For many years, runners, coaches, and scientists have argued over which method of training is the best. Some insist it's the methodology espoused by Arthur Lydiard; others say it is year-round interval training, while others say the best way to train is by using long, slow distance. It's my belief that there isn't one system or theory that is logically complete and perfect in itself; rather, the best system should be one that takes the best that each has to offer and synthesizes it into a well-rounded, total system.
This is what my long-time coach, Bill Dellinger, has done. He has borrowed from many of the great coaches, such as Lydiard and his predecessor at Oregon, Bill Bowerman, and added many of his own ideas. The result is what has become known as the Oregon System.
Over the years, Dellinger has constantly re ned and developed his training methods. Although the late Steve Prefontaine-the rst great runner Dellinger coached- followed similar training patterns to what Dellinger-coached runners do now, much has been added. Every year, Dellinger is looking for new ways to improve training, and henceforth, performance. It's the only way for his athletes to keep up with the continual improvements in times. This is illustrated by the fact that Prefontaine's American 5000m record at the time of his death was 13:22.4, and yet I have lowered the record to 13:11.9. (The three fastest American 5000m times to 1984 were all recorded by Dellinger-coached runners: myself, Matt Centrowitz, and Bill McChesney.)
Besides incorporating successful training methods, Dellinger has always tried to make running fun and rewarding. If the workouts would always be too hard and unenjoyable, the runners would become stale and irritable. Just this past winter (1984), Dellinger introduced us to a new facet of winter training: circuit training. It was designed to give us something new and