Alberto Salazar's Training Log — Univ. of Oregon, 1977 Cross Country Season


A while back I came across Alberto Salazar’s training log from his 1977 Cross Country season at the University of Oregon.

Salazar finished 10th at the ’77 NCAA Cross Country Championships.

The Men of Oregon won the team title, narrowly beating a dominant Texas El-Paso team stocked with many international student-athletes from Kenya.

You can view team and individual results from the 1977 NCAA XC Championship here:

PDF | 1977 NCAA Cross Country Championships Results

His ‘77 training log gives a glimpse into the training focus and work design during his undergraduate years under the guidance of famed UO coach Bill Dellinger. The 1970s was an era when running 100+ mile was not only common, but expected of a competitive runner. Much of that influence stemmed from famed New Zealand distance coach Arthur Lydiard’s “Marathon Training” Base Phase and Frank Shorter’s training philosophies, both of which were “proven” by the virtue of multiple Olympic medals won.

You can access a PDF of Salazar’s 1977 XC training log here:

PDF | Alberto Salazar, Univ. of Oregon Training Log — 1977 Cross Country Season

Quick Takeaways:

  • He logged 1,012 miles in 12 weeks

  • Competed in only 4 meets (all of them 10K XC)

  • He ran twice-a-day, every day, except Sundays — when he ran only once

  • The longest Long Run was 15 miles (most were 13-14 miles)

  • There we no days off taken in 12 weeks.

  • He performed 3 - 4 workouts regularly each week.

  • Workouts were varied in nature, but the design of each type was similar and revisited at regular intervals:

    • 30/30 Drill (Acidosis Tolerance)

    • Steady or Broken Tempo Runs

    • 6 x 1 Mile cutdowns were a frequently performed favorite

    • Repeat sets of 880s followed by 330s made a near weekly appearance

    • Medium Length Hill Repeats, both up and downhill

  • There was a very rapid reduction in daily volume the final 2 weeks of the season (67 then 44 mpw) when racing became the fulcrum

These workouts along with the overall training design are echoed in the workouts and training schedules he’s assigned to the professional runners he had coached under the Oregon Project banner. For better or worse, as is often with the case with many competitive runners turned coach, much of what he did as an athlete in training is what his athletes did — albeit with a few updates, some of which proven to be illegal.*

Got a training question you’d like my thoughts on? Send me a Direct Message on Twitter.
Thx | @jmarpdx

*this post was conceived and written several days before Salazar’s 4-year ban from coaching (2019-2023) via USADA was issued, but published after the announcement of the ban.

Jonathan Marcus