A case study of the training of nine times New York marathon winner Grete Waitz
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionTjelta, L.I; Enoksen, E. & Tønnessen, E. (2014) A case study of the training of nine times New York marathon winner Grete Waitz. 10.1260/1747-9522.214.171.124
The purpose of the present study is to give a description of the exceptional running career of Grete Waitz (GW) and give special attention to the distribution of training volume and training intensity in two of her most successful years as an international long-distance and marathon runner. Training data are based on an analysis of GW’s training diaries from her early start as a track and field athlete to her best performance years as a long-distance track runner and marathon runner. The main finding in this study was that GW’s total running volume, in her best seasons, varied between 119-132 km · week-1 in the different meso-cycles of the training year. Her weekly training volume is far below the volume reported for the current female World Record holder for the marathon distance at the time of writing. Her training typically consisted of two daily sessions of continuous running (50-60 min) at a relatively high intensity. She did very few long interval training sessions, but she usually did one high-intensity session of shorter intervals/sprint training (strides) per week. In the season 1978-1979 she took part in 50 competitions (ranging from 800m to marathon) of which she won 48. Her best track performance in this season was her Nordic record in the 3000 m, 8:31.75 which would have been the best time in the world in 2011 and 2012.