WAYNE BUXTON, 2:16 MARATHONER, GB INTERNATIONAL & UKA QUALIFIED RUNNING COACH
I first met Wayne through a mutual friend and incredible physiotherapist and Paralympian, Noel Thatcher, 5 years ago. At a very personal level, I have Wayne to thank for my own PB performances at marathon and half marathon distances which I’m certain I would not have achieved without his very specific coaching.
Prior to working with Wayne, I had run around 8 marathons and countless half marathons over almost 10 years, within 3 years of working with Wayne I had improved from a marathon PB of 2:45 to 2:37 and half marathon from 78 minutes to 74 minutes. I am a huge advocate of coaching and I think that good coaches play a hugely important role in helping athletes improve and also help to keep injuries at bay by encouraging dialogue with athletes as well as overseeing training workloads.
Personal Best Times; Marathon 2:16:38, Half Marathon 65:19, 10000m 29:32, 5000m 14:05:02, 3000m 8:07.6, 5miles Road 23:42
Performances of note:
- Selected to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland of 5 occasions in the marathon.
- Represented the English Cross Country Union at Cross Country
- 3rd English Half Marathon Championships 1993
- South West of England Cross Country Champion 1993
- South West of England 5000m Champion 1991
- 2nd Inter-Counties 10000m Championships 1991
- 2nd Midland 5000m Championships 1989
- 1st Bristol Half Marathon 1990
- 1st Great Eastern Run Half Marathon 1993
- Twice winner (’87 and ’89) of the Brest International 10km road race (France)
- Competed in The Great Race, a three week 21 stage road race, starting in Glasgow and finishing in London.
- Honoured by the British Olympic Association and the National Coaching Federation for Services to Disability Sport following the 2000 Sydney Paralympic.
- Owner of online running coach company Classic Running
How did you get involved in athletics?
I started running at school and enjoyed doing track and cross country. My dad encouraged me to go to the Bristol Athletics Club and to train under the guidance of a coach called Derek Smith. This was a good move for me as I learned basic drills and stretches and did different types of training sessions, rather than just going out the door for a run.
I loved reading books by coaches such as Percy Cerutty and Arthur Lydiard and my dad would take me to parks to do some fartlek or hill sessions that I had read about. By the age of 17 I was hooked and I was running around 50 miles per week.
Did you do any track?
I managed to just about make the county teams at cross country while at school but never went to the English Schools on the track. However, I always saw track as the main goal. It was a dream to run on the track and represent my country but that was never to be. I didn’t have the raw speed for that, I only ran 14:05 for 5000m, but I truly believe without doing the track I would never have ran as quick as I did at the marathon.
I continued running track, even after I had started running marathons and actually ran some of my quickest 1500m times which were in the low 3:50’s
I did get a silver medal in the UK Inter-Counties 10,000m championships and a silver in the Midland 5000m.
How did you progress/get into marathon running?
There came a time when I realised the best chance I had of getting an international vest was to have a go at the marathon. I won my first half marathon which was Bristol in June 1990 and the prize was a voucher from a sports tour company and from that point onward I started planning my training to run in Rotterdam in April 1991.
What would a typical training week in a build up to a marathon look like? (e.g. mileage/sessions etc)
A typical weeks training didn’t change too much from the winter training I had been doing for the 5k and 10k on the track. Sunday runs were longer and there was a bit more mileage overall but the interval sessions were very similar. A typical week in the middle of a 16 week build-up looked something like this:
Monday: AM – 5 miles easy. PM – 5mile run to gym, circuits, 3 mile run home
Tuesday: AM – 5 miles easy. PM 2 miles warm-up. 12-14 x 1minute hills. 2 miles cool down
Wednesday: AM – 5 miles easy. Lunch – Gym work. PM – 10 miles steady
Thursday: AM – 5 miles easy. PM – 2 miles warm-up. 5x1k 2 miles cool down
Friday: AM – 5 miles easy. PM – 5 miles easy
Saturday: AM – 5 miles easy. PM – 2 miles warm-up. 12x90secs on undulating grass. 2 miles cool down
Sunday: AM – Easy/Steady 22 miles PM – 3 mile recovery jog
Often it was hills and only one other interval session per week. Then Thursday would be two 8 mile runs. Or would throw in something to work on running economy such as 4x10x100m, 75m jog recovery and 5 mins jog between sets usually on a Thursday before a race.
What sort of races do you like to include in a marathon build-up and how far out from race day?
The other main goal apart from the marathon was a half marathon 3-4 weeks before the marathon. This was key for establishing exactly how fit you were. I also ran many other 5k and 10k road races. If it was a spring marathon I would also include cross country races, although I hated the really muddy courses.
How much rest and sleep did you get when you are in a marathon build up?
I had quite a demanding job in IT, but at least it was a desk job, so that helped me with rest. I would always try to get at least 8 hours sleep. It was a very important part of the recovery process. I could have done with more!
Did you follow a specific diet when training?
I focused mainly on eating carbs to refuel and I would eat a lot. I had to watch my weight a little but I always had room for cake and biscuits. However, for the marathon I realised that my weight had to be at the minimum, so I cut out alcohol and as much fat as I could, even the cakes were fat free. This enabled me to get to my lowest weight of 59kg, I’m about 177cm tall. I was thin but very strong.
Did you complete regular strength and conditioning exercises?
I did circuits which were for the whole body. Gym work focused on the upper body. After most easy runs I would do sit-ups and press-ups. Stretching I hated, although I did do some but not enough.
What role did physio / massage /osteo play in your training?
Physio and massage were key for me to remain injury-free. Following a persistent groin injury that curtailed my progress for about 18 months at the age of 24 I started seeing physios and sports massage therapists regularly. I would often have a check-up with a physio, 3 or 4 days after a hard race whether I felt any injury or not. I had regular sports massage, normally every other week.
Did you rotate your footwear for different sessions throughout the week?
Yes, I always had 2 pairs of training shoes that were at different stages of wear and tear. I also had racing flats used in some interval sessions and cross country spikes were used for grass sessions.
I very rarely trained in shorts, I always wore long bottoms unless we were in a heatwave.
Did you have any mental preparation strategies/routines when you were racing?
I always had a race plan and knew exactly what pace I wanted to run. When I ran 2:16:38 in Rotterdam, I wanted to go through halfway in 67:30. I hit all my km splits virtually spot on and went through in 67:28.
I hope that you found Wayne’s training insight interesting.
If you’re having any niggles then please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you’re interested in seeking some coaching input from Wayne, you can get in touch with him at email@example.com
Happy running and keep safe.