Top Workouts from the Jim Spivey Training Journal Get an insider's look at Jim Spivey's training. Straight from his log book, you can see what it took to build a champion. While competing internationally, he kept a meticulous journal. logging what he did, how he felt, and how it impacted races around that time.
Key Crazy workout - Over the top volume or pace of the workout Scale 1-10, with 10 being "awesome"
April May 19, 1980 Second year of college, Monday
Time: Age 20 Where: Indiana University track Why: Tempo run interval to get a little tired, than an all-out 800m. Roommate Craig Houser timed me for this workout.
No morning run
2.0 miles warm-up around campus, a few strides
1200 meters 3:11.76 65.5-62.5-63.7 recovery jog 800 meters -- 1:49.52 53.5-56.02 -- This could have been a PR, as I ran 1:50.2 yards in high school, and 1:49.8 as a freshmen 1.0 miles warm down
5.0 miles for the day
Confidence building workout: 9 Crazy workout: 8 Mileage for week: 41 Six days later Saturday May 24th: Big 10 Conference Championships
1500meters 3:38.56, 1ST, Big 10 meet record :59 1:57 (:58) 2:54 (:57) :44 Also of note: May 23rd Friday 1500m heats, 3:46.05 1st May 24th Saturday 5000m finals, 14:06.6 2nd
April 29, 1987 2nd World Championship year Wednesday
Time: Age 27 Where: Indiana University Little 500 cinder track, on the grass inside the track Why: Base building workout in preparation for a long summer of racing. The World Championships 1500m final was September 6, over four months away. I had switched coaches from Sam Bell/Indiana University, my college coach from 1978-1987, to Mike Durkin in April. My first workout written by Mike was on April 11. I started this workout, knowing that it was a long one, but Mike had said on the telephone: You can run as slow as you want on these. How hard could it be? The temps were in the low 80s, and I would find out in the future when doing this workout in April, that the workout was a completely different workout when it was colder, and recovery quicker.
Workout was 60 minutes of total running time, not including warm-up and warm-down.
1.0 miles warm down, a crawl
15.5 miles for the day. I noted in my log: "8.0 miles of intervals and rest"
Confidence building workout: 7 Crazy workout: 6 Mileage for week: 73 Two weeks later Saturday, May 16, 1987: Pepsi Invite Mile 2nd to Steve Scott 62.5-202.6(60.1)3:03.3 (60.7) 3:59.93 (56.6)
October 23, 1980 2nd year of college Thursday
Time: Age 20 Where: Indiana University Golf Course very hilly Why: Two weeks prior to the Big Ten Championships at Michigan State University I had been fighting a cold the previous week (Oct 15-19), and had put in a good workout on Monday - 2k on the track in 5:59, 5.5 miles in 30:45, then another 2k on the track in 5:38 (73-72-70-65-63). I wrote down 40:22 for the total workout time, so I must have run on the track, then right into the tempo run on the roads, and back to the track without stopping. 13 miles for the day.
Thursdays workout was to help me prepare to race against the Michigan Duo of Brian Diemer and Dan Hiekian. A controlled 3k, then a fast 3k, followed by a controlled 3k. For the last interval, Coach Bell cut us back to 2500m, as we were probably still tired from Mondays workout.
No morning run 2.5 miles warm-up, a few strides on the grass 3000m grass loop 9:55 3000m grass loop 8:58.76 (2:58-2:59-3:09) 2500m grass loop 9:05
10.0 miles for the day
Confidence building workout: 6 Crazy workout: 3 Mileage for week: 49 One week later: Big 10 Championships, East Lansing 24:04.9 Course Record 1st
Team tied for 1st with Michigan 1-7-9-13-14-16 our places = 44 points
May 22, 1985 2nd year out of college Wednesday
Time: Age 25 Where: IUPU-Indianapolis Mondo track Why: 3 weeks prior to the TAC USA Outdoor championships in Indianapolis. Working on sustained speed (I did not write the rest down in my log book.)
The problem with this workout is that with so much speed being the focus, I peaked early this year. I was second at Pre, second at Jumbo (3:53), and won the US Champs. By August, I was toast. After running a disappointing 3:39.93 for 1500 meters on August 23, finishing last in the same race Saοd Aouita set the world record (3:29.46), I called it a season.
3.0 miles AM 2.0 miles warm-up, a few strides on the grass 2x200 27.01, 27.68 2x300 41.56, 41.62 2x400 54.71, 54.50 1x1600 alternate :30 for 200, then :40 for 200 (:70 laps) 4:37.0 2x150 19.02, 18.8
mile wd 11.5 miles for the day
Confidence building workout: 6 Crazy workout: 5 Mileage for week: 45 miles One week later: 3:35.82, 2nd at Prefontaine invite Three weeks later: 3:39.54, 1st at US championships (53.0 last lap)
March 23, 1979 Friday (Freshman year in college)
Time: Age 19 Where: Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana Why: Coach Sam Bell gave me a log book in September 1978. I had kept track of how many miles I had run each day during high school, but not times/distances. Little did I know that this first Run Log, made by Accusplit, would lead to me having logs of my running for the next 19 years.
I had run 400s in practice both in high school, and during the indoor track season, many times. There is the mystique of running 400s under 60 seconds -- it is natural to think, If I can run under 60 seconds on a bunch of 400s, I may be able to break 4 minutes in the mile!
One has to laugh, as I wrote 10x440 with a 220 jog in my log have to believe it was a meters track.
2.0 miles warm-up, a few strides on the grass 10x440 (220 jog between each) 59, 58.5, 59.7, 59, 58.5 59, 59, 58.5, 59.5, 58 All sub 60!!
Played basketball for an hour that night, in-between an evening run, counted it as 4.5 miles total Pulse AM 48, PM 52; Weight 138
Confidence building workout: 10 Crazy workout: 4 Mileage for week: 82 miles One week later: 3:46.62 1500m at U of Arkansas (PR)
July 23, 1984 Monday 2.5 weeks before 1984 Olympic Games
Time: Age 24 Where: Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana Why: In my log book, I put a ! next to the date I felt my body peaking while doing this workout, moving to another level of fitness. I had run 3:55.84 1st in Canada; 3:54.99 1st in Pennsylvania and 2:16.54 1000m 2nd at The Pre Classic and had felt flat in all three races. I think the 1000m race behind eventual Olympic 800m champion Cruz was the true story. When I finished, I had to work hard to go through at 1:49, and then dig deep to kick home in 27 seconds. It was a PR, but I had to work too hard early in the race. I felt great in this workout, and it helped my confidence going into the Games. Note that I had averaged around 42 miles a week for the first six months of 1984, so I was not going to be a finalist through strength.
3 miles AM run
2.0 miles warm-up, log book states straights (6) so probably 6x100
1x200 28.26 4x600 1:24.17 1:25.42 1:24.61 1:24.26 (500 rest between)[800 after the set] 1x400 52.2 mile wd
The key on the 600s, is that I did not look at my watch until after the interval had been completed. I ran for a feeling, not time. This, coupled with the times all being within 1.2 seconds, without trying, gave me great confidence that I was starting my peak.
Confidence building workout: 9 Crazy workout: 3 Mileage for week: 42.5 miles Two weeks later: 1984 Olympic Games August 9th 1500 heat, 3:40.58, 2nd, last 300m 40.71 August 10th -1500 semi-final 3:36.53, 2nd, last 300m 40.48 August 11th 1500 final 3:36.07, 5th, last 300m 41.99
Time in the finals is the fastest an American has run in the finals, through the 2008 Olympics. Thought this would fall this week at the Beijing Games.
June 3, 1990 Sunday 2x workouts in the cycle Sunday
Time: Age 30 Where: York High School, Illinois Why: Six weeks before the North Central College Invitational Workout choice today to honor Coach Joe Newton of York HS. A documentary will be previewed today, August 14, 2008 on his coaching style.
I had been injured October 19, 1989 through March 7, 1990, and did not run a step. I was not sure if I was going to be able to train again. I started easy running and then began putting in slow interval workouts on April 23rd. So much of this time was staying focused and trying to have courage, as each step after the injury, I would think, Was that the injury again?
I had written off the track season for 1990 after only racing four times in 1989 in Europe in September. The last race I had won was a 3:36.85 1500m in Padova, Italy. No treadmill test in the spring as was my standard.
2.0 miles warm-up, 10x100 2x1000 (300) 2:54, 2:50.8  3x200 (100) 33, 32, 32.5  2x1000 (300) 2:46, 2:47.3  3x200 9100) 32.4, 31.8, 31.0 4x400 vf on the grass 4x100 mile wd
Two weeks later, you can see the improvement in times, and confidence (Monday, June 11, 1990) Pulse AM upon waking up: 45 3.0 miles AM
2.0 miles warm-up at North Central College, 10x100 3x150 f (50) 3x1000 (400) 2x1000 (400) with middle 200 good pace 2:50.43 -33.1 2:46.41 -32.0 2:45.47 -32.5 2:40.53 -31.4 2:39.38 -31.3 3x150 f (50) 6x100 mile wd day mileage: 12.5
Confidence building workout: 8 Crazy workout: 1 Mileage for week: 57.5 week of June 3rd; 60.5 week of June 11th Four weeks later: North Central College meet, 1500 meters -- 1st 3:40.69
May 11, 1991 Saturday
Time: Age 31 Where: Wheaton College track, Wheaton, Illinois Why: Five weeks before the USATF Championships in New York Eight weeks before 3:49.82 mile in Oslo
As my volume of oxygen had been lower than normal when tested by Dr. David Martin on April 25, he had recommended that I do longer intervals at a marathon race pace to build VO2, throughout the summer. Most workouts this time of the year are geared to increase speed or lactic acid tolerance. This is a workout that is normally completed in the fall or build up phase.
Pulse 168 when I finished the mile Max 192 on 4.25.91 Weight 134.5 14.0 miles for the day
Confidence building workout: 6 Crazy workout: 1 Mileage for week: 78.5 Five weeks later: USATF Championships, 1500 meters 4th in final 3:41.39 6.29.91 Bilbow, Spain 3:35.74 3rd 1500m 7.3.91 Stockholm, Sweden 3:33.81 4th 1500m 7.6.91 Oslo, Norway 3:49.83 3rd mile (see sub-4 miles) 7.10.91 Lausanne, Switzerland 3:50.52 2nd mile 7.13.91 Rovereto, Italy 3:36.99 1st 1500m 7.20.91 New York 3:52.74 1st mile (107 degrees)
October 17, 1983 Time: Age 23, fifth year in college Where: Bloomington, Indiana Why: Three weeks before the Big Ten Championships
2.0 miles AM run
2.0 miles warm-up, strides, weight 134.5
10 mile run: Broken up one mile hard in the middle. Road was flat, about a mile North of Bloomington North High School, on the way to Rte. 46. Long Kinser loop 10 miles 51:54, 6th fastest ever for Jim 5:10-10:30 (5:20) 15:51 (5:21) 19:50 (3:59) 24:45 (4:55) 30:12 (5:27) 35:45 (5:33) 41:20 (5:35) 46:40 (5:20) 51:54 (5:14)
Mile warmdown, weight 132.5 14.5 miles for the day
Confidence building workout: 9 Crazy workout: 4 Mileage for week: 50.0 Two weeks later: Big Ten Championships 1st, 24:20, 8k Team 6th place
**I thought the mile was short. When I ran past Coach Bells car and he told me my time, I yelled over my shoulder, Thats short! He said he measured it in the car, and it could only be off by a second or so. For what its worth, that was the time run, regardless of the distance.
July 20, 1992 Time: Age 32 Where: Nice, France Track where the world record was set in the 1500m 1985 Why: Two weeks prior to the first round of the Barcelona Olympic Games
3x200 (100) 26.44. 27.42, 25.86 5x100 5 minutes warm-down 8.5 miles for the day
Confidence building workout: 9 Crazy workout: 3 Mileage for week: 53.0 Two weeks later: August 3rd 4th in Heat of Barcelona Olympic Games, 3:38.01 at 11:15 am - August 6th 3:35.55 for 4th in Semi-finals - August 8th 3:41.74 for 8th in Finals
April 19, 1982 Time: Senior in college at Indiana University Where: Track at IU, Bloomington, Indiana Why: Week of the Drake Relays 4 weeks until the Big 10 Conference meet
2.0 miles AM run
2.0 miles warm-up 2x400 (800) 24.0-49.8 24.0-48.9 PR 1x200 24.2 1.5 miles wd, weights Broke HS 440y PR of 49.7 (49.3=400 meters) 9.5 miles for the day
Confidence building workout: 10 Crazy workout: 10 Mileage for week: 45.5 Two weeks later: Won Billy Hayes Invite 5000m run, 13:53.59 4:28-9:01 (4:33) - 13:24 (4:23) - 29 last 400m - 62
May 26, 1982 Time: Senior in college at Indiana University Where: Track at IU, Bloomington, Indiana Why: Getting ready for end of the season championships
1.5 miles AM run
4.0 miles warm-up 6x800 (400 rest) 60-1:57.9 59-1:57.3 59-1:58.0 58.5-1:57.2 58.3-1:58.5 (jogged 800) 58.7-1:57.6 average: 1:57.77 mile wd and weights, 12.5 miles for the day
Confidence building workout: 10 Crazy workout: 9 Mileage for week: 66.5 Two weeks later: Won NCAA Outdoor Championships 1500m run in Provo, Utah, 3:45.48 Then, Kinney Shoe Invitational in San Francisco, 1st, 800m 1:46.5 PR