During the early nineties, Queenslander Simon Doyle was a serious player at a global level over 1500m. Doyle that year won three Grand Prix races and finished 4th at the Commonwealth Games in Auckland. In 1991, Doyle finished 12th at the World Athletics Championships final in Tokyo.

It was also in 1991, that Doyle set new Australian 1500m (3:31.96) and one-mile (3:49.91) records, in Stockholm on July 3 then Oslo on July 6. Doyle’s Mile record has only been bettered once since, by the one and only Craig Mottram, when Buster clocked 3:48.98 in 2005, also in Oslo.  

Doyle’s 1500m record was to stand for 19 years; it took the prodigious talent of one Ryan Gregson, to displace him from the top of the leader board.

Despite never winning a major championship medal, Doyle was a major force in Australia, winning the 800/1500m double at the 1991 Australian Championships – an achievement that has only been equalled once since (Jeff Riseley in 2015).

We took a look back at Doyle’s training with example weeks of training provided for each of his main three training phases.

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  • From: Queensland
  • D.O.B: 9th November 1966

Personal Bests

  • 800m: 1:45.38
  • 1000m: 2:18.22
  • 1500m: 3:31.96
  • Mile: 3:49.91

Build Up Phase (April 1991)

A typical week of training during Doyle’s build-up phase is outlined below:

Sunday

  • Long. 15 miles relaxed plus a 30 minute swim.

Monday

  • Recovery run of 5-8 miles.

Tuesday

  • 5 miles warm-up jog. Then 5 x 1km trails, strong in 2:30 to 3:00.

Wednesday

  • Swim plus 12 miles.

Thursday

  • 60 minutes incorporating warm-up, then a tempo/surge, then 8 x 170m hills).

Friday

  • 5 miles plus a 1km swim.

Saturday

  • 10 miles (consisting of a warm-up, then a 10mins surge, float, then 10mins surge).

Pre Competition Phase (May 1991)

A typical week of training during Doyle’s pre-competition phase is outlined below:

Sunday

  • 15 miles relaxed plus a 30 minute swim.

Monday

  • AM: Recovery run of 5 miles.
  • PM: 8 miles relaxed.

Tuesday

  • Warm-up run. Then surges – 3 miles and 2 miles surges. Then a warm-down run.

Wednesday

  • 12 miles.

Thursday

  • 60 minutes. Consisting of warm-up and 8 x hills of 170m.

Friday

  • 5 miles plus a swim.

Saturday

  • Warm-up and warm-down runs of 4-5 miles each.  Track session of 6 x 300m in 41 seconds.

Competition Phase (June 1991)

A typical week of training during Doyle’s competition phase is outlined below:

Sunday

  • 15 miles relaxed plus a swim.

Monday

  • AM: Recovery run of 5 miles.
  • PM: 8 miles relaxed.

Tuesday

  • Warm-up run. Then 8 x 200m (2 mins recover). In 24.2 seconds average.

Wednesday

  • 10 miles.

Thursday

  • Warm-up, then 8 x hills easy. Good form.

Friday

  • 5 miles relaxed.

Saturday

  • 1200, time trial. Canberra. 2:51.1 (splits were 55.8, 56.7, 57.6).

Australian 1500m Top 10 All-Time Rankings List

  1. Ryan Gregson 3.31.06
  2. Simon Doyle 3.31.96
  3. Jeff Riseley . 3.32.93
  4. Mike Hillardt 3.33.39
  5. Mark Fountain  3.33.68
  6. Craig Mottram 3.33.97
  7. Graham Crouch 3.34.22
  8. Jeremy Roff 3.34.39
  9. Pat Scammell 3.34.61
  10. Collis Birmingham 3.35.50

Australian One Mile Top 10 All-Time Rankings List

  1. Craig Mottram 3.48.98
  2. Simon Doyle 3.49.91
  3. Jeff Riseley 3.51.25
  4. Mike Hillardt 3.51.82
  5. Ryan Gregson 3.52.24
  6. Mark Fountain 3.53.24
  7. Pat Scammell 3.53.58
  8. Collis Birmingham 3.54.30
  9. Herb Elliott 3.54.5h
  10. Luke Mathews 3.54.53

With thanks to Pat Clohessy


By Sam Burke – Runner’s Tribe

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