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WOTW – Pre's 30-40


Steve Prefontaine (‘Pre’) was an American distance who’s life was sadly cut short at the age of 24 after the car he was driving crashed.

Before his death in 1975 Prefontaine had become one of the most successful American athletes of all-time, holding seven different track distance records from 2,000 – 10,000m.

This workout was introduced to Prefontaine by Bill Dellinger, after watching Vladimir Kuts, a double gold Olympic medalist completing a session around cricket fields. Kuts would sprint the straights and jog the curve to prepare his body for uneven paced running.

When back in Oregon Dellinger would adapt the session for his group. They would start by running the first 200 metres in 40-seconds followed immediately by a 30-second 200 metres. He explains “All the guys would start out at 40-30, and do that until they can no longer handle it”, The harsh reality of the session is, that once they fell off the 40-30 pace their workout would finish. Some runners would go five or six laps.

What made ‘Pre’ so special was that he could complete 18 laps of 40-30, which is 29:10 pace for 10,000. This session was just one of many similar track sessions Dellinger would use to help his athletes deal with race situations which often aren’t run at an even pace.

“This is just part of the training. We had a lot of drills. Non of them was more important than the others”. Bill Dellinger

The Workout Breakdown

– 3 miles of alternating 30-seconds and 40-second 200 metres

– Recovery: 200 metres in 40 seconds

– Pace: 5K-race goal pace

– Total distance: 9 miles