Former British marathon ace Richard Nerurkar gave a fascinating seminar for Britain's top marathon runners at the Brighton Hilton Metropole on Saturday evening, January 15. More than 50 athletes and coaches crammed into the seminar room to listen and learn from Britain's former World Cup winner, Richard Nerurkar, who gave some intriguing insights into the crucial benefits of the sustained long tempo run in marathon training.
Nerurkar, Britain's third fastest marathoner of all-time and now elite athlete coordinator for the Brighton Marathon, cited the success of many international runners competing through the 1980s and 1990s such as Norway's Ingrid Kristiansen and Mexico's Dionisio Cerón who used sustained tempo running to devastating effect in the final stages of many of their marathons.
And in reference to the current kings of distance running, Nerurkar added: "Timed tempo runs over 25 to 35km have become a regular part of training for many Kenyan and Ethiopian marathon runners over the past decade." Nerurkar has just returned from ten years working in Ethiopia on the highly successful Great Ethiopian Run.
Amongst the big names in attendance were Britain's outstanding marathoner for the last five years, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Dan Robinson, Ben Moreau, Ben Whitby, Lucy Mcallister, Holly Rush and Louise Gardner.
Robinson, the first elite to sign up for Brighton this year, was interviewed on stage and later took questions from the floor on his training.
He referred to two staples of his schedule: a 15-mile session in his race build-up and the use of sustained running on the treadmill as a way of measuring his pace for some of his harder training. Kristiansen also incorporated treadmill running in her schedule.
In his early days as a runner and working at a Henley on Thames leisure centre, Robinson almost exclusively trained on a treadmill and got his time down to a respectable 2:24:12 before he took up the sport seriously.
A father of two young children, he also referred to the difficulty of fitting in training around work and family. While he has in the past taken his mileage up to the 130-mile mark, it is now closer to 110-miles per week, reflecting increased quality and a greater knowledge of what works for him. Robinson's best time came in Amsterdam 2009 when he clocked 2:12:14.
On the Sunday morning many of the athletes took part in a 20km timed run along Brighton's seafront which forms part of the marathon course.
All 24 runners ran negative splits in their training and Robinson confirmed his return to form by covering the second 10km of his run in 31:38, saying afterwards "I'm feeling refreshed and ready for a new challenge."