 10K, 31.37
26/06/94, Bristol Half, 1:06.38
30/06/94, Nailsea 5M, 25.11
10/07/94, Yate Half, 1:08.15
24/07/94, Pattaya International Marathon, 2:28.32
20/08/94, Yorkley Gallop 4.7M, 43.45
29/08/94, Staunton Beer Race 6.1M, 30.09
04/09/94, Erewash AAA 10M Champs, 49.34
11/09/94, Swansea Bay 10K, 30.02
25/09/94, Berlin Marathon, 2:14.5
6. How much rest and sleep did you get when you are in a marathon build up?
Sleep was very important in order to get up before work and do a 7 mile run and then to train later that day.
7. Did you follow a specific diet when training?
No, I do not recall a specific diet. I liked to keep my weight down as I found this made me train and race faster and easier. See what two pounds feels like then pick up a 2lb bag of sugar!
8. Did you complete regular strength and conditioning exercises (including mobility/technique drills and stretching)?
I do not recall this as part of the week.
9. What role did physio / massage /osteo play in your training?
No this was not part of the training week. When you are fit and training well, natural recovery for me seemed to be fine with good sleep.
10. Did you rotate your footwear for different sessions throughout the week?
Spikes for speed work on the grass
Lighter racing shoes for racing
Trainers for general running
11. Did you have any mental preparation strategies/routines when you are racing?
Just to be positive in order get from the race what you intended and to use the race to gauge how fit you are.
I believed shorter races i.e. 5k, 5m, 10k would “knock” you quickly into better shape more so than training sessions hence why I liked to race every 10 days.
I did not always ease up for a race but just treated the event as a harder training session.
I hope that you found Robin’s training insight interesting.
If you’re having any niggles or if you’re interested in improving your performance and would like to be connected with a UKA qualified coach, then get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy running and keep safe.