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The Training of Jim Ryun - ‘Quality & Quantity’
The first American high school athlete to run a Sub-4 mile, multiple world record holder, Olympic 1500m medallist. Jim Ryun to this day is an American superstar, rivalled by very few before and since.
He was also known for an insane training regime and work ethic. We took a look back over the training that made the man.
- The Jim Ryun Story, by Cordner Nelson, 1967.
- Dr Jack Daniels. Exercise physiologist interviews.
- Drew Ryun (son), online training journals.
-DOB: 29th April 1947, Wichita, Kansas.
- 880 yards: 1:44.90
- 1500m: 3:33.10
- Mile: 3:51.1
- 2-Mile: 8:25.10
- 5000m: 13:38.20
- Olympic 1500m Silver, Mexico 1968.
- Former 1500m world record holder, from 1967 to 1974.
- Former mile world record holder, from 1966 to 1975.
- First American high school athlete to run a mile in under four minutes.
- The last American to hold the world record in the mile.
High School Days
Ryun’s high school coach, Bob Timmons, was formerly a swimming coach, and he more or less trained Ryun as a swimmer. Ryun undertook massive numbers of track repetitions. His training was quality over quantity, but with regular morning runs, ensuring adequate mileage.
A Typical Week of Training as a High School Athlete
Age 17 years of age
- 10 mile run in approximately 1hr 4mins.
- AM: 5 mile run.
- PM: Track session. 2 mile (in 9:50), one mile (in 5 mins), 1200m, 800m (in 2:30), 400 (64 secs), 2 x 200m (31 secs). Short 1-2 minute recovery between reps.
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Imagine if Ryun had been sensibly trained.