As I’ve copied my Training Log here over the past few weeks, I’ve realized again how incomplete memory can be. I had forgotten just how much a few people helped me get ready for the Olympics during that crucial summer of 1988.
I was trying to get super fit and do some high-quality running while still coping with heel bursitis and a bad Achilles tendon; my training program had to be carefully tailored to meet my limitations.
My friends helped me with all the parts of my training: running, cycling, swimming, and gym workouts.
My husband Paul had been my training partner in Brussels during parts of 1986, 1987, and 1988. During the summer of 1988, Joseph Kibur was the person who usually pulled me through my fast running workouts. At that time he was only 16. He was already much faster than me, but in the longer intervals I was almost as strong as him. He did most of my Belt Line workouts with me.
My friend Beth Primrose won the Nationals in triathlon in 1988. She was a very strong runner who could cover a 10K in 34-something, but she was also excellent in the other parts of the triathlon. Beth led me through many swim workouts in the summer of 1988. It was the only time in my life when I did swim workouts hard enough that a swimmer would consider them “real” workouts. Beth didn’t actually swim with me—I was far too slow for her—but she was in the pool with me swimming throughout those long workouts, and it helped me accept the horrible monotony of pool workouts.
Beth also paced me through some tough cycling workouts, when I would desperately try to stay with her by drafting. But my main cycling partner was my coach George Gluppe. George was already having trouble with his knees and wasn’t able to run much, but on the bike he was very strong. He was a compatible cycling partner for me, as long as I let him draft me most of the way. We had some epic battles at the end of our cycling workouts when he would usually be able to outsprint me in the final few hundred metres.
On August 29, 1988, George and I flew to Vancouver, where I would do a couple more weeks of training before meeting up with the Canadian team for our trip to Seoul. George’s brother Milt and his wife Liz had two homes in the Vancouver area; they had a houseboat moored in New Westminster and an apartment in Chilliwack. They let us stay at both locations and we scouted out tracks, trails, pools, and gyms where I could train.
Now it was time for the “icing on the cake” part of my training: doing the fast track workouts that would enable me to run 10K at a world-class pace. I hadn’t had an ideal endurance build-up of many miles of running, but I had done the best I could with cross-training as a substitute. Now I already had a couple of months of fairly fast-paced running under my belt, and I would have to do the remaining track workouts on my own.
Olympic Training Log
August 27, 1988
AM: Track workout at Earl Haig. 6 laps warmup, 3 strides. 6 x 1 mile with 2 min rest, Joseph [Kibur] and I exchanging lead every 200m. Times 5:12, 5:10 for next 5. Felt controlled. 6 x 100m with walk rest. Easy jog warmdown. 8 miles.
August 28, 1988
AM: Did Kettleby [bike] time trial with George and Joseph. Wiped them out—49:16—worked hard, legs felt good.
PM: Swim workout at Fitness Institute. Terrible because pool filled with kids. 1025m warmup, 21:32. 10 sets of 100m, 50m. Couldn’t get times very well because of kids—between 1:55–2:00 and 55–58, resting only 20 sec. Still feeling nauseous today, but energetic.
August 29, 1988
AM: Did Belt Line workout with Joseph. 29 min hard warmup. 8 x 1 km, 1 min rest. Times 3:15, 3:26, 3:13, 3:26, 3:15, 3:24, 3:15, 3:22. [Alternating faster/slower times due to slight grade on trail.] Stayed with Joseph for 7—really tightening up on last 3—tough. Stomach still bad. About 9½ miles.
Travelling to Vancouver.
August 30, 1988
AM: Did weights at excellent gym. Did combination “push” and leg workout, including squats and snatch. 72 min.
PM: Went swimming in 100 ft pool—bad workout because pool very crowded and rough. 43 min continuous, 4 x 200 ft.
August 31, 1988
AM: Workout in Stanley Park. 13 min easy warmup. 4 x 100m strides. 10 x 400m with 1 min rest. [Brockton Oval] First 6 in training flats—all 71’s—OK for cinder. Next 4 in racing flats—69, 69, 69, 70. Working very hard—felt a bit stiff and sluggish—not enough sleep. After 400’s did 38-min run, about 20 min at good pace in trails around Beaver Lake—really wiped out by end. Knee tendonitis back—bad—from squats. About 10 miles.
After run went to Kitsilano outdoor pool, did 11—12 min swimming.
PM: Lifecycle workout. 3 x 12-min hill circuit. Hills short but tough. Knee sore.
September 1, 1988
AM: Did pull workout at gym. Worked hard 69 min. Knee improving.
PM: Did swim workout at Kitsilano outdoor pool. 1200 yard continuous—almost 24 min. 8 x 150 yd—about 2:45–2:50 with 30 sec rest. Workout tough because pool very cold.
September 2, 1988
AM: Did track workout at Minaru Park track. 15 min warmup on grass, 4 strides. 6 x 300m with 2 min rest. Times 47.4, 47.1, 47. 5. Spikes: 46.4, 45.9, 46.1. Jogged 5 min, then drove to Stanley Park. Ran hard for about 45 min on trails around Beaver Lake. Tough—legs tired. Knee felt a bit stiff during workouts, got a few twinges of pain when I stopped running. Went to pool, did 600 yards. About 10 miles running.
PM: Did 31 min continuous stationary cycling. Knee not bad.
This week: 37½ miles running, 1 bike time trial, 1 hr 27 min stationary bike, 3 full swim workouts + extra swimming, 2 weight workouts.