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“Get over it.  If you have a bad workout or a bad race, allow yourself exactly 1 hour to stew about it, then move on.”  

–  Steve Scott

Note: This is part 1 of a 2 part series.  Part 1 looks into Steve Scott’s training during the later stages of his career. By this stage, Steve had already amassed a huge level of aerobic endurance and strength. Stay tuned to Runner’s Tribe for Steve Scott’s training during his earlier days.

Steve Scott shows he’s number one in the mile as he crosses the finish line ahead of Eamonn Coghlan, right, and Ray Flynn, left, and a world class field in the mile run on, Jan. 31, 1981 at the Sunkist Invitational Indoor Track and Field Meet in Los Angeles. Scott had a winning time of 3:53.7. (AP Photo/Mclendon)

Free Sources:

  • Steve Scott & Marc Bloom, Steve Scott the Miler Macmillan (1997)
  • Tony Benson and Irv Ray, Run with the Best (2001).
  • Steve Scott 1981-1982 Training logs.
  • IAAF.
  • DOB: 5th May 1956, Upland, California, United States.

Personal Bests

  • 800m: 1:45.05
  • 1500m: 3:31.76
  • Mile:  3:47.69
  • 2000m: 4:58.6
  • 3000m: 7:36.69
  • 5000m: 13:30.39

Career Highlight

  • World Championship 1500m Silver, Helsinki, 1983.
  • 1977 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships Division-I 1500-meter title

Steve Scott  is one of the greatest milers in American history. The silver medallist in the 1500 metre at the 1983 Helsinki World Championships, Scott still holds the U.S. indoor record in the 2000 meters (4:58.6-1981). He held the American outdoor mile record for more than 26 years and is also the former American indoor record holder for the mile. Track & Field News ranked Scott number 1 in the U.S.A for 10 different years, and 11 times during his career he was ranked in the top ten in the world by T&FN.  

Scott’s career spanned from his high school and college days in the late 1970’s all the way through to May 1994 when Steve was diagnosed with testicular cancer, he made a full recovery.

Amazingly, Scott ran the sub-4:00 minute mile on 136 occasions in his career, more than any other runner in history.  Here we dive into the training of this great American miler.

Note: This is part 1 of a 2 part series.  Part 1 looks into Steve Scott’s training during the later stages of his career. By this stage, Steve had already amassed a huge level of aerobic endurance and strength. Stay tuned to Runner’s Tribe for Steve Scott’s training during his earlier days.

VIDEO: Steve Scott, 3:49.68, U.S. record, July 11, 1981, Dream Mile (third place)

The Over trainer

Steve’s training during his peak younger years will be outlined in part 2 of this two articles series. However, during these younger years Scott overtrained and was finding that his endurance capacity was continually being damaged by training too hard during the pre-competition training period.  At this stage of his career, Scott believed that the harder he trained, the faster he would become and the longer he would be able to remain a 3:47 miler. The over training resulted in frustration, stagnation and injuries.

During the later stage of his career, under the guidance of Irv Ray, Steve spent most of his training concentrating on both aerobic endurance and 400m speed and he significantly reduced the volume of intense anaerobic running.  

Training Phases

Steve’s training was broken down into three distinct phases

  1.  Base period of approximately 32 weeks
  2.  Pre-competition period of approximately 8 weeks
  3.  Competition period of approximately 10 weeks

A typical week during Steve’s base period is outlined below:

NB: MHR = Max Heart Rate

  • Monday:
    • Am: 5 miles at 60-65% of MHR (6:10-6:30 minutes per mile).
    • Pm: 10 miles at 80-85% of MHR.
  • Tuesday:
    • Am: 5 miles at 60-65% of MHR (6:10-6:30 minutes per mile).
    • Pm: 6-9 miles at 70-75% of MHR.  Followed by 50m sprint drills and accelerations.
  • Wednesday:
    • Am: 5 miles at 60-65% of MHR (6:10-6:30 minutes per mile).
    • Pm: 10 miles including 6-9 x 3 minutes at 90-93% MHR with a 2 minute recovery jog getting the heart rate down to 60-65% MHR.
  • Thursday:
    • Am: 5 miles at 60-65% of MHR (6:10-6:30 minutes per mile).
    • Pm: 6-9 miles at 70-75% of MHR.  
  • Friday:
    • Am: 5 miles at 60-65% of MHR (6:10-6:30 minutes per mile).
    • Pm: Drills, 8-10 x 100m accelerations to 400m pace or 3200m of 50m sprint/50m float.  
  • Saturday:
    • Am: 17-19 miles at 70-75% of MHR. Usually done at altitude between 5,000 and 7,500 feet.
  • Sunday:
    • Am: 6-9 miles at 70-75% of MHR.

Weekly mileage: 80-95 miles (135-150km).

A typical week during Steve’s pre-competition period is outlined below:

NB: MHR = Max Heart Rate

  • Monday:
    • Am: 3-5 miles at 60-65% of MHR.
    • Pm: 6 miles at 65-75% of MHR and 50m drills + 4-6 x 50-100m accelerations.
  • Tuesday:
    • Am: 3-5 miles at 60-65% of MHR.
    • Pm: 800m – 1 mile of sprint 50m/float 50m.
  • Wednesday:
    • Am: 3-5 miles at 60-65% of MHR.
    • Pm: 6 miles at 65% of MHR.
  • Thursday:
    • Am: 3-5 miles at 60-65% of MHR.
    • Pm: 3-4 x 200m @ 800m pace (26-27 seconds) with 200m recovery jog in 2 minutes. 
  • Friday:
    • Am: 4-6 miles at 60-65% of MHR.
  • Saturday:
    • Am: 2 x 3 x 400m + 1 x 300m @ 58-59 per 400m with 45 seconds recovery between reps and 10 minutes recovery between sets.
  • Sunday:
    • Am: 11-13 miles at 65-70% of MHR.

Weekly mileage: 65-75 miles (105-120km).

Video: Steve Scott, 3:47.69, U.S. record, July 7, 1982, Dream Mile (champion)

A typical week of training early in the competition period is outlined below:

NB: MHR = Max Heart Rate

  • Monday:
    • Pm: 4-6 miles at 50-65% of MHR. Sometimes would add in 50m drills + 4-6 x 50-100m accelerations.
  • Tuesday:
    • Pm: 4 x 400m @ 1 mile race pace (59,58,57,56) with 2-3 minutes recovery between reps.
  • Wednesday:
    • Pm: 4-6 miles at 60-65% of MHR. Normally run at sub-6 minute mile pace.
  • Thursday:
    • Pm: 5 x 200m @ 800m pace (26-27 seconds) with 200m recovery jogs in 2 minutes. 
  • Friday:
    • Am: 4-6 miles at 65-75% of MHR and 50m drills + 4-6 x 50-100m accelerations.
  • Saturday:
    • Pm: 1500m or 1 mile race or time trial practising a fast finish. Or a 3km time trial.
  • Sunday:
    • Am: 10-12 miles at 60-70% MHR.

Weekly mileage: 55-65 miles (90-110km).

A typical week of training late in the competition period, close to a major race, is outlined below:

NB: MHR = Max Heart Rate

  • Monday:
    • Pm: 4-6 miles at 50-65% of MHR.
  • Tuesday:
    • pm: 2-4 miles including 2 x 100m, 1 x 200m, and 2 x 100m accelerations within.
  • Wednesday:
    • Pm: Race.
  • Thursday:
    • Pm: 4 miles at 50-65% MHR and travel.  
  • Friday:
    • Am: 2-4 miles + 50-100m accelerations.
  • Saturday:
    • Pm: Race.
  • Sunday:
    • Am: 6-10 miles at 50-65% MHR.

Weekly mileage: 30-40 miles (60-75km).

STAY TUNED TO RUNNER’S TRIBE FOR MORE STEVE SCOTT TRAINING INSIGHTS

Free Sources:

  • Steve Scott & Marc Bloom, Steve Scott the Miler Macmillan (1997)
  • Tony Benson and Irv Ray, Run with the Best (2001).
  • Steve Scott 1981-1982 Training logs.
  • IAAF.

Note: This is part 1 of a 2 part series.  Part 1 looks into Steve Scott’s training during the later stages of his career. By this stage, Steve had already amassed a huge level of aerobic endurance and strength. Stay tuned to Runner’s Tribe for Steve Scott’s training during his earlier days.

Cover photo courtesy of http://lynbrooksports.prepcaltrack.com/

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