The Marathon Break Through. Distance Running

The Marathon Break through.Distance Running.

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Ian sinfield was onec Austraian Marathon Champion and that he represented Australia at the 1960 Rome Games.

By 1958 I had won every State distance title excepted the Marathon, and in those days we were only just scratching the surface of training for distance events. That year I went to Melbourne and met Percy Cerutty, and was invited down to his Portsea home. In those closing years of the 1950’s Cerutty was at his greatest and I was one of the few to be associated with him during that period.

I spent a few days at his Portsea home ,or one could say “his training camp”. Cerutty gave some great inspiration ,and yet others, it was all too much. He did  not pour out volumes of dry detail or boring repetitive soul destroying schedules. He spoke like a prophet, his message on teachings were deep and sincere. He taught in way that was not always understandable to those who wanted straight talk or conventional demonstrations.

His massage was far too complex and therefore ,one had to think and analyse what he said and did to find the truth. His teachings showed thatour physical self was being dampened by our living in a civilized society with all its rules and regulations. Our daily actions are restrained in order to conform, and this restrainment must show up in our running. We had to be freed from this state which affects us all, and direct ourselves to great heights, and to our goals.

At his camp each day we ate natural foods, uncooked oats,raisins,nuts, a variety of vegetables and fruits: we cooked our potato chips and fresh fish from the ocean in vegetable oils. The training would start with a run to a lonely beach near his home . We would then discard what little clothes we were wearing, and then continued running, this time along the beach, up and down the sand hills and dunes. We would run fast ,then slow, depending on our energy flow and our mood, but ever pressing our bodies for that little extra.

When exhausted we would dip  the body into the ocean in order to recharge the body with the natural salts of the sea. Back in Perth I put what  I had learnt into practise. One must remember these were early days of good Marathon running and little was known of scientific distance training compared with today. In 1960 the Olympic Marathon trails took my attention, and as yet I had not run beyond 25 kms, so early one morning I set out to run 40kms which I completed in 2hours 30 minutes over a hilly grass course. This gave me the confidence I needed to run a good marathon. I then webt to Melbourne to compete in the combined National Marathon Championship and the Olympic trails.

I hope you all like this story. Let me know what you think of it.

George T Saviel.

30 March 2010.

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