Question on 5-hour work periods

Another question from Kevin.

Kevin Carr asked –

“William has 5hr work periods, so in a day 4 work periods – are these by design equally weighted, or does he plan on doing more miles in one or two of the periods compared to the other periods?”

I’ll try and keep what could be a fairly complicated answer as simple as possible. In theory the work periods are equally weighted, and if this were a indoor race with artificial lighting and a constant temperature etc they probably would be literally equal.

William at the 400 mile spot

However, as the race is taking place outdoors in the “real world”  this means William is running both in light and in darkness, during the cool of night and during the heat of the Greek midday – and so on.

Realistically William will therefore be changing his pace a little at different times, for example doing a bit more walking during the hottest periods, perhaps running a little faster directly after a rest – etc.

However, the aim in the strategy we have devised is to maintain a pretty much constant overall pace. In other words, if William spends less time walking, he will decrease his running speed a little. If William spends more time walking, he will then increase his speed when running. If William decides to take a longer break for any reason, when he returns to the track he will increase his pace to make up for time lost during the rest.

So far all reports from the crew are that this is working very nicely and William is running to plan, pretty much to the minute.

A vital point to grasp here is that in any race, it is pretty much irrelevant exactly what speed anyone runs (or walks) at during any one specific period of the race. What matters is a runner’s average speed throughout the event.

The winner of any race is ALWAYS the runner with the highest average speed.

Hope this helps,

All the best,


Shaun Brassfield-Thorpe – William Sichel’s training advisor –