Coaching & Training » Running

A newer version of this page is available

Running Training

Been injured? Told you cannot run? Read the testimonial below. If Richard could overcome his problems we can help you!

Runners rely on three things to improve. These are:

1. Volume (both total accumulated volume and current annual volume)
2. Basic speed and
3. Event-specific stamina.

A successful program manages these things after considering one more very important factor - technique. Good technique allows a person to run more and to minimise ground contact time. Injuries will result as soon as a runner's average weekly volume or speed of running exceeds their technical capability. For those who a strong developed or genetic resistance to injury, i.e., very strong legs and feet the process will take longer but for the majority of the population it happens fairly quickly.

This means developing a good technique is crucial and it must precede all forms drills, plyometrics and harder or faster running. The absolute foundation of any running that is to exceed a weight maintaince/lose program is the capacity to comfortably run 2 x 60 minutes and 1 x 90 minutes at 6 to 7 minutes per km or 60% MHR. Any person who can be trained for any event from 800m to marathon or even ultra marathon.

The reason for the 60 minutes is that unless there is enough time to warm up and cool down properly no harder training can be inserted into the program. The reason for the 90 minute run, in conjunction with the two 60 minute runs, is to gradually strengthen all the required ligaments, tendons, muscles and bones that will be needed to operate at maximum efficiency later.

Naturally no-one starts at this level and a look at the Benson's Beginning Running program is the place to start.

Finally it is important you wear appropriate clothing and suitable footwear develop and proper strengthening routine to compliment your running.

The following story personifies the ability to believe in what the RWTB program predicts for you. As with the triathlon story it goes beyond mere running. Read on.

Richard's Testimonal - age: 39 - sex: male

November 2001

Decided to run a marathon. Medical check up. Weight 108 kgs. Left calf wasted - 3 centimetres smaller than right. Start planning for the New York marathon in November.


Visit podiatrist Jason Nichols. Can't diagnose me, flexibility is awful. Sent me away to stretch for three months, get deep tissue massage on legs to assist.

January 2002

Return to Jason. Should not require orthotics. Recommended to Tony Benson. (Olympic run coach to try and help my form). Also advised on shoes.


Began a run walk program of 2 minutes running in a 20 min walk. Everyone told me "I was not meant to run". Weight was 108 kg.


Gradual increases of distance to 4min of running with 1-2 min of walking. Running approx 12 - 15 km / week.

February 27 - March 5

Serious lower back pain forcing me to stop training and receive extensive physio. No progress. Placed on celebrex 200.


Resumed training with chronic back pain and a deteriorating Achilles tendon in right leg (the good leg). Have to get this fixed.

March - April

Serious taping of Achilles. Situation getting worse. Started to research Achilles and physiotherapists. All said I needed orthotics.


Visited Mark Alexander. Various treatment - principally exercise/massage and he recommended I see a run coach - Tony Benson. He agreed with my podiatrist that I should not require orthotics.

May 24

First session with Tony Benson. Guy reckons I run like the terminator, though he is a bit more tactful.

May 28

Tan (3.8k) time trial (to determine base line fitness) 20:48


Weekly sessions with Tony Benson. Deep tissue massage with Maria De.  Continued Physio. Not sure what I am doing with a run coach who trains elite?


No more walking. Running style has changed completely! Seem to be making progress.


No more regular physio, just weekly sessions with Tony and Maria. Real progress, long runs to 2 hours every weekend.

September - October

Tony is hammering me on not letting ego get in the way, and not to time trial too much. Left calf has increased by 2 centimetres due to a special focus Tony had me incorporate into my running. Tan down to 19:16 and 400m at 69 sec. Took long runs out to 3 - 4 hours every 3rd week.


Last long run 4:53 for 37 km. Felt great. No body stress. No evidence of any back pain at all. My achilles tendon is in the best shape of my life.

October 30th

Depart for N.Y.

Editor's note: R. completed the New York marathon running non-stop for 5 hours 36 minutes except dallying with spectators and firemen at certain points to enjoy the experience!