Sonia’s junior training secrets
Sonia O’Sullivan kindly gave us a few weeks of her schedule as junior when she was growing up in Cobh in Cork in 1986 aged 16. Sonia was coached by Sean Kennedy before going to Villanova. She would return from her scholarship under his guidance to finish fourth in the 3,000m in Barcelona at the 1992 Olympics. Kennedy gave her the grounding to become Ireland’s most successful athlete. Daily mileage is recorded below but there is probably a few hidden miles thrown in as you will see in the warm-ups. It is a great insight into a champion growing up. For those who don’t know Cobh, in terms of geography, it is a very hilly town so will have been bound to give some extra strength for the years ahead.
Thursday 2nd: 15 minutes warm-up – jogging, stretching, strides. 3 miles fast running in Oregon shoes on grass. Felt great. Very hot. Did jog down 1 mile. 3 miles fast => 17mins 20 seconds
Total 4 miles
Friday 3rd: 10 minutes warm-up – jogging/stretching. 6 miles at 6mins 50sec pace per mile. Felt fine. On grass. Light weights in gym.
Saturday 4th: 15 minutes warm-up, jogging/stretching. 8 miles at 7:05 min pace. On grass, Oregon runners. Felt great. Approx 57 mins running. Misty and foggy.
Sunday 5th – Morning – warm-up and 5 miles easy. Felt tired as I went out before breakfast. Oregon runners. Misty weather. 35 minutes.
Afternoon, 5 miles easy, approx 35 minutes. Felt ok. Very fine and warm.
Monday 6th: 15 minutes warm-up. Jogging and stretching. 4 miles under 6 minutes each on grass. Felt great. Oregon shoes. Very windy. Jog warm down. Time 22:44 for 4 miles => 5mins 36s per mile
Tuesday 7th: 15 minutes warm-up, jogging and stretching.
5 x 1 mile fast – 1 – 5:15
2 – 5:19 – tired here
3 – 5:14
4 – 5:12
5 – 5:20
Felt ok with most of them except 2nd one. Oregon shoes. On grass. Very warm and a little windy only.
Wednesday 8th: 10 mins warm-up. 8 miles easy at 7 min pace so a total of 55 minutes running. Oregon shoes. On grass. Bit windy. Felt great. Weights in gym. 3 rounds.
Thursday 9th: 10 mins warm-up. 6 miles easy at 7 min pace on grass. Felt fine. Oregon shoes.
Friday 10th: 15 minutes warm-up, 4 miles fast at 23 minutes. On grass. Felt great. Oregon shoes. Light weights in gym.
Saturday 11th: warm-up 10 minutes and 5 miles easy on the road including a few hills. Felt fine – in morning.
warm-up 10 minutes and 5miles easy on the grass approx. 35 minutes. Felt fine. Oregon shoes – in evening.
Sunday 12th: warm-up – 2 miles and exercises, race of 2 miles cross country. Ladies County Novice – senior. Felt great. A little bit heavy on the backs of my legs, particularly on the hills. Nice race, nice day, felt good.
Monday 13th: 15 minutes warm-up. Jogging and stretching. 10 x 600m at an average of 1 minute 50 seconds each. very warm. Slight breeze. One grass. Oregon shoes. Felt great.
Tuesday 14th: 10 minutes warm-up. 8 miles easy running at approx 7 min per mile. Total of 8 miles @ 55 minutes. Felt great on grass. Oregon shoes.
Wednesday 15th: Rest today. It’s great to have a rest. Did some light weights in the gym.
Thursday 16th: 10 minutes warm-up. 9 miles easy running @ approx 60 mins altogether. On grass Oregon shoes. Warm day. Felt great.
Friday 17th: 20 minutes warm-up – jogging, exercising and strides. 2 (10 x 200m) on the grass. Felt great. Very windy, interval spikes shoes. All of the 200m times averaged around 28 seconds. Felt fine after doing them all. I did some light weights in the gym.
Saturday 18th: 10 minutes warm-up – jogging and stretching. 8 miles easy running on the grass. Very wet. Felt great. Oregon shoes.
Sunday 19th: Rest.
Monday 20th: Very fast 4 miles on the grass after a 15 min warm-up. Felt very tired. Very windy day. Oregon shoes. I did some light weights in the gym.