If you want to see how ordinary runners can move their training to its next level, this section is for you. You'll probably have a number of races under your belt, are ready to train five or more times a week - and right now, are possibly stuck on a plateau.
Last spring, 1983 London Marathon winner Mike Gratton (right) got chatting on an RW forum thread about just that, and forumites aplenty soon asked him for training advice. (See the Q&A panel to the right for the highlights of that thread.)
He figured the best way to help was to coach three real forum readers live on the forums, so that everyone could see.
His advice to them will work for you, too - and you're welcome to join the forum threads and ask for clarification if you don't understand something Mike says. The aim: to help people move to their next level.
(Small print: Mike's doing this because he loves running. He has a full-time job running a sports-tour company, so please don't be upset if he can't answer something you ask.)
See Mike coaching the forum three
|Becky Smith (aka Becky S): Age: 30|
PBs: half-marathon 1:47; marathon 3:30
Targets sub-20 5K; Great North Run in 1.35; London Marathon 2005: 3:15
Mike thinks: Our first target is to work on leg speed. Read more
|Dawn (aka Hilly)|
PBs: 10K 42:06, marathon 3:26
Target: To run 3:15 at Cardiff Marathon on October 3
Mike thinks: Dawn needs to develop more speed endurance Read more
Anna (aka Awww_Spud): Age: 46|
PBs: 10K 48:20; half-marathon 1:53
Targets: Short-term: half-marathon in 1:45, then 1:30. Marathon in 4hrs, then 3:30
Mike thinks: There's some way to go to reach the ultimate goals... we'll add structure. Read more
Former London marathon winner Mike Gratton has been a serious runner from the age of 13. He won an English Schools track title at 5000m. At college, despite the impact of beer, three years of running 1500m with Steve Ovett at Brighton & Hove AC brought some success on the track.
Mike's track racing was halted in 1977 when he was run down by a fork lift truck (fact!). Six months later, he returned as a road runner, running his first marathon at Essone, near Paris in 1979. There, he finished 11th in 2:21:22. In 1981 he was third in the AAA Marathon (2:16:40), then third in London (2:12:30) and third in the 1982 Commonwealth Games (2.12.06) before winning London in 1983 with a PB of 2:09:43.
Mike has been organising training camps and tours to overseas races for 20 years. You can see his company website at www.209events.com.