Road Running

Marathon Mondays: Frank Shorter and the Running Boom

With 12 full weeks to go until the SSE Dublin Marathon kicks off at 9:00am we have decided to try and help you on your way towards that looming goal. This week we look at the first of our three marathoners that changed the world of Marathoning.

Frank Shorter: Courtesy of

Frank Shorter: Courtesy of

Frank Shorter was the first to shake the 26.2 miles to its core. Marathoning had proceeded quite easily from the days of Pheidippides, through Emil Zátopek, though the bare footed Adebe Bikila but Frank Shorter won the 1972 Olympic Marathon at just the right time and it kicked off the running boom that brought road running to the masses. Blue Ribbon Sports had become Nike in 1971 and “fitness” and “health” were becoming valued for the first time.

After Shorter’s victory in 1972, millions of Americans started running, Jim Fixx wrote the best selling “The Complete of Running” while Bill Bowerman wrote “Jogging” accelerating the growth of Nike. Shorter’s win kick-started the running boom of the 1970s. The Coverage of the event was heightened by the arrival of West German student Norbert Sudhaus who was found to be an impostor after he rather incredibly ran into the stadium ahead of Shorter before being unceremoniously removed by officials.

After this Shorter shot to national fame and won the James E. Sullivan Award for being the country’s foremost sportsperson. He would go on to finish second in the Montreal Olympics behind Waldemar Cierpinski, an East German whose name would appear in the Stasi doping lists.

Achievements and titles

Frank Shorter during Olympic Marathon

Frank Shorter during the Olympic Marathon

Personal bests
3000 meters: 7:51.4
5000 meters: 13:26.62
10,000 meters: 27:45.91
Marathon: 2:10:30

Medal record
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1972 Munich Marathon
Silver medal – second place 1976 Montréal Marathon
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 1971 Cali Marathon
Gold medal – first place 1971 Cali 10,000 m


Sample Training Week
Monday: AM: 7 miles recovery run PM: 7 miles recovery run

Tues- 7am run – afternoon – 4 x 1200 (312 to 306) track workout – w/660 jog or

Wednesday-AM: 7 miles recovery run PM: 7 miles recovery run

Thursday – 16 x 400 (60’s) w/100 meter jog,  or4 x 800’s (205’s)

Friday AM: 7 miles recovery run PM: 7 miles recovery run

Saturday: Steady 10 Mile with faster miles in between

Sunday:Long Run 20 miles @ 6:30 pace to 5 min a mile

Golden Generation: Ciara Neville and Kevin McGrath
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Ronan Duggan

Ronan Duggan

Ronan Duggan is an athlete, coach, athletics fan and, most importantly, was once named Bandon AFC's under-12 Player of the Year. He was once a promising athlete but is now a promising coach, teacher and part-time athletics writer/broadcaster. While an 800m runner himself, Ronan has coached everything from pole vault to 10km with varying levels of bluffing. He has regularly been threatening to do something for years but is yet to deliver. He is regarded as our expert on the American running scene, though has yet, to prove his knowledge in this realm.

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