Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rob De Castella

The best thing about having a running blog is the information and exchange of ideas you get w/ the other runners.  In the comments section of my last post, Ewen mentioned a specific workout that Rob De Castella used to do.  This led me to look into his career and training methods.  

I came across the following link which specifically details his typical training week:

It says here that he used the same routine essentially year round and only modified it leading up to races.  After reviewing his typical week, I could see why it was so successful and also perhaps why it needed little variation.  Each week consisted of two long days (Wed, Sun) for endurance, a hill repeat session for strength/power in the legs, a 5k race pace session for speed, two easy days, and one hard effort over hilly terrain.  He also ran a short easy run either every morning or evening which brought his weekly mileage total up to about 130.

What immediately struck me looking over this training plan was, "damn, this routine would be absolutely fantastic as my base training."  Of course I'd have to scale down the paces and mileage to suit me, but the general framework would give me everything I'd need as part of my base.  Here's how it would look for me:

Mon:  Easy or Off
Tues:  Hill Repeats (perhaps a short easy run in the morning as well)
Wed:  Moderately long single (for me, about 8-miles)
Thurs:  5k pace session (either cruise intervals or De Castella's 400m repeat session w/ a float)
Fri:  Easy
Sat:  Hard Effort (for me, either a strong steady effort in the trails, or a 4-7 mile Tempo Run)
Sun:  Long (for me, 11-14 miles)

I'd of course also be adding some work w/ weights which is always part of my training.  

This would give me everything I'd need to prepare for my intense middle distance training: the cruise intervals, hill repeats, and long run which have always been base staples for me, the tempo run that I've been trying to work into my base program for a while, a second single in the 8-mile range to help w/ my endurance, and the steady run in the trails that has worked well for me thus far.  With this program, I'd need to follow De Castella's lead in making sure the long runs were run at an easy pace (6:15 for him, about 7:15 for me)  My weekly mileage here would come out to somewhere between 50 and 60 which I should be ready for by the Fall when it's time to start the base training again.

Thanks again to Ewen, your info is always much appreciated.

Being Easter week, my training schedule is a little off.  I was hoping to get the long intervals in on Friday, but it's going to be today instead. 


Wed, 4/8:  5-miles (6:49)
PM - lifting (light legs, core) stretching, rolling

Thurs, 4/9:  5-miles (7:10)

Fri, 4/10:  5-miles (7:00)
AM - lifting (upper-A, abs) stretching, rolling



Thats a great article on Rob De Castella, those were the days when runners world was worth reading!

Mike said...

You mean articles on what type of granola we should eat, whether or not women should wear running skirts, and which shoe manufacturer is employing the "greenest" technology don't cut it for you!??


bACK IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS, they use to aim at the serious running enthusiast, now they just go for the new runner![ yes of course they should encourage all new runners but!
Shit it use to be be so awe inspiring to read about how the best runners use to think and train!
Now its just 'BULL SHIT' about how to run less and run faster, or eat more and lose weight!!!!
Running is hard, there are no short cuts! just wish there was a magazine for us hard core!

Grellan said...

Sounds like a very solid programme Mike. Ewen is certainly a mine of information.

Ewen said...

Yes, that schedule is what I have from a book with a section on Deek.

He also did supplementary gym training 5 times a week - situps, pushups, chinups, dips, bounding, stretching.

It was the total of the training and the years of it that made him great - 5 years before '84 at 110 miles per week average!

A scaled down version would be good for winter training. The Sunday run they did was on a very hilly course, so 6:15-6:30 pace is not as slow as it sounds. They used to start very slowly - de Castella jogged the first mile or two. Locals could keep up for quite a while. The run got progressively faster and that was when the bigger hills came in.

matt said...

There was a book writing on his training called " de Castella on running"

matt said...

Take A look at