Arbeit's Strikes Again!

How much of Arbeit can you believe when you know the facts of the BJ anecdote?

Running around an oval hauling a 12kg tyre must have produced some nice sheering forces on her joints …

From what I had heard previously about Koch’s training, running overdistance doesn’t sound correct. Especially if Arbeit says she ran that throughout the year. I could believe it more readily if he had said she ran the distance once, unloaded, toward the end of a special preparation phase.

Anyone have Marita’s contact details. It would be great to ask her what she did.

PJ, have you got any part of her training program???

Who is she?

You’re on the right track!!

Horst Hilla told me only one longer run WEd, but, hey! What did he know!
KK. You were there at the WU track with Marita before the WR. wasn’t it 1 x 300m?

Frank Dick has also been promoting this idea at other IAAF events. Why they are saying these things if they never happened is a mystery to me.

Cause Frank was always a clueless BS artist.

Well…sometimes if you have an idea you feel is worthy, you add some famous reference to re enforce your belief…also…attaching your names to famous ones is a sure way to get audience attention.


i would like to know more here!?? if you please

i know Seb Coe used to run some 200’s or 300’s before meets if breathing was an issue due to air (due to racing in foreign countries or states i think it was) but they weren’t fast - maybe 38-40ish sec i believe. Done during the warm ups. Gets the lungs used to the air before you race, primes the system so to speak so come race, its all ready to go.
ill see maybe if i can dig it up tomorrow.

In 1985 I had already coached a sprinter to Moscow and LA Olympics and still didn’t know whether my arse was on fire.:rolleyes: So unfortunately I didn’t see Koch do any training or trials because I wasn’t smart enough to be there in the right place at the right time. But I sure did see that 47.60. She looked like she was sprinting 100m and just kept turning over at the same rate for the entire 400m. It was ridiculous - like a windup doll.

I can’t help but watch it over and over and be amazed!

The 2nd girl still ran very fast…but daylight filled the places down to 8th!


she is just about level with the lane 8 runner at 200m and see the gap to the field as she hits the final straight :eek: how would you feel if you ran 3rd in that race ? :o

What’s interesting is that Marita was talking about 47.00 before the meet! I saw the tables in question and I see why. The 21.56 time trial and a 100m best of 10.83 indicated this. What was also interesting, these same tables indicate that Flojo might have run 46.00! Coincidentally, that was exactly what Darrell Robinson said she could do after seeing her SE sessions. The table listed the 100m norm as 10.50 to 10.60 and she was 10.49.

I recall you saying at the GC seminar about what a beast in training FloJo was with some of the longer rep SE sessions annihilating her male training partners while she just went for it.

What’s scary is that lane 8 has run 50.0 and lane 7 is Kratochvilova (off form to be sure!)

L’Equipe arranged a meeting between Pérec and Koch in Paris after Barcelona’92 games (Pérec won in 48.83). Some quotes from Koch about her training :

About how she started sports :
Marita Koch is not a pure product of DDR system. She went to Weimar club at age 11because her best friend did athletics. “But i only went in spring and summer, no way to run with bad weather!”. No way either to run in the prestigious Rostock club “I was so small that at age 13 i was still not matching the norms of 11 years old childs.” “In Rostock, they fired me saying that i was too often injured. Actually i wasn’t good enough”. At age 15, after a growth crisis, she decided to follow regular training, on PM, after school. 2 to 3 hours workouts 5 days a week, nothing too serious according to Koch, while Pérec explains that the amount of work she had in 1991, the year she won her first World title in 49.13. Koch : “So, you stil have a big margin progression!”.

About Wolfgang Meier’s training “That’s the regimen i needed. If i had more liberties, i wouldn’t have trained like this. From 200m, all the races hurt! After 2 reps, i would have say : ok that’s enough for today.”

Marie-José coughs when she heards the workouts Marita did one month prior her last WR : “I remember very well : stuff like 6 x 300m in 36sec, with 10min rest. My goal was 48sec at 400m, thus i was training at this pace (PJ : 36sec at 300m and 48sec at 400m are both 8,33m/s average speed). I was in super shape, and one day i even did them in 34sec ! This, i would have never been able to do before.”
Marita goes on saying that Pérec needs oponents to break the WR, at her time she had Kratochvilova, WR holder at that time with 47.99 and Vladykina, runner-up to Koch in Canberra with 48.27 and runner-up to Pérec in Barcelona).
She also says that you need luck. 1985 was a strange year, with no major competition but the World Cup in October, an unique occasion in a carrier. She was already in shape in July-August, shown by a 200m in 21.78 into the wind. “I had a lot of time ahead, so i could train a lot more, more than i ever did. Of course, it required a lot of efforts. Not only physical : you soon get bored to feel in great shape and not enter competitions. But the result proves that it’s worth it…”.

However, Marita is surprised to hear about 500m at training (PJ : Pérec used to do it). Wolfgang, with the help of a quick picture on paper, explains his theory. According to him, all the 400m run between 51sec and 47sec all show about the same speed curve : progressove acceleration until 150-200m, then progressive deceleration, which is, proportionnaly, is always identical. “The first part of the race determines the final performance. One have to pass at the half way as fast as possible, still keeping a small margin. If your PB is 22.20 at 200m (PJ : Pérec’s pb in 92) you have to pass at half way in 23sec. And finish in 48.83 is normal. In order to break the WR, you have to improve speed. The day you will be worth 21.71 like Marita, you will be able to break her WR.”
Marita about the 47.60 : “when i received the intermediate time, i couldn’y believe it. I told to myself : it can’t be me!”.

In 1993, Pérec would focus on 200m (21.99 PB), then went to John Smith the following season until 1999 and surprisingly established herslef in February 2000 in Rostock…

I was given the figure of 21.56 for a time trial before leaving for Canberra by Meier when we talked there at the time. PJ, can you confirm that speed runs did not exceed the race distance?

I confirm they did not saw the point of doing more than the competition distance, Grit Breuer (400m World Junior Record holder) told me the same, even for tempo she did 300m or 400m, never longer. However, i know that they had continuous runs, up to 10km for Schönlebe (400m European Record holder), up to 4km for Göhr (short sprint specialist), i don’t know for Koch, i saw Breuer doing these runs but i wasn’t interested to know how long she was doing them.

Note that Marita Koch did a 800m in 1977 in 2:16, quoted in a Track & Field News article the same year. I don’t know if she had other time trials like this later in her career. In 1977 she was already running 22.38/49.53.

For a 49.5 sprinter, 2.16 for 800 shows no indication of serious work above 400m, with or without a tire.