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IN the multitude of physical culture 
counsels derived from all parts of the world, 
the author believes that none surpass or 
even equal the old-fashioned English training 
methods which once stood for our unassailable 
supremacy in the field of athletics. The 
American coaches, supposedly gifted with super- 
natural powers, freely admit that the foundation- 
stone of their reflected successes in recent 
years was laid by the teachings of the old school 
of England's professional athletes. These imply 
an adherence to simple and therefore natural 
health rules combined with a nice technical 
understanding. Nowadays, elementary details 
are mostly neglected or overlooked, for the 
reason that most of the qualified track trainers 
have gone out of business. They and their kind 
have had to seek other occupations. Some have 
gone to America, and many are to be found 
tending to the professional football teams up 
and down the country. As a result, the 
willing amateur athletes have lacked competent 
coaching, and the British Olympic teams have 


not covered themselves with glory. They have 
generally been beaten where their predecessors 
often excelled. The Americans and other com- 
peting nations have attempted (and not by any 
means adopted) professional training on the 
approved old English lines, especially in regard 
to track athletics. What shape these lines take 
it is the purport of this book to illustrate, under 
the direction of one who has travelled along 
them. If serving no other good purpose, their 
production here (and at a time when athletic 
trainers and training is a topic of the day) 
may lead to a revival and a better understand- 
ing of track and general athletics. 

Among all the splendid British field games, 
the only exception to a generally well-understood 
set of first principles is to be found in foot- 
racing. Knowledge is recognised in its highest 
aspect — that is, as the most powerful agent 
for progress and improvement — in golf, cricket, 
football, tennis, bowls and suchlike games of 
skill. The simplicity of running — and of sprint- 
running in particular — has seemingly covered 
up the thousand and one little details to be 
eradicated or acquired, which go to fashion the 
first-class and highly polished short-distance 
runner, such as we met with in the past. In 
saying so much, there is no attempt to belittle 
the present-day amateur, nor to suggest that, 


given the same understanding of his subject, and 
the will to put it into practice, he would not 
do as well or better than the professionals. 
The natural advantages are on his side ; for 
the old-time professional pedestrian master- 
pieces came of a class, however strong and 
hardy, lacking in ordinary comforts and often 
the bare necessities of life. But they made 
compensation by their fine technique. 

Here is the lesson, then, that I wish to clearly 
place before the athletes of old England, in the 
hope of restoring their rather dimmed prestige as 
the pioneers and most expert demonstrators of 
the nearly lost art (so far as they are concerned) 
of track athletics. 

In recent times, not only the Americans, but 
the French, the Germans, the Italians and the 
Swedes have produced extraordinary runners. It 
is safe to assert, however, that none of them 
(except, perhaps, the French) are as rich in 
raw material as we. Only something stands 
between us and our regaining possession of 
the " Blue Riband " of the world's athletics— 
which, I feel, is more dependent upon the issue 
of foot-racing than any other branch of sport. 
This is the somewhat common failure to look 
below the surface and investigate causes which 
go to account for there being the usual " wrong 
way" and "right way." 


In regard to the terms and routine of the 
training here presented, the writer has merely 
set forth that which would best serve a 
seasoned professional athlete who could devote 
all his time and energies to a fairly strict daily 
routine. This is, of course, impossible to all 
but the select few. 

The average athlete only able to spare an hour 
or so in the early mornings or evenings will, 
naturally, take a longer period (and train even 
more gradually) to prepare himself to arrive at 
his best state. He is of a class to whom natural 
physical exercise in the open air means every- 
thing — and he should miss no real opportunity 
of practising either the training exercises (shown 
in another chapter) or his particular form of 

Boys and youths under twenty years of age 
(at the least) must be content with much less ex- 
acting work until they are grown up to manhood. 
They only need to practise, without exerting 
themselves severely, to find style and get a 
grasp of things. The rest will come later on. 

I cheerfully acknowledge the hints and 
suggestions that I have received from my old 
friends, Charles Ransom and Harry Perry, in 
the preparation of this work. 



The Rudiments of Running and Walking 


Sprint-Running . . . . . 


200 AND 300 Yards Sprints 


The 440 Yards Race . . . . 


The Half-Mile Race . . . . 


The One-Mile Race . . . . 


Long-Distance Running . . . , 


How TO become a Marathon Winner 


Track Tactics .... 


True Training Methods . 

. 135 

Track and Road Walking 

. 152 

The Hurdles .... 

. 161 

The Long Jump .... 

. 169 

The High Jump .... 

• ^Ti 

Hop, Step and Jump 

. 177 

Putting the Shot .... 

. 181 


. 185 

Shoes ..... 

. 188 

Starting ..... 

• 195 



Timing or Watch-Holding 

Care of the Track 

Stride Measuring and Tracing . 

Fashioning the Raw Material . 

Training Exercises 

General Health Hints and Personal Notions 
Index ..... 






Beautiful Hurdling . . . Frontispiece 

Photograph by J. Woodland FuUwood 


Runners and Walkers .... 2 

Power, Suppleness and Pace ... 4 

A Fine Specimen of the Human Frame shaped 

FOR Swift Running .... 6 

Sprinters ...... 18 

A Sprinting Lesson . . . . .38 

Photograph by J. Woodland FuUwood 

Get Set ! . . . . . .46 

Photograph by J. Woodland FuUwood 

The Start for the Sprint: New and Old Styles 52 

Different Distance Types . . .60 

A Bunch of Faults . . . . .64 

Photograph by J. Woodland FuUwood 

Elegant Middle- Distance Running : Hans Braun, 

the German "Quarter" and "Half-Miler" 68 
Photograph by J. Woodland Ftillwood 

Oxford and Cambridge Milers . . . 70 , 

Photograph by J. Woodland FuUwood 



Mile Runners . . . . . . 74 '^ 

Photograph by J. Woodland Full-wood 

Distance Running . . . . . 80 "^ 

Photograph by J. Woodland Fnllwood 

Track Tactics in Relay Running . . .134 

Photograph by J. Woodland Full-wood 

True Heel and Toe Action . . . 154 ~^ 

A Classical Long Jump .... 166 

Photograph by J. Woodland Full-wood 

The Roll-over Style of High Jump . .174 

Photograph by J. Woodland Fullwood 

The Turn in the Air : a High Jumper just 

clearing the Bar . . . .176 

Photograph by J. Woodland Full-wood 

Swinging the Hammer .... 186 

Photograph by J. Woodland Fullwood 






TO fairly appreciate the somewhat lengthy 
sections of this work which are devoted 
to foot-racing, it will be as well if the 
average reader followed the writer's train of 
thought with regard to the ideal styles of bodily 
movement. Everybody can rmi or walk, at a 
greater or lesser speed, and continue to do so 
for varying lengths of time — a matter always, 
of course, dependent upon the individual. To 
know just how you do your bit of running or 
walking should be interesting to the average 
man. It should also induce to a little thought 
as to what a wonderful creation is the human 
body. Once this comes to pass, the rest is easy ; 
for anyone of ordinary intelligence will, surely, 
find entertainment in understanding why it is he 
runs or walks at will, mostly in an effortless kind 
of manner, but under " forced draught " when 
top pressure is applied. If most cannot take 
sufficient interest in what are truly miraculous 
powers — each man, woman or child is a living 
miracle— then one must pause to take breath ! 


The runner runs and the walker walks out of 
his nervous energy. His nerves are the governors 
of his muscles, and these control all other parts. 
The joints are just hinges encompassed by liga- 
ments and tendons, each shaped to take their 
especial part in the bending, stretching and in- 
and-out play. The leg is a long lever which drives 
the body along by pressure against the ground, 
rigidly set in walking, but more easily carried 
in running. The legs are under the command of 
the arms, which are equally dominated by the 
shoulders, back and chest muscles, in either 
walking or running. The strain of arm-swing 
comes upon the upper part of the body and 
the triceps muscles of the upper arm ; the strain 
of leg-swing falls upon the stomach, loins and 
groin. The drive comes at the beginning of 
the stride from the front of the thighs and loin 
muscles and the push off the ground from the 
buttocks and all the muscles running up the 
back of the leg. These are the parts that take 
the whole weight of the body when the leg is 
levered up on the toes or the ball of the foot as 
it is being pushed away from the ground. 

The legs are really the instruments of the 
body, which orders them to its requirements 
by the agency of the nervous forces. If you 
closely watch the running of any little boy or 
girl you will see their arms and bodies loosely 
but actively engaged in giving assistance to 













the legs. This is natural movement altogether 
different to that which we are usually accustomed 
to view on our lunning tracks. Now and 
again some exceptional youngster comes along 
who does the right thing by instinct, without one 
in a thousand being able to divine the real reason 
of his fine running. He only does what others can 
do if they were made to understand that running 
is based on a sort of topsy-turveydom, and due 
equally as much to the play of the transported 
body as to the swing of the legs themselves. 

Nearly every kind of running has its special 
style, graduating from the flying sprint to the 
easily taken low paces of the very long-distance 
track or road work. The poise of the body is 
more forward at sprinting than at genuine 
quarter-mihng (where the runner goes through 
with a long, plugging stride) . Then the quarter- 
miler's extra speed calls for a lower carriage 
of head and shoulders than the half-miler, who, 
again, should not be quite so erect as the miler. 
From this stage onwards, however, all are 
much of a muchness : the running is more flat- 
footed. But every runner with any pretensions 
to be at the top of his class should cultivate a 
turn of speed or sprinting burst, which he can 
only do if he inclines his head and shoulders 
more forward than he is accustomed to in the 
ordinary way of racing, and, getting up on his 
toes, sets his feet going to a livelier measure. 


There is really no form of track athletics so 
little understood as running and walking. The 
cross-play of the arms, the right arm lifting the 
left leg, and the left arm lifting the right leg, 
should hint at the part that the body muscles 
have to play in the general effort. Nothing 
is more certain, too, than that when one is 
in an unprepared state the stomach and rib 
muscles feel the strain most acutely. Why, at 
the opening of a cricket season, or if you are 
injudicious enough to do some fast or long work 
on the track after being away from there for 
some months, and even at bowls or golf, you 
will get a stiffness and soreness about the ribs 
which will take some rubbing or wearing off. 

Walking — as conducted upon the track — is 
more punishing than running. The fairer and 
faster the walker the greater the fatigue. The 
arms and body swing are his chief concerns. 
How they help to get the legs along or the rise 
and fall of the shoulders, the rolling of the 
hips clearly show. Both running and walking 
depend chiefly upon the strength and suppleness 
of the body. The lithe leg, most pliable at the 
joints, and giving the long drive from the top 
of the thigh bone to the knee-joint, is their most 
valuable assistant. A great runner or walker 
is formed by nature. The critical eye will find 
him out and linger longingly upon the shapely 
contour of his figure, the neatly turned joints, 




the arched foot, the even distribution of 
strength ; the hssom movements (to be noticed 
even when he is in his ordinary clothes) of the 
arms, hips and shoulders, and the quick, alert 
steps, reveal the athlete. 

No two running or walking actions are alike. 
They may be high or they may be low down to 
the ground, midway between these extremes 
with many intermediate variations of either 
style. The shape of the legs and the play of 
the hips with their controlling muscles determine 
the exact nature of the endless mannerisms. 
For instance, anyone whose leg is above the 
ordinary length from the knee to the ankle 
must come up high, while others who are com- 
paratively short there will keep their feet much 
closer to the ground. But the greatest deter- 
mining factor of all is the long thigh, flattish at 
the sides and bulging out on top and behind. 
That is the sprinting leg ; and it is better if the 
under leg be short : first, because there is not so 
much to lift ; secondly, because the action is 
bound to be of the creeping, easy kind ; and, 
thirdly, because the swing of the thigh deter- 
mines the length and speed of the striding. 
One cannot help running well, given such a leg. 
But the class in which he will show to best 
advantage will absolutely depend upon the 
runner's temperament. The big, quick, restless 
men must be sprinters ; those of less hasty 


habit will shine at middle distances ; and the 
lightweights at the longer distances, with the 
ever-present likelihood of an exception popping 
up in each case to defeat the general rule. 

Ordinary running simply means pulling one- 
self along on the downward leg and by the arms. 
All move in this manner excepting the true 
sprinter, whose form of running is a push of the 
feet, made right under the body, with all the 
muscles behind the leg and up the back brought 
into the effort. The correct sprint -runner is 
quite an artificial product. He uses his arms 
differently ; and the angle at which his head 
and body should be pitched, to bring him up on 
his toes and keep his legs well under him, is 
not possible to be maintained but for the fastest 

Walking is a draw and a thrust, lacking in the 
smoothness of both classes of running, the pull 
and the push. It stands for the finest natural 
exercise and the easiest mode of progression 
(away from the track), for the simple reason, that 
every step means the application of the pull-and- 
push effort in greater or lesser degree. 

The value of track practice, regularly but 
lightly taken, in the various branches of pedes- 
trianism, is to be found in the gradual develop- 
ment of the needful muscles. Those most in use 
will draw upon other and less active parts of the 
body. Thus, by degrees, the legs, the arms, the 




back, loins and shoulders are given their pro- 
portionate share of the required power according 
to how they are employed. This being so, is 
it not easy to understand that a poor running 
or walking style will induce to the cultivation of 
the wrong cords at the expense of others which, 
really, rank as first in importance ? And once a 
faulty style gets hold of a runner or walker it is 
only subdued (never fully eradicated) by dint of 
much striving and a redistribution of strength. 
In every respect " Habit is second nature." 

There is an outcry, at the moment, for novices' 
scratch races. The idea is commendable. But 
the best of these young runners should at once 
be put into the hands of those capable of im- 
parting the correct carriage, arm and foot work 
for the class of race they have done well in. 
May the writer be allowed to ask where such 
tuition is to be found ? The multiplicity of false 
styles to be seen among the best of our athletes 
(with any approach to the proper technique so 
very conspicuous by its entire absence) and the 
coaching instructions he has heard and seen are 
the cause of his dubious state of mind. 

To complete this introduction to the pedestrian 
section of the book, diagrams of the varying 
poises of the body for the different running 
distances and the rigid walking example may 
not be out of place. 


The correct sprinting pose, with the legs 
operating right under the body. 

A sprinter's artificial bounding action. 

The almost upright position and forward 
striding of the miler or ordinary track 

The erect carriage, lifted arms, straight 
grounded leg and loose swinging leg of the 
fast track walker. 

The quarter-miler's long-striding and 
pulling" action. 



IF there exist any doubts on the ranking of 
the differing classes of foot-runners, let it 
be known that the short -distance or sprint - 
runner stands for the concentrated essence of 
speed and the acme of vitality. He represents 
a bundle of compressed energy which expends 
itself quickly, but in doing so accomplishes the 
uttermost limits of what the human frame can 
achieve in the way of locomotion. Fast running 
is one of the most natural habits with which 
the physically sound younger folk are endowed. 
Curiously enough, though, it is the most difficult 
form of running to acquire so far as track-racing 
with the indispensable spiked shoes is concerned. 
Nature now gives place to specialist doctrines. 
Even the stride is cut down to artificial dimen- 
sions. The runner is schooled to carry himself 
in what can only be described as an unorthodox 
style. He has to work at set exercises, in keep- 
ing with this department. The old-time sprint 
coach knew the technique of the business. He 
was as sure of his methods and as well able to 
demonstrate and explain them as the rowing, 
golf, cricket or boxing professional tutors can do. 



His apparently meaningless orders and insistence 
on the carrying-out of minor details, all had a 
defined purpose in view. And in the fulness of 
time, dependent, of course, on the good will and 
obedience shown, the raw material is transformed 
into an efficient article, the quality of which is 
now thrown back on its natural resources — that 
is to say, the degree of aptitude first shown now 
goes far towards determining the full measures 
of trained ability. 

Not one sprinter in a thousand can run loo 
yards through at the increasing rate of speed 
which he should, and is generally rated to do. 
He will almost certainly fade away to some 
extent in the last ten or dozen yards. The 
faster the runner the more certain is this to be, 
although a sprinter's " length " extends as far 
as 150 yards. There will not be that propor- 
tionate improvement between the 75 yards mark 
and the 100 yards that there was at 50 to 75, 
in contrast with 25 to 50. Only the extraordin- 
arily good finisher (who cannot, however, be 
a correspondingly fast beginner) will continue 
to increase his speed throughout the full 100 
yards. We have laid stress upon this sprinting 
feature, because it assists in bringing out a great 
point, which is clearly unknown or left neglected. 
This is the need of a sprinter's bodily condition 
being as perfect as that of the ten-miler, who 


can more regularly be depended upon to properly 
stay through his course than the sprinter his 
100 yards. Therefore it stands to reason that 
the one should be as fit as the other, though the 
training for these widely differing distances are 
things very much apart. Instances in point can 
frequently be had in sprint handicaps. The 
scratch man will often be seen to get right on 
the shoulders of a middle-marker 20 yards or 
so from the tape (especially in 120 yards races), 
and yet be pushed to his uttermost limit to win 
a few inches or make a bare dead heat, and even 
yet suffer a defeat. This is evidence that he has 
not lasted through at top pressure. 

In proof of the assertion that few runners can 
finish out a sprint race, and that it takes more 
staying than any, the following illustrations 
deserve close inspection. First of all, take the 
runner who plods on in his own style and gets to 
do II seconds for the 100 yards, he will (in nine 
cases out of ten) be found to do the first 50 yards 
in 6 seconds. Therefore, he must do the last 
50 yards in 5 seconds, or " even " time, and if 
going on to 120 yards, he will certainly get inside 
13 seconds. Now, this class of sprinter is the 
most dependable of any. His average running 
is superior for the reason that he is just a little 
better than the ordinary runner. His strength 
enables him to go on increasing his speed to the 


end of the 120 yards. Then compare this gradual 
improvement with the running of a sprint 
" flyer " (the 10 seconds for the 100 yards man), 
who should on the " watch " (which does not 
mean quite the same thing on the track) give the 
II seconds runner 4 yards in the first 50 yards, 
and another 6 yards in the next 50 yards. 

It will be found on the average of the running 
in the last 50 yards, that the scratch man is 
I yard 7 inches per second the faster of the two. 
He should, therefore, be able to give away 12 
yards 14 inches in the full 120 yards and be on 
the worsted with our 11 seconds man. But will 
he do so in a race ? Look up all the amateur 
records for years and it will be found that the 
10 seconds or 94 seconds men for the 100 yards 
have respectively taken 12 or ii4 seconds for 
the 120 yards. It is clear from this (apart from 
many ocular demonstrations) that the " even- 
timers " are no faster than the 11 seconds man, 
over the last 20 yards. There is a reason for 
this, as for everything else which happens. The 
faster the runner, the greater the strain on the 
whole muscular and nervous system. The effort 
is so great that he cannot sustain it in a degree 
proportionate to his pace at 100 yards. His 
speed is dying away, and the 11 seconds man is 
now travelling equally as fast. There should, 
surely, be ample testimony in these comparisons 


of the sprinter requiring a perfect preparation 
to increase his stamina. 

The technique of sprint -running is a study in 
itself. Only those who have been through the 
mill and have ground up the raw material, after 
separating the husk from the grain, can detail 
its thousand and one items. This headlong dash 
through space, when only the fact of your working 
your legs as fast as they can be driven is known, 
may almost be said to defy analysis. It has 
mostly remained so, despite the searchlight of 
action-photography, because there is no money 
to be now made by looking closely into its main 
points. The writer happened to be in the sport 
at a time when a matter of a few inches often re- 
presented many hundred pounds sterling. Where 
the money is, you get the seekers after facts. 
First, it was the guiding-line given by the watch, 
and path and air conditions. Then came the 
correct form of preparation. Last of all, the 
search for action-perfection, the most difficult 
problem of all. Little by little its mysteries 
were unfolded, mostly out of the mannerisms and 
styles of the stars of the path. It became plain 
to understand that each and all had a definite 
similar aim. The nearer they approached a high 
standard of ability, the more positive became the 
reflection of their efforts. The lessons crystallized 
and set a top-hole mark, such as is established 


in leading games of skill, of the but slightly 
varying " right way " and the many variations 
of the " wrong way." These run all through 
the long line of athletic sports, from sprint- 
running to putting the shot. 

A low carriage of the hands, the head and 
shoulders pitched perceptibly but slightly for- 
ward, and a tiptoe, bounding gait form the main 
outline of the good sprint-runner's style. The 
whole of his anatomy should work loosely and 
smoothly. His arms are the governors of his 
legs, and they are propelled by the shoulders. 
To bring out the best that he is capable of, the 
shoulders, arms and legs should work in unison on 
either side of him. So rapid are the movements 
of the one and the other actuating forces that 
they are most difficult to follow. Everything is 
working at tip-top speed. Those looking on are 
confused at the spectacle, and the correct style is 
always (or so it would seem) overlooked, and the 
false, straining type of sprinter the most noticed. 
None appears to go deeper or to possess the 
knowledge that the smooth-actioned runner, 
minus all flourish and bustle, is akin to a sweet- 
running machine. Mannerisms must not be 
confounded with a taking style. The art of 
sprint-running is to produce the maximum of 
effect by the easiest application of full power. 
And this the well-schooled sprinter will do. 



His pose and body balance, in keeping with the 
proper placing and working of his arms, and 
light-footed, true-leg action must conduce to 
such a result. 

" What a fine runner ! " The expression is 

The sprinting 
style (front 

The sprinting style (side view). 

quite commonly heard, without there being 
always justification for it ; for the really good 
runner, especially the sprinter, makes apparently 
no effort in covering the ground. He is a very near 
approach to a true-moving piece of machinery. 
The bad or moderate sprinter's running is all 
effort — ^and he shows it. One hears at times 
of sprinting prodigies who can accomplish all 
manners of fast times when in an untrained state. 


Frankly, they have escaped our own notice. 
You may get an ii seconds man at lOO yards, 
or one sHghtly faster, and assure yourself that he 
has the makings of a possible champion. Much 
will depend upon his shape and build. The 
greater the scope, the higher the possibility of 
his development — that is to say, a tall, well- 
split-up and strongly, cleanly turned youngster 
will hold physical advantages over one of a 
shorter, less symmetrically limbed kind, although 
both may have done about the same time 
(which implies equal ability) in a preliminary 
trial. Other than this, the stronger finisher will 
almost certainly mature into the faster runner. 
It is safe to assert, however, that if the less- 
favoured novice be given his running education 
by a capable man, he will make excellent progress. 
So, too, will the other ; but unless he is licked 
into shape by being constantly overlooked until 
his faults (which every running novice, good, bad 
or indifferent, possesses) are suppressed, he will 
only be good where he should be very good, or 
even of surpassing excellence. 

To arrive at the pitch of perfection we should 
like to see attained by every sprint -runner, the 
body, arms and shoulders must be strengthened 
by light dumb-bell and bending and stretching 
exercises. The ideal sprinter should be a com- 
bination of muscular strength, activity, and 


nervous energy supplemented by his being 
naturally adapted for fast running. He should 
preferably be tall, weighty, well split up in the 
legs (especially from the hip-joint to the knee), 
neatly turned at the knee and ankle joints, and 
(preferably) small-footed (in any case light- 
footed), with a high, strong instep. These are 
exacting requirements to expect in the one 
individual runner. Any reasonable selection of 
them should permit a pretty useful sprinter. 
But for a real champion top-hole runner, the 
whole batch of physical qualifications, plus his 
using them to the best advantage, are absolutely 
essential. The chief factor in this connexion 
is an all-round looseness, which can only be 
developed by the easy, low-lying and across- 
body motion of the hands. 

The hands should be turned inwards, so that 
the first knuckle-joints face one another ; and the 
arms should swing across the pit of the stomach, 
the muscles of which will soon be trained to work 
in accord with the fluent thrust and pull of the 

More important, perhaps, than any other 
detail, is the hitching-up of the shoulders, in their 
turn, to keep the arms beneath them loosely 
swung. They work independently, but to the 
same purpose — namely, to help lift up the flying 
feet and lighten the effort. A runner who uses 


his shoulders well, and keeps them bobbing up 
and down, setting the time to the movements of 
his arms will never strike the ground heavily. In 
this way he is bound to skim more easily over 
it through being more up on his toes than the 
usual stamp of sprinter, who hits the track hard. 
From that cause alone he. is less prone to a jar 
or breakdown in the legs. The sprinting ideal 
is to let as small a portion of the shoe touch the 
cinders as is possible. To bring this about, the 
runner must develop the upper half of his body, 
make it take its share in the work on the approved 
principles, and be properly shod for the purpose. 
The advanced, inclined pose of the head set 
straight for the tape is the runner's steering gear. 
Keep it properly placed — that is, looking directly 
up the track — and you will make a bee-hne to the 
tape. Turn it or screw it aside (as many runners 
do when they are finishing), and you will more or 
less interfere with the directness of your course, 
and the uniformity of your striding. A look 
over your shoulder will shorten the stride to an 
almost unbelievable extent. Throw your head 
back on your shoulders (as, unfortunately, some 
amateur champions regularly do as soon as they 
make a supreme effort), and you not only slow 
your striding, but also add considerably to the 
strain. As a matter of fact, and to be out- 
spoken, the runners who throw their heads back 










on their shoulders act as though they were 
running the reverse way of the track — in other 
words, backwards or away from the winning- 
post. The runner's headpiece is the steering 
gear of the human speed machine. 

In sprint-running (and running of all classes 
for the matter of that, when practised by the 
expert) the two feet are mostly and simultane- 
ously off the ground. The movement is a series 
of bounds from one toe to the other, with the 
knee-joints first bent and then contracted, as in 
walking paces. There are two extremes in the 
way of sprinting actions, either of which may 
produce, by the process of more or less lengthy 
culture, extraordinary form. The first of these 
is the lithe-legged, high-fighting action with 
knees thrown out in front like an exaggerated 
copy of a particularly pronounced trotting horse, 
" throwing them up and out " as the best of his 
kind will do. There have been very speedy 
runners, who covered the ground in this showy, 
eye-taking manner. They are brilliant by com- 
parison with those who simply seem to paddle 
along with an easy, slinking gait and their feet 
striking right under them stride by stride. But 
mere looks do not make the better runner. 
This low-down-to-the-ground, almost creeping 
footwork, if not so attractive, has held its own 
with all other methods. Both extremes present. 


of course, perfectlj^ natural striding, and bear 
evidence to the law that no two men are built 
or run exactly alike. The half-way house of 
running actions is represented by the common 
conception of how leg movement operates. 
It is the commonplace run adopted by most of 
us, with the knee neither kept low nor lifted too 
high, and the steps taken neither under nor much 
in advance of the body. Altogether, this medium 
in the way of running styles is good to see, and 
if never quite responsible for phenomenal achieve- 
ments, it has not lacked first-class demonstrators 
of its merits. 

A stride of 7 feet 6 inches may be considered the 
full sprinting length even for very tall men when 
they are running their fastest (as nearly all will 
be found to do) from 40 to 100 yards. They are 
at the very height of their speed within these 
limits, with leg-drive at its snappiest and best. 
But 7 feet 6 inches is only for the very long- 
thighed sprinter. The majority will be found to 
cover between 6 feet (the other extreme) and 7 
feet. Extraordinary cases of runners over six 
feet in height not striding more than 6 feet, and 
yet showing brilliant speed, have been known 
(notably that of George Wallace, of Thornley, 
a professional sprint champion of the seventies, 
who could do 6 yards inside " evens " at 130 
yards). The sprinting stride needs to be shorter 


and, of course, more quickly taken than at any 
other distance. 

A very interesting feature of sprint-running 
(more than any other form) is the Habihty, nay 
probabihty, of a runner who is trying to give 
away more start than he can do or is up against 
a better man, hterally going all to pieces and 
running considerably slower than he usually does 
through trying too hard. When he finds he 
cannot gain or is losing ground, there are very 
few runners who will not struggle all they know 
in a sprint. If they are gaining, or cannot see 
their opponent, all is well. They run in the usual 
way. It is when they can see him, however, 
that in their desperate efforts to catch or hold 
men who are running away, holding their lead or 
passing them, they strive too energetically, and, 
" losing their shape," do fail to even show their 
proper speed. A nice test case in point is this : 
say two runners, one receiving a yard start in 
100 yards, won a dead heat. At the second time 
up give the start -receiver another half-yard 
start, and see what happens ! Receiving an 
equal start in either race, the start -receiver will 
not improbably win by all or nearly all his 

You will at times have heard of a jump for 
the worsted at the finish of a race and the wonder- 
ful things which have been so accomplished. 


Some extraordinary effects have possibly 
occurred in this manner. But there are few 
sprinters of real ability who could break the 
machine-like action of their legs to attempt such 
a performance. A jump means changing the 
feet or taking a momentary pull to gather your- 
self together for a flight of this kind. No gain 
will really be found over the usual long-striding 
finisher with the head and chest thrown as far 
forward as possible in the last stride. The 
clever sprinter — that is, the trained man of 
proper deportment — is not poised for jumping, 
nor should he be. If you run to a point well 
beyond the winning-posts you will go through 
them as fast as your legs can carry you. 

The proper use of corks means carrying them 
loosely in the hands until the moments of a start- 
ing or finishing effort. Then they are gripped 
tightly. To a sprinter their assistance may mean 
half-a-yard gain in the last twenty yards, and 
they help to keep him together in " shape " 
during this straining period. 

On the Track 

To come to something positive, let us go out 
upon the track. The first things the old hand 
will take into account are the directions of the 
wind and the state of the path. If there is 


no weather-cock, try watching the direction 
taken by the smoke from the neighbouring 
chimneys or the play of a flapping flag. Should 
neither be in view, holding up a handker- 
chief or throwing up some scraps of paper will 
show the play and even the force of the breeze. 
Having discovered the quarter it comes from, 
during a stroll round of a couple of laps or so 
in ordinary walking costume, the runner is well 
advised to have the wind as much as possible at 
his back during his sprint. The condition of the 
cinder path will better reveal itself by the prints 
of his spikes than in any other way. Firm, 
fast going shows a clean impress and the path 
otherwise barely disturbed. By contrast, a dry, 
crumbhng or wet, soft path will pull out badly 
or be so near the consistency of a pudding as 
to cause the runner to turn his feet sideways 
for the purpose of ensuring a grip. Either 
defect means loss of time, but the pulling-out 
fault is nothing like so speed-lowering as the 
very soft, yielding stuff. The limit of this is 
reached when the sun melts the overnight frost 
to turn everything underfoot, cinder path or 
turf, into a boggy, sticky miniature morass. 
The other extreme is the frost-bound, ridgy track 
(which may easily cause a breakdown), whereon 
you can never get your balance or a proper 
foothold. A second on to one's ordinary time 


at 100 yards can easily happen under such cir- 

Having seen to the conditions, the trainer goes 
to the dressing-room and directs the runner to 
use his short, medium or long spiked shoes, 
according to his impression of the path being 
either haid, good-going, or soft. If the weather 
is cold, he counsels the wearing of long under 
drawers and a sweater. Letting the runner 
warm up his circulation with some brisk dashes, 
he then scoops out his holes and gives him two 
or three cracks from the pistol at 40 and 50 
yards. There is an interval of a few minutes 
between each spin, in which the runner saunters 
back to his holes. While he is doing so the 
critical trainer will be closely examining the 
imprints of the runner's spikes, and even measur- 
ing his strides. Their trail should tell him much 
of what he wants to know, whether they come in 
a straight line and the runner's feet uniformly 
find the same places (as they should do), and also 
something of the speed he is getting up (judged 
by the shortness or length of the paces). This 
examination of the footmarks on the track can 
hold up a veritable mirror to the observant 
trainer or runner. 

So surely as improvement comes, or the runner 
trains off (as he will do if he is under weight, or 
overworked or out of sorts), the fact will be set 


forth upon the track. The footprints will tell 
what has happened. By his extra dash, which 
means quickened action, the runner will get in 
another stride or two, if he has a wind behind 
him, or the path is firm and fast, or he is feeling 
particularly well in himself. This extra stride 
or strides means quickened movement, like the 
additional beat of a watch or added revolution 
of a wheel. On the other hand, with the wind 
against him, on a dead or loose track, or when 
below par in himself, the uneven stride or strides 
will again show where deficiencies of pace and 
time have occurred. The reason of stride- 
measuring which tells to a nicety how many 
strides the sprinter averages to take in covering 
his distance, when he is running well, should 
be understood from this. But whereas a gain 
is shown by extra striding, a loss is mostly re- 
presented by irregular and crooked footmarks. 
The work finishes up with the stride-through 
and the top-speed burst for the last 30 or 40 yards 
of the 150 taken. Here again the trainer's eyes 
should never leave the runner, and any symptom 
of getting the arms or head up or perceptible 
struggling should be the signal to turn off the 
pressure. Top speed should be turned on at a 
given mark on the track, and the spot where the 
runner held out signals of distress, shown by his 
losing his proper pose, should be noted. He must 


keep pegging away at the distance in his stride- 
through and finishing dashes until he can pass it 
comfortably, and go right on in correct shape. 

To prove to a runner the defects which accom- 
pany his getting " out of shape," take him over 
his tracks and show him his shortened stride 
and altered footmarks. They will be there plain 
enough to see, and he will know out of his own 
feelings that he was straining and tiring where 
he had just previously been travelling smoothly 
and freely. 

The Sprint-Runner's Preparation 

Three months, or thirteen weeks, is not too 
long a period of training for the sprinter. The 
first four weeks should be devoted to easy 
preliminary work, for the purpose of strength- 
ening the legs and body to their full task. 
Quite gentle spins on the track up and down 
the straight, and some occasional slow laps 
and nice swinging walks in the neighbouring 
country, with never a thought of fast running, 
is the programme for this first month. Only get 
out of the holes quite slowly and gradually work 
up to half and three-quarter speed. Then, at 
the end of a fortnight or so, three-quarter speed, 
while avoiding all idea of a trial or racing against 
anyone. You are just getting your muscles 


into shape and strengthening them to the more 
serious work ahead. 

Right at the beginning of the training, the 
most important detail is the care of the feet, 
and the toe-nails in particular. Keep them 
trimmed short, and hollow the big toe-nails 

out at the top in this fashion r-^ . Be 

careful not to cut into the quick. The reason 
for cutting the nails in this manner is to prevent 
them from growing into the sides of the toes. 
The painful inflammation so often set up is 
thereby avoided. Purgative medicine, which 
will touch the liver as well as the stomach, 
should be taken at the outset and for the first 
few days and at every week-end. A very good 
old-fashioned recipe known as " Black Jack " 
will not easily be bettered. It takes the form 
of J lb. Epsom salts, 2 ozs. each of bar liquorice, 
gentian root, camomile flowers, and a little 
powdered ginger. Place in 2 quarts of water 
and boil down to i quart. Strain through 
muslin or a fine sieve, and bottle off, adding 
a little alcoholic spirit (preferably rum or gin) 
for preservation purposes. Take a large wine- 
glassful on an empty stomach at night or in the 
early morning. 

All the stiffness and pains which the runner 
is sure to feel at the beginning of his training 


should be relieved by hand-rubbing to the feet 
and legs. An occasional warm bath also helps 
to soothe and soften them. The back muscles 
of the thigh, the calves and the big tendon 
which runs up the leg at the back of the ankle 
(known as the Achilles tendon) will be sure to 
feel sore at different times. The act of getting 
well up on his toes will put an unaccustomed 
strain on these points of the runner's legs, which 
they will not easily adapt themselves to. Among 
the chief causes of breakdowns or strains is 
taking pistol practice before your early stiffness 
has gone, or you have warmed yourself up with 
some preliminary trotting about the track ; 
or by the change from a soft to a hard path ; 
from an uneven track ; or by pulling up too 
sharply when travelling at top speed. And 
when a sprinter breaks down he is not easily 
patched up again. Those who believe that a 
runner who has burst or ruptured the sheath of 
a thigh muscle (the commonest form of break- 
down) can be put right in two or three days 
have a greater faith in human nature, as repre- 
sented by the athletic trainer, than the many 
unfortunates who have had some first-hand 
acquaintance of such mishaps. Rest is the 
only real remedy for a breakdown, and very 
easy work the cure for stiffness or slight strains. 
Only very gentle spins each morning and 


afternoon must be taken until all feelings of 
stiffness have departed. Up to this time, runs 
of 40 to 60 yards at nice half -speed will represent 
the work upon the track. Be sure not to 
commence too quickly, and, above all, do not 
pull up too suddenly. Let your legs go moving 
on and gradually slow down to a walk. While 
taking these pipe-opening runs — and three or 
four each time you turn out, and a trot round 
the whole lap to finish up with — you must 
try to cultivate a good style of carriage and 
tiptoe footwork. A good pair of shoes will 
help in this. 

The golden secret of getting the very best 
out of a sprinter that he is capable of at both 
ends, beginning and finish (the middle part will 
then take care of itself), is to practise out of the 
holes and gradually lengthen the top-speed 
burst at the end of the stride-through. The 
finished sprinter should go like a piece of clock- 
work from the report of the pistol right through 
the worsted. He should stride in the same 
place every time ; and he will do so if he is 
thoroughly wound up. In this way, he will not 
deviate even a bare few inches in two races 
run at an interval of twenty minutes or so, 
when running against the same opponent each 
time. Weather fluctuations will, of course, affect 
the times on the watch. Learning to begin is 


a much simpler matter than acquiring a 
strong finish, which must be developed by 
degrees during the fast sprint winding up the 
stride-through. Make a mark on the track 
where this should begin, and keep increasing the 
length of it lo yards at a time, until you can 
master a full lOO yards. 

There is nothing more unsatisfactory than a 
loose, ill-fitting pair of running pumps. When, 
as is mostly the case, they have the spikes badly 
placed for the runner's tread, then he is indeed 
in trouble. If the spikes do not stand straight 
out from the sole, and are leaning away towards 
the sides of it, here is proof positive that they 
are incorrectly set for the runner's tread. And 
he will not be comfortable nor capable of doing 
his running in them until the heads are shifted 
in between the soles in answer to the runner's 
proper requirements. A loose shoe is an annoy- 
ance at all times. On the other hand, you can- 
not have too tight a fit. A really good pair 
of sprinting shoes should fit as tight as the 
tightest pair of kid gloves, be rounded rather 
than square-toed, and take equally as much 
getting on. They should be of non-stretching 
leather, too, so as to retain their shape as long 
as possible. There is as much as a couple of 
yards' difference to the sprinter (and the better 
he is the more does it tell !) between a good, 


tight-fitting pair of pumps set with spikes just 
where they come under his tread and a loose 
pair with the spikes incorrectly placed. The 
nearest comparison that can be made is to be 
found in the buoyancy of a fully blown-up tyre 
or india-rubber ball and the flabby inertness of 
the same articles when they are " down." To 
ensure a good fit, it is absolutely necessary to 
be specially measured by a practical man. If 
you have a pair of old shoes you have been 
wearing they will be of service in telling the 
shoemaker where the tread is and, of course, 
the proper positions for the spikes. 

A very bad fault, common to most amateur 
sprinters, is walking about the track on tiptoe. 
There is nothing so binding to the calf muscles. 
These should be, like all other parts of the legs, 
nicely pliable. Walking flat-footed in between 
the spins will be found a great relief from the 
strain of getting up on the toes while running. 

The sprinter in training must be careful to 
avoid other pastimes or exercises than those 
which are needed for quickness and the using 
of all the body muscles. Cricket, bowls, foot- 
ball, any effort, in fact, which calls for one- 
sided strain, must be avoided. If the effort 
is not equally distributed all over the body, 
stiffness and soreness is sure to result ; and the 
sprinter with acliing muscles and sinews is of 


no account . Walking on greasy, slippery, frozen 
or snowed ground will often have such a bad 
effect upon his legs as to throw him back several 
yards. These matters will be detrimental to all 
classes of runners, but trebly so to the highly 
tuned-up sprinter, and especially if he is of the 
very pronounced leggy type. 

After four weeks of preliminary practice, 
when it will be found advantageous to be out on 
the track at the hour which the race you are 
training for will be run, and, therefore, get 
you to adjust your meal -times accordingly, you 
should then be strong and well enough in all 
respects to undertake some serious training. Now 
you have built yourself up (nearly every sprinter 
will go up in weight during this easy first month) 
the trainer will try to keep you to your increased 
poundage, while putting you through a stiff and 
serious course of exercise, morning and afternoon 
(Sundays excepted), in the second month. Now 
the pistol practice and sharp bursts-out of the 
holes at 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards, with an occa- 
sional top-speed dash right through the 100 yards, 
and a regular striding finishing burst of 200 to 250 
yards. Run this at nice three-quarter speed, 
striding out freely and letting yourself out all 
you know for the last 50 yards. Remember to 
maintain a good style : hitching the shoulders 
in time to the swing of the lowly carried hands 


across the pit of the stomach, keeping the head 
and body pitched nicely forward, and getting 
well up on your toes. The moment you feel 
your arms are going up, slow off. Never get your 
hands or your head up ; keep yourself in nice, 
compact shape. To struggle is to at once lose 
speed and cultivate bad habits. 

Plenty of 40 and 50 yards dashes out of the 
hole, sometimes from a slow beginning, at others 
putting " all in " to the crack of the pistol, will 
begin to sharpen you up. Take your time 
between each of these, so that you are breathing 
normally before you have another run out. If 
you can get the company of other sprinters in 
these short dashes, which should always be run 
to a line of worsted or mark placed on the track, 
they will help to stretch you out. The faster 
they are, the better for you. Put your heart 
into your work and do everything very seriously. 
Make up your mind that you are going to improve, 
and leave nothing undone that will assist towards 
this end. This middle five weeks of your train- 
ing is really the most critical of the three months. 
The benefits of the hard work you are now doing 
will be felt later on. After a fortnight of this keen 
running practice a full-dress rehearsal of the race, 
as represented by a trial over the full distance, 
can be attempted. The trainer will already, no 
doubt, have made a pretty shrewd guess at the 


pace of his charge in the course of these few 
right-through bursts which have already been 
taken. But now the ordeal is a more exciting 
one, it will have been so long looked forward to, 
apart from the influence it should have upon the 
actual race. The first trial is a mighty serious 
business to all concerned, and to the runner more 
than anyone else. 

If the training is taking place during the winter- 
time, or there is a desire to make little use of 
the runner in these special tests, the services of 
a dependable " trial-horse " or understudy will 
be found of the utmost value. The varying 
weather conditions of winter-time in England 
often baffle the most expert judgment as to their 
effect upon the checkings of the watch. So, to 
get the line of form and gain a knowledge of what 
the " going " is like, another runner is requisi- 
tioned. He needs to be reliable, rather than fast. 
The II seconds for the lOO yards man is just 
about as good as can be got for the purpose. 
He is the " happy medium " among sprinters, 
the natural runner who will vary very little one 
week with another. But whatever his pace, the 
chief requirement of your " trial -horse " is con- 
sistency, so that he can tell the watch-holders 
how comparatively slow or how fast the day is, 
and also race in the trials with the man who is 
being specially trained. The dependable trial- 


horse " is invaluable. To keep a careful watch 
over his progress, as there is always the possibility, 
if not the probability, of his either training on, 
or training off, the " trial -horse " should very 
frequently be run against the watch. 

Walking, but not too much of it, is beneficial 
to sprint -runners. A nice swing of the arms 
across the body and striding out freely from the 
liip, while keeping every part loose and alive, 
is the best style to adopt. Set the pace at about 
4 miles an hour and be satisfied with a nice 
bustling 2 to 3 miles at this gait. A sharp walk 
of this comparatively short distance on Sundays, 
and two or three times a week, is better than a 
long, slow trudge. It will be quite far enough 
for most sprint -runners. Only those unfortun- 
ates who put on flesh quickly, and have to keep 
their weight down, need to do more daily walking 
than this. For sprinting, when one is getting 
to the top of form, plenty of rest and lying about 
(preferably in the open air) is the chief considera- 
tion. A stroll of a couple of laps around the 
track before and after your spins will suffice for 
most runners. This and an easy mile or two's- 
walk before breakfast, and again in the evening, 
should comprise a day's work. The scales will 
tell you nearly all that is needed about the 
runner's well-being and progress. 

It is in the last of the three training months 


that the really trying period arrives, when the 
runner (or the trainer, or both) become " fed 
up," or steeped in anxiety as to the outcome of 
it all. With his system now strung up to a 
very high pitch of tension, and feeling as though 
he could " tear up the track," and have a race 
" right through " his distance every time he 
turns out, the runner needs very careful handling. 
According to his temperament, he may be obstin- 
ate, cheerful and willing, or bored to the verge 
of distraction. The trainer's task is now to try 
and keep his man in as happy a frame of mind as 
circumstances will permit ; to create confidence 
in his ability to win ; and, above all, to prevent 
him doing too much work upon the track. When 
the high-water mark of " condition " is reached, 
the work must be of a lighter description, with 
the runner remaining as strictly regular in his 
habits. When it is made clear by trials (which 
should only be few, and fairly far apart) that the 
runner has come to his best, or made such in- 
provement as befits his task, he should be eased 
off gradually in his work. One crack from the 
pistol, and some half-speed, quick footwork, and 
the canter through with a finishing dash at the 
last 40 yards (not more) will keep him tuned-up 
and in good order. By daily checking his weight 
and carefully supervising his habits, he can be 
kept in first-class trim. The least signs of 


staleness, overwork or a cold mean his being 
rested and given some additional flesh-forming 
liquids, such as good stout, or milk in fairly 
liberal quantities. A cold or chill must be cured 
before training is resumed. Staleness or over- 
work will wear off when the normal standard of 
weight is again reached. 

When a sprint -runner is in the best physical 
trim, he never seems to be satisfied with what 
he can do. He is so fit that his energies are 
never seriously taxed. The better he gets, the 
less he feels the effort of going through, sa}^ 120 
yards, or 300 yards for the matter of that, at 
the top of his speed. When he was only half fit, 
however, another and a very different tale had 
to be told. It was very hard and very distress- 
ing work then, with a decidedly slower time 
returned on the watch. Now it is easy and a 
pleasure to do. That is where the danger of 
doing too much lies. It is far better to do too 
little than too much, saving yourself for the race. 
Repress the strong inclination you are bound to 
feel to have more than one top-speed burst of 
40 to 50 yards, and the quick " pattering." The 
great idea is to go to the mark for your race, 
absolutely bursting to have a full-speed dash as 
the result of having done little or no fast run- 
ning, although regularly exercising your legs for 
several days previously. Be, preferably, a "bit 


above yourself," a pound or two heavier than 
your normal weight. It will be nothing against 
your running nor the state of your nerves. 

It may sound as something of a fad, but the 
fact remains that many a comparatively poor 
finisher at lOO or 120 yards has derived the 
utmost benefit from a run (not on his toes, but 
just on the pad of the foot) in his ordinary 
clothes and boots before breakfast. Starting 
with 250 yards, and getting used to this, the 
distance is lengthened to 440 or even 500 yards. 
The pace is quite a half -speed one — that is to say, 
at the rate of 10 miles per hour — which would, 
of course, mean the 440 yards being covered in 
about I J minutes. Strengthening the body all 
over and stimulating the breathing organs, this 
exercise, which may be taken on the roads or 
paths, has transformed not a few runners, who 
could not maintain their sprint dash right 
through, into fairly powerful finishers. 

As a guide to the varying classes of sprint- 
runners a schedule of times is set out over some 
intermediate distances of a 120 yards sprint, 
which should be closely studied and tested. It 
does not pretend to actually present the actual 
times of the runners as they pass the different 
points, but they certainly will do so approxi- 
mately and to within a yard or so. But the 
difficulty of getting rigid standards lies in the 

t a 

' 2 

a < 



fact of no one running through on quite an even 
keel of graduaUy increasing pace. Some are 
relatively faster at 50 yards, others do their best 
running from 50 to 90, and, again, the exceptional 
sprinter is far better in the last 50 than the first ; 
and so on according to the peculiarities of each 
individual. But this schedule does give, in its 
true colours, the average of the running and its 
full result in the wide bounds which divide the 
championship class from the lowly 12 seconds 
man for the full 100 yards. 

Schedule of Average Times made by the 
Various Classes of Sprint-Runners at 
120 Yards 

50 yds. 

75 yds. 

100 yds. 

120 yds. 

The 12 sees, man 

6* sees. 

9^ sees. 

12 sees. 

i4i sees. 

,. iif ,. 


6-^ ,. 

8^ ., 

Hi „ 

I3TiJ .. 

,, Ili ,, 


6i- „ 

8* ., 

Hi ., 

131 ., 

,, iii- ., 


6tV .. 

8* ., 

Hi „ 

i3i .. 

,, II 


6 .. 

8* „ 


12-1^,7 .. 

average sprint-runner) 

The io| sees, man 

. , 

5h .. 

8A „ 

lof „ 

I2A .. 

.. io|- ,, 


5* .. 

8tV .. 

10* „ 

I2A .. 

,, loi „ 


StV " 

7A .. 

loi ., 

12 „ 

,, 10 


5f .. 

7to ' > 


IlA .. 

The " inside 

evens " 


7* .. 

9f to 

1 1^\ to 




94 sees. 

gj sees. 

There you have what is reasonably the whole 
gamut of sprinting classes . Interesting contrasts 
may be made of the beginning speeds when it is 


pointed out that if seconds is quite fast time 
for the first lo yards, and that an iij seconds 
man (for the lOO yards) should do " even time " 
(that is, 20 yards in 2 seconds) from the 100 to 

There is no attempt made to glorify the sprint- 
ing giants of the past beyond their real worth. 
They were all quite as good as the bottom figures 
on the schedule made them out to be ; and most 
of their training and racing performances took 
place in mid-winter, when the air and paths 
slowed the times to an almost incredible extent. 
It is not an exaggeration to allow from ith to Jth 
of a second at 120 yards for the retarding effect 
upon a sprinter as the difference between a fine 
winter's day and general summer conditions. 
The warmer, lighter air and firmer track found in 
the months of June (occasionally), July, August 
and September mean much to the time of a 
runner. Those are the days for records. If 
sprinters like Hutchens, Gent and the like had 
had a favourable midsummer shot at record 
10 yards inside even time (at 120 to 130 yards) 
would have easily been credited to them. 

The " Crouch " v. the " Stand-Up." 

Without the ability to quickly "leave the 
mark," or make a fast beginning, there 


is no hope for anyone to become a champion 
sprinter. Natural aptitude in this direction 
does not necessarily imply coming greatness. 
As a matter of fact, the raw fast beginner, who 
gets away full of fire and dash and is " in 
his running," or regular striding, within the 
smallest possible lapse of time, never holds out 
the promise of improvement which the experi- 
enced eye can trace in the novice who does 
the best of his running during the second part of 
the race. It has been proved times out of number 
that a runner may be taught to begin well, but 
with very few exceptions can he be improved in 
anything like a corresponding degree at the finish. 
A quick beginning is more or less a knack. It 
depends upon the runner being " set " in an 
advantageous attitude. The smaller or medium- 
sized men will, usually, be quicker on their feet 
— they have less weight to move than the big, 
upstanding runners. But mark this — and mark 
it well — when you do get the big man quick on 
his feet, he may not unlikely turn out a world- 
beater, a champion of champions. The old 
sporting adage that " a good big 'un will beat 
a good little 'un " — and as we might add, middle- 
sized 'un — holds true to-day as when first ex- 

The old English style of standing up while 
awaiting the crack of a pistol (and under which 


style we developed such a school of sprint -runners 
as found no equals in America and Australia) 
has given place to the crouching-on-all-fours 

The crouching-down style has been responsible 
for more bad and unfair starting than the average 
lover of athletics may be induced to give credit 
to. Just because some foreign sprinters came 
over here and made some fast times and dis- 
played abnormal speed " off the mark," it was 
taken for granted that their style was the most 
serviceable. " Getting a move on the gun " 
(as the Americans have it), or " beating the 
pistol " (as we used to know it here in England), 
was made simple. By putting his hands beyond 
the allotted mark and moving forward at the call 
of " set " (an almost imperceptible movement 
known as body pressure) the practised runner 
could depend upon getting the better of the start 
over any but the most expert of pistol-firers. 
If nicely on the go forward, his advantage could 
be estimated in yards. 

A certain Transatlantic scratch runner could 
be relied upon to " get the pistol " three times 
out of four. He was a comparatively small man, 
yet he looked a sprint phenomenon up to 60 or 
70 yards, by giving useful sprinters 2, 3 and 4 
yards in the first 20 yards of the journey, only 
to fade away and barely last the " hundred " 


through. This runner was glorified as a sprint 
marvel — and so he was as far as anticipating the 
start was concerned. If he bent too far forward 
he used to diplomatically fall down on his hands, 
and the firer waited until he reset himself and 
had another shot at the " intelligent anticipa- 
tion " business. All the crouchers-down were 
partial to it. But with a tried hand fingering 
the fire-arm, the practice is dangerous. Should 
he fire when the croucher has pressed forward 
as far as his body can go, then it means being 
" left " at the start. The " crouch " has certainly 
not contributed towards fair starting, and the 
huddled-up poses of the men on the mark are 
not so easily distinguished in the act of being 
" on the go," as in the pre-crouch days, when the 
runners stood up clear to see. 

Now to the technique of starting. As ex- 
plained, there are two extremes in the way 
of positions or stances for the start — namely, 
crouching-down and standing-up, with many de- 
tractingvariations of the properwayin either. For 
the present crouching-down fashion, the runner 
makes two holes well behind his starting-marks, 
one for each foot at graduating lengths, and he 
gets down on all fours by leaning forward on the 
tips of the fingers of both hands. It will be 
found on trying this position that the body has 
a certain play. If, at the starter's signal call of 


" set," to warn the runners he is about to fire, 
and despatch them on their journey, a stealthy 
forward motion of the body is made, there is no 
doubt about the increased speed at which he 
leaves his mark. His body is under way before 
the pistol sounds, a circumstance adding con- 
siderably to his initial pace. Some foreign 
runners we have in mind studied the habits of 
a pistol-firer (even going so far as to time the 
interval between the call of " set " and the crack 
of the pistol), and were mostly successful in taking 
a spontaneous bob forward just as the firer's 
finger pressed the trigger. Result — a " flyer " 
(a flying start which is by no means a stranger 
to the best regulated of crack amateur athletic 
meetings) and the race rendered farcically 
unfair. Whether it be believed or not, we 
say emphatically — and not without a long and 
close intimacy with our subject — that the only 
reasons which can be urged in favour of the 
crouching-down start is its ability to induce a 
" flyer " for the good practitioner, and a steady 
stand for the novice and bad stander. Only 
those who do not know will deny the fact that 
the Olympic sprint at the Shepherd's Bush 
Stadium held as glaring an example of the unfair 
application of the croucliing-down position as 
could well be applied. The Americans appreci- 
ated the situation, and it did not tend to soften 


their feelings when a bigger incident went against 
them. This by the way, however. 

It is safe to assert, simply because it is true, 
that the line of sprinting champions which we 
could point to in the days of the old Sheffield 
Handicaps — Hutchens, Wallace, Jackson, Petley, 
Shaw, Gibson (of Mordan), Gent, etc. — all stood 
up to the start. And they stood still as statues, 
because they knew that they had a pistol-firer 
behind them. Standing up as they did, their 
bodies were in clear perspective to the starter's 
eyes. Taught to poise themselves on the mark 
at about the same forward pitch as when in their 
running, they took no risks of anticipating the 
pistol. They did not make mistakes, therefore, 
but were certain time after time to leave their 
marks at a regular rate of speed. They were 
never left, and they never tried to " beat the 
pistol," as they knew the practice to be a danger- 
ous and uncertain one. Let this clearly be under- 
stood, too, that in their day, twenty-five to thirty 
years ago, there were real sprinting flyers. At 
least a score of standers-up could run their first 
50 yards in 5^ seconds, while the top-notchers 
stood between this time and 5 J seconds. These 
last figures accredited to and (without doubt) 
accomplished by two men who stood up at the 

The great drawback with the rank and file of 


amateur sprinters in the pre-crouching-down 
days was their woeful ignorance of the proper 
way to stand. To watch an amateur sprint 
handicap in those times was to see the 
majority of the competitors swaying about or 
falhng down on their hands and getting over the 
mark. Their inabihty to stand steady had not 
a httle to do with the wholesale acceptance of 
the crouching-on-all-fours style, apart from its 
(then) allowing them to put their hands beyond 
their marks. Yet, had they taken a little pains, 
and observed the attitude of the steady standers- 
up, it would have come home to them how much 
more comfortable and assured is the erect posture 
as compared with the cramped and tiring crouch. 

I am thorough in the support of the old- 
fashioned standing-up stance at the start, both 
as regards effectiveness and fairness. 

A glance at the accompanying illustrations 
(on page 52) will show the stand-up stance at 
the call of " set ! " It needs only one hole, that 
for the back foot. The front foot is put crosswise 
and planted flatly and firmly, from heel to toe, 
down to take the whole weight of the body. 
The distance from the toe of the back foot 
(which is also placed crosswise in the hole) to the 
heel of the front foot is about 2 feet, dependent 
to a very few inches either way on the runner's 
length of leg. Whatever this be, it should leave 

#?>. V. 


him easily but very steadily posed. The body 
and head are pitched forward at about the same 
inclination as when he is running. The arms are 
set in the manner which will best give them a 
good starting impetus, to get the shoulders and 
legs and hips in spontaneous motion. The right 
arm is shoulder-high and almost directly behind 
the left arm low down, but not close to the body ; 
the knees are bent, and the whole pose (as may 
be seen) is one of nice, supple alertness, easy to 
maintain and comparatively untiring. 

There are essential differences between the 
processes of the two styles. Both have their 
weight pitched forward and the knees bent. 
But, whereas the croucher takes part of the 
strain on his upper arm and shoulders, although 
it still remains mainly centred on the stomach, 
back, and the thigh of the front leg, the stander- 
up throws the whole pressure on to his advanced 
leg. In both instances, the back leg is held 
loose and limber in its hole. 

The first movement of the croucher is to 
raise his arms and give a swing of the back leg. 
Being hunched up on all-fours to begin with, 
the croucher cannot get into his running with 
anything like the celerity nor smoothness which 
was a characteristic of the stander-up, who goes 
straight as a die from his one hole. The croucher 
starts from an unnatural, forced position which 


prevents him getting those " fly wheels " of 
human motion (the arms) into immediate play ; 
the other is (or should be) nearly in his correct 
running attitude from the outset. If the 
scientific analyst were to turn his mind to the 
problem of which is the most desirable and, 
therefore, effective style (apart from the faster 
running the standing-up start has undoubtedly 
been responsible for), there would be some 
surprises in store for those who are such out- 
and-out supporters of the " crouch." 

In most matters there is no line of form to 
be had between exponents of past generations 
and these of the moment. Fortunately, how- 
ever, track athletics provide one of the few 
exceptions. The watch (and many of the same 
watches are being held to-day as were held 
thirty years ago !) tells us that the standing- 
up starters, were mostly faster beginners than 
the best who have been seen since the crouch 
came into vogue. And they were stronger and 
faster finishers, because their stand was not so 
much of a strain. The very nature of running, 
which implies instantaneous, independent action 
of the shoulders, arms and legs, stands in support 
of the old-time style. 

The one leading action needful in the stand- 
up start is a first short, forward movement of 
the front foot, technically known as the " dab." 


This sets everything (back leg, either arm and 
every part of the runner) moving. It is a 
loose-hmbed but husthng effort to work up 
speed. The practised runner will appear to 
dash straight away into his running with low 
and stealthy but most swiftly taken strides 
which soon attain the normal length. 

I have many times heard the respective 
merits of the old-fashioned and new-fashioned 
starting stances discussed and heatedly argued 
upon, without there being sufficient proof fur- 
nished either way to justify the contentions set 
up by the opposing sections. About the most 
" mixed metaphor " criticism, emanating from 
one, who is not without belief that all he delivers 
himself of is authoritative, I have heard was 
this : " The crouch gains a runner half-a- 
yard at the start, but the stand-up start gains 
him half-a-yard at the finish." Now, what is 
one to make of this statement ? A gain of half- 
a-yard at the starting end of a race means a 
multiplication of the distance in short sprints, 
where initial velocity means so much. If either 
stance gives a starting gain it certainly will do 
so all through the race. 

Viewed in a purely mechanical light, any 
comparison of the two styles is entirely in 
favour of the old-fashioned stand-up. While 
the " croucher " sets in a most contracted, tiring 


position, the stander-up (who knows his business) 
is at his ease. It Httle matters to the good 
stander whether he is kept a few seconds more 
or less on the mark. If it comes to that he can 
stand on one leg and still keep his balance far 
longer than the croucher can tighten himself 
up for his spring. Get a back view of two 
experts (not a couple of novices nor an expert 
and a novice) in either style and note the 
smoothness of action, directness and quick 
manner of getting up full steam by the stander- 
up, and the rather strained movements of the 
croucher. Then trace their footprints and judge 
(if you will) which is the easier style, which gets 
the runner the more rapidly into his regular 
stride, and which calls for the expenditure of 
the most energy ! 

For the big, heavy runners, the stand-up — 
the correct stand-up — is far and away the best 
starting method. They have not to lift their 
weight to anything like the same extent as 
with the " crouch." They can, and should, 
stand in the attitude that they will run with 
arms free. It is just a matter of a little coaching 
(by a capable man), which will be worth all the 
time expended over it. The fastest beginners 
were the old-time sprinting cracks, who kept 
their stance very much of a close secret among 
themselves. The writer happened to be rather 


exceptional " out of the hole," and a close 
student of how the champions did such wonder- 
fully fast 50 yards running. This was really 
the secret of their truly remarkable speed all 
through, for no man unable to cover the first 
50 yards in about 5 J seconds can hope to do any 
really fast running at any of the short sprint 
distances, which range up to 130 yards. 

Without a doubt, the best style in respect of 
the crouch is to be found in putting all the 
weight and pressure possible upon the arms and 
hands. At the report of the pistol a pull at 
the track with the fingers, bringing the hands 
smartly backwards and upwards, with the idea 
of getting the loose back leg into immediate 
action, will put the runner in position and on 
his legs as quickly as can be done. 

The lower he can comfortably keep to the 
ground with his knees (as he takes his footholds 
in the holes) while setting on the mark the 
faster will he get away. Much will depend 
upon how he makes his holes and the distance 
these are apart. Every runner should find his 
proper length — that is to say, the distance 
between the holes and how near the front one 
can come to the starting-line. Ease and freedom 
is the thing to aim for. 

Making the right sort of holes is another 
matter over which you cannot be too careful. 


The back hole should be dug nearly straight at 
the rear and slightly scooped away forward to 
allow the foot to come easily out. The front 
hole, on the other hand, should be slanting to 
give room for the ball of the foot to easily rest 
upon. A most vital detail of the start is to 
come quite straight out of the holes with either 
foot. It should be constantly practised. 

A sprinter cannot be too careful about the 
" holes." Always try them with a run out or 
two and see that they are firm ; for if they give 
way ever so slightly when you put full pressure 
on them in the race, they will, most likely, 
rob you of any chance of winning. 

Confirmed habits are most difficult to eradicate 
in runners, and it would not be wise to try to 
change the starting style of a seasoned runner. 
But for novices, and the bigger they are the 
more favourable it will be to them, there is 
much virtue in the standing-up style of starting 
— whatever people who blindly follow in the 
steps of a prevailing fashion may think. 

The photographs of the two starting positions, 
the old-fashioned and the modern, will further 
reveal that the croucher has to give the stander- 
up a nice, useful bit of start and quite enough 
for him to win a race by. Note the positions 
of the feet in either case and the way that the 
stander's head and body are pitched well in 









front of the starting-mark. And a good stander- 
up can maintain if not add to this advantage 
from an equally good croucher. This is not 
mere blind partisanship, but a knowledgable 
judgment passed upon a subject which has 
been carefully weighed in the balance. 

The real reason for the " crouch " taking root 
in this country was the original advantage it 
afforded of the runner being allowed to place 
his hands and body beyond the mark against 
which he set his front foot. Now that this has 
rightly been ruled unfair, and made illegal, the 
croucher is handicapped by having to finger the 


THE preliminary preparation for these 
long sprinting races does not differ in 
any respect from that of the short 
sprints. After a quiet three or four weeks spent 
in strengthening the legs, arms and body by the 
easy indoor and track exercise detailed at the 
end of this chapter, longer and stronger bursts 
may be taken — a full five weeks of pistol practice 
(preferably twice daily, morning and afternoon) 
at 30, 40 and 50 yards, finishing up with a nice 
half-speed stride-through for 120 yards. Full 
speed is turned on at the 100 yards mark. 
The distance of this finishing burst should be 
lengthened 10 yards — that is, from 20 to 30, 30 
to 40, and so on until the runner can go quite 
strongly and in the proper form (and the one 
thing goes hand-in-hand with the other), until 
the 200 yards mark is reached. In the last 
month 50 yards bursts from the pistol and the 
stride-through (dependent upon the state of the 
weather, and the feelings of the runner), not 
forgetting to put all in in the last 50 yards. The 
cliief concern, however, is to keep the arms 
down, the head and body at a nice forward poise, 


200 AND 300 YARDS SPRINT 55 

and get up on the toes. One needs to be strong 
and well to control all these items when running 
at top speed. 

Some good brisk walks, the dumb-bell and 
skipping-rope exercises, and a regular course of 
living are needed to keep one up to the razor- 
edge of condition for these long sprints. A close 
scrutiny of the bodily weight, and an easing-off 
of very severe work, the last two or three days 
before the race, must never be overlooked. One 
of the most remarkable characteristics of these 
220 and 300 yards, which are ostensibly a greater 
physical tax than the short sprints, is the ability 
many poor finishers at 100 and 120 yards have 
shown in them. In fact, not a few have proved 
comparatively better at 300 yards than the 
shorter distance. The reason for this can be 
given. Having arrived at the top of their speed 
at 80 yards (as so many runners do), they have 
dropped into a long, plugging, yet quick, stride, 
and been able to carry it through the long length 
of the 300 yards. The real — that is, very quick- 
striding — sprinter will need to be very strong 
to go rattling through this course without a very 
appreciable depreciation of pace. 

Some big strong men, who are slow starters 
and do not get fairly into their running until they 
have gone some 30 or 40 yards, and have no 
chance in first-class company at the short sprints 


(although they will come with a rare rush in the 
last 20 yards of a 120 yards race), will go very 
strongly through a 220, and better, relatively, 
at 300 yards. Runners of this exceptional stamp 
will probably run the second 100 yards faster 
than the first. But the ordinary sprinter will 
show a falling-off at the 220, which is corres- 
pondingly increased among all classes of runners 
at the longer journey of 300 yards. Thus, a 
10 1 seconds man at 100 yards, although he takes 
a flying start at the second 100, is unlikely to do 
21 seconds for the 200 yards, unless he be a 
surpassingly powerful finisher. Then, again, 
at 300 yards his pace will have so dropped that 
he will be hard put to it to get through in 32 J 

There should be no waiting or dallying in a 220 
yards race (now almost generally run in stringed 
tracks), but there is a certain scope left to the 
clever runner in a 300 yards. On the customary 
quarter-mile track, it means the negotiation 
of two corners. There may be plenty of trouble 
to the possibly bunched-together top and middle- 
mark competitors before the straight is reached. 
As a rule, however, the extreme backmarkers 
have a pull by being out of the scrimmages 
(along with the actual leader), and are able 
to get an unhampered passage into that tiring, 
long finishing straight. 

200 AND 300 YARDS SPRINT 57 

The 300 yards is no end of a gruelling race 
to the unfit or half-fit runner. But the right 
type, the strong, lusty young men, find it just 
nicely within their sprinting powers — when they 
are fit. There is a distinct falling-off with the 
best of them, however, in the second half of the 
300 yards. Up to about 150 yards the speed is 
fairly well maintained. It is greatest, however, 
with nine out of every ten between 70 and 130 
yards. Thereafter comes the decline, made more 
acute in the last 80 yards than anywhere else. 
The speed is dying out, the feet are now longer on 
the ground and less in the air than they were. 
The average rate of progress per second is slow- 
ing down right until the runners rush through 
the winning-posts. 

How great a sprinter old Harry Hutchens 
(the most brilliant of all time) must have been, 
to have run (as he undoubtedly did do) his 
300 yards in 30 seconds, moving around a large 
field of widely strung-out long-start men on 
a holding path and getting in front 50 yards 
from the worsted just " paddled " through, 
with barely moving arms (not dropping his 
hands, as the usual expression has it, because 
he always kept them down), at his leisure. This 
freak among sprint -runners was undoubtedly 
good for 29 seconds, if j he had cared to specially 
train for the distance (which he never did do). 


It is difficult, in mentioning the subject of 300 
yards running, to omit the name of the greatest 
of them all, who (however the statement may be 
out of place) was, moreover, equally the master 
of all sprint -runners (past or present) from 
60 yards to as far as he liked to run. There is 
no doubt about this ! 

Average Schedule of Long Sprint Times 

100 yds. 

150 yds. 

200 yds. 

220 yds. 

300 yds. 

The average 

good runners . 

II sees. 

i6i sees. 

22| sees. 

244 sees. 

34^ sees. 

The loi seconds 

The 10 seconds 

loi ,, 

15* .. 

2I| „ 

231 „ 

32^ „ 



I4| „ 


221 „ 

3H .. 


OF all distances, this is popularly sup- 
posed to be the most trying. To the 
partially trained runner, who is most 
likely merely a sprinter, it is all this. But 
the strong, long-striding, well-trained man will 
go bang through the worsted at the end of a 
quarter-mile race and take some 30 or 40 
yards to pull up, in proof that he could have 
gone on considerably farther had he been 
required to do so. The fact of the matter is, 
the quarter-mile is not in the sprinting class, 
which practically closes at 300 yards. It comes 
in the category of middle distances. In proof, 
you get the real quarter-miler able to get the 
half-mile and 1000 yards. Long, free striding 
is the chief requisite at all these distances. 

At the quarter-mile, the powerful, long-limbed 
middle and heavyweights are the ideal men 
over the course. They taper away in weight, 
however, at the half-mile, but the length of 
leg should still be there. The true stamp of the 
quarter-miler is one who can go all the way 
through at top pressure. He is not fast enough — 
that is to say, not sufficiently nippy on his feet 


in the first lOO yards — to hold his own with 
the good sprinters. His time over loo yards 
would be somewhere between io| and loi 
seconds. His pace will be found to come with 
long striding, and not the quick action of the 
good sprinter. These comments may be taken 
as a hint to many who have stuck to sprinting, 
and who have never got out of the second class, 
to try the quarter-mile. But they would be 
unwise if much under the • average height of 
5 feet 8 inches, and strongly knit. To the 
first-class sprinter, however, there is nothing 
more likely to take the fine edge off his speed 
than a term of quarter-mile training. Once 
this has left him it will not easily, if ever, be 

There are two ways of running a quarter- 
mile. They depend entirely upon the type of 
runner. The very strong runner, short of that 
bit of extra dash which makes the top-hole 
sprinter what he is, can go plugging all the 
way through. He may not find a position on 
the " inside " of the track to begin with and 
have to go round one or two of his rivals. 
But he will be coming to his own end of 
the race in the last lOO yards. That is one 
way of quarter-miling. The other presents a 
more direct course round to the winning-posts. 
But it is only open to the fast, lively actioned 








stamp of runner, who is, in reality, a sprinter. 
His speed will carry him to the front, and he 
should see that it does do so by getting away 
from his holes with the pistol crack. For 
about 80 yards he should continue his top pace. 
Then, nicely in front, as he should be, and master 
of the track, he can ease off the full strain by 
reaching out more and striding rather longer at 
about three-quarter speed. His quick sprint- 
ing action and the effort to maintain it will 
both have now disappeared. The impetus of 
his first dash will help to keep him moving at a 
smart pace. Sticking close to the inside, practi- 
cally waiting in front and allowing no one to 
head him, our sprinting quarter-miler can keep 
up his free, long striding until about 120 yards 
from home. Here he should gradually gather 
himself together and never make the mistake 
of trying to make a final sprint without having 
taken this precaution. Having set his head 
and body, arms and legs in the correct sprinting 
pose, then he can make his all-out dash down 
the finishing straight. To this kind of runner, 
who has more speed than stamina, the quarter- 
mile is a hard race indeed. 

Since the Olympic games became fashionable, 
two distinct types of quarter-mile races have 
come into existence. The old style, with an 
open track for all, demands racing craft and 


experience, and an advantage to he who pos- 
sesses that extra turn of speed which will 
get him in the first flight, preferably with the 
lead, at the outset. The new style introduced 
in the London and Stockholm Olympiads, with 
a separate stringed-out path for each runner, 
if more difficult to gauge, does not make the 
same demand upon track generalship, nor lend 
itself to the usual vicissitudes so often arising 
from a mixed field racing at and on the bends. 
Its only requirement is judgment of pace. The 
usual quarter-mile race means a sprint for the 
first corner and a wise disinclination to resign 
the leading places by those who have secured 
them. With equal wisdom, the runners in the 
rear would be well advised to save their efforts 
until the finishing straight is reached. Mostly, 
it is a waste of precious energy, time and distance 
to make an earlier bid for the leadership any- 
where else when you are racing against runners 
of your own standard. Above all, never try 
to pass an opponent on a bend. If you are 
able to do so there, what can you not do with 
him in a straight ? 

The Quarter-Miler's Preparation 

The cultivation of speed is the first requisite, 
on exactly the same lines as the sprinter, whose 


training should be followed out to the very 
letter. The only difference is the need of 
plenty of good, brisk walking and longer track 
work by the quarter-miler. He takes the 
clearing physic and the other preliminary atten- 
tions. His is also a thirteen weeks' training. 
Out on the track twice a day, Sundays excepted, 
he is to all intents and purposes undertaking 
an identical, only a stronger, preparation to that 
of the sprinter. Again, the first three or four 
weeks are devoted to gentle half to three-quarter 
speed exercises around and about the track, to 
strengthen the wind, body and hmbs. Exercises 
with dumb-bells and skipping-rope will again 
assist in this. After the fourth week of the 
training, the hard, serious work begins. Pistol 
practice out of the holes at 40 and 50 yards, and 
the stride-through to finish with. This and the 
extra walking form the only contrast to the 
work of the sprinter. A stride-through at good 
half -speed up to 150 yards and a top -speed 
25 yards to finish with, which should be leng- 
thened 25 yards at a time, until the runner 
masters a finishing 200 yards. This carries 
him, of course, to 350 yards, which may be 
considered the limit of the training spins. 

Only now and again should the full 440 yards 
be covered, and then only for the purpose of 
a trial, say three or four times within the last 


six or seven weeks of the training. The great 
idea is to train for speed as against distance. 
Remember the old adage : " It's not the miles 
you travel but the pace that kills." If you can 
dash through 200 yards at the end of a striding 
half-speed 150 yards and feel fit and well (as 
a well-trained runner should do) there will 
be no doubt about your staying the full 440 
yards, and probably a good bit farther. The 
chief thing is to keep in good form and carry 
yourself with a nice, swinging gait, in most 
particulars corresponding to the deportment of 
the sprinter. A good, hard middle five weeks 
with daily walks of 4 and 5 miles at about 4^ 
miles an hour, striding out freely from the hips 
and well swinging the shoulders and arms, will 
furnish the necessary stamina. 

The big, heavy men who are inclined to put 
on weight will benefit with a good walking 
sweat once a week. In flannels and sweaters 
they should be taken along at a nice, free gait 
until in a glowing perspiration. Then the cool- 
down, the bath and rub-down, as laid down in 
the training section. 

[Table here 










Quarter-Mile Times Schedule^ 

100 yds. 

200 yds. 

300 yds. 

440 yds. 

The " average " useful 


12 sees. 

23I sees. 

35f sees. 

53 sees. 

The 52 seconds man 

Ill ., 

23f .. 

35 .. 

52 „ 

The 51 

Hi „ 

23 ., 

34i ,. 

51 .. 

The 50 

Hi „ 

22f „ 

34 .. 

50 ,, 

The 49 

II ,, 


331 .. 

49 ., 

The 48* 

lOf „ 

2lf ,, 

32f „ 

48* „ 

^ Note that these times represent the average running at the 
intermediate distances, a Jact which does not imply that they exactly 
represent each individual case, although the final results will be the 




GAIN at tliis distance, as in the sprints 
and quarter-mile, the breathing organs, 
the heart and hmbs must be gradually 
accustomed to stand the strain of a searching 
training. Thus, the first four weeks of a thirteen 
weeks' preparation are devoted to cleansing 
the system, gentle half to three-quarter speed 
runs, the introduction to the clean, regular 
living, which is the mainspring of the whole 
process. Good brisk runs from loo to 200 
yards, and walks of 3, 4 and 5 miles, and a run- 
through at half-speed from 300 yards to a 
quarter of a mile, will gradually tune the runner 
up until he is fit to stand some fast work. He 
should keep to runs of 200 and 300 yards, 
carried out at a nice, free, striding pace. Then 
finishing up each set of track exercises with a 
stride-through at good half-speed for 300 yards, 
at the end of which a good three-quarter speed 
burst should be gradually extended, until 500 
to 600 yards is mastered. As in the quarter- 
mile (and any middle distance or distance pre- 
parations) the full course should seldom be 
covered, except for an occasional trial. 



There is no race where judgment of pace in 
the first half of the distance counts for more 
than in this 880 yards. It is simply fatal to 
any chance of success, no matter how good the 
runner may be, to run the first 440 yards much, 
if anything, under a minute. As a matter of 
fact, the man who can do this and have enough 
left in him to get through the second 440 yards 
without falling quite dead licked on the " tape " 
should do about i minute 57 seconds for the 
full half-mile, a rate of travelling that few can 
reach in England, where the atmospherical 
conditions are, generally, inimical to fast times. 
It will be noticed by this time example that the 
runner has gained 3 seconds during the second 
half of the journey on his i minute for the 
first half of it. The more one analyses the 
pace at which the first 440 yards of a half-mile 
should be run and a rigid time-schedule set, the 
clearer does it become that a 3 seconds' deficiency 
in the first lap (as compared with the full 
distance proportionate rate) will be found to 
suit all classes of half-milers, including the 
plugger, who delights to go all the way. 

It is well known that a good quarter-miler — • 
say a 50 seconds man — if he increases his stride- 
through and final burst to half-mile require- 
ments, could be transformed into an excellent 
half-miler. This is providing that he keeps to 


about I minute for the first 440 yards. He will 
be well advised to try 62, 61, 60, 59J and 59 
seconds, and the watch, in combination with 
his feelings at about 700 yards or so, will tell 
him all he wants to know. 

Plenty of good sharp walks of 4 to 5 miles an 
hour, dumb-bell, skipping and punching the 
ball, or "bell fighting," will assist in bringing 
one up to a fine pitch of physical condition. 
As in all other cases, the middle five weeks of 
the training should be the most severe ; the 
weight and temperature checked at every run 
or walk. The last three or four weeks will be 
of a less exacting kind, with a gradual easing-off 
of hard work as the day of the races comes on. 

Cultivation of a turn of sprinting speed is to 
be had by top-speed 200 to 300 yards about 
twice a week after the first month of slow work. 
The carriage of the half-miler is a little more 
upright than that of the sprinter, but he should 
carry his arms low and generally assume a 
loose, easy pose and use his shoulders to assist 
in the swing of the body. For a final sprint, 
the runner should gather himself together, and 
the increased pace must first come from the more 
rapid play of the arms (still held loose and low) 
across the body, which must now, with the head, 
be inclined farther forward than during the 
slower-taken and longer normal half-mile stride. 





Half-Mile Times Schedule 

440 yds. 

. 660 yds. 

880 yds. 

The good aver- 

age half-miler 

I mm. 7 sees. 

I min. 35i sees. 

2 mms. 4 sees. 

I M 3 .. 

I .. 3if ,. 

2 „ ,, 

The I' 59" „ 

I 2 

I ,. 3of „ 

I ,. 59 ., 

The i' 58" „ 

I ., I .. 

I ,, 29* ,, 

I „ 58 „ 

The I' 57" ,, 

I ,. ,, 

I „ 28i „ 

I .. 57 .. 

The I' 56" ,, 

59 ., 

I .. 27 „ 

I „ 56 „ 

The I' 55" „ 

58 „ 

I „ 26i ,. 

I .. 55 .. 

Thei'53r .. 

57 .. 

I „ 25 „ 

I .. 53i .. 


THERE have been many and various 
types of good mile runners, from the 
short and stocky or lithe and sinewy 
kind up to the ideal of the tall and far-striding, 
of whom W. G. George and A. N. S. Jackson 
stand as the most illustrious of past and present 
examples. A first-class standard of 4 minutes 
20 seconds for the mile appears to correspond 
intimately with loi seconds for the 100 yards 
50 seconds for the quarter-mile, and i minute 
57 seconds for the half-mile. To get inside 
these times implies marked ability. The miler 
who can beat 4 minutes 20 seconds, no matter 
how favourable the day and track may be to 
the performance, is in a very select class. 

Big, medium-sized and comparatively little 
men have accomplished this fast performance, 
and the best of the bunch, such as George, 
Cummings, Snook, Tincler, Bacon and A. N. S. 
Jackson (not improbably the equal of any) 
have made really remarkable times for the 
intermediate quarter, half and three-quarter 
stages. The great mile-runner will be found 
to be quite a useful sprinter, a much more 



than average quarter-miler, very little behind 
championship form at the half-mile and as good 
as can be met at three-quarters of a mile. He 
is, moreover, capable of running 10 miles and 
more and be a champion all the time. 

The mile is an exacting race, for which the 
regular thirteen weeks' preparation will be found 
teeming with sound regular work after a quiet 
three or four weeks' opening. No long distances 
at first, but gentle daily half-speed runs and nice, 
striding walks. Gradually tune up the organs 
inside and out on the lines laid down for the 
shorter distances. Do not do any tiring work 
on the track or road, nor in respect of the in- 
dispensable dumb-bell, skipping, ball-punching 
or bell-fighting exercises. As the inevitable 
soreness and stiffness wears off, which it is 
bound to do after some three to four weeks 
regular practice twice a day, runs of 800, goo, 
1000, 1 100 and 1200 yards can be covered. 
The state of the weather and the feelings of the 
runner should be the guide as to the distance. 

As in all other cases, train to develop speed. 
A fast quarter and a good pelting half-mile 
taken on alternate days and sandwiched in the 
usual free striding runs will be found of great 
help. Maintain a real good pace as far as 
possible. Plenty of long, swinging walks will 
help to give the required stamina. By such 


means a good half-miler may be made a good 
miler. The difference again lies, as between the 
quarter-miler and half-miler, in longer and 
stronger work. 

Stride-measuring and tracing the footprints 
should (as in sprinting) be regularly pursued. 
These matters will often reveal, in company 
with the scales, the cause of any loss of speed 
(as shown on the watch). It is when the strides 
are irregular and crooked that something is 
wrong with the runner. Every deviation from 
the regular line of his course means a loss of 
ground, which multiplies tremendously in dis- 
tance races. 

There are robust milers who will require long 
sweats and much severe running and walking 
to get them to their best. On the other hand, 
there are the natural runners, to whom very 
little training, just an occasional half-mile, 
1000 yards or three-quarter mile, say every 
other day, and then at nothing like " all out " 
racing pace, is all that is needed. These are 
the most difficult kind to train and understand. 
They are light and dainty eaters, as a rule. 
The best policy is to humour them and let 
them have their own way, while keeping very 
strict note of their weight and general health. 
As at every other distance, a pound or two on 
the heavy side, so long as the runner feels well 


and is doing a reasonable amount of training 
and living regularly, is an advantage. 

A miler should run his race at a nice, even 
pace. He should have experimented to find 
out what will suit him best for the quarter, half 
and three-quarter distances, leaving him strong 
enough to keep going through the last quarter- 

A miler. 

mile. A tip-topper will usually run a very fast 
first quarter, very little outside a minute, and 
gradually lose on this more and more through 
each of the next three-quarters. This is miling 
of the best sort, disdaining the waiting tactics 
which so many adopt, and thereby making their 
first and last quarters faster than the middle two. 
For a handicap race with its many runners, 


backmarkers and those with starts of a more or 
less extended degree aUke, the first-mentioned 
aU-the-way tactics are almost inevitable. You 
must go after the leaders and be up in the first 
flight as early as can be, at a pace, however, 
that will enable you to last out the full distance. 
The scratch runners have the added task to their 
already difiicult one of conceding start. They 
have to catch and pass the runners interposing 
between themselves and the leaders. And it is 
necessary to be within striking distance, if not 
right up among them, when the bell rings for the 
last lap. In a level race the waiting game, 
trailing off the willing pacemakers, or, better still, 
setting a nice easy gait ahead of the field, and 
leaving it in the lurch at the last lap, is the 
usual thing. This is where you are most likely 
to get the fast first and last quarters, and a 
slower two middle quarters . Handicap races and 
level races are things apart, and where the one 
is usually an all-the-way affair, the other lends 
itself to the method of the patient tactician, 
who should be able to turn on more than a 
passable burst of speed at the given moment. 
A high authority on this particular branch 
of running (none other than the record-holder, 
W. G. George) lays it down that the third quarter 
of a mile race is far and away the most trying 
of the four. There is no doubt about this being 

K r. 



correct. A third quarter is the crisis of the race, 
especially when all have started on level terms. 
It is here where they begin to closely watch in 
expectation of a dash from someone or another. 
There is a sort of calm, even though each 
runner is anxiously intent on the real struggle 
to come. The feelings are strained, and the 
ringing of the bell for the final circuit comes as 
a relief to all concerned. This third quarter 
finds out the moral qualities of the runners and 
their racing craft. 

One-Mile Times Schedule 



1 Mile 

I Mile 

The 5 mins. man 

68 sees. 

2 mins. 25 sees. 

3 mins. 42 sees. 

5 mins. 

The average use- 

ful miler 

65 „ 

2 „ 18 „ 

3 .. 31 .. 

4 mins. 45 sees. 

The 4' 30" man 

62 ,, 

2 ,, loi ,, 

3 .. 20 ,, 

4 .. 30 ., 

The 4' 25" „ 

61 ,, 

2 „ 8 " „ 

3 ,. 16 „ 

4 .. 25 ., 

The 4' 20" .. 

60 ,, 

2 „ 6 „ 

3 .. I2i ,, 

4 .. 20 „ 

The 4' 16" ,, 

59 ., 

2 ,. 4 .. 

3 .. 9h .. 

4 .. 16 „ 

W. G. George's 

great 4' i2f" 

world's record. 

58^ .. 

2 ,, 2 

3 .. 7l .. 

4 .. I2| „ 



HE real miler can run a good 4 miles, 
I and the four-miler can generally stay 

-^ through 10 miles, and there should be 
no limit to the distance that the ten-miler can 
traverse. In all cases it is a matter of training, 
and the pace set. The mistake of running the 
full distance, except once in a way as a trial 
and an experience, should never be made. All 
along the line it is a matter of developing speed 
as against running the j ourney . For ins t ance , for 
a 4 miles race, runs of i| to 2 miles, following the 
term of easy preliminary work, taken at a good 
rousing pace, will benefit the runner infinitely 
more than to keep pegging away at the full 
course. As a matter of fact, some champion 
ten-milers have never gone beyond this distance, 
and mainly prepared themselves for the effort 
by long, fast walks. This is, however, going 
to extremes. The ten-miler should, at least, 
make a practice of taking occasionally 5 mile 
spins and then (but less frequently still) of 6, 
7 and 8 miles, with one full-course trial. 

A man who can run 10 miles can accustom 
himself to double the distance. From that stage 



there is nothing to prevent his going 50 miles, 
at the reduced pace this longer journey calls for. 

The two great matters to be taken into account 
are : firstly, first-class physical condition brought 
about by a long and gradual preparation, and a 
well-arranged time schedule to set the pace. 
Long, swinging walks, not strolls, starting at 
2 and 3 miles and working upwards, by degrees, 
to 15, 20 and 25 miles, and runs of a like distance, 
always at a faster pace than that of the actual 
race is ever likely to be, will equip the miler 
for a 50 miles run. 

Again the truthful adage, "It's not the miles 
but the pace that kills," must be given promin- 
ence. Care of the feet, the careful cleansing of the 
system, plain, nourishing food, regular habits and 
a fresh-air living with daily practice on the track 
or road-walking, and bending and stretching, 
dumb-bell, skipping, and the other exercises 
detailed in another part of the book, must be 
adhered to. In all cases, see to a change of 
clothes, wearing the lightest texture (outside and 
inside) to suit the season of the year. Be sure 
that your boots and shoes fit you well, not too 
large, nor too small, and that they are a nice 
width across and at the toes. 

For the very long distances a pair of light spats 
or thin, tight-fitting socks, strung with elastic 
at the tops, will be found serviceable, in dry, 


dusty weather, as a preventative of grit getting 
inside and chafing the feet. If the shoes are 
made with the seams lapped over and sewn 
outside, further security against foot trouble will 
have been gained, as often enough a rough inner 
sewing and seam have been known to set up 
painful friction. A long-distance runner cannot 
have his task made too comfortable for him. 

Perhaps the most needful quality for these pro- 
tracted runs is determination. It may come of 
stubborn or light-hearted natures, to be equally 
valuable in either case. The runner who can 
keep plugging away through a lo miles grind on 
the track has a sense of responsibility, apart from 
his physical attainments, which many may envy. 
Across country the changing scenes and circum- 
stances relieve the monotony that besets the 
track runner. 

On a very long journey, light, sustaining food 
and drink, such as concentrated beef tea, milk 
or barley water, may be given (in small quanti- 
ties) with advantage to runners. On no account 
give them stimulants, except, perhaps, in the 
very last stages of their task. In ninety-nine 
cases out of a hundred, however, nothing more 
reviving than being hit on the nape of the neck 
with a sponge saturated in the coldest obtainable 
water, and then squeezed over the head, can be 
had. Change his shirt if, as is likely, it is badly 



wetted. A pailful thrown over a collapsed runner 
will rouse him like nothing else can do. The 
very smallest measure of liquid, or other internal 
refreshment as possible for the physically fit man 
(and none other should attempt a long journey), 
who may really not need anything more than to 
rinse his mouth out and gargle his throat, is 
another vital point. 

Next to the matter of temperament comes 
the question of style or carriage. 
A very good distance-runner, 
who should know better, has laid 
it down that the movement of 
the arms should not be across 
the body. He says that the arms 
should he carried at the sides, and 
he moved up and down. This is 
rather staggering intelligence, 
emanating from such a quarter. 
As one led to believe that Nature 
dictates all that is simplest and 
best in the matter of easy, en- 
during bodily motion, the writer 
is opposed to such teachings. 

The arm-action which comes ^ distance-nmner's easy 
T and rather upright 

most natural to the distance- carriage. 
runner should usually suit him best, and will 
further be in accordance with his striding. 
A close observation of the running methods of 


young children show that only a very small 
percentage of them fail to move the hands 
(which are loosely closed) in a circular manner 
across the stomach. The few who do not quite 
get their hands there still work them slightly 
inwards and outwards, but, curiously enough, 
mostly with opened palms. 

The famous Finn, Kohlemainen (the hero of the 
Stockholm Olympiad), belongs to this class, which 
provides the exception to a very good rule. There 
is the inward and outward swing of the arms, 
as the opposite legs are, respectively, raised or 
dropped, but in nothing like the same noticeable 
manner as when the hands keep rolling across 
the stomach, as in the more common styles. 

It is the same, too, with the youths and young 
men when they first take to the running track. 
Their natural arm-action is smooth and quite 
unforced. But as soon as they try to run faster 
or farther than they are accustomed to do, up 
go their arms, their bodies and heads go up with 
them, and their stride is strained and retarded. 
Others cultivate windmill, or see-sawing, or stiff, 
taut poses (with a false notion of attractive 
carriage), which keep the shoulders rigid and set, 
instead of swinging in beat to the swaying of the 
hips at the strides. 

The old-time professionals hung their arms 
down with the hands loosely set on their corks. 

.? ^ 


' * ' * -^ ' - r ftr-*r * "■ r t. 

VSwi* -w>.0 







at about groin level, just as one walks in the 
streets. Theirs was cultivated arm- work, how- 
ever. It was easy, not showy, and well fitted to 
the work. But one cannot say that it improved 

A boy's natural run 
(arms swinging 
across the body). 

The unnatural — arms-at- 
thesides beating up and 

upon Nature's carriage across the stomach, which 
so many great runners have adopted. 

Now, with all due respect to those who 
advocate the rigid carrying of the arms at the 
sides, the writer wishes it to be known and under- 
stood that, for the vast majority, no more stilted 
arm-play, detrimental to stride, shoulder and 
hip rolling, could well be conceived. The position 


it forces upon the average runner is unsuitable. 
Nothing assists a distance-runner more than 
getting a gentle, swinging roll, which up-and- 
down beats of the arms simply prevent. To 
give emphasis to this matter, the accompan3dng 
sketches of a boy's natural, loose play of the 
whole body, head, shoulders, arms and legs, can 
be compared with the stiff poise of a runner 
carrying his arms at his sides and using them 
with up-and-down strokes. 

It is necessary to drive these matters as far 
home as may be done by letterpress and illus- 
trations, for the reason that at least one trainer 
at the principal London grounds has been seen 
(by the writer) to advise his charges to run with 
their arms at their sides, and chop up and down 
from the elbow. Nothing more painfully ugly and 
unfitting to any class of running will ever be seen. 

To go full tilt against this mutilation of correct 
running principles, there must be shown a com- 
parison between the striding caused by the 
ri'ght and the wrong ways of carrying the arms. 
Just place your arms at your sides, put your two 
feet together, toeing a mark on the ground, and 
stride out as far as you can, first with the left 
then with the right leg (keeping the back leg 
firmly planted as you do so), taking stock of the 
exact spot where your toes come to at each stride. 
The hands will come up to somewhere by the 



point of the shoulders, as the arms make their 

Now, having tried the wrong way of using the 
arms, make a test of the right way. Place your 
hands across the pit of the stomach, and again 
toe the mark with both feet. Stride out again 
with either leg (making sure to keep the back leg 
still at its mark), and see how far your feet go be- 
yond the spot where they went to when you had 
your arms at your sides. With the average man 
it means a matter of a 4 or 5 inches' gain, with 
the expenditure of exactly the same effort, apart 
from the freer and more lissom movements. Is 
there any need to pursue the question further ? 

Schedule of Average Times for Distance 
Running from Two Miles to Fifty Miles 

The Good Average 

First-Class Man's 



2 miles 

10 mins. 30 sees. 

9 mins. 25 sees. 

3 .. 

16 „ 

14 . 

, 30 .. 

4 .. 

21 ,, 45 sees. 

20 , 

5 .. 

27 ,. 15 .. 

25 , 

10 sees. 

6 ,, 

33 .. 15 .. 

30 . 

, 25 ,, 

7 .. 

39 ,, 30 .. 

35 . 

. 45 .. 

8 ,, 

45 .. 45 .. 

41 . 

10 „ 

9 ■■ 

52 ,, 45 .. 

46 , 

10 ,, 

1 hour 

52 , 

11 ,, 

I , 

7I mins 

58i , 

12 ,, 


, i5i -, 

I hour 4J mins. 

15 .. 

I , 

35 .. 

I „ 23 „ 

20 ,, 

2 , 


I .. 55 .. 

25 .. 

2 , 

50 „ 

2 ,, 31 

30 ,. 

3 . 

35 .. 

3 ., 10 ,, 

35 .. 

4 . 

25 „ 

3 .. 52 „ 

40 ,, 

5 . 

20 „ 

4 .. 37 .. 

45 .. 

6 , 


5 .. 25 „ 

50 „ 

7 . 

25 ,, 

6 „ 15 „ 


THERE is no royal road to success in long- 
distance running ; but the fundamental 
principle to be applied to this arduous 
form of sport can be summed up in the one 
word — training. But it must be of the right 
kind, and the training must be founded on 
scientific principles. It is interesting to note 
that the ancients laid great stress on the training 
of the competitors in the Olympic games. No 
one was allowed to enter who could not prove 
that he had undergone the preparatory training 
for ten months ; and, further, for a month before 
the contests they had to perform certain exercises 
in the gymnasium, under the eye of what in 
modern times may be termed the stewards of the 
meeting. So much for the ancients. But even 
in more enlightened days historical facts such 
as these are a sure guide for us to formulate our 
scheme on which to build our hopes of success. 
It is, of course, impossible to turn out the 
finished article with unsuitable material. A bad 
runner cannot be built up into a good runner, 
train he ever so severely. He, however, can be 
vastly improved with proper coaching. On the 



other hand, a good runner must be handled and 
trained in the way best suited to his constitution, 
action, and so forth to bring out all that is best 
in him. He must be trained on the right lines. 
This is essential in all athletics, and especially 
so in long-distance races. To neglect training is 
simply asking for failure. A systematic course 
of training is absolutely necessary for anyone 
who aspires to become a Marathon runner. 
It must also be borne in mind that this training 
is to bring the human frame to such perfection 
that it can withstand the arduous task before it ; 
the training must be of the right kind, and it is 
only by long experience that the correct system 
of training has become known. 

Undergoing a Preparation 

Marathon-racing is a far more strenuous ordeal 
than ordinary cinder-path racing. In the first 
place, it is all road-work, and is therefore far 
more trying ; the wear and tear to the body is 
far greater . There is no elasticity in the road as 
is to be found in the turf or a cinder-track. In 
other words, there is no sympathetic feeling 
between the runner and the road. It is all hard 
slogging, punch for punch, every step a jar to 
the body. To be able to withstand this con- 


tinual shaking, a runner must be very carefully 
shod. The care of his feet, therefore, becomes 
of vital importance ; in fact good feet may be 
considered the first factor to be considered 
towards success. He must possess a naturally 
hard and strong constitution with great powers 
of endurance. His stomach should be clean, 
and kept so, and plain, strengthening food taken 
at regular intervals. In fact, he must live by 
routine day by day. A diet-sheet should be 
arranged in exactly the same manner as if he 
was in the doctor's hands. The runner's aim 
must be to make himself as sound as possible 
in wind and limb, and gradually by constant 
practice to bring his muscles and sinews to the 
highest pitch of endurance. To accomplish this, 
at least three months' systematic training is 
absolutely essential before he can hope to be in 
a fit condition to do himself justice. It is not 
the distance but the pace that kills, that must 
be borne in mind. Twenty-six to twenty-seven 
miles, after all, is not an extraordinary distance 
to cover, when it is remembered what the six- 
days' go-as-you-please pedestrians need to do. 
But in Marathons the conditions are different, 
and the pace is always hot — so hot, indeed, that 
if there be a weak spot in the runner's condition 
it is sure to be discovered. In short, he will 
crack before the end of the race is in view. 


The combination of pace and distance will be 
too much for him. 


At the outset a course of physic is necessary. 
The stomach must be thoroughly cleansed with 
old-fashioned herbal medicines. Epsom salts 
also may be used with advantage. It is always 
necessary to get at the liver — ^the sieve to the 
body — as the principal organ to be cleared. 
The first week of training should be devoted to 
this cleansing of the internal organs of the body. 
Medicine should be taken every day, morning 
and evening, on an empty stomach. After the 
first seven days of this somewhat drastic treat- 
ment, a weekly dose will suffice. Sunday, being 
the quietest day, is the best one to choose, 
unless there are any symptoms of biliousness 
or costiveness. 

It is during this first week of preparation that 
the runner's feet should be attended to. The 
nails should be carefully examined, especially 
the big toe nails. They should not be cut at the 
sides, but hollowed out slightly at the top. Nail- 
cutting should be performed after bathing the 
feet. If the sides of the nails become tender, 
a small pad of cotton wool soaked in vaseline 


may be applied with advantage round the toe, 
if possible inserting some under the nail. 

Foot Pickle 

This is also the time to commence to get the 
feet into condition for the future hard work. 
Artificial means may usefully be employed here, 
as the runner has great friction to contend with 
between the sock and shoe. Even people blessed 
with hard feet will make sure, doubly sure, by 
using a pickle which will make the skin tough. 
The best of all is made from the gall of a sheep 
and spirits of camphor mixed in equal parts. 
The feet should be bathed in this solution two 
or three times a day, until the experienced eye 
of the trainer is satisfied that the feet have gone 
through a sufficiently hardening process. After 
a course of this pickling it is almost impossible 
for the runner to suffer from blisters . Should he, 
however, unfortunately contract one, it must be 
dealt with at once with a sharp knife and Friar's 
balsam applied to the part on a lint bandage. 
It is during the early stages of the training that 
foot troubles are most likely to occur, and the 
feet should be carefully examined each day after 
work has been performed. If the feet stand 
the necessary strain for a week, there will be no 
fear of a breakdown, providing ordinary care is 


bestowed on them. Sound, hard feet are 
everything to a long-distance runner. 

Three Pairs of Shoes 

The road to success is to be obtained by paying 
attention to the smallest matters of detail. It is, 
therefore, necessary to enumerate the most minute 
particulars. The runner's shoes, the number 
of pairs he should have, the socks and material 
they are made of, are all subjects of careful 
consideration not to be overlooked. Too much 
stress cannot be laid upon the vital importance 
of having a long-distance runner properly shod. 
Spare no reasonable expense in this necessary 
part of his equipment. The object to be arrived 
at is to have a close-fitting, and yet an easy kind 
of shoe. It must be tough, able to withstand 
the rough wear and tear of road-work, and yet 
the uppers must be soft and pliable. They 
should be made of non-stretching leather. A 
Marathon runner should certainly have at his 
disposal three pairs of these shoes at the com- 
mencement of his training operations. 

If people are incredulous on the importance of 
having three pairs of shoes, let them consider, 
after a tiring day, how refreshing it is to change 
one pair of boots for another. Better still, to 
put on a light pair of shppers ; but if this is not 


possible, the great thing to ease the feet is a 
change of footgear. As this is so in ordinary 
Hfe, how much more important it is for the man 
who is training himself for long-distance running. 
After a distance of ground has been covered, the 
feet swell and become overheated. It must be 
remembered that the feet are as sensitive to 
overheating as they are to the other extreme — 
suffering from the cold. It is this overheating 
that must be guarded against. A shoe that 
provides sufficient ventilation, and yet is of 
stout enough make to withstand the rough wear 
of long-distance running, is a difficult proposi- 
tion. For a runner to do his best work he must 
endeavour to keep his feet at a normal tempera- 
ture, and it is for this reason that at least three 
pairs of shoes should be provided, to enable him 
to do full justice to himself, both during a Mara- 
thon race and during his preliminary training. 

Type of Shoe 

Now, to obtain correct -fitting shoes, the runner 
should be measured for them and have them 
made by a practical man on a last — the three 
pairs being made by the same man on the same 
last. The shoes should be most carefully fitted 
at the heel, where there should be just sufficient 
grip not to allow any movement between the heel 


and the shoe. The shghtest looseness at the heel 
sets up unnecessary friction, from which all sorts 
of evils may arise. The shoe must be well- 
fitting throughout, but by no means tight, and 
should be made wide enough on the sole to allow 
the runner to spread out his foot to the widest 
extent each time the foot comes in contact with 
the ground. 

Two pairs of shoes should be made of medium 
weight and strength, and the third or reserve pair 
a shade lighter and slightly longer. It is generally 
in the middle of a race that a runner's feet begin 
to show signs of swelling (and this is especially 
so on road-work) , and so a change of shoes will be 
found of great benefit to the runner. It is for 
this very reason that the reserve pair of shoes, 
somewhat lighter, and slightly larger, have been 
ordered. They put new life and vigour into a 
man. They may be likened to the military 
band striking up the regimental march at the 
end of a hard day's " foot slogging " Weary 
men pull themselves together and get into step, 
and swing along with a vim that is truly remark- 
able, making light of their bodily fatigue to the 
strains of music. There is a wonderful tonic 
about a regimental march. 

This is equally true with regard to changing a 
pair of running shoes half-way through a run. Let 
no one underestimate the advantages of doing so. 


" Marathon " Shoes and Socks 

The correct pattern for a Marathon race shoe 
is a track-walker's shoe with a flat, low heel. 
As the training is for the most part confined to 
road-work, a strip of india-rubber may form the 
last layer on the pad with advantage. This 
tends to diminish the jar of the road, for it must 
be recognized that long-distance running on 
roads cannot be performed on the toes — a man is 
bound to come down on his heels. By this means 
he gets into the easy, low stride, which is one 
of the great secrets of long-distance running. 
Rubber may also be placed on the fore part of the 
sole, as it helps to preserve the feet from undue 
pressure, and tends to make the runner's tread 
somewhat lighter. The use of rubber on the 
soles may only be indulged in when the going is 
really good and hard. If there is the least sign 
of a greasy top on the road, owing to its being 
only partially dry, india-rubber soles must not 
be used, as they do not give a firm grip on a shiny 
surface. Of course any idea of using nails or 
modified spikes is utterly useless for road-racing. 

Several pairs of thick woollen socks should 
always be handy at the runner's disposal. Stock- 
ings are not so good or serviceable as socks. The 
latter should be worn either turned down over 


the top of the shoes, or hemmed with elastic so 
as to chng to the ankle. Socks are necessary to 
the runner's equipment, as they tend to keep the 
feet free from grit and dirt which is likely to find 
its way into the shoes. If, however, the shoes are 
well fitted, and the socks cling close to the leg — 
with the assistance of the elastic — the fear of 
grit getting into the shoes is reduced to a mini- 
mum. Spats made of a light material may be 
used, but are not a necessary adjunct, providing 
ordinary precautions of fitting shoes and socks 
are taken. 

Changing Socks and Shoes 

A trainer should always have a change of socks 
and shoes handy while a man is at his daily work. 
Frequent changes of footwear should be indulged 
in. This is also an advantage, as it practises 
both the runner and the trainer in changing in 
the shortest possible time . A few seconds should 
suffice, and the time lost will be amply repaid 
to the runner after being an hour or two at his 
work by the freshening process of a change. 
There is far more benefit derived fiom changing 
footgear than many people imagine. If only 
some of our English representatives had been 
aware of the fact at the first Marathon meeting, 
there would probably have been a very different 


tale to tell. Several competitors had their shoes 
worn clean through on the hard road, and arrived 
with their feet cut and bleeding. Others, with 
stouter-made shoes, suffered torments with 
swollen feet. A change of any description would 
have been to their advantage. A little fresh air 
and a change does a power of good. 

Daily Routine 

An important factor to take into consideration 
is the daily time-table, which must be strictly 
adhered to. This time-table must be formulated 
upon the set time of the race, and meal-times 
arranged accordingly. Thus, for example, on 
the supposition that the race will start at two 
o'clock, the midday meal should be taken about 
11.30 A.M., certainly not later than twelve 
noon. The chief work should coincide with 
the set time of the race each day. This will 
accustom the man to undergo the ordeal that 
confronts him, and is far better than dodging 
about from day to day with different time- 
tables. It must be understood that a runner 
cannot perform these feats of endurance either 
on an empty stomach or a full one. It is necessary 
to hit off the happy medium. It is therefore 
essential to fit the meal-times in to a nicety. 

The life a man leads must be closely studied. 


" Early to bed and early to rise " certainly applies 
here. It is an old adage, but a true one — two 
hours before midnight are worth four hours 
afterwards. Half-past nine in the evening is 
the time to retire, and lights out at ten o'clock. 
Tliis rule should never be varied. Half -past six 
to seven o'clock in the morning is the time to 
" show a leg," as Tommy Atkins somewhat 
tersely puts it. Everything throughout the day 
must be regulated so as the runner and his trainer 
look forward to the hour of two o'clock, which is 
the suggested time for the race to start. These 
little details may appear, to those unacquainted 
with the trials of training, as of small moment, 
but in reality they are not so. There is more 
in them than meets the eye. 

Duration of Training 

It has already been mentioned that three 
months' training is necessary to bring a man to 
his best — right on the top of his form — at the 
post for a Marathon race. Three months may 
seem a long time, but in reality it is not so, 
taking into consideration the ordeal he has set 
himself to perform. The whole of the preparation 
must be performed by a carefully-thought-out 
system. One must advance by slow degrees. 
It is absolutely fatal to hurry a preparation. Of 


course some men come to hand — like horses — 
much more quickly than others — but even so the 
preparation for Marathon racing is quite unlike 
other and better understood forms of running. 
A man may be as fit as hands can make him, 
and yet by no means fit to undergo the wear and 
tear of a Marathon struggle. It is only by slow 
and almost gentle means of progress that a man's 
muscles can be accustomed to the task. If a 
man is unfortunate enough not to have sufficient 
leisure at his disposal to cast everything aside 
except his training, he is naturally handicapped. 
A working man has to confine his preparation to 
the morning or the evening. He can, however, 
do himself a power of good by a long, steady 
course of training. He would be well advised 
to stick to the midday meal-time of twelve 
o'clock, and to do the stiffest part of his training 
during the evening. Too much early work is 
not to be commended. 

For an efficient course of training a daily 
routine of distances must be worked out. It is 
also of the utmost importance to have a time 
standard drawn up. This necessary detail of 
training must never be overlooked, either during 
the practice runs or during the absolute racing. 
If it is within the bounds of possibility, a decided 
advantage is to be gained by training on the 
road that the race will be run over. It is common 


knowledge how familiar ground seems to diminish 
the number of miles. A strange district often 
seems miles longer than it is in reality. Famili- 
arity breeds contempt, and it is this knowledge 
of a locality that is a great assistance to long- 
distance running. But no matter where the 
work is carried out, it should always be checked 
by the watch. The clock is the only reliable 
guide as to what a runner is really doing. Slow 
and sure is a golden maxim at the start. A bit 
behind schedule time for the first few miles — 
especially during the early stages of the training 
— does not matter. It leaves a reserve to work 
upon at the finish. Therefore, when making out 
the schedule, the beginning should be made easy 
for the runner. It is a good plan to humour him, 
as it were, until he warms up to his work. Later 
on he is sure to fall into his natural stride. This 
will form a good criterion to the setting of what 
may be called the time limit of the miles. When 
fixing them during the early stages of training, 
it is permissible to err on the side of leniency 
until practical experience indicates that some- 
what faster times may be adopted. 

What Training Means 

To derive the greatest benefit from training, 
a man must throw his whole heart into the work. 


He must think and live for nothing else. The 
mind, or rather let it be called will-power, 
counts almost as much as physical fitness. For 
instance, take two runners equally matched as 
far as condition and ability are concerned. It 
is Lombard Street to the proverbial farthing on 
the one with the greater determination, especially 
over a distance like the Marathon course. 

Training really means making the muscles of 
the body accustomed to perform extraordinary 
feats of hardship, and preparing the runner in 
every respect for the great task ahead. He 
trains in order to prepare himself for the day of 
the race, and to make himself fit in all respects. 
He must do everything in his power to better 
his condition. He must enter on his task with 
a great determination to do his very best and 
never to become disheartened with early failures. 
Training is useless unless the runner makes up 
his mind to run the race out to the bitter end, and 
stick closely to the time schedule arranged for 
each mile. More than that, the schedule will 
help to keep his mind fixed on the work — so it 
will assist him in both his head and legs. Think 
of the crass stupidity of most of the British 
competitors in the London Olympic Marathon 
having no set time schedule. This fact alone 
indicates how ill prepared they were for the 
contest. Unless a man knows the value of 


times, he knows nothing about any form of 
running. Only a very exceptional athlete will 
get successfully through or even near the front 
rank, without a time schedule. 

Preliminary Training 

The golden rule to be observed by a runner is 
to make up his mind to do his work systematic- 
ally. Above all things, he must thoroughly 
understand the nature of the work he has set 
himself to perform. During the early stages, 
when undergoing a course of physic and the 
hardening process of preparing his feet, he 
should do gentle road exercise twice a day. 
Starting with mile runs for the first two days, he 
can then do a couple of miles, still keeping at 
a slow pace for the two following days. The 
distance can then be raised to 3 miles, and by 
the end of ten days' preliminary course a run 
of 5 miles may be undertaken. If the runner 
comes successfully through this " recruits' " 
course, showing a clean bill of health, and to all 
appearance is thriving on the work both mentally 
and physically, more serious work can then be 
contemplated. It is essentially part of the 
trainer's duty to make his charge interested in 
the daily programme. A runner with the grim 
determination of a Marathon performer, even if 


he has no trainer and has to do his work alone, 
should accustom himself to do his own clocking, 
running with a watch attached to him. This 
will encourage him and keep his mind occupied, 
checking himself mile by mile against schedule 

There should be a perfect understanding be- 
tween the runner and the trainer as to what time 
per mile is a strain on the runner. This know- 
ledge must be obtained so as to know the natural 
pace combined with comparatively small effort. 
They must both make sure that the time schedule 
they set themselves for the full Marathon course 
enables them to finish. 

When the strong work is commenced, good, 
steady runs of 3, then 5, then 7, 10, 15 up to 
20 miles must be undertaken. 

The times must be carefully checked by the 
watch and the records entered daily in a book. 
The 3 miles will naturally be covered pro- 
portionally faster than the 5, and so on. Of 
the first work of this more serious work, the 
longest distance attempted should be 7 
miles. As a test, try how a standard of 15 
minutes 30 seconds to 16 minutes for the 3 
miles will suit. The first mile should not be 
run faster than 5!^ minutes. The second mile 
should be a trifle the faster of the three. But 
the runner must be careful not to run himself to 


a standstill ; he must always have in mind the 
necessity of finishing. If he finds he is going too 
fast at any point, he must slacken off to what 
he feels he can do. The rate up to this time 
should be checked and analysed after the run. 
For the 5 miles the standard should be set 
at 27 to 27! minutes. A first mile of about 5 
minutes 45 seconds will do here, and the mileage 
time should gradually drop a few seconds at 
each mile up to the fifth. 

Practice Schedules 

It must be noted that the time schedules now 
being dealt with are for practice only and not for 
the race itself. It will be seen that the schedule 
is increased from 3 to 5 miles — 15J to 16 
minutes for the 3, and 27 to 27! minutes for 
the 5 miles. The averages per mile work out 
at 5i minutes for the shorter, and about 5J 
minutes for the longer distances. Thus at 7 
miles we can set a standard of 39 minutes, with 
the first mile of 6 to 6J minutes, which, as 
before, is gradually reduced until the standard 
time is reached. The average time per mile here 
is something approaching 5| minutes. At 10 
miles we will fix a standard time of 60 minutes, 
a rate at which only a really first-class man can 
hope to run in the first hour of a Marathon race 


and come through to the finish. At 15 miles 
the standard should be i hour 35 minutes. At 
20 miles it may be set for 2 hours 10 minutes, 
or 6| minutes per mile. At 25 miles, 2 hours 
45 minutes, and at the full distance, about 
26 J miles, 2 hours 56 minutes. 

The above schedule is compiled irrespective 
of the times made in Marathon races. It works 
out, nevertheless, very near the actual figures 
made in many of these contests. 

To put them in a clearer form, they are 
tabulated as under. 

Standard of Times for Distances in practis- 
ing FOR THE Marathon Race 


Time for 

First Mile 

Time for Full Distance 

3 miles 




15I to 16 mins. 


1 » 



27 mins. 




39 mms. 




I hour. 




I ,. 35 mms. 

20 ,, 


> » 

2 „ 10 ,, 



t t 

2 „ 45 .. 

26i „ 



2 „ 56 „ 

What to do when Fit 

When a runner is coming to the top of his 
form he should mainly confine his work to 
runs of from 10 to 20 miles. From 12 to 
15 miles is probably the best distance for the 



hardening-up process. He should run twice 
every other day and once on the intermediate 
day. Thus 7 to 15 miles on the morning 
and afternoon of the Monday, and 20 miles 
on the afternoon of the Tuesday. Then on 
Wednesday, 5 to 12 miles, and a 15 miles 
stretch on Thursday afternoon ; 7 and 12 
miles on the Friday, and 15 miles on Saturday 
afternoon. A comparatively sharp run of about 
3 miles on Sunday morning, with a rest that 
afternoon, will complete the week's work. 

All these various distances must be checked 
by the time standard ; otherwise there is no 
guide to go by as to the improvement and 
development of the runner's powers. 

During this period of operations the trainer 
must be very careful not to allow the runner to 
overdo himself. As a man's improvement in 
condition comes along, he has a tendency to try 
to over-increase his pace. This must be guarded 
against, and the time schedules closely adhered 
to. Men, when getting near the top of their form, 
frequently have a desire to do more than is good 
for them. The object to be kept in view is to 
reserve the best that is in a man for the day of 
the race. The best must not be reached too 
quickly, otherwise there is the fear of a runner 
getting stale. This is caused by over-training ; 
a state of things almost as fatal as not being 


sufficiently trained. This is where the art of the 
trainer comes in. An experienced trainer counts 
for much. After practice runs, a man should 
pull up comparatively fresh with plenty of reserve 
left in him. Hard, gruelling practice runs should 
certainly be avoided. 

During the three months' training the full 
Marathon course should not be negotiated more 
than three times. Even in these practice runs 
a man should not be allowed to over-distress 
himself. If it is noticed that he is taking too 
much out of himself, the time standard should 
be lengthened to suit the man's ability and con- 
dition. Let the runner think he is doing well 
and, as the saying goes , humour him a bit . Make 
out he is doing better than he really is — a little 
encouragement is a great assistance. A white 
lie is permissible here and at best can do no harm. 
Explanations can be entered on when the man is 
chatting things over during the evening. Of 
course these trials over the full course must be 
undertaken in a serious spirit. They should be 
performed under the same conditions as if the 
race itself was in progress. The first of these 
full-distance courses may be undertaken after six 
weeks' training ; the second a fortnight later, 
and the third at a similar interval of time. 

This would mean, with a three months' prepara- 
tion, that the last trial would come off about two 


weeks before the actual day of the race. It 
certainly should not be left to a later date than 
that. A Saturday should be selected for these 
long trials, so as to have a full day's rest on the 

The Benefit of Long Walks 

On days when only one term of running is 
performed, great benefit will be derived from 
long walks on the road. A good, swinging stride 
at a uniform pace of about 5 miles an hour 
should be maintained for three hours. The 
runner will derive almost as much good from 
these long walks as from his ordinary work. 
A warm bath should be taken after them, as 
walking has a tendency to produce stiffness in 
the muscles of the leg. 

Hot baths are preferable to using grease, 
which many trainers indulge so freely in now- 
adays. If grease is used — and for men with rigid 
sinews and muscles it is necessary — goose-grease 
produces the best effects. It takes more rubbing 
in than some others, but its soothing and med- 
icinal properties are most efficacious, and it is 
one of the few greases that really works its way 
below the skin. When hot baths are taken it is 
as well to include a little of the pickle already 


mentioned, for fear of the softening action of 
hot water on the feet. 

A Past Experience 

The late George Littlewood is a fine example 
of an old-timer in long-distance races. Slow 
and sure was his motto during training, and he 
was an object-lesson in how quietly a pedestrian 
should enter on his preparation. 

The famous Shefhelder walked 531 miles and 
go-as-you-please 623 1 miles in different six days' 
races. He was a great man in his day, and an 
insufficient preparation alone brought about his 
defeat by another splendid old stager in Charles 
Rowell in a six days' contest at the Royal 
Aquarium, Westminster. At the second attempt, 
however, Littlewood left nothing to chance. To 
all intents and purposes he trained for six months, 
and then decisively beat Rowell. Steadiness at 
the commencement, and dogged hard work right 
up to a day or two before the race, was the feature 
of all Littlewood's trainings. He was a remark- 
able man, a natural stayer, and his preparations 
were of a drastic character. One of his favourite 
jaunts was to run from Sheffield to Bri gg, in 
Lincolnshire, one day, and return the next — the 
distance being about 49-0- miles each way. 


The Question of Diet 

It is impossible to lay down hard-and-fast 
rules concerning diet. A man's own peculiarities 
of likes and dislikes must to a certain extent 
be studied. No two men thrive on exactly the 
same kind of fare. But it may safely be assumed 
that chops and steaks should form a part of the 
diet, unless the runner's taste dictates otherwise. 
A cardinal point to remember is that the simpler 
the food the easier it is to digest. If the runner 
needs building-up and wants to put on weight, 
then a liberal allowance of flesh-forming foods 
may be given. If, on the other hand, it is neces- 
sary to reduce weight, the food should be of a 
lighter, though equally nourishing, description. 
Each individual must be treated according to 
his requirements. The discerning eye of the 
trainer should easily discover if the man is 
thriving. His general bearing, appearance and 
spirits, and the way he does his work, have all 
to be taken into account, and should easily point 
the way the wind is blowing. 

During the time a runner is on the road doing 
his daily work, it is advisable not to take any 
solid food. This equally applies to the race 
itself. There should be no necessity to take 
food. If he is thirsty it should be sufficient 


relief to simply rinse the mouth out. While the 
body is undergoing violent exercise, it is a great 
mistake to ask the stomach to digest anything. 
If a stimulant is really necessary, it should be 
kept in reserve for the last few miles. Above 
all things, keep off anything of an acid nature, 
such as champagne or whisky and soda. 

The Best Type of Marathon Runner 

The generally accepted idea of a runner at 
ordinary athletic meetings is not the ideal type 
for Marathon racing. Style counts for nothing 
over this trying course ; in fact it is almost neces- 
sary to look for the other extreme. The little, 
light man with strong, powerful legs and plenty 
of heart and lung room is the most likely material 
to develop into a long-distance champion. The 
exceptions will be few and far between. Tall 
and heavy runners do not usually appeal for this 
class of work. There is too much lumber to 
carry. The style of running should be that 
which comes easiest to a man. What would be 
utterly condemned on the cinder-path is just the 
kind of thing to pay in Marathon races. A man 
cannot hope to keep up on his toes : he must 
come down to flat-footed running and throw 
appearances overboard. If does not matter 
how he does it, the great thing is to cover the 


ground with the minimtim amount of bodily 
exertion, always bearing in mind the time 
schedule. He must keep slogging along at it, 
even if he comes down to a shuffle. His great 
object is to complete the full distance within 
the best possible time of his ability. Slow and 
steady is a golden maxim for these long-distance 
contests. The race is not always to the swift. 
Grim determination and great will-power is 
necessary. Long-distance racing is full of troubles 
and trials which can only be fully realized by 
those who have taken part in them. Keep 
the seven-minutes -a -mile pace up for the first 
hour, go a bit faster the second hour, when 
fairly warmed up to the work, leaving enough 
in reserve for the last five miles, when the real 
racing for the lead begins. That is the standard 
of endurance that a man has to bring himself to 

On wet, cold and windy days the strain is 
proportionally greater on the runner than when 
the roads are in good condition, and the atmos- 
phere warm and dry. Under these adverse 
circumstances the time schedule for the different 
distances must be increased to, say, 7J minutes 
for the first mile, and correspondingly slower all 
the way through. It is necessary to be prepared 
for every kind of contingency that may crop up. 
It is impossible to foresee with any degree of 


certainty the kind of weather that will prevail 
on the day of the race. A man may have to face 
extreme heat or extreme cold, whilst during his 
preliminary training he may have been favoured 
by conditions more in keeping with his self- 
imposed task. 

What to Wear 

It therefore follows that a runner over long 
distances should be careful about the clothes he 
wears. He should wear nothing that interferes 
with the free evaporation of the perspiration. 
Even a very slight difference in the amount of 
clothing worn affects the temperature of the 
body. On a warm, fine day the ordinary athletic 
outfit of a singlet and shorts will suffice, leaving 
arms and legs bare. If the sun is hot a light 
head-covering should be worn to protect the 
nape of the neck. This is an important item to 
remember. On a cold day and during winter 
months the clothing should be proportionally 
warmer. The singlet should now give place to 
a woollen vest with a jersey of the same material 
over it. Long drawers under the usual shorts, so 
as to cover the legs, and a neckcloth is not out of 
keeping, so as to protect the neck and shoulders. 
A cap also may be worn to advantage. The 
heat must to a certain extent be kept in the body, 


but not sufficiently to interfere with free per- 
spiration. But the body must be protected from 
too cold an atmosphere. A few extra ounces 
of clothing will not interfere with a runner's 
ability. In frosty weather it is also advisable 
to protect the runner's hands with gloves. A 
remedy resorted to by old-timers as a protection 
against cold was a mixture of whisky and spirits 
of camphor rubbed over the body, especially over 
the chest and back. This solution is far better 
than turpentine, which leaves a damp and chilly 
feeling. A mixture of whisk}/ and camphor leaves 
a warm feeling and gives a glow to the body. 

On the Day of the Race 

It must be the endeavour of the trainer and 
any friends the runner may have with him not 
to allow thoughts of the race and over-anxiety 
to prevail. The day having at length dawned 
on which the race is to be decided, must be 
regarded as a red-letter day — the day which the 
runner has been looking forward to — not with 
fear and awe and anxiety, but with something 
approaching feelings of pleasure — a day which 
in after life he will be able to look back upon with 
real satisfaction, having enrolled his name in a 
niche of fame. Let him take no notice of other 
competitors and what they are doing, or of the 


fairy tales always put about concerning the 
powers of certain entries or the wonderful trials 
they have performed. Let the runner stick to 
his own time schedules and make up his mind 
to run up to them. Let the thoughts of his own 
performances interest him more than the reputed 
times of others. In fact, if he is blessed with great 
self-confidence in his own ability, so much the 
better. He will find it a great asset during the 
struggle. The best type of Marathon runner 
is the one who will stick to the schedule time he 
finds most suited to his own abilities and not give 
a thought to that of others. 

It is as well for the runner to arrive at the scene 
of action in sufficient time to report himself 
present, and to have a leisurely quarter of an hour 
for changing. When it is time to turn out at the 
starting-point, he can take stock of the surround- 
ings and have a look at the other competitors. 
From the start of the race to the finish his speed 
must to a certain extent be dictated by circum- 
stances. But it is a fatal mistake to endeavour 
to force the pace in the early stages of the race 
in order to take the lead. It is impossible for 
anyone to do more than complete the course 
in the best time at his command. If it be his 
fate to be beaten by a better man, he will at least 
have the satisfaction of knowing that he gave 
of his best : and no man can be expected to do 


more. Good generalship counts for much, and 
he must in the main run his own natural race in 
the same way as he has been doing in the practice 
runs. Above all, he should not allow himself 
to be unduly bustled, although there may be 
two or three competitors all running in the same 
interests, and with such tactical orders. As 
likely as not the leaders who set a hot pace in the 
early stages will all crack before the winning-post 
is reached. The main object to keep in view is 
always to keep sufficient pace in reserve to see 
the race out. The runner may find himself 
hard pressed by rivals, but however tired he may 
be, those near him may be equally distressed. 
He can console himself by the thought that they 
have all had to cover the same amount of ground. 

Champion Distance-Runners 

Occasionally an exceptionally good man will 
come along who will do astonishing perform- 
ances. It is certainly bad luck to run up 
against a veritable flyer, but that is the luck of 
the thing. Sometimes a man will build up a 
great reputation, mainly because of the inferior 
quality of his opponents. It is not at all unlikely 
to find a tip-topper running at the rate of 10 
miles an hour all the way for the Marathon 
distance. At that he would take about 2 hours 



40 minutes for the 26| miles. The average man 
must, however, be content with a lower standard, 
and if he can do the course in 3 hours, or near 
it, he will have done well. Say, 9 miles in 
the first hour, gj in the second hour, leaving 
the last 8 miles to the last hour. The 
running in the middle hour should be easier 
and faster to long-distance runners than in the 
first and third hours. By that period of the 
race the runner should have got fairly warmed 
up to his work and be travelling at his best 
pace. It is something similar to a battahon of 
infantry trekking. On the first day they are 
not well together, they have not settled down 
to their natural stride and swing. During the 
second day they will be better together, and 
towards the end of the second day's march 
will feel as if they are doing great things ; in 
fact, as if they need but few halts. On the 
third day, however, the real test takes place. 
There will be some of them cracking up now 
in spite of themselves. But the men who can 
successfully negotiate the three days' march 
without showing undue signs of distress will 
continue to " footslog " for as long as any 
general is likely to wish them to. The third 
day is the critical time, and it is the third hour 
of the Marathon struggle which is the crucial 
test. Long-distance runners should know this, 


and remember the golden maxim of a slow 
start. The watch and his legs will dictate to 
him the pace he may attempt, and it is utter 
folly to put on the pressure too soon. 

In Conclusion 

It is unwise for young and immature men 
to attempt long-distance running. If they do, 
the result will probably be disastrous to their 
health for the rest of their lives. Only strong, 
fully developed men accustomed to hardships 
are likely to come unscathed through such a 
trying ordeal. To be well on the safe side, it is 
advisable to take medical opinion before starting 
on the preliminary course of training. At the 
half-way stage the same doctor should again 
be consulted, and if he is satisfied that no undue 
strain is being undergone that is detrimental 
to the runner, he can continue in training. Of 
course, the after-effects of the race are often of 
a lasting character. It is not advisable to 
throw up training all at once, as soon as the 
race is over. The man who values his health 
will train off gently. Violent changes in the 
method of living are not conducive to a clean 
bill of health ; in fact, they are detrimental. 
During the period of training a man should pay 
careful attention to his weight, and should be 


put on the scales daily. This is the safest way 
of keeping a check upon the state of his health. 
The other guide to go by is his spirits. Rubbing- 
down is not necessary for light, wiry kind of 
men, who probably need a certain amount of 
building-up to bring them to their best. A 
wipe over with a bath towel is all that is neces- 
sary for them ; rubbing is probably detrimental 
to this type of runner. For the much-debated 
bath — the tepid one is the best, with an occas- 
ional cold shower — if the runner can stand it. 
Hot baths should be sparingly taken ; in fact, 
they are only needed when suffering from 
stiffness and for the purpose of making the 
muscles supple. After a long run, when a man 
is warm, he should be covered up at once with a 
blanket coat, then taken indoors and allowed to 
cool off gently, before his clothing is removed. 
He should then take a tepid bath, making free 
use of the sponge, or a shower bath with the 
chill off, or, if he prefers it, cold water. When 
stripping a runner his shoes should be the first 
thing to remove; then work upwards. The 
sponge bath or shower should be taken immed- 

Great care should be taken not to allow a man 
to get cold in his ordinary clothes after a long 
walk or other exercise, as this is the period at 
which he is most prone to take a chill, with the 


pores of the skin open. Be sure to keep him 
warm round the shoulders and body. Wlien 
undressing, the vest should be the last article of 
clothing to be removed. 

In the successful handling of a runner for 
long-distance races, it is important not to over- 
look these small details. The road to success 
is often marred by thinking that only big things 
count. For, as a matter of fact, the reverse is 
far nearer the mark. 


THERE is no more important nor enter- 
taining side of racing than this, whether 
as regards an individual or a team. The 
tactics employed may be clever or faulty, and 
they may be tricky too. Much advantage will be 
found in practising the runner or the team in the 
particular manner which it is thought desirable 
that he or they should run their races. The 
annual inter-Varsity sports at Queen's Club 
provide the nicest practical illustration of team 
combination that we can see employed in this 
country. Everything done there is above-board 
and enacted within the spirit of fair racing 
methods. The second and third strings to the 
pacemaking are the quarter, half-mile and three- 
mile races. They go out prepared to assist their 
first -string crack in his task of bringing victory 
to his Alma Mater. The pacemakers have 
their own race, and often series of races, among 
themselves, while adhering to the instructions 
given them by the directing minds. To get the 
first-string a good pace and a nice place " on the 
inside " at the proper moment is the first duty of 
the second and third strings. They sacrifice 



their personal prospects to the general cause ; 
and only in the event of the first -string unex- 
pectedly faiHng do they at all think of their own 
winning chances. 

Take the half-mile race as an example. If 
a judicious selection of the second and third 
strings is made it will be equally with a view to 
having a reliable understudy, and a dependable 
pacemaker, who can travel, say, about 600 yards 
at a speed which will bring out the best that is in 
the first -string. The " half ' is a tickhsh distance 
to run. If the first lap (meaning 440 yards) is 
covered at too fast a rate, the best of runners will 
be several seconds behind at the full distance 
that he can accomplish if the more suitable 
pace had been set. It may even be that he can- 
not get through the journey at all. Therefore, to 
have a quite poor stamp of runner in the race who 
is unable to go faster, if he wished to do so, 
than what is required of him, must be in the 
nature of the pacemaking ideal. Get someone 
who will do about 59 seconds for a quarter-mile, 
and he should be fast enough to take a champion 
half-miler along as far as he can go. And if he 
can last up to somewhere near the 600 yards 
mark at the same average gait — about i minute 
21 or 22 seconds — ^his assistance should be of the 
greatest value. 

As in the hall-mile, so in the mile, and farther 


distances. The level -running pacemaker of very 
modest ability should be sought for and kept to 
occasional work to see that he maintains the 
standard expected of him. You check him with 
the watch and his progress correspondingly 
checks the rate of your best runner. A time 
schedule at the intermediate distances governs 
the whole plan of campaign, plus the strict 
instruction to let only the man he is pacing 
through to the inside position when the moment 
is at hand for the real racing between the rival 
cracks to begin. 

So much for pacemaking at the only distances 
where it can be employed in accordance with 
preconceived ideas. The quarter-mile being run 
at so fast a clip is dependent upon the incidents 
of the race. This is of a middle-distance type, 
which, if not obscuring judgment of pace and cool- 
headed appreciation of position, is mostly con- 
cerned with getting the distance at almost full 
pressure all the way. The chief points to aim 
at are, either (i) to be first at the bend and hold 
the inside position all the way, (2) or husband 
your speed until the finishing straight is reached 
by lying away, but not beyond striking distance 
of the leaders. It is either head the procession 
or be half-way there. But there is nothing more 
certain than that, whether in a field of runners or 
in a single-handed match at the " quarter," it is 


best to get the lead before rounding the first bend 
and, sticking tight as wax to the inside berth, 
make the nearest road for home. If you are 
up against a speedier opponent, chase him to 
the bend and fall in behind him. Never on any 
account try to pass anyone who has the inside 
position going round a corner or bend of the 
track. There will be plenty of time for you to 
make the attempt when you are in the straight. 
The reason is simple enough, of course. On a 
bend the outside man will travel several yards 
further than the inside one. Make a practical 
test with someone slower than yourself and see 
how difficult it is to get by him when you are 
both running and he is only slightly ahead. 

The experienced runner will nurse or let him- 
self out according to the nature of the opposition. 
In either case, he should do better in front than 
behind, or mixed up with the field in a quarter- 
mile race. He is making the short cut to the 
winning-post and he is the M.C. in the matter 
of setting the pace. At the longer distances, 
when running a waiting race and relying upon a 
burst of speed in the last lap, it is easier to trail 
the footsteps of your most dangerous rival, and 
never show yourself until the very instant you 
want to slip by him. The trouble with most 
runners who intend to wait (in front or behind) 
is that they have not the will-power to wait long 


enough. It was in this way that Jean Bouin the 
wonderful young Frenchman, lost that most stir- 
ring 5000 metres race in the Stockholm Olympic 
Games to the equally marvellous Finn, Hannes 
Kohlemainen. Only the impatience of the 
Frenchman caused his defeat. Stronger and 
clearly faster than the Finn, he took the lead and 
kept it, while his gallant rival was storming and 
raging away behind him in a vain endeavour 
to get by. Bouin had the inside berth by virtue 
of his superior sprinting ability, and he kept 
there until a little more than half-way round 
the last lap. At the beginning of the last 
bend he could wait no longer and bolted 
for home. He soon set up a five or six yards 
lead. He was well in front midway through the 
finishing straight. But he had made his effort 
too soon. Had he saved it until fifty yards 
from the tape and kept the indomitable Finn 
(as this tenacious runner was willing to do) 
racing outside him on that last bend, another 
result than the surpassing victory of Kohle- 
mainen would have been attained. Bouin could 
give the winner 3 or 4 yards start in 100 
yards, but he could not last the final 200 yards 
through at top pressure. And near home he 
faltered and swerved to let the Finnish prodigy 
win one of the greatest races written in the 
annals of athletic history. 


The only track tactics in sprinting are to take 
a few short runs out along your stringed track 
for the double purpose of seeing that the path is 
in proper order and stimulating the circulation ; 
to wear long drawers and gloves (in very cold 
weather) and not remove them until it is time 
to get on the mark. A mixture of spirits of 
camphor and raw alcohol rubbed over the body 
and legs is a fine preventive against cold. Once 
at the mark concentrate all your attention on 
some point right behind the winning-posts and 
in line with your track. Keep your eyes fixed 
on this from the time your ears catch the crack 
of the pistol until you are well through the 
worsted. In this way, you will run straight and 
lose as little ground as possible in getting home. 
A great sprinting fault is looking about one, or 
easing off and getting the body too upright, 
during a race. They are next door to turning 
the head round to watch what the others are 
doing — often a fatal mistake. Always keep your 
correct position and run straight out. 

One other sprinting artifice which must not 
be overlooked is making the best of your way 
against a wind blowing in the runner's face, or 
at the side of him. Get the head down low and 
more forward than the usual pitch when the wind 
is dead against you, and lean over towards it 
when it comes sideways at you, In the first in- 


stance, by keeping the head and shoulders down 
you avoid some of the pressure owing to the fact 
that the wind usually loses force as it nears the 
ground. Then, by leaning against a side-wind — 
and the more powerful this is, the more weight 
you put into the effort — one averts the likelihood 
(always present with the light, leggy stamp of 
runner) of being put right off the running 
balance and thrown out of stride. 

In distance-running, unless you are of the big 
and strong class of runners, or vastly superior to 
your opponents, get right in behind the leader 
and time your finishing burst so that you steal 
a march on them all, and watch that none do so 
to you. 

Racing tactics tell, of course, more with teams 
than with individual runners. Let the apologists 
say what they like, and talk of spoiling the in- 
ternational brotherhood arrived at by the revival 
of the Olympic games — a splendid ideal which 
they may yet fulfil — the writer feels the neces- 
sity of presenting by diagrams the methods 
adopted by various teams in recent quarter- 
mile, half-mile and one-mile races. The first of 
these occurred at the memorable 1908 games 
in London, and the second and third named 
at Stockholm in 1912. In neither instance is 
there a desire to unduly colour the picture nor 
aught of malice intended in the reproduction of 


the then much-discussed " team-work " of the 
Americans, who were doubtless right according 
to their own hghts and practices. 

The famous " Halswelle incident " occurred 
in connexion with the quarter-mile example. 
There were four runners in the final heat, three 
Americans and the Britisher, Halswelle, who was 
expected to win pretty easily. He would have 
done so, but for the extremely unwise directions 
of the multitudinous advisers thronging the 
dressing-room. These advised him to go all out 
for record from the very start . The wiser counsel 
of experienced men suggested that the Britisher, 
not having the sprinting pace of his rivals, should 
wait until the abnormally long finishing straight 
(about 180 yards in length) before letting himself 
go all out. Unfortunately, as is usually the 
case, the voices of the uninitiated majority 
(which included those of not a few well meaning 
people who still loom large in the world of 
English athletics) determined the tactics. As 
a consequence, Halswelle was easily led and 
carried out at the bend by first one and then the 
other of two faster rivals. Trying to round them 
he travelled right to the outside of the track, 
losing many yards in doing so, and (as the race 
was run) he was not first at the tape. The 
writer reserves his opinion as to the rights or 
wrongs of breaking the tape and asking the 


race to be run a second time with stringed tracks 
for each runner. He would merely ask a little 
consideration of the diagram illustrating the 

' ' I 
I t 


[ I 



Diagram i. — The memorable "Halswelle" incident reproduced. Nos. i, 
2 and 4 indicate the American competitors, and No. 3 shows Halswelle's 
position. No. I was first away, followed by No. 2, who took his close 
attendant (No. 3) very wide at the first bend. No. 3 eventually wrestled by, 
only to be "blanketed" by No. 1 at the spot marked with an x and carried 
right out of his ground, while No. 2 (exchanging positions with No. i) 
dexterously slipped through to the inside station and made the nearest way 

Diagram 2. — The dotted line shows the course that A. N. S. Jackson 
(denoted by a J) was forced to take around the whole of the last lap after having 
had to run outside his field in the three preceding laps. The American quad 
(with the crack, Kiviat, starred and well shielded) formation is indicated 
beside the — >- and the x tells where Jackson made his finishing spurt and 
rounded the opposition. 

Diagram 3. — - x How Braun (whose position is marked by a ringed B) was 
surrounded or " pocketed" for three-fourths of the distance — >- where he broke 
clear at the finish bend. His course will show how he was taken the farthest 
way round, and that his outside attendant was allowed to get the coveted inside 
berth in the run home to the winning-posts. 


Sitting out the splendidly contested races at 
Stockholm, fully conscious of the outstanding 
merits of the American team, both in individual 
and team ability, the old hand could not help 
but conjure up reminiscences of the Shepherd's 
Bush stadium in observing its well-disciplined 
actions. Personal ambitions vanished. The 
team first, and everything else dropped out of 
mind. That is how the Americans entered upon 
the Stockholm Olympiad. I do not in any way 
blame the youngsters themselves who took part 
in the races, nor wish to make too much capital 
of two incidents which were unfavourable, first, 
to an English and then to a German runner. 
In both instances, the tactics were clearly 
mapped out by older heads and long before the 
time for the races came along. They were mostly 
brought about by the fact of the strong American 
representation in the final heats. 

Take the Stockholm mile. Here A. N. S. 
Jackson must have covered a full 50 yards more 
ground than any of his nearest attendants in that 
stirring finish which will never fade out of the 
memory of one man who witnessed it. The 
combination of the Americans must not be 
described as unfair, greatly as it assisted the 
winning chances of their own best man (Kiviat) 
and rendered Jackson's already difficult task 
doubly so. Plainly trying to get the lead at the 


start, but being outpaced in the short sprint to 
the first bend, he had to try to fall in where he 
could in the moving file of runners. But he 
could not get a place, and he remained outside 
them, doing the best he could for himself until 
the chivalrous Cantab, P. J. Baker (setting an 
example of unrehearsed pacemaking such as may 
never be equalled among classical foot-runners), 
piloted him wide of the living string, winding its 
way around the congested inside edge of the track. 
Jackson was never at any time in an inside berth, 
and he and Baker were travelling yards farther 
than the remainder of the field at each lap. 

Just before the signal bell denoting the last 
lap was sounded, an American rush to the front 
was seen. Four wearers of the starred and 
striped badges spurted and took up a well- 
conceived shielding formation of a quartet 
racing in two pairs packed closely together, with 
the fastest man, Kiviat, in the inside berth. 
Jackson took close order with them, l^dng just 
on the right of the rear pair. He was pretty 
nearly out in the middle of the track and going 
further out of his ground than ever. Around 
the leading five men went until the finishing 
straight was reached. With consummate judg- 
ment for one so comparatively unversed in 
racing experience, Jackson had reserved his 
effort. Now, he let himself go, and those giant 


strides brought him up level with, and gradually 
by, those four struggling and game wearers of the 
American colours. One at a time, then al- 
together, they tried to hold him, but he held 
on to win a wonderful race and set the eyes 
of those who know a great runner when they 
see him blazing with an enthusiastic fire 
that did not quickly smoulder. None but a 
surpassing champion could have won in the 
face of the astute (but fair) tactics pursued 
against him. 

Another very great runner, the German 
Hans Braun, lost a race which, on his previous 
performances he might have won. Force of 
circumstances, however, proved all too strong 
for him. On a circumscribed track, and among 
a large field of runners, each and all striving for 
his own ends in one of the fastest races at the 
distance ever seen, the German was a sufferer 
in the 800 metres race. He was very uncom- 
fortably boxed up when he could have been 
making good use of himself, once all but cut off 
his feet, and finally made to go very wide and 
try to get by on a bend. To a long-striding 
runner there is nothing so disturbing as being 
tied-up, and given little foot or elbow room. 
Only those who have been similarly situated can 
appreciate the drawbacks under which Braun 
laboured with a strenuous and very determined 


posse of American rivals in front, beside and 
behind him. He was in a " pocket " and unable 
to extricate himself. 

Again a very definite line of conduct was 
pursued by the American competitors, who 
formed the great majority in this final heat. 
A top-speed dash to the front and a single-file 
procession as soon as all had fairly settled down 
saw Braun pushing ahead and momentarily 
showing at the head of affairs, with much 
confusion and jostling at the corners as the 
men tried to take their positions. So he fell 
into third place, where he was joined on his 
right hand by a very watchful and patient 
rival — undoubtedly the best of the American 
contingent, whose orders evidently took the form 
of urging him to be with the German wherever the 
latter was placed. Packed in behind two very 
fast rival pacemakers, having other rivals at his 
heels and beside him, Braun was indeed in a tight 
fix. Worried and uncertain how long he would 
remain boxed in, he committed an indiscretion 
about 150 yards (perhaps a trifle more than this) 
from the finish which may have cost him the 
race, although he had had a lot taken out of him 
by under-striding (as tiring as over-striding) 
while hampered amidst the living train. If Braun 
jeopardized his own chances, he completely 
ruined that of his side attendant. In a frantic 


dash to get clear, the German quite unintention- 
ally (and naturally) gave the latter the full 
force of an elbow right in the chest. 

As the outcome, Braun unwisely (no doubt in 
a spirit of irritation) tried to race by the two 
leaders, who sheered out away from the inside 
berth, automatically taking him with them. 
The recipient of the elbow, knocked out of his 
stride, momentarily fell some ten yards behind. 

There is little room for doubt as to his high 
quality, as, but for the check he sustained, thi's 
good runner proved that he would have surely 
been a match even for Braun by actually getting 
within a yard of the winner. His defeat may be 
attributed to the acute development of tactics 
ordered before the runners came out upon the 
track equally with their adverse effect upon 
the chance of Braun. If serving no other good 
purpose, they may be here set forth to call 
attention to the material fact that when there 
are several runners in the same interest, there 
must be a definite plan of campaign. This plan 
can only be founded on the lines of tackling the 
best of the opposition in a manner least suited 
to his way of running races while maintaining 
a due regard for one's own requirements. Braun 
took his revenge the next day (when, as a 
precaution, stringed tracks for each of the 
runners were laid out), by defeating, not to say 


running away from, his conqueror of the pre- 
vious day and so supporting a vivid impression 
of what should have been. 

As clear a presentation of the three detailed 
races, furnishing examples of extreme " track 
tactics," as the author can give are set forth on 
the diagrams accompanying this section of the 

Of course, as has been explained, single- 
handed matches and team races bear no resem- 
blance to one another. But both have this 
in common, that the quicker a runner is on his 
feet and able to deliver a bit of fast running at 
needed moments (as much in long-distance as in 
middle-distance, or sprints of all kinds) the more 
is he liable to make himself " master of the 
track." Take two level runners at a quarter- 
of-a-mile who, running singly and separately, 
will show the same time on the watch. Let 
them run a race at the distance. If he has any 
head or racing craft at all, the runner who is 
faster on his feet can, by getting to the front and 
setting his own pace round the bends, make 
certain of getting a yard or two start to come 
up the finishing straight with. And should his 
opponent try to force him before this is reached 
(especially at the corners), then the leader's 
advantage must be considerably increased. The 
runner, at all distances, who has the requisite 


stamina to get the course (whether this be i 
mile or 50 miles) and a turn of speed (which 
can be cultivated) to take him ahead must 
always be the better man. And he is wasting 
golden opportunities if he does not readily go 
to the front and make himself a leader, in every 
sense of the word, by setting a pace that suits 
him best. None can hope for more than this. 

Patience, a good head and a lively pair of 
feet (used at their most rapid paces) are race- 
winning qualities which will always stand good. 
Many an almost dead-tired runner has just 
squeezed home by leaving enough in himself 
for a timely spurt in the last few yards, and 
snatched a victory right off a stronger but less 
speedy man's chest. But the really great 
runners seem to have every racing faculty, 
from physical aptitude to a positively " horse- 
sense " appreciation of tactical moves. We 
others can only sit at the feet of these gifted 
exceptions and pick up the crumbs of exemplary 
matter which they often unconsciously drop. 

Relay racing deserves its mention, because 
this is a form of competitive running very much 
on the increase. There is method in handling 
the flag and receiving it. The flag should 
always be carried in the left hand and taken 
with the right hand. The upright starting 
stance demands that this should be so for all 


but left-handed runners, who are out of place 
in any but a very well-coached relay team. 
As an example, there is a photograph (given on 
page 34) showing a relay race in progress and 
one of the runners awaiting the flag is actually 
turned in a back-handed way to take it in his 
left hand. Whether the carrier is bringing it 
in his right hand, and therefore on the wrong side 
of the next runner, one cannot say. If so, there 
is a double fault. The runner on the inside 
edge of the track is, however, doing his work 
correctly, so is the man who is just about to 
hand him the flag. There will be, at least, 2 or 
3 yards (a long distance to lose or win by) 
difference between the positions of the two men 
in starting away from their marks. 

Of course the proper tactics to pursue in 
all racing classes is for the awaiting runner not 
to stand fast-footed but to stay some 20 yards 
behind the mark he has to start from and, getting 
into his running, take the flag a few yards 
short of there, while nicely on the move. This 
means the difference of a flying as against a 
standing start. It is the American fashion, 
which has brisked up the relay time records at 
all distances. 


IF one describes an experienced, intelligent 
trainer of athletes as part practitioner, part 
doctor, and part student of nature, the out- 
lines of his functions will have been truly set forth. 
He is the man who can select the raw material 
and properly train it in the right way in any of 
the several and differing departments of athletics. 
His aptitude must be backed by the common- 
sense that comes with years of practice in his 
craft. Preferably, he should be of middle age, 
and he should have gone through the mill him- 
self. This is, indeed, an essential quahfication 
as regards sprint-running, and, perhaps, jumps 
and hurdhng. There is no doubt about the 
sprinting, however. The tearaway dashes from 
100 to 300 yards are the concentrated essence of 
running ; and those who have figured to the 
utmost advantage in them have been cultivated 
products. Top speed is the most dil^icult of 
attainment in all games of skill, from golf and 
billiards to cricket and boxing, where one has to 
keep in good shape to acquit himself really well. 
It is the simplest form of all, just a full-powered 
effort, yet most baffling to correctly dehver. 


Sprint -running is apparently a blind, wild dash 
up the track ; and it is so with nearly all 
who undertake this top-speed rush. Actually, 
though, the true sprinting principles make it 
akin to the fine arts, and alike to piano or violin 
playing in its technique, need of supervision and 
scientific training. 

At the longer distances, where artificial 
development is more subservient to natural 
gifts, easier methods will suffice. The types of 
runners generally best suited to quarter-mile, 
half-mile, mile, five or ten miles, and the Mara- 
thon course runs, are familiar to the trainer's eye. 
He checks its judgment with a rough trial and 
his indispensable watch. He is on safer ground 
now than when handling the delicate business 
of educating a sprinter. In the matter of the 
jumps (high, broad, long, and the compromise 
hurdles), there is further need of specialization. 
With these, improvement only comes by close 
attention to detail. Knack is the chief factor in 
them all. That is equivalent to saying there is 
a right way leading up even to a perfection ideal, 
and many wrong ones. No two jumpers, hurdlers 
or runners will be found to run or jump exactly 
alike ; but the higher the state of their pro- 
ficiency, the more will it be found that they 
resemble one another. That is, of course, as far 
as their physical conformation and native style 


will allow them to do. It is up to the trainer, 
then, to graft his theories as to what is the right 
way into the man he is training, so that they 
shall be understood and, thus, most closely acted 
up to. As examples in point, take the various 
sections of this work to represent his teaching. 

So far, merely the practical or track part of the 
trainer's work has been mentioned. This is of 
great importance, but not more so than the proper 
care of the athlete in the matter of preparation 
to best fit him for his task. Again common- 
sense must be the guide. As a child has first 
to learn to walk before it can run, so the young 
man entering upon a term of training must be 
only steadily tuned-up : gentle work at first, 
working up by degrees to the highest require- 
ments, and a gradual easing-off as the fateful 
day of the race comes near. A three months' 
strict preparation is always advisable : the first 
month gone through very quietly ; the second 
month reserved for some rousing, serious training; 
and the third month lighter, but still plenty of 
good, honest practice. At the very beginning 
the trainer's medical knowledge will enable him 
to give his charge some good clearing physic and 
later keep him in regular habits and stomach 
cleanliness. It will, too, enable him to agree 
with the old dictum, that, as " one man's meat 
is another man's poison," no set diet can be 


arranged . The tastes of the man in training must 
be considered as dictating all questions of food, 
etc., within the bounds of reason. Regular meal- 
times, early to bed and early to rise, cleanly, 
fresh-air living (not forgetting the open window 
at all times), a set hour for the track and other 
exercises (which should be taken so as to corres- 
pond as nearly as possible with the time fixed for 
the race), and as cheery scenes and conversation 
as circumstances permit of, are really the chief 
considerations. The trainer must ecHpse his 
own inchnations for the welfare of the man or 
men he has under his care. This is the way to 
get them to confide in him, and open up the way 
for those little confidences which often mean so 
much to all concerned. But the trainer must be 
an old hand and, preferably, an oldish man to 
so mask his individuality. The cool, old head 
still has its uses in the world of sport. 

Care of the Feet 

At the outset, look after the feet. Trim the 
nails after bathing, but do not cut them at the 
sides. Just hollow them out at the top. As 
they grow again they will fill up the recesses, and 
avoid those painful sharp growths which often 
arise at the sides of the big toes. If these 
already exist, lift up the nail (at the part that it 
presses on the flesh), file or rub with emery paper 


to take off the sharp edge, and insert a piece of 
cotton wool steeped in vasehne or good oil. If 
the nails are continually trimmed by hollowing- 
out on top, they will gradually grow in this 
direction, and become narrower at the sides. 
For tender or sore feet there is nothing better 
than a mixture of ox or sheep gall and spirits of 
camphor. They should be daily rubbed with 
this until the skin is hard and all irritation has 

Simplicity in everything, work, food, rest, 
baths, and all other incidentals of training, is the 
keynote of the trainer's art. To get as close to 
the natural state, or as it is now best described 
as the " simple life," must be its guiding-lines. 
All such fads as many self -professed trainers are 
so lavish of recommending, notably mysterious 
pills, dopes and other spurious concoctions, and 
" springing " a man to the hour of his race, are 
the outcome of ignorance. Ask any ordinary 
medical man what he thinks of them. Apart 
from their uselessness for practical purposes, 
they are often harmful, when not positively 
dangerous. The athlete must either do his work 
out of his innate, trained abilities or be beaten 
by a better man. Also this : the more fitted he is 
for his effort by his term of training, the greater 
harm will come to him from the use of drugs. 
Nature will look after you more surely than all 


the compounds invented or believed in by the 
false theorists. If they have seen to your well- 
being, and told you how to carry yourself on the 
track (and how many can do this and afterwards 
explain the reason of their special recommenda- 
tion ?), observed the upward or downward 
tendency of your weight, kept you well fed, 
rested and worked, what more can they do for 
you ? The fashion of the day is to massage 
before and after his exercises. Is this tapping, 
rolling and kneading of the runner's limbs and 
body in conformance with the calls of Nature ? 
Does it serve to further his prowess or assist the 
nerves, muscles, thews and sinews to bear their 
strain ? If anyone supports this view, may the 
writer be permitted to ask for proofs. May he 
not also urge the contention that the use of oils 
and grease on the body of a man who has 
undergone a more or less severe physical test, 
and the pores of whose skin are open, and often 
oozing perspiration, is a direct incitement to 
ill health ? 

Massage is very good for racing bicyclists, 
whose performances are conducted in an un- 
natural, forced position. Again for footballers, 
wrestlers, tennis players, boxers and others who 
have to twist and turn about in all directions, 
the loosening of the ligaments and strands of 
muscles around the bones, the attentions of the 


masseur are now nothing short of indispens- 
able. These sports call for exceeding pliability 
throughout the limbs and joints. Where massage 
can play the most helpful part is in healing 
bruised or strained parts of the body, or in re- 
viving badly exhausted muscles. To the runner 
nothing can better a wipe-down with a towel, 
a shower or sponge bath (with the water at a 
suitable temperature to the individual, and the 
more heated he is the greater the need of a certain 
degree of coldness to prevent any dangerous 
after-effects) and a rub down with Turkish bath 
gloves or the good old-fashioned horsehair 
rousers. If he doesn't feel good enough for 
anything after this simple treatment, then there 
is something wrong with him. The promotion 
of the circulation, bringing the skin to a glowing 
state, and giving the blood its most brisk move- 
ment through the thousand and one channels 
of the human body, is the best that can be done 
for a man in good health. Any undue hardening 
of the muscles, especially those at the back of the 
thigh, will prove the exception to a very sound 
rule, and, in consequence, justify the rough 
attention similar to that of the masseur. Some 
solid kneading and punching in and on the con- 
tracted parts, and a good hot hip-bath (with 
plenty of soda in the water), will soon restore 
these big muscles to a state of pliancy. 


In regard to very hot (and sometimes very 
cold) baths : these have frequently been found 
to very adversely affect runners, and upset their 
leg muscles to a remarkable extent for two and 
three days afterwards. The reason given by 
medical men is a quite feasible one. The nerves, 
which are the governors of the muscles, are 
unduly expanded or contracted. They lose their 
snap and elasticity for a time, with the result 
that the muscles are weakened and not in proper 
action, until the nerves come back to their 
normal state. But no testimony of mine is 
required for the splendid natural stimulant — 
cold water. The idea that it tightens up the 
muscles is quite erroneous. Of course, if the 
athlete finds or believes cold water to be too 
harsh for his system (as it may really be for some), 
there is still the medium of the lukewarm state 
left open to him as against the extreme of hot. 

Of all the things that the skilled trainer keeps 
a wary eye upon are : the daily weights of his man 
and the warding-off of any chance of his catching 
a cold or a chill. These should really be his great 
considerations. If wishful to look more deeply 
into the physical condition of his charge, he may 
use a clinical thermometer under the tongue, 
or the armpits, to get his temperature. Give 
daily attention to the weight before the athlete 
goes on the track, and as he comes off it. The 


better his performances there, combined with a 
feehng of perfect health, the surer the sign that 
he is arriving at the most suitable weight and 
temperature of his body for the task before him. 
He should be checked more closely than ever 
now. Perhaps the most fatal thing that can 
overtake a man in training is a chill or a cold. 
With the first symptoms of any such attack 
put a full stop on his exercises and set to work 
to cure the cold. Having done so, restart him 
gently, and see that he comes back to his normal 
weight and temperature before recommencing 
his high pressure or long work. Constipation 
and biliousness, with consequent loss of appetite 
andfeverish state of the blood, must be summarily 
treated. Nothing better than the " Black Jack " 
compound (the recipe is given elsewhere) given 
overnight on an empty stomach and a hot cup 
of weak tea first thing in the morning will 
remove the source of the trouble . If an obstinate 
case of constipation requires speedy relief, there 
is nothing more sure than glycerine suppositories, 
which can be purchased of any chemist. 

Early to bed, early to rise, attention to cleanli- 
ness, such as cleaning the teeth, a cold plunge, 
shower or lukewarm sponge bath, a nice, brisk 
walk in the open air before breakfast, and the 
regular offices are the opening details of each 
day's work. Also proper mastication of the food, 


which should always be of the plainest and fresh- 
est kind best suited to the athlete's taste. No 
warmed-up dishes, no overeating, and a regular 
meal-time to the tick of the clock are other 
points to be observed. A rest after meals, allow- 
ing the digestive organs a good hour or so to 
perform their functions in as undisturbed a 
manner as possible, is most beneficial. On no 
account should violent exercise be taken upon 
a full stomach, nor, for the matter of that, on a 
very empty one. There is no golden rule as to 
what the athlete should drink. Good ale or stout 
(preferably drawn from the wood) or wine, such 
as claret or burgundy, according to the tastes 
and the physical requirements (this is where 
the expert trainer's knowledge tells) of the 
individual. For the total abstainer, fresh milk, 
good home-made ginger beer and pure drinking 
water. Heavy draughts of liquids are not 
good for anyone. Slowness in eating and in 
drinking, and moderation in either, rank among 
the training virtues. 

When the athlete is sweating, the pores of his 
skin are, of course, opened, and his temperature 
is high above the normal state. This is the time 
when he must carefully avoid standing about 
or getting in draughts . Whatever clothes he may 
be wearing should come off. He should straight- 
way take a plunge or shower bath. If these are 


not available, a rapid cold or lukewarm water 
sponge-down and brisk rubbing with a towel will 
make a fairly effective substitute . While heated, 
keep on the move, until the stripping-room is 
reached. Here get a dressing-gown, or an over- 
coat, and place it over the shoulders and right 
round the athlete's body — before he undresses, 
of course. Let him lie or sit down until he feels 
that he is beginning to cool. This is the sign that 
he has finished sweating, and that the plunge, 
shower bath, or rub-down moment has arrived. 
Strip him as rapidly as possible, and give him the 
necessary attentions with the utmost prompti- 
tude. The slightest delay may cause him to 
take a chill. When cooled down a sponge- 
douche from head to foot (if he has not had a 
plunge or a shower) with tepid water, and care- 
ful wiping with a clean, dry towel, will get him 
prepared for the hand or glove rubbing. Re- 
member this, however, that some men require 
rubbing and others do not. It reduces weight, 
and though beneficial to the fleshy heavyweights, 
or the thickly built types, is often very weaken- 
ing to the slim lightweights, who really require 
building-up. An occasional sweat will do these 
last no harm, so long as they find their normal 
weight by the next day. 

The sprinters, jumpers, hurdlers and hammer- 
throwers are always a source of anxiety to 



the trainer. Having mostly to do their work 
at top pressure, they are liable to breakdowns, 
strains and bruises, aches and pains, which the 
more sedate athletic departments are compara- 
tively seldom troubled with. The complete 
breakdown can only be cured by rest. It is 
usually caused by bursting the sheath of a 
muscle at the back of the thigh. There is the 
less-frequent case of the big main tendon, which 
runs up the back of the leg behind the ankle. 
This is always a sensitive part with sprinters 
and all runners who get right up on their toes. 
The use of goose grease, mutton fat or the really 
good embrocations, well rubbed in, will do much 
to avert this source of pain and inconvenience. 
In some very obstinate cases of the kind a strong 
horse blister or a mustard plaster have been 
used with gratifying results. The chief safe- 
guard is, however, gentle work, until no effort, 
however great, will be felt there. Hand-rubbing 
(not pulling the muscles about) will be found 
very soothing all over the legs up to the time 
that they are tuned-up to their work. From this 
stage onwards, it is unwise to interfere with the 
natural state, except to give them a light rub 
over with a towel after exercise. What has to 
be borne in mind is the fact that cricketers, 
tennis, hockey and football players get to a 
high pitch of physical fitness with little more 


than the primitive rub-down when they are 
sweating and (if they can get it) a cold shower. 
And they need to be very sound in wind and Umb 
to get through these exacting games. 

For strains and bruises, rheumaticky twinges 
or nervous pains, stiffened muscles and suchlike 
disorders, there is no doubt that the trained 
masseur can render any amount of good service. 
Yet, if the full circulation is kept alive, by getting 
the skin in a glow and bringing the blood to the 
surface, little else is really needed. In using 
any healing oils, grease or fats, the receptiveness 
of the skin will be accelerated and increased 
if it is first rubbed with hot water to open the 
pores. The oils should also be warmed, as to 
put them on cold would simply shut the pores 
again and make the process of rubbing them in 
doubly difficult. A hot fomentation for bruises 
and strains and a painting of iodine, a liniment 
which eats up the congealed blood and may 
thereby arrest possible blood-poisoning, is also 
to be recommended. 

If possible, never walk with a limp, but just 
keep to the ordinary even strides. To 
" favour " a strained limb means a certain 
increase in the length of its being out of service. 
On the other hand, if the breakdown is really 
a bad one, complete rest is the only remedy. 

There will be times when complaints may be 


heard of body ricks or twists. No surer sign 
can be had than this that the training has been 
forced, the carriage of the runner bad and 
he has over-exerted himself. You expect the 
hammer-throwers, with their whirhng move- 
ments, or the shot-putters, putting all their 
energies into a cast, or the jumpers, to occasion- 
ally hurt themselves bodily. No runner carry- 
ing himself properly — ^that is, loosely and in the 
requisite compact position — should do so. Any 
body strains demand immediate and careful 
attention. Rest is again the chief factor to- 
wards recovery. But there is no doubt that 
here again the skilled masseur's knowledge of 
anatomy will assist towards a cure. Unskilled 
treatment may do more harm than good. 

In all respects, the work of the trainer calls 
for a conscientious interest in the health and 
doings of his charges. There are men able to 
train themselves, to a certain extent, out of 
their own enthusiasm and careful mode of 
living. They cannot see themselves, however. 
Arguing from the other side, they have the 
advantage of knowing their own feelings. But 
it will be found that the athlete who can do 
full justice to himself in every needful particular 
is few and far between. In any case, he will 
need at the outset of his career to be taught the 
rudiments of what he aspires to shine in. Then 


he may gradually gain the needed experience 
and give proof (as others have done before) 
that he is well able to understand his own special 
requirements, whatever those of others may be. 
The real thing, after all is said and done, is to 
have the youngster of the right physical stamp 
with the determination to succeed. Let him 
live the simple, cleanly life and never overdo 
his work after he has been put in the right way 
by one competent to show and explain the 
reason of his teachings. Thus, there is no bar 
to the intelligent young man fending for himself, 
once he has been grounded in the theory of the 
particular department of athletics he aspires to 
rise in. 

There is something about training walks that 
must be understood to be appreciated. A 
sprinter only needs very little walking, and that 
at a nice, free pace, letting the shoulders, arms, 
and hips swing as freely as possible. Come down 
on the broad of the foot and not by the heel and 
toe, stiff-legged methods of the race-walking 
fraternity. Remember that it is as bad (and 
almost as tiring) to walk too slowly as to walk 
too fast. The middle-distance and mile runners, 
with whom walking forms no inconsiderable 
part of the training, should also aim at loose- 
ness and a nice, easy gait. You can help or 
hinder your running, according to the way you 


go about your walks. Four to five miles an 
hour, moving every part of the body, is the thing 
to aim at. 

It is on the eve and the day of the race that 
the athlete wants quiet, attention and encourage- 
ment. The more his mind is now taken off his 
task the better. If he is one of the determined 
stamp he will long before have formed his 
resolutions as to how he will carry himself in 
the race. When he goes out to the starting- 
post it will all come to him. A little nervous- 
ness at this time, providing he loses it (as he 
will do, if he is a good, resolute runner), is only 
natural. But the reaction will come to him 
when he hears the "Set!" or "Get ready!" 
He has other matters to think about, then, than 
worrying about the result. 

All runners are not of this type by any means. 
There are some who can never reproduce their 
practice form in the stress of a race, especially 
in a final heat. As the day is neared, they are 
uneasy. Restless at night and unable to take 
their food in a normal way, they are a source 
of the utmost trouble and anxiety to all con- 
cerned. They may run extraordinarily well, 
or (as is the more likely) simply fail completely. 
In any case, the trainer of such fretful runners 
has a thankless task. 

Before he goes out on the track give the 


nervous athlete a good, brisk hand-rubbing, 
paying especial attention to the stomach. Rub 
up strongly towards the heart, as a means of 
driving the blood there. Hit him on the nape 
of the neck with a sponge saturated in the coldest 
water procurable . If these methods do not prove 
sufficiently soothing, then (as a last resource) 
give him a wineglassful of good old port wine 
and brandy mixed, or old ale. For a sprinter 
who is known to lack confidence and regularly 
fail to show his proper running, a tumbler of 
good champagne has often worked wonders. 

For the average sprinter or middle-distance 
man, who has more than one lace to run, a rest 
out in the open air (not in the dressing-room) 
during warm weather, or at some neighbouring 
inn or private house where a fire is lit in the 
cold weather, will be found very advantageous. 
Half-a-cup of weak tea (or what drink he is 
accustomed to take at tea-time) and a little 
piece of dry toast will help to stay his stomach, if 
there is a longish interval from his midday meal. 

If the trainer or runner sees that the chief 
part of the daily exercise is taken at as nearly 
as possible the same hour as the race is due to 
be run, and the midday meal is regularly 
arranged to precede this by some two and a 
half hours, no more helpful schedule could be 
introduced into the training routine. 


THERE can be no two opinions as to the 
style needed in very fast walking, either 
on the track or on the road, being more 
acquired than natural. It only resembles 

The track-walker 
(beginning of stride). 

The track-walker (end 
of stride). 

ordinary walking methods in the movement of 
the feet and the set rule that a part of one foot 
(and sometimes a part of both feet) should 



always be on the ground. The whole process 
of race-walking can be best described by the 
foregoing illustrations setting forth the leading 
processes of the beginning and the end of a 

For the purpose of gaining extreme speed 
and length of stride, the arm-work is made 
very exacting and carried right up across the 
chest, in the manner also shown. The pitch of 
the body and head is almost perpendicular, 
and therefore entirely different to the forward 
slope adopted in all classes of running. 

Fair walking is not at all difficult to dis- 
tinguish from the unfair, greatly as the judges 
vary in their opinions as to what is and what is 
not the correct method. The carriage of head, 
body and legs, and the play of the feet should 
easily be followed by those who are able to 
grasp the elementary principles of what is 
termed fair heel-and-toe striding. Unfortun- 
ately, however, in practice another story has 
to be told. As often as not it is the fair walker 
who suffers disqualification, and quite barefaced 
transgressors (both on the path and on the 
road) are allowed to proceed, without even a 
caution being extended to them, and capture 
championships, and lower records. 

Whatever may be said of it by others, the 
ungainly bent knees, inclined head and shoulders. 


with only the pad (and seldom the heel) of the 
foot striking the ground at each stride, is 
opposed to fair walking. Equally, too, is the 
bouncing strider, who "lifts" perceptibly and, 
in reality, runs on his heels and broad of the 
foot. There are plenty of so-called walkers 
answering to these descriptions who have been 
permitted, by the grace of English walking 
judges, to take very high honours at the game. 
Had the further simple rule been followed, that 
the back foot must not leave the ground until 
the front is also on, some others might, and more 
deservedly, have gained the medals, pots and 
" bubble reputation " bestowed in the favoured 
directions. Walking races have always pro- 
vided a bone of contention since they first came 
into vogue. What is more, they will continue 
to do so until the officials who pose in the 
limelight as expert overseers either practise 
impartiality or become acquainted with race- 
walking rudiments. 

The fair walker, duly locking his knees at the 
end of the stride, then keeping the ground leg 
stiff and taut as the loose leg swings out for the 
next stroke, punishes himself very severely by 
contrast with the comparatively loose-muscled 
movements of the bent -knees " lifter " and 
shuffler. Again, the fair walker only strides 
his natural length when at full speed, not an 








inch more or less. The "Hfters," "trotters" 
and shufflers will be found, on examination of 
their tracks, to get over more ground in most 
of their strides than they can step out at full 
stretch with both feet on the ground. There- 
fore, to put it plainly, they are trotting and not 
walking at all, a fact that the test by camera 
will always make very clear to those who can 
appreciate the wide difference existing between 
the correct and incorrect methods. 

Race-walking is far and away the most 
exacting form of track atliletics. It is an all- 
the-way top strain on every muscle, nerve and 
sinew, such as no runner experiences, because of 
his bent knees and forward carriage. The fair 
walker moves along by what are nothing less 
than a series of jerks. As one leg (the straight, 
locked leg) is momentarilyupright and stationary, 
and taking the whole weight of the body, the 
other is swinging free, half-way through a stride. 
With arm-propulsion, swaying shoulders and 
loose play of the hips, the details of the strides 
go on. At a distance, and on a bend, the pro- 
gress of the fairest walker is apt to deceive, for 
the reason that his knee-work takes an exagger- 
ated appearance. But get him broadside on 
(the fairest way to judge walking) and it will 
be seen that he is acting in accordance with the 
fixed tenets of the game. 


To fit himself for his task the race-walker will 
find skipping, dumb-bells, leg and hip thrusts, 
and bending and stretching exercises of the 
physical drill description most beneficial to 
him. A clean stomach, as much fresh air as 
can be got, plain, regular Hving, early to bed 
and early to rise, and plenty of track practice, 
with due observance of the bodily weight, are 
the chief points to be observed in training. As 
in running, train for pace rather than distance. 
For example, the walker who can cover his mile 
in yh minutes will not be unduly distressed at 
2 miles in 15 J, even if he has never previously 
gone beyond the mile. Of course, it is wisdom 
in preparing oneself for, say, a 4 miles race to 
occasionally go 3, and by way of an experiment 
the full distance. In general practice, however, 
a good fast ij to 2 miles, varied by fast half- 
miles and miles, will suffice. Speed is more 
exacting than distance. This fact can be 
ascertained by putting in at full speed one lap 
(say, at i minute 30 seconds pace) — that is, a 
quarter-mile — and comparing the exertion with 
that of a 4 miles walk undertaken at about 
8 minutes per mile. 

Gradually work at half, then three-quarter, 
speed with lively arm-swing exercise, using fight 
dumb-bells of not more than one-pound weight 
(heavier bells slow the swing) for the first two 


or three weeks before any really fast walking is 
attempted. Increase the distance from an open- 
ing of two or three easy laps, in sweater and 
flannels, just sufficient to open the pores of the 
skin and induce a little perspiration. Try to 
copy a good, swinging style and bring the arms 
up with a powerful drive right across the chest. 
To do this to perfection the hands of the raised 
arm should actually touch the opposite shoulder, 
while the other hand is dropped and at the 
rear of the hips. 

The head and body should be upright at the 
end of the stride, but shghtly poised forward 
while it is being taken and the heel and toe 
action carefully observed. Looseness and free- 
dom at every part is the ideal. 

Be careful not to loiter about the track when 
heated or at the finish of your spin. Go into 
the dressing-room and have a shower (pre- 
ferably) or sponge bath after resting for a 
couple of minutes with an overcoat or dressing- 
gown round you. If you only have a wipe and 
rub-down be careful to note that you are cooling 
down before you strip and use or have the 
towel used upon you. 

Plenty of good, free striding walks in the 
country roads or around the park paths in one's 
ordinary clothes will compensate for lack of 
track work once the walker has reached a certain 


state of fitness. Before this comes, however, 
he will have had to do some rousing fast spins. 
To weigh yourself before and after these is 
a vital condition. The poundage lost should 
always be replaced the next day when the 
walker considers he is down to his racing weight. 
As in every other form of training, it is better to 
walk " big" — that is to say, be a pound or two 
above the normal standard. The athlete who 
is under weight should not be upon the track. 
He is in a weakly condition and unfit to undergo 
any severe exertion. 

The perfection of form is to be found in an 
erect carriage, little or no rolling at the hips, 
the arm-swing such as to put the raised arm 
almost squarely across the chest and the other 
at the side in as close a counterpart of the 
boxing attitude as can be. 

The track-walker's shoe should be made to 
measure and, as in distance-running, allow the 
whole pad of the foot to be stretched out upon 
the sole. The fit must be close, while per- 
mitting complete freedom of action. 



Track-Walking Schedule 

The Average Good Walker 

The Champion 

I mile 

I min. 45 sees. 

I min. 25 sees. 

i .. 


. 35 .. 

3 .. 5 .. 

4 " 


30 ,, 

4 .. 45 .. 

I .. 


30 ,, 

6 ,, 30 ,, 

li .. 


25 ,, 

10 ,, 20 ,, 

2 ,, 


15 .. 

13 .. 50 ,, 

3 .. 


, 45 .. 

21 ,, 

4 ., 


28^ „ 

5 .. 


36 „ 

6 „ 


30 sees. 

43 .. 30 sees. 

7 .. 


15 .. 

51 .. 15 .. 

8 ,. 


59 .. 

9 ,, 


67 ,, 

10 ,, 


75 ,, 30 sees. 

Road-walking differs only from track-walking 
in respect of the necessity to train on the road 
and become accustomed to the jar and up-and- 
down -hill movements. Foot and shin soreness 
are the chief sources of troubles. A good 
road-walking shoe with a low flat heel, and so 
broad as to allow the foot plenty of room to 
come down flat each step, is indispensable. 
Care of the feet and other training details on 
the lines of the Marathon runner's preparation ; 
plenty of gradually increasing practice over 
the course selected for the race ; shifting the 
weight of the body forward when going uphill 
and backward in breasting a hill, and a much 
lower carriage of the arms for the very long 
distances than for short distances are the chief 


considerations to be studied. A long, easy, 
swinging stride is the one to cultivate for the 
longer races, such as a London to Brighton 

One of the dangers of road-walking is the 
liability to neglect the simple precautions of a 
change of clothes, the bath and rub-down — and 
to do too much work in the first stages of the 
training. Out-and-home walks to and from the 
training quarters, always made to a clock or 
watch and over well-known distances, will pave 
the way for the longer and faster walks to 
come. These should seldom or never be taken 
over the full journey. As in all other forms of 
racing, train for pace rather than for distance. 
Above all, walk fairly. Take a walker of 
unimpeachable style — e.g. T. E. Hammond — as 
your model. 


RUNNING at and leaping over flights 
of hurdles standing 3 feet 6 inches off 
^ the ground has witnessed several evolu- 
tions in point of style with a corresponding 
faster rate of times. Until the far-striding 
American, Kraenzlein, took us by storm in 
1900, with that straightened-out front leg of his, 
which caused him to land so quickly and so close 
to his hurdles, we had pinned our faith to the 
bent -knees method. This was prettier to look 
at ; but it meant the hurdler being longer in 
the air, no matter how narrowly he skimmed 
the top bar. It took him farther beyond his 
hurdles and, therefore, regularly delayed the 
faster movements on the ground. The English 
style was eclipsed from the hour that Kraenzlein 
demonstrated the superiority of his leaping, 
which, it is only fair to mention, had had several 
forerunners among our 'varsity athletics. But 
as none of them had been fast enough on the 
flat, the value of their hurdling had not been 
driven as sharply home as would otherwise have 
been the case. 

Hurdling needs its special shoes (see the shoe 

L 161 


section) and a particular form of exercises on 
and off the track. The physical preparation, 
nor the length of time it should cover, does not 
differ from that of the general running branches 
(explained at length in the sprint-running 
section). Gradual work to begin with, taking 

The up-to-date straight,front leg style of hurdling. 

a hurdle with a loose top bar 3 feet high at first, 
and practising at acquiring the best style 
(which is unquestionably that of the straight 
front leg) of clearing it and the run-up and get 
away at the one-two-three stride. The idea 
is to develop consistency in everything, so as 
to become as sure and true in all that is 
done as a piece of machinery. This practice 


over two hurdles, which is to all intents and 
purposes the first two of the ten flights to be 
negotiated in the regulation course of 120 yards, 
must be carried out at a slowly increasing speed, 
first to gain style and then the necessary con- 
fidence. Three weeks of this practice, trotting 
about the track, and sharp, swinging walks, and 
indoor exercises, such as dumb-bells, skipping. 

Old-fashioned bent-leg hurdling style. 

and a special form of leg-thrust and hip-dance 
(shown among the training exercises), will have 
put the hurdler in condition for the more severe 
work to come. 

By practising at the two experimental 3 feet 
hurdles, the first of which should be set up 15 
yards from the starting-mark, and the second 
hurdle 10 yards beyond the first, one should 
aim at cultivating the best — that is, the front 


straight leg — style of leaping and the regulation 
one-two-three stride, and leap up to and over 
the second hurdle. Work the pace up slowly, 
until you can do both things at top speed. 
Then gradually lengthen out the work. When 
really fit and sure of oneself there is seldom 
any need to go over the full lo flights. A few 
cracks from the pistol at racing speed over 
4 or 5 flights, and an occasional 6 or 7, will 
suffice to bring about the razor-edge of con- 

The great art of hurdling is, of course, to 
be at and over the fences smoothly and smartly, 
landing on the other side as quickly as possible, 
and be off and away at the next flight in the 
shortest space of time. The best means will 
be found to combine the good beginning and 
finish of the sprint -runner, at either end of the 
race, the activity of a high-jumper, and the 
bounding strides of the hop, step and jump 
artists. To this end, the hurdler should aim at 
gaining speed by copying the sprinter's training, 
while gaining or renewing an acquaintance 
with the leaping and striding which are to 
carry him through nine-twelfths of his task. 

As far as the man best suited to this especial 
department of athletics is concerned, a decided 
length of leg, looseness and power at the hips, 
loins, back and shoulders are essential points. 


He should be above medium height and cleanly, 
yet strongly, built. Some great hurdlers have 
shown considerable versatility and gone so far 
as to include hammer-throwing in their list 
of attainment. With barely an exception, all 
have been more or less useful high and long 
jumpers, as may well be understood. 

In the days prior to the Kraenzlein innova- 
tion, hurdlers could be seen to rise and curl 
their legs under them and make a graceful 
movement over the fences. Nowadays the 
first-class man seems just to split himself out 
like a pair of scissors opening, and get astride 
his hurdles like a passing flash of colour, and 
be down and off for the next performance in 
the twinkling of an eye. He is all movement 
and dash, and there seems to be no dead point 
about his progress anywhere. To the expert 
eye there is no comparing the two styles, one 
with the other, for pace, an impression well 
confirmed by what the watch has told. 

The good hurdler needs to be a nice judge 
of distance for his take-off, and to possess a 
body balance much resembling that of the 
sprint-runner — that is to say, his head and 
shoulders should be pitched forward. This 
position, with most of his weight thrown out 
in front of him, will greatly assist in getting 
him quickly to ground. But the forward pitch 


must not be exaggerated, or it may lead to a 
stumble on landing. The legs should be split 
out as though a stride is taken in mid-air, the 
hind leg following the descent of the front leg 
with a direct forward movement, as though in 
the middle of a hop, step and jump. Every- 
thing must be sacrificed to quickness, which 
good position of arms, body, head and legs 
allied to dash and keenness will surely create. 
Plenty of practice at the hurdles, in which 
fast walking up to each flight, instead of running 
and clearing them at this deliberate gait, has 
been advocated by one great authority, is the 
way to improvement. There is good, sound 
sense in this walking and jumping practice. 

The one-two-three stride between the hurdles 
must be acquired by degrees, at two flights, 
then three, then four, and so on until the whole 
ten have been mastered. Landing on the whole 
of the foot and bounding off it, while bringing 
the back leg spontaneously into the effort, the 
hurdler will go to his fences with his one-two-three 
up-and-over action, and take them on the same 
leg, and come down in the same manner all the 
way through. Maintaining a regular forward 
pitch of head and body, both when rising in the 
air, dropping down and when on the ground, 
with every part of him moving loosely, the 
arms raised at the leaps and dropped when 






they are cleared, the naturally endowed athlete 
should soon be making good progress. 

There is no doubt but that the one-two-three 
stride between the fences is methodical, sound 
and good for the great majority. Experiments 
have shown, however, that it is not a matter 
of impossibility for a vara avis to break through 
the accepted laws of hurdling. One very big 
powerful man who gained himself a great name 
as a staying sprinter could get over five and 
very nearly six flights of hurdles, and taking 
two strides only between them. His heavy weight 
of body finally brought him on top of the sixth 
hurdle. Another departure from the orthodox 
was seen when a crack professional, just depend- 
ing upon his quickness of foot and judgment of 
eye, ran from one hurdle to the other without 
regard to the number or length of his strides. It 
was in the old days of the bent-knees style, and 
he could give the amateur champion one hurdle 
in six, and most of it in the run-up to the first 
fence. He, too, cracked at the sixth hurdle, 
but there is no doubt that, had he known of the 
straight front leg, he would have gone farther 
and faster. Maybe some such independent 
notion may mark the next step in the progress 
of hurdling. 

His dash home from the post, and his starting 
burst for the first flight, will be the only test of 


his sprinting abilities. Other than this, he 
will be striding one-two-three, and flying his 
fences in the approved fashion. 

A crack hurdler will beat 15 1 seconds for the 
120 yards over the customary 10 flights. The 
moderately good hurdler will take from 2 to 
3 seconds longer. 

Now and again the recognized 120 yards 
is extended to a quarter-mile, or intermediate 
distances, over a proportionately increasing num- 
ber of hurdles. The training is to all intents 
and purposes of the same description as that 
pursued for the 120 yards, excepting that the 
length of the practice, track spins and walks 
are lengthened. 


THIS demands the high speed of the good 
sprint -runner, and great nicety of stride- 
measuring to ensure a good " take off," 
in addition to the first quahfication of leaping 
power. The general outline of the training is 
to develop pace in the run-up and get right on 
the " take off " board at every jump. As in 
every other athletic department, gentle prelimin- 
ary work, ranging over three to four weeks, as 
trotting about the track at half-speed and fast, 
swinging walks in the country lanes or parks, is 
necessary. Very little jumping should be done, 
and then only at a very low pressure. The 
training is very similar to that of the sprint- 
runner in all details, plus the jumping when the 
slow opening month has worn away. Care of the 
feet and legs, with plenty of hand-rubbing, to 
ease the jar which the long-jumper finds the chief 
source of trouble, and the regular living of the 
athlete in training, are among the essential 

The practice at the long jump should be begun 
by finding out the most suitable length of run up 
to the board. This will differ in length according 


to the build of the men. The tall, long-legged 
kind will require some few yards farther in which 
to get up full steam than those of middle-height 
or less. But a range of 35 to 45 yards should be 
sufficient for all. Having satisfied himself as to 
his own particular length of run-up, the jumper 
should carefully measure the number of strides 
which will carry him near enough to the take-off 
board to enable him to put in a final one-two- 
three effort. If this is correctly delivered, the 
shoe-spikes of the take-off foot should strike the 
board. One must practise until quite an auto- 
matic regularity is established. Once you have 
your length under command, there will be some- 
tliing radically wrong if you do not hit the board. 
As a matter of fact, one gets so true a stride that 
the " take-off " can soon be left to take care of 
itself as an assured thing. 

Having gained that mastery over the run-up 
which is sure to come by intelligent practice, the 
jump itself can be tackled. To begin with, set 
a low 2 foot hurdle about 6 to 7 feet beyond the 
" take-off " board. Jump this in easy fashion, 
taking care to rise well above the hurdle. After 
a week's steady practice, and when the jumper 
feels that he is making progress, especially as re- 
gards getting nicely over the hurdle, set this back 
another foot. Keep rising clear of it. Another 
week's pegging away, taking close stock of all 


the details, the top-speed run and the final three 
strides, made for all you are worth, on to the 
board and the high flight, should bring proficiency 
at this second placing of the hurdle. Being 
satisfied with this work another stage in the 
shape of lengthening the jump to the hurdle by 
a farther foot. Increase the distance a foot at 
a time, until the hurdle is 10 feet away. 

Plenty of sharp bursts of 20 to 30 yards will 
be found invaluable for the quickening of the 
run-up, which, after all, has almost more to do 
with the length of the jump than anything else. 
The development of the stomach muscles can be 
helped by lying on the back and raising and 
drawing in the legs, and the Russian leg-dance 
made part of the daily programme. As in high- 
jumping, especial training of the take-off leg, 
seeing that it has to bear an enormous strain in 
the effort of jumping, must not be neglected. 
The jumping practice will, of course, encourage 
this, but a further exercise of standing right up 
on the toes of the take-off leg, and keeping it 
taut, and the other leg loose (as it will be in the 
act of jumping), can be recommended. 

Good form is again of the first consequence. 
The ideal long-jumper goes flying through space 
in a most compact way, as regards the body and 
legs, with the arms stuck out like railway signals 
on either side. The knees are doubled up and 


the legs brought tightly and evenly together with 
the head pitched forward and right above the line 
of the knees. To immediately rise well while 
maintaining this attitude to the end will, of a 
certainty, make jumping of more than ordinary 
character by anyone capable of taking a fast run- 
up to the board. The whole position is absolutely 
true to the requirements of long-jumping. It is 
so good that the final kick-out of the legs, as the 
descent towards the pit is made in the last few 
feet of the jump, may almost be left out of one's 
calculations, for the reason that the legs are 
already as far extended as they well can be. 

So fine a jumping position means strength at all 
points, keenness and close attention to practice. 
It can only be acquired gradually, out of the slow, 
early stages, when form must be as closely con- 
sidered as all other particulars. Given a good, 
soft jumping pit and a knowledge of what is 
expected of him, the jumper with some natural 
aptitude and the willingness to persevere cannot 
fail to make headway. 

Long-Jump Standards 

The Average Good Jumper ... 19 feet 

The First-Class Man . . . . 23 to 24 ,, 

The Top-notcher . . . . . 25 ,, 


LEAPING powers of an exceptional kind 
(and this may be estimated by the aver- 
age man being able to clear his own 
height) are not often met with. The long-legged, 
slim type of athlete is, usually, somewhat 
endowed with natural aptitude. Given this 
factor towards success, he may enormously im- 
prove his jumping by close attention to detail 
and healthy training. His is a short but very 
tense effort, which demands the combination of 
a good technical understanding, and the develop- 
ment of the parts which have to bear most of the 
strain. A high-jumper cannot be too strong on 
top. Strong and lissom loins, arms, back and 
shoulders, looseness at the hips, and long, lithe 
legs, are ideal physical qualifications. But they 
require to be properly used to work in accord, 
and so be employed that they each and all assist 
the jumper at the psychological moment he goes 
up to the bar. 

There are numerous styles of high-jumping. 
The jumpers will be found to make their stealthy, 
bounding approaches to the posts from all con- 
ceivable angles. The popular notion of going 


straight and boldly at the middle of the bar is 
seldom realized. Most high-jumpers appear to 
be shy of facing that hanging cross-bar. They 
go over one leg at a time, or roll over with a 
contortionist movement that sets their bodies 
at a parallel line with the bar, turn round in the 
air and actually face the direction of the take-off 
as they land ; come down on their shoulders or 
the broad of the back when alighting after some 
especially perilous -looking flight, and generally 
cut the most eccentric capers it is possible to 
imagine. The high-jumper par excellence is he 
who can go straight for the centre of the bar and, 
rising at it like a horse, a dog or deer, go sailing 
over in a trim, fairly compact position, shooting 
the legs over in advance of all other parts. But 
this is classical liigh -jumping, which, if respon- 
sible for the finest effects of style allied to 
effectiveness, is very seldom seen in practice. 
Only the very cream of the high-jumpers leap in 
this brilhant manner. In addition to attractive- 
ness, it represents simplicity of method, devoid 
of all the artificial straining, wriggling postures 
by which the majority of leapers kick, twist or 
wrench themselves by convulsive efforts over to 
the other side of the posts. 

There are natural styles in plenty, and you may 
find out your own or have it pointed out to you 
by clearing, say, a 3 feet 6 inch height to begin 





with. If well advised, you will never go above 
4 feet until you have adopted the jumping style 
you feel suits you best. For preference, select 
the straight run-up to the centre of the bar and 
the unforced straight -away leap which carries you 
over in one compact heap. By strengthening the 
upper parts of the body and the taking-off leg 
(a prime necessity in high -jumping), and practis- 
ing assiduously at this easy height, and gradually 
raising the bar an inch every other two or three 
days, you will soon find out whether this straight- 
forward style of leaping is suited to you. If 
you do not make headway, revert to your own 
particular method, whatever it be. It is, how- 
ever, difficult to believe that anyone, but an 
occasional exception to be found here and there, 
is really unable to acquire the best jumping form. 

The whole process of the jump-over means 
collecting oneself, as in the long jump. It may 
require considerable strength of hip, loins and 
thigh, but the fact remains that it is nature's 
style of jumping which will always beat (in its 
class) the more prevalent straggling, split-out 
and high-kicking, body-rolling clearances. 

As the height of the jump increases so should 
the " take-off " be made farther and farther 
away from the bar. The jumper will do so 
instinctively, but, surely, never so well as when 
understanding what he is doing and why he is 


doing it. If he were of a very painstaking and 
inquiring turn of mind, he might be able to gauge 
the " take-off " to the fraction of an inch, at all 
heights. It is worth his while to find out how far 
it corresponds with the level of the bar, and the 
distance made on the farther or landing side. 
The really good high-jumper should be depend- 
able and as free from fault as we poor human 
beings can hope to be. Nothing is more certain 
than the most minute examination into the 
length of the take-off (from whatever angle, of 
course, that the leap is made from), and, if this 
can be stepped out to a nicety, an added advan- 
tage will have been gained. 

Be careful to make a minute survey of the 
ground round about where you are taking-off, 
feeling for any loose or soft parts contact with 
which at the moment you ar^ springing will 
effectually spoil your jump. 

As exercises : some sprinting, plenty of good, 
brisk walking, not too much jumping when you 
are sure of yourself, the " Russian leg-dance " 
(explained in the exercises section), bell-fighting 
and hammer-swinging, will all be found to fit 
in with the high -jump training. 

High-Jump Standards 

^ '^ -! S feet 3 inches to 5 feet 5 inches. 

Jumper . . . . I. '^ -^ j j 

The More-than-Ordinary . Anyone able to clear his own height. 

_, ^ , , . f Anyone capable of clearing 6 feet 

The Extraordinary • • i j 

•' {. and more. 




THIS is in the nature of a long jump, but 
with the added strain of twice supple- 
menting the first take-off with bounds 
from one foot to the other, and a final gathering- 
together of the whole frame for a concluding 
jump. As it is termed, the first movement is a 
kind of hop (because you come down on the same 
leg that you take-off with), the second, a step 
(coming down on the other foot), and the final 
effort, a double-footed landing from the jump. 
Once again, the big, long-Hmbed kind have the 
pull over the stiffer, stockier types, no matter 
how agile their representative may chance to be. 
Length of leg, activity, no little strength at the 
essential points and method are the great hop- 
step-and-jump requisites, which may be seen in 
their highest state of practical perfection at the 
Scottish and Irish sports festivals. 

Now that it has become an accepted feature of 
the Olympic games, this ancient form of com- 
petition has taken unto itself an added import- 
ance. The first-class standard may be said to 
range from 48 to 50 feet, a length not beyond the 
compass of many of those upstanding Scotsmen, 

M 177 


who mostly do their work out of their great 
strength and natural gifts, rather than by 
scientific cultivation. The ideal athlete for this 
particular purpose would, however, seem to be of 
the lighter, more elastic stamp, loose-hipped, and 
stronger in the back and shoulders than in the 
leg, given the accepted abnormal long pair of 
legs. As an alternative, there is the high-flighter, 
bouncing like a ball at each upward movement, 
who will occasionally do unexpected things in 
this direction, and cover a lot more ground than 
his appearance would suggest. 

As in long-jumping, the matter of a proper 
take-off, so that your foot comes right on the 
wooden bar set in the ground, is the primary 
consideration. To find the length of your strides 
in the run-up ; to make this at the very highest 
rate of speed ; to split yourself with a one-two- 
three movement of the legs with lessening 
distances between them to put you in a compact 
lifting pose for the first of the three efforts ; and 
to rise high hut not too far. Here the hop-step- 
and-jump differs from the long jump entirely, 
for whereas the latter means an all-out effort, 
the former calls for three gradually increasing 

To go as far as you are able to do to begin with 
leaves you nothing to go on with. You just drop 
down a half -spent force. To get the best out of 


yourself, cultivate a moderate " hop," an increas- 
ing " step," and make your " jump " the longest 
of the three efforts. For example, say that you 
are in the moderate 40 feet class. The average 
of your clearances is a little over 13 feet each. 
But if you do no more than 13 feet at your final 
jump, you will not do 40 feet. The hop should 
be from 10 feet to 11 feet, the step 12 feet to 
13 feet, and the jump 16 feet to 17 feet. 

The first-class performer capable of a 50 feet 
hop, step and jump will, approximately, do 12 
feet to 13 feet for the hop, 15 feet to 16 feet for 
the step, and finish up with a big jump of 21 feet 
to 22 feet. 

Strength of feet, legs, body and arms are the 
physical essentials. The taking-off feet take the 
pressure from heel to toe, and they need to be 
gradually developed, for any undue haste will 
bring that most painful of troubles to a jumper 
— ^namely, bruised heels. A pair of tight-fitting 
jumping shoes (the difference between loose, 
baggy foot-gear and the tight, gripping kind, 
which are seldom or never seen nowadays), with 
heel -spikes, and of a sHghtly stouter and heavier 
kind than for running, are a necessity. The best 
exercises are : sprinting (to get on fast to the 
take-off), the Russian leg-dance, cultivation of 
the arm-carriage, and light, easy leaping from 
one foot to the other, and long-jumping. 


As in training for the long jump proper, put 
up three 2 feet hurdles. The first of these should 
be about 4 feet to 5 feet from the take-off bar ; 
the second about 5 feet to 6 feet from where you 
land with your hop and, of course, rise for the 
step ; and the third, 6 feet to 7 feet from the 
rising-place of your jump. These hurdles, which 
may be of the flimsiest or makeshift kind, will 
teach you to get nicely up in the air (the secret 
of length) . Never overjump or strain in any way ; 
just go easily over the obstacles (making sure to 
clear them well) and try to cultivate an easy 
style. Habit becomes " second nature " after 
a time. Once you acquire a good style it will 
never leave you. 


THIS is a job for the massive heavy- 
weights. The taller they are the better 
they are adapted to the work. Providing 
they have some kind of athletic frame, are fairly 
loose of shoulders and not too slow on their 
feet, there is no telling but that any one of 
those 6 feet and odd inches young men we know 
may be shot-putting champions in embryo. 
Great height, strength of arm (it is remarkable 
how this can be developed) and ability to turn 
quickly within the limits of the putting circle 
are the physical qualifications of the putter. 
If he starts out with them and is properly 
coached to put his weight and power behind the 
shot, do the " shift " from the front leg to the 
back leg and " follow-through " to the very 
end of the cast, there is no valid reason why 50 
feet should not be covered in the fulness of time. 
To get the best out of the big shot -putter he 
should receive a strong but gradual preparation, 
including fast walking, sprinting, ball-punching 
and swinging the hammer. At first, while he 
has to thoroughly accustom himself to the 
routine of the "put," he should practise with 


nothing heavier than a twelve-pound shot. In- 
creasing half-a-pound at a time (which can be 
done by hollowing out a sixteen-pound ball and 
replacing half-pound sections, say every other 
three days), considerable benefit will be derived 
from taking the weight, in a graduating way, up 
to eighteen pounds. This is done with the object 
of developing strength at the required points. 

The correct finish of a " putt." 

Once the power is acquired, the cultivation of 
speed must be the chief consideration. Plenty 
of smart spins on the track will tune up the 
legs to do their very important share of the 
work ; for it must never be forgotten that a 
man's strength really depends upon his under- 

The putter should take the shot easily in the 
palm of his casting hand, and hold it snugly 


below shoulder height, so as to get the longest 
leverage possible. The other arm should be 
stuck straight out and upward, pointing the 
way, as it were, for the direction the shot has 
to take. The pose of the body is distinctly 
sideways, with the back leg (the one of course, 
below the casting hand) and all other parts 
loosely set. See that the knees are bent, the 
feet close together and the front leg taken 
slightly off the ground in between each of the 
two short, quickly taken hops on the back leg 
which are meant to carry the putter to the 
centre of the seven -foot circle. Reaching there, 
firmly plant the front leg and, changing the 
body and position of the feet, swing the body, 
right arm and right leg across, and deliver the 
shot with a slightly upward, flowing movement 
keeping everything going well after the 
shot has left the hand — and so imitating the 
" follow-through " of the golfer, cricketer and 
billiard-player, which forms the essence of their 
truest made strokes. 

There must be no hesitation from first to last 
in executing these movements. Right from 
the moment you begin to set yourself going 
your chief thought must be to get up all speed 
possible. The pace at which you are moving 
will go far to determine the distance to which 
the shot is sent. The faster you are moving the 


farther will it go. Smartness in the double 
hop, free shoulder play and smoothness of action, 
" changing " the arms and feet are the points 
to be carefully practised. Begin then slowly, 
and gradually work up until you are able to not 
only make the casting-arm " follow-through " 
with ease and surety, but also to actually swing 
round again with a half-turn to face your 
starting-point at the other side of the ring. The 
momentum of delivery will be increased if you 
can get a good push off the toe of the rear leg 
and so put every ounce of your power into the 

Take close stock of your footmarks all the time 
you are learning, and see that, while averting 
any liability to overstep the bounds of the circle, 
you still make as full use of it as the rules allow 
— ^that is, by getting right close up to the line. 
In tracing your foot-work, make sure that you 
go straight at your cast, so that a plumb-line 
laid from the first setting of the feet will follow 
them truly through their course. 

Shot-Putting Standard 

The Average Good "Putter" . . 33 to 34 ft. 

The First-Class Putter . . . Varies from 40 to 45 ft. 

The Championship Standard . . 48 to 50 ft. 



NOTHER performance altogether best 
fitted for the hefty men of prodigious 
physique. This is no hght weight or 
middleweight 's sport at all. The bigger you 
get your man and the stronger he is " on top " 
the better, providing he is fairly built. The 
best hammer-throwers have been very compact, 
husky specimens of humanity, almost as broad 
as they were long, square-set, with bulging 
calves, thighs and buttocks, showing great 
depth of chest, and the neck of an ox. It is 
sheer " strong man " work, this hammer- 
throwing, which at one time did really answer 
to the description, when the handle was made 
of wood stiff enough to stand the strain of the 
sixteen -pound iron knob at the end of it. 

The hammer-throwing of to-day is another 
thing entirely, and prevents any attempt at 
analysing or comparing the throwing of the 
giants of the past with those of more recent 
years. Now the hammer is only so in name. 
But for its specific task, the steel-wire handle 
of the day, which enables a more tense grip, 
and increased rate of swing to be taken, is 


better adapted to longer deliveries, as the book 
of records will tell. There is much about this 
hammer-throwing business that is in keeping 
with the theory of shot-putting. Standing loose 
and free, with bent knees (it takes twice as long 
to work up to top speed from a stiff-legged 
stance), the "hammer" handle trailing away 
wide of him and the weight in repose, the thrower 
has his back turned to the spot where he will 
finally whirl himself and his companion to 
before " loosing off." 

Begin with a slowish, pendulum-like swing, 
keeping the hands breast high. Then, having the 
weight moving, swing it round at an increasing 
pace three times. At the completion of the 
third circle it is time for the athlete to move 
from his bent-kneed stance and join in the 
revolutions with his hammer. He and it are 
for all the world like companions in a waltz. 
They revolve in exactly the same manner 
(only there is a short circle with a long one), but 
at a dervish-like speed, working up, through 
a moderately taken first turn to a three-quarter 
speed second turn and then an " all-out " 
third and final turn (these three crescendo 
movements will mean an increasing distance 
being covered), at the completion of which he 
should arrive at the opposite side of the ring 
and discharge his weapon with an upward. 




outward effort. The hammer is tossed right 
over the shoulder away from the thrower's 
sight, but in making the very necessary follow- 
through, he swings round to face the line of the 
flight. " Give it plenty of air," you hear the 
men say who know what is needed in hammer- 

Quickness in swinging the hammer, speed in 
taking the three body-turns, a timely synchroniz- 
ing of the throw with the throwing effort and 
careful regard to technical detail must be 
assisted by training of a kind suited to such an 
exacting task. There is nothing better than 
hammer-swinging, changing over from left to 
right at every other stroke. Use a twelve-pound 
hammer to start with for exercise and also for 
throwing. Gradually work up to the sixteen- 
pound, and go a pound or two higher ; it will be 
nothing against your chances of improvement. 
The great thing to think of is the carrying-out of 
each detail, getting the hammer going, swinging 
well with it and keeping in the limits of the 
circle while letting it go at the psychological 
moment when all your strength is centred on 
the throw. 

Hammer-Throwing Standards 

Average Good Throw . . . . . 125 ft. 

First-Class Standard ..... 160 ft. 


The Differing Patterns for Various 


^^F^^HE sprinter's shoes should fit him as 
I tightly as possible. They should take 

^ as much getting on as a new, tightly 
fitting pair of kid gloves. There is only one 
way of getting them to this state of perfection 
— ^namely, by being measured and having them 
made by a good man. As a rule, there will be 
found a discrepancy in the sizes of one's feet. 

Where the shoes should fit most closely is at 
the waist — ^that is, at the sides of the lace-holes, 
which should be pulled very tightly together. 
In this connexion, whipcord makes good laces, 
but the best of all is a string of raw hemp or 
flax, which, by its nature, is almost impossible 
to break. 

The idea of the very tight-fitting shoe can 
best be understood when it is pointed out that a 
loose fit allows the foot to shift about each time 
it strikes the ground. This is waste effort, 
taking up a certain amount of time and 
equivalent to running on a slow, holding path. 


SHOES 189 

A quarter or half miler's shoe need not be 
quite so tight a fit as that of the sprinter, 
because his action is more of a long stride than 
the quick-step bound required at the short 
sprints. The material, too, should be rather 
stouter, especially at the soles. All the same, 
these quarter and half miling shoes should fit 
so as to be nicely felt all over the foot. 

For the mile and longer distances the shoes 
must not be too short, and a fairly easy fit. 
The chief requirement is sufficient width in 
front to enable the toes and ball of the foot to 
be spread out perfectly fiat on the sole. The 
distance -runner cannot get up on his toes like 
a sprinter (except for short bursts). He mostly 
runs on the ball of the foot. Lace the shoes 
up just tight enough to prevent the cinders 
from getting in over the tops. Inattention 
to this last detail may cause foot -soreness, 
and has often compelled runners to give up in 
the middle of a race. 

Length of Spikes 

A sprinter who is running all the year round 
will require three different lengths of spikes 
to his shoes. For a very loose or wet cinder 
or turf track, f inch spikes ; for a good, sound 
cinder or grass track, J inch spikes ; for very 


hard turf and frosty ground, very sharp- 
pointed f inch spikes are absolutely necessary. 
Distance men will not need such long spikes 
as a sprinter, their style of running bringing the 
pressure of each stride on the pad of the foot ; 
and there is not the need of getting the same 
snappy grip and release of the path as in sprint- 
ing. For very hard or frozen ground the | 
length, and when loose or wet the J inch size, 
should be long enough. 

Placing of Spikes 

Quite as important a matter as the fit of the 
shoe is the placing of the spikes in the soles. 
It is not at all easy to do correctly ; for just 
as the action of no two runners is quite the 
same, and may often greatly differ, the tread 
will never be found alike. Some men will run 
well forward on the toes, others on the ball 
or pad of the foot, some very much on the 
outsides (as though they are bow-legged), or, 
again, on the insides of their shoes (as though 
they are knock-kneed). 

In all cases the use of a pair of long-spiked 
(the I inch) shoes will tell to a nicety just where 
the tread comes. They should be carefully 
examined after use. Should any of the spikes 
be found to lean one way or the other, they 

SHOES 191 

must be shifted by the maker (the sole will need 
unstitching) in the direction they are seen to 
inchne. If they keep perfectly upright, as first 
set in the shoes, however, then you know that 
they are nicely suited to the tread. 

In the matter of setting the spikes to give 
the most help to the runner, it is certain that 
the six-spike arrangement, three almost parallel 
placings on either side of the sole, cannot be 
improved upon. Two well forward and close 
together, two at the centre, and the remaining 
at the widest part, well apart in proportion 
to the increasing width of the sole, have 
been proved to give the best possible foothold. 
Some exceptional sprint -runners, able to get very 
high upon their toes (the surest sign of a high, 
strong instep), have derived benefit and extra 
speed by having a short sole set with four spikes. 
But to anyone running on the ball of the foot, 
or anywhere but the toes, this short sole and 
reduced number of spikes will not be advantage- 
ous, if not a severe handicap. 

For jumping of all descriptions, and hurdhng, 
the shoes should be a perfect fit. They differ 
from the ordinary running shoe by having a 
narrow heel-pad with one or two spikes in it. 
The jumper or hurdler needs to get a good hold 
of the track or turf to give him a good push off 
for his flight, and he uses the whole length of his 


feet in the performance. In getting to ground 
the hurdler lands right on the whole of the foot. 
As with other classes of shoes, the placing of 
the spikes depends entirely upon the tread of 
the feet. 

The cross-country shoe should be made of 
very stout material, and be fitted with a low, 
light pad, to enable the runners to get down 
upon their heels. 

The " Marathon " type of shoe is described 
in the special chapter on this particular form of 

Wash-leather toe-socks are not indispensable, 
although a source of comfort in damp or cold 
weather, for sprinters. They form a protection 
for sore toes and similar mischances which the 
feet can meet with. These are mostly faults 
caused by loose shoes with too much leather in 
the uppers. The distance -runner will suffer most 
inconvenience, while the sprinter will not be able 
to do his best running. 

A pair of well-worn shoes (with the spikes in 
their proper places) for practice, and a new, or 
nearly new, pair for racing, is desirable at all 
distances. But remember this : all runners can- 
not do themselves justice in new shoes, whereas 
others, especially those of the quick-actioned 
class, benefit enormously by them. Each man 
must get to know what suits him best by 

SHOES 193 

experiment. In cases, though, a good-fitting 
pair of racing shoes is nothing short of a vital 
necessity at all distances. The same can be 
said of the hurdles and jumps. 

A good tip for cross-country and very heavy 
track-running is blackleading and highly polish- 
ing the soles, to prevent mud or other matter 
clinging to them. 

Be careful to scrape and carefully brush your 
shoes after use, whether in training or racing, 
and remove every particle of dirt. Do not 
put them into your bag damp if you can help 
doing so. If this cannot be avoided, take them 
out as soon as possible, and let them dry in the 
air and not before a fire. Those discommoding 
ridges often to be found on the soles of one's 
running pumps are caused by the heads of the 
spikes working into damp leather and so putting 
them out of level. 

Too much stress cannot be laid upon the 
necessity of having the sprinting shoe made to 
fit too tight, so long as it does not hurt. The 
toes should be bunched tightly together ; but 
this they cannot be if the shoe is square-toed. 
A rounded toe for the sprinting shoe ; a moder- 
ately broad one for middle distance ; a broader 
one for miling and longish distances on the 
track ; and a roomy, full squared toe for the 
road and very long distances, will be found to 



answer their respective requirements. The 
sprinter's shoe is the most dehcate of any. It 
should be made (although it seldom is) with the 
idea of preventing, as far as possible, the leather 
of the uppers stretching. And there are some 
shoes of this kind actually to be obtained, but 
only from makers who have yet to gain a wide 

A really good shoe is made of non-stretching 
leather, of which there are several varieties, but 
none better than kangaroo skin, the best cut 
of box calf, or what is known in the trade as 
" grain." Let your shoemaker thoroughly 
understand that you require non-stretching 
leather when ordering a first-class pair of 
running shoes. 


ONE of the most carelessly conducted 
departments of English track athletics 
is that of pistol-firing or starting. It is 
not everyone who can do justice to it, and none 
failing to qualify through the proper stages can 
hope to become efficient to start sprint -races or 
the middle-distance events where a lead at the 
first bend is often of the first importance. The 
quahties needful for a good pistol-firer are keen- 
ness of eye, patience and good nerves. He 
cannot have too much practice nor too depend- 
able a firearm, as, of all the nuisances imaginable, 
nothing exceeds a misfire, to say nothing of a 

The most alert personality will find he is 
tackling something which positively cannot be 
properly treated without a long course of pre- 
liminary training. Many months of earnest 
attention, practice and trials will be required 
to teach him the rudiments of fair starting. 
He should experiment with one runner, and not 
until he has assured himself that he can handle 
him properly should he try to start two men. 
Then, feeling sure that they are under his control, 


a field of three, then four, then five, then six and 
seven, can successively be started. The great 
thing is to accustom oneself to get the whole 
range of the field in focus. This will only come 
by degrees. 

An experienced starter will hold his field and 
not fire immediately following the word "set," 
as is the common habit. Nothing tempts a 
sprinter to try for a " flyer," as often uncon- 
sciously as intentionally, more than this summary 
discharge. Not only this, but it acts against 
the runners getting properly " set " in their holes. 
The correct method is to hold the field still for 
about a second to a second and a half (not a less 
nor a longer time), watching intently for any 
sign of unsteadiness. The old-fashioned stand- 
up position enabled the runners to keep " set " 
on their marks for a very much longer time than 
the present-day straining " crouch " will let them 
do, and it also showed the field in clearer per- 
spective. Nowadays, the " crouch " throws such 
a great strain on the neck, thigh and stomach 
that a couple of seconds represents about the 
limit a runner can be kept in this position 
without badly tiring. 

Starting scratch races and handicaps (especially 
at 220 and 300 yards and quarter-miles, where 
the range from the back-markers to the limit men 
is usually considerable) are things apart. For 


a scratch race, the starter will have an easy 
standpoint broadside on to the runners. But 
in sprint handicaps he must get behind the back- 
marker. The concealment of the puff of smoke 
or flash from the pistol which anticipates the 
report renders this necessary. It takes a good 
starter to successfully control these long strung- 
out fields. But whereas a great nicety in the 
way of despatching all on level terms is required 
in short -distance races, compensation comes in 
the long-distance events, with their frequently 
multitudinous array of runners. Here a yard or 
two, one way or the other, at the start has little 

For the benefit of all concerned, and particu- 
larly with regard to the watch-holding experts, 
the starter should regularly hold and fire his 
pistol in the same manner. The best of all 
places is over his head. It stands out there bold 
and clear, for all to see. Firing under the coat- 
tails is fancy work, the relic of a period when 
circumstances were often made as baffling as 
possible for would-be timers. A bad pistol-firer 
will show up all his faults (the most usual are 
flinching and pulHng) when he holds his pistol 
up. A good man, on the other hand, will just 
as surely, in the same way, call attention to his 
merits. The professional starters of the day in 
Wales, the North of England and Scotland are 


models of their art. They do not fire above their 
heads, but balance the pistol across the left arm, 
which is extended as for rifle-shooting, but only 
held breast-high. The starter at the famous 
Powderhall Handicap, held each New Year in 
Edinburgh, is a veritable master of his subject. 

A good starter is a boon, a bad starter an 
unmitigated spoiler of races. To see the runners 
go off " one at a time," as is so often the case in 
amateur sprint handicaps, makes one wonder 
why the handicappers are so intent on such 
niceties of distance as quarters of yards, and 
what they think (if they take the trouble to 
do so) of the effect of it all. Surely it is time 
that a starter should be asked to undergo some 
test before being allocated to this important 

Beyond all other things is the flinching, 
bobbing of the body and jerking of the arm as 
they fire. All three faults may regularly be 
witnessed at our best-regulated London sports 
meetings. They are signals that the starter is 
about to fire, and the cause of false and flying 
starts. Clever sprinters have been known to 
so accustom themselves to a starter's character- 
istics as to anticipate him by the all-important 
fraction of a second (not too soon nor too late) 
which will mean a good yard-and-a-half advan- 
tage to him. Some have looked under their legs 


to note the spasmodic movement of a bad pistol- 
firer who could not do his work unflinchingly. 
Others, smarter still, have actually obtained the 
tip to be off by the sound of the starter's feet 
grinding the cinders as he bobbed and jerked 
while in the act of pulling the trigger. These are 
not exaggerations. Thirty years ago, when the 
London professional sprint handicaps flourished, 
there was a runner stone deaf and also dumb 
— old-timers will recollect " Dumby " Hignett. 
Wliat he lacked in hearing and speech seemed to 
be compensated for in quickness of sight. When 
" set " on the mark he used to look back over his 
shoulder at the pistol-firer. There was no doubt 
about his steadiness, but he was always away 
with the fastest of them, and when the day came 
that a faulty firer officiated he was, so to speak, 
half-way down the track to the wool when the 
pistol went off. The way he used to watch the 
peculiarities of a pistol-firer prompted the writer 
at the time to be quite as keenly interested in 
firing preliminaries. 


THE correct record of a sprint race cannot 
be given in fifths of seconds. A much 
smaller division of the fleeting second 
must be taken to show relative speed values 
(as a good watch-holder will do) to so small a 
margin as six inches. The timekeepers at the 
big amateur meetings do not aim at such pre- 
cision. Perhaps they do not even know that 
these returns of fifths of seconds for sprint -races 
may mean the lapse of between 3 and 4 yards. 
For example, the difference between 10 seconds 
and loi seconds is, roughly (dependent on the 
class of the runner), a couple of yards. But 
where does the lo-v cease and lof begin ? Is 
it all loi until the spider-hand arrives at io§, 
so that the most minute fraction of a second, say 
trrth (which the sprinting watch-holding experts 
estimate at |th of a yard) inside, lof still leaves 
the record at loi. In this wise, and apart from 
faulty manipulation, the times which stand in 
the books of such records to the credit of the 
sprinters are not comparatively reliable. 

A dependable watch-holder is the product of 
long experience and enthusiasm in his task. If 
he is not an enthusiast, he will not become expert ; 



for watch-holding of the only kind worthy of 
acceptance — that is, the best obtainable — is a 
tedious operation to those who do not take it as 
a labour of love. Many of the gentlemen who 
officiate with the " fly-back " watches at our big 
athletic functions have very evidently never 
served their apprenticeship for the work. If 
they had done so, there would be less of the 
" fly-back, " with its uncertain, vibrating mechan- 
ism, and a greater belief in the " side-bolt " type. 
The knowledge would have come to them out 
of their failures when (as they should have done 
before posing in the public eye as capable watch- 
holders) attempting to handicap sprint -runners 
on what their watches told them. The practical 
man at everything worth doing under the sun has 
made himself out of his failures. Yet so many 
timekeepers can never have bestowed more than 
a passing thought on their duties, otherwise they 
would be better equipped and more inquiring 
(and therefore more careful) as to their timing 
instruments and methods. They can quickly 
take stock of what they have to learn by making 
a few experimental handicaps (from their own 
timing returns) at sprinting distances. Then, 
seeking a competent practitioner (and there 
are still such in the land), note how he handles 
a similar proposition. 

For the benefit of those who would make an 
attempt at handicapping "on the watch," the 


accompanying table of speed rates per second 
of the distance covered by every reasonable class 
of sprint-runner at lOO yards will save much 
laborious calculation. As is explained, the 
difference in the times of two runners has to be 
worked out into distance on the track. To get 
at this, you merely measure the intervening 
seconds or parts of a second by their equivalents 
in yards and inches. Thus 4ths of a second to 
an II seconds man mean 7 yards 10 inches ; 
to a io| seconds man 7 yards 2 feet, and to a 
12 seconds man, 6 yards 2 feet . There is no more 
fascinating hobby to the painstaking mind than 
this handicapping of sprint -runners by the tell- 
tale stop-watch, especially when several men 
have to be brought together. It serves to 
fashion the alert, efficient timekeeper. 

Table of Distances covered each Second 
by the varying classes of sprinters, 
FOR Use in making Handicaps " on the 
Watch " at 100 Yards 

12 sees, man 

1 1-2 








per sec 




5 y 














) ) 



) 1 a 

The handicap is made on the time of the slower 
runner. For example, the 10 1 man in meeting 
the II J man would have to concede him the 


equivalent distance to the fths of a second that 
is between them. The fths of a second is taken 
from the 11 J man's (he being the slower runner) 
rate of travelling. It is fths of 8 yards 
25 inches which gives approximately 6 yards 
19 inches as the start to be taken to bring the 
men together on the tape. 

Quickness of eye, steadiness of hand and a 
goodly share of patience are needed to fashion 
the capable watch-holder. He must know his 
watch well and regularly test it and see that it is 
always in the same running order. This point 
is of the utmost importance. To catch the puff 
of smoke or flash that comes from the barrel of 
the pistol (and which anticipates the sound of 
the report by half-a-second in so short a distance 
as 100 yards) just as it comes to view, is his first 
concern. The old hand will watch the progress 
of the race from almost the very first move. 
His eyes will instinctively sweep across from the 
pistol-firer down the track. And he will be able to 
tell more of the details than most untrammelled 
onlookers. But — and remember this well — ^he 
will not attempt to watch the race beyond about 
two-thirds of the distance. When the race has 
reached this critical stage, the watch-holder will 
switch his eyes to look along the winning-posts 
and the line of worsted suspended upon them. 
He will not see the runners again until one or 
other of them strikes the worsted, which event 


he will accompany with a simultaneous stopping 
of his watch. There is no greater source of 
mistakes than watching runners right up to the 
tape. A close struggle will get you so interested 
as to make you forget to stop your watch. In 
timing, as in other matters, you cannot well do 
two things at one and the same time ; and to 
watch a sprint finish and be certain of snapping 
your watch is a dual effort which the wise (again 
making profitable use of his lessons) watch-holder 
has no use for. 

The most suitable types of timing instruments 
are little understood. For sprint -running the 
" fly-back " Kew tested chronometers are seldom 
trustworthy because of their complex mechan- 
ism. The " spider-hand " can be seen to " jump " 
or " hang " at starting and wobble as it is being 
stopped. This fact is of no practical account in 
longer distance races ; but at sprinting it is a 
faihng of the worst kind. It is painful to those 
who have had to depend for their next meal on 
the precision of their timing in second round and 
trial heats of a sprint race to take the time- 
keeping effusions of those who have not 
undergone the same experience. To have been 
among the rough Yorkshire miners and seen them 
operating the stops of their old quarter-second 
watches with pieces of string, and bringing the 
heat winners together to a very few inches, means 
all the vast gap that stands between clever 


practice and mistaken theory. Timers who only 
deal in fifths of seconds have no place when a real 
record of the passing moments is needed. The 
A. A. A. would be rendering a decided service to- 
wards establishing a correct line of form were 
they to grant the sprint -times being returned 
in tenths of seconds. 

For middle distance — that is, the half-mile and 
mile races and the longer distances — ^the call on 
the timer's services is of the lightest description. 
If his watch is in order he should make no mis- 
take. A minute recording dial is, of course, 
a great advantage. For the cross-country 
Marathon or team races, where the times of 
all the runners have to be taken as they reach 
the winning-post, a split-seconds chronometer is 
undoubtedly quite essential. 

The weather, the wind and the state of the 
track can tell strongly for and against the 
runner and the times he makes. But a 
following wind will only slightly assist, where 
a wind of equal force blowing dead against 
him will slow and fatigue him quite out of 
proportion. Any wind that is not nicely 
behind the runner, by reason of the disturbed 
state of the air, be set down as more or less 
detrimental to fast time. A soft cinder-track, 
and above all one that has had frost in it and 
is yielding to the warmth of the morning sun- 
shine, may also add another half second to the 


runner's customary time for the lOO yards. 
Then, the hard, ridgy frozen path will surely 
slow him off in a manner which will, unless he 
has had similar experiences, make him think 
he cannot run at all. Do not, however, be 
deceived by the possible crumbling, dusty state 
of the path (which is not good) in very dry 
weather nor the often advantageous downfall 
of rain. While the wet remains on top, the 
going may have really improved. If the 
runner's spikes come out nice and clean — that 
is to say, there is no substance clinging to them 
and the track shows " pepper-box " prints — all 
is well. It may even be ideal underfoot going 
for fast times. 

For the limit in speed-reducers there is, how- 
ever, nothing to be compared with the cold, bleak, 
cheerless days of our winters, when the sun has 
forgotten for some days to shine, leaving the 
winds or mists to hold sway and the path and 
air is as cold as charity. The runner (of any 
stamp) who can do anything like good time 
under these conditions is a man to be respected. 
Yet we have seen the old-time professional and 
the 'varsity athletes at Queen's Club in howling 
March gales or sullen, brooding mists accomplish 
positively remarkable achievements. The high 
quality of many of the Oxford and Cambridge 
athletic lights (some of whom, in the days 
gone by, have yet contrived to add a brilliant 


page or two to athletic history !) tells us 
where to expect our cha-tnpions from. 

Some Watch-Holding "Impressions" 

To illustrate the methods of timing as 
plainly as possible, let us " hold the watch " 
on an imaginary sprint. We are depending 
upon my old favourite the humble side-stop. 
The circumlocutory " spider-hand " is " dead 
on the 60." The runners are on their marks, 
their arms reaching down till their finger- 
tips touch the cinders, their bodies bent right 
over. Behind them stands the erect figure 
of the pistol-firer, on whom we throw the 
full intensity of our gaze. We search for 
the firearm. Generally it is easy to discern. 
Pistol-firers, like other people, do things in 
different ways. Some almost baffle the most 
watchful of timekeepers by " loosing off the 
gun " from varying positions. We are lucky 
now to have an old practitioner in co-operation 
and his holding of the pistol over his head 
simplifies our work. " Get ready ! " comes 
faintly up the strings to us. We see the stoop- 
ing forms of the competitors hump themselves 
up into more rigid poses than before. A 
pause ; then a puff of smoke. Our alert eyes 
catch it. The waiting thumb and forefinger 
shoot the starting lever of the watch sharply 
its full length and the floodgates of the fifth 


of seconds are opened. Then to your ears 
should come the sharp report of the pistol. 

We watch the runners as they dash towards 
us, and while doing so turn over the watch so 
that when the proper moment arrives the 
striking action of the stop will be identical 
with the "start " — a point most strongly to be 
urged. One, at least, of them swerves about 
as he struggles to get into his stride. The thick- 
set little man, with his strength so near to the 
ground, running next the turf is, plainly, the 
fastest beginner. His feet strike the cinders 
much faster than the beating of your watch. 
He brings the others along at the utmost limit 
of their speed. Half-way through he looks a 
sure winner. But the longer striding of his 
rivals wears him down. Thirty yards from the 
tape one shoots out clear of the others. Taking 
a glance over his shoulder, and palpably easing 
down, he comes full tilt at the worsted, in a 
line with which we are standing. When he is 
20 yards or so short of there, our eyes, which 
have been closely scanning the runners, are now 
directed on the tape. We throw ourselves in 
the same rigid position as at the start, our 
striking finger all attention to take the " finish." 
As the winner's breast strikes the worsted, the 
lever of the watch is again shot its length — this 
time to pull up the " spider-hand " shortly 
and sharply. Then comes the examination of 


the watch ; the exact location of the spider- 
hand ; what bearing the elementary conditions 
have exercised upon the time. It must not be 
overlooked that, all the while the race is being 
run, we have tried to ascertain something of the 
direction and power of the wind behind, against 
or across the runners. 

For the most part, though, the commence- 
ment of sprints is a chaotic hustling through 
space. More often than not they remain so to 
the end. But not infrequently there comes 
within the last 20 or 30 or 40 yards 
incidents which are a tax on the judgment 
of the watch-holder, if he is putting heat- 
runners in the scale with probable happenings 
in the second round or final heat. Someone 
will be observed to slow down well short of the 
tape, and yet win quite easily. Another runner 
will come through head back, arms sawing the 
air, maybe straining every nerve — maybe not — 
and win by six inches. Yet another will give 
the impression that he is cutting matters as 
fine as possible, yet doing so in such artistic 
fashion as to make the most experienced judges 
differ in their opinions. These and other tough 
propositions have to be pondered over, and 
solved. The man who makes the fewest mis- 
takes over them is the one who has a deeper 
insight into the technique of pedestrianism 
than the very great majority of Iris fellows. 


Backgrounds, against which the pistol-firer's 
hand is more or less clearly limned, assist or 
deter, according to their shades, the watch- 
holder's view. The most difficult of any I 
once found to be the raised khaki-hued cement- 
banking of a cycle-track which the sun, high in 
the heavens, shone most ardently upon. If 
ever there was a glaring bit of work for 
the eyes that was. But I "got him " every 
time simply by sticking persistently to my 

One of the most demoralizing effects which 
can be inflicted on the amateur watch-holder is 
the cap on the nipple of the pistol snapping 
without exploding the powder. He sees the 
runners on the move although no smoke or 
flash are visible, and, half with eager intent and 
half involuntarily, he slides the lever of his 
watch to send the expectant spider-hand on a 
fruitless mission. The veteran will not suc- 
cumb to these mishaps. He is armed cap-h-pie 
to them. Unremitting practice and memories 
of early fiascos keep him clear of such pit-falls. 

Electrical timers set in communication with 
the pistol and the finishing cord are not favourable 
to fast timers although giving a more faithful 
return than a manually operated instrument. 
These last are to be recommended on account of 
their maintaining long-standing custom and a 
true comparison of old and new records. 



CINDER-PATH needs daily attention 
in the way of sweeping and rolling to 
keep it firm and level and, therefore, 
as fast as weather conditions permit. The big 
horse-broom can be easily man-handled ; so can 
the light roller ; and, as the heavy roller is not 
a vital necessity, the path can easily be swept 
and rolled by one man. For all classes of 
running the firmest, springiest track is an 
advantage. For sprinting it is a vital necessity. 
A slow, yielding path will slow the fast -runner 
off, where a firm, elastic foothold means speed 
development. Winter or summer (when any 
training is going on, of course), brushing and 
rolling must be made a leading feature. 

First go up and down the sprint -track in 
sectional lines until all and every particle of it 
has been swept and the top layer of ashes is 
removed and lying loose. Then take the roller, 
drag it slowly from end to end, letting the weight 
tell as much as possible, until the surface is 
flattened down and never a ridge or mark 
showing anywhere. 
After having attended to the sprinting straight, 



as the most important portion of the track, 
take the broom around the untouched parts, 
keeping right close in by the inside edge. 
The brushing concluded, go over the broom 
trail with the roller, so that both distance-men 
and sprinters alike have good level going to 
run upon. The better the runners, the greater 
the need of a level path. The good men keep 
such a level balance that a very little rut or 
ridge will throw them off it. A tip-top sprinter 
will suffer most of all. Another advantage to 
be derived from this regular care of the track 
is the opportunity it gives the trainer and the 
runner to note the course of his spike-marks. 
To those who have made a close study of this 
sidelight of foot-racing, nothing more illuminat- 
ing concerning well-doing or a loss of form is 

Do not push the roller or the broom. Drag 
them behind you. In this manner you will ease 
the strain of the work and find it assist in 
keeping a straight line in company with pulling 
to a fixed point at the farther end of the straight 
and keeping your eyes on it. 

Brushing and rolling makes very good 
exercise, but one is advised not to attempt the 
performance in his ordinary walking costume. 
It is arduous, heating work, which asks for a 
change of clothes before and after entering 


upon it. To get overheated and not have a 
rub-down and a gradual cool-off in the dressing- 
room is asking for trouble in the way of a chill. 
Pay attention to these bodily requirements, and 
many a worse method of working off super- 
fluous flesh and putting on good, hard muscle 
than brushing and rolling the track can be 
found. But never let a runner attempt it in 
the latter stages of his training. 

When using the broom do not always return 
the surface scrapings wliich are gathered up. 
Leave these once a week at the end of the track, 
especially during a dry, windy period, when 
plenty of grit will be found to have been de- 
posited amongst cinders. To keep sweeping up 
and then rolling in the same stuff all the year 
round is wrong, and detrimental to the quality 
of the path. 

Once a year, in the late autumn for preference, 
a new top layer of fine cinders should be care- 
fully and thoroughly rolled in. 

It is next door to useless to brush or sweep a 
very dry and dusty path. Leave it alone alto- 
gether unless it is well watered, preferably with 
a strong infusion of rock salt (which makes a 
wonderful binder) added to the water. Some 
of these dry, crumbling paths make the feet 
and shins very sore on account of there being 
no upper crust to ward off the resistance of 


the hard subsoil which every well-laid track 

The difference between a firm, elastic path 
and a loose, heavy one is quite remarkable at 
all seasons of the year. And there is nothing 
more certain than that a runner training on the 
faster one will have a decided pull over another 
who takes his spins on the slower track. 


What they have to Tell 

WHETHER a runner moves at a natural 
unforced gait, or cultivates one set 
style, his striding will be made with 
mechanical truth. Trace his footprints upon 
the cinder-path and put the tape-measure over 
them. Then check the directness of their Hne. 
Any trouble you may take will not be wasted ; 
for here you will get vivid reflections of ability, 
if you will just expend a little thought on their 
import. Little by little you will come to know 
the nature of the track, the indirect effect of 
winds, the loss or gain of pace and the improve- 
ment in the runner's condition or methods. 
All these matters are printed clear upon the 
track for the experienced eye to read. 

At the top of his form a runner will stride 
as evenly as the revolution of a wheel, and 
(mostly) run in as straight a hne. The bigger 
men will do their 7 and 8 and up to 9 feet 
lengths (measuring from the print of the opposite 
feet) in the quarter-mile, middle-distance and 
mile and upwards spins. For the genuine 



sprint-runner, who is all quickness and com- 
paratively short-striding (he must cultivate 
extreme rapidity of foot-work to attain any 
degree of success !) a maximum length of 7 feet 
6 inches, which none but very tall, long-limbed 
men can do. The average striding is between 
6 and 7 feet for sprinters and 7 and 8 feet for all 
other classes of runners. 

At the beginning of training it will be found 
that the striding is uneven and irregular and 
the footprints heavy and dull. As the runner 
gets freer in his joints and stronger in his 
muscles, the fact will be notified by the truer 
line he takes and the more crisp appearance 
(proportionate to the track conditions) of his 
spike and sole marks. If the track is soft or 
loose the sideways turn of the spikes and indent 
of the soles tells that he has lost time and 
distance on the way from this cause. On the 
other hand, if the spike-markings are clean-cut 
and straightforward, and the impression of the 
sole barely seen, the " going " is good and fast. 
Measure the prints from toe to toe in this latter 
case and they should be uniform to the fraction 
of an inch where the height of the running 
has taken place. Good firm " going " enables 
regular striding, where a soft and loose track, 
with its often varying nature, will disturb the 
evenness of his swing. 







I. Good level running from the modern " crouch " start, giving an idea 
of how the strides lengthen out. 2. From the old-fashioned upright 
start. 3. How the rolling-hipped or bow-legged type of runner soon 
settles down to run in a dead straight line. 4. An example of bad, slovenly 
running. The footmarks are irregular and the strides uneven. 


It is in sprinting that the fullest guidance 
of what the track has to reveal occurs. Yet 
this superintendence of a runner's work should 
not be neglected in other grades. To gain the 
clearest view of what has happened, the writer 
has never shrunk from brushing and rolling the 
sprint straight several times in one day, and not 
infrequently performed the same office around 
the quarter-mile circuit. The seeker after in- 
formation and technical knowledge must spare no 
pains. In this way one gets a correct estimation 
of what a sideways turn or an altogether look- 
round of the head can cost a runner. On the 
track you see it written down by the stride 
suddenly shortening from i to as much as 3 feet 
at the point where the head and shoulders 
turned to, of course, restrict the stride. If you 
know a man's natural striding — that is to say, 
you have well examined its length and char- 
acteristics — you can really tell more of the quality 
of his running in a trial or a race by a subsequent 
examination of his tracks than by actually watching 
him run. This may seem an exaggeration, yet 
it is merely a simple truth. 

Not only this, but the pace of someone you 
have never seen in action can be fairly accurately 
divined. A runner leaves behind him more than 
the flashes of wrist strokes, sinuous move- 
ments and the many artifices of the cricketers, 


tennis-players, footballers and others whose 
efforts are mostly spent on the passing air. 
He shows just what he has done and what has 
happened to him in the process of his striding. 
If the wind has caught him, the position of his 
feet, caused by the greater or lesser turn of his 
body from its correct balance, shows where 
and how. Side, shoulder, front or back winds 
each have their definite effects, respectively, 
with a sideways placing (more or less out of the 
regular line of progression), a slowed, shortened 
stride and most irregular track or a straight- 
ahead, palpably quickened movement. All these 
things can be seen in the passage of, say, a 
quarter-mile runner on an open track across 
which the wind is blowing strongly and bound 
to catch him, one way or another, at all points 
of the journey. 

The fairest method of measuring and com- 
paring the strides is to take the print of each 
foot separately. In this way you can more 
closely check the swing of the legs than by 
measuring the shorter lengths of the right to 
left foot striding. Not only this, few runners 
will be found to stride the same distance with 
either leg. They will generally be found a 
few inches longer on one side than the other. 

As regards a straight running line : the better 
and looser kind, especially those with a slight 


inturning of the foot on the stronger half of 
the body (the right foot with naturally right- 
handed, and the left foot with left-handed, men) 
will quickly develop a true, plumb-line course. 
Others who do not use their shoulders and hips 
freely will show two distinct hues, one for the 
left and another for the right foot. Then there 
is the wide-legged, very strong type, between 
whose legs, as he strides out, you can see day- 
Hght all the way up the track. He will also 
show two parallel " railway lines " a few inches 
apart. In this connexion, it may not be amiss 
to mention that one may always obtain a better 
view of a runner's style arid action from the 
rear than in front or sideways on. 


IN all grades of athletics it is far easier (and 
generally, more satisfactory to all con- 
cerned) to deal with raw material than an 
athlete of some standing who has established 
faults . These can only be rubbed out step by step, 
even with both mentor and pupil working keenly 
and enthusiastically in union. In other circum- 
stances, no progress can be made. On the other 
hand, a novice is receptive and willing to learn. 
He has not contracted a set of bad habits 
(usually the outcome of watching the incorrect 
styles of older hands), and he may, therefore, be 
fashioned to the ideas of the coach. But let it 
be understood that proper pedestrian deport- 
ment or field-game technique rank among the 
minor sciences. Too much emphasis cannot be 
laid on this statement. 

Whether it be the schoolboy or the well-set-up 
young man the same careful attention to style 
should be given. A cat-like suppleness of limb 
can also be acquired in this manner, where 
faulty notions and conduct will bring about a 
tied-up, stiff condition of the muscles and joints. 
Work in the right direction and the good effects 



will soon become apparent. The percentage of 
athletes who conform to even reasonably good 
methods is ridiculously low. It is the sprinters 
and middle-distance runners who suffer of the 
track-men. The field-games have a higher pro- 
portion of efficients simply because of their 
comparative handful of adherents. To arm 
himself at all points the aspiring athlete cannot 
do better than practise the several exercises 
which will be found set forth in the next chapter. 
They are true to theii purpose. 



S a means towards the development of 
strength and pUancy in the various parts 
of the body, the accompanying set of 
exercises cannot well be improved upon. They 
are primarily intended to fit the athlete for pedes- 
trian tasks ; but they will be found none the less 
beneficial to the average non-athletic members 
of the community. Their chief association is 
with fresh air, a fact which must never be over- 
looked. There is no reason, however, why this 
essential of good health should not be procurable 
indoors, where these exercises can best be con- 

Arm and Shoulder Swing 

Take a pair of light dumb-bells (not more than 
I lb. weight each) and, standing with the feet 
close together, swing the shoulders and arms 
loosely and independently, letting the inward 
turned hands come closely together across the 
body. This is the sprinting shoulder and arm 
swing which sets the pace to the feet and should 
put every part of the body in motion. The 
closer the hands work, the greater the speed. 


It is grand work for the rib, stomach and upper- 
arm muscles. Let everything go bobbing 
loosely and smoothly. Getting nicely into the 
swing, let the arms go playing across as fast as 

Arm and 
shoulder swing. 

you can get them to do. If you are doing your 
work properly, the arms will first begin to tire in 
the triceps muscles at the back of the upper arm. 
Now and again, to vary the exercise, get up on 
tiptoe and, moving your feet, note how the 
swing fairly pulls you along. 

The Leg-Dance Exercise 

For hurdlers (in particular), jumpers (of all 
descriptions) and for those athletes who would 


loosen their hip-joints while strengthening their 
thigh, back, stomach, buttock, shoulder and loin 
muscles, the " Russian leg-dance " stands out 
alone. As can be seen from the illustration, the 
athlete adopts a sitting-on-his-haunches posture. 
Having so set himself, his task is to shoot out one 
leg and then the other, while keeping their 

Russian leg-dance. 

governors (the opposite arms) rising and falling 
as outward thrusts and inward pulls are taken. 
It is strenuous work, which should be taken very 
leisurely and lightly at first . After a week or two 
faster and longer " dancing " will work wonders 
with the athlete's muscular development. 

In this position the counterpart of hurdling 
and the various jumping, leg, arm and body 
actions can be practised with advantage. 


This is not the usual double-footed jumping 
skip, but as close an imitation of the runner's 
leg action as can be had. Jump off one foot to 


the other, just as though you were running, 
bringing the knee well up, and try to swing the 
rope so that it passes beneath the under leg. 
This is good for the arms and shoulders as well as 

The skipping "run." 

the legs. Keep every part loosely moving and 
regulate the pace to the distance you are training 
to run for. In bad weather, or at times when it is 
impossible to use the running-track, this form of 
skipping makes an excellent substitute for a spin. 

Raising and Stretching 

Another grand exercise for the stomach, loins 
and thighs and stretching out every joint, 



ligament and muscle in the body. Lie down flat 
on the back with the hands thrown open behind 
the head. Gradually raise the body, while keep- 
ing the legs straight out (the difficulty is to repress 


Raising and stretching. 

the inclination of the knees to rise). The hands 
may, with advantage, be used to support the 
waist. Having come to a sitting posture, bend 
over and try to touch the toes (which should be 
turned away from the body) with the outstretched 

Lowering and Lifting the Body 

All classes of athletes will benefit by this 
exercise, which (properly carried out) puts a 

Lowering and lifting the body. 

strain on every muscle and sinew throughout the 
body. Rest the body upon the open hands and 
toes (as shown) with the arms extended. Then 


gradually lower until the chin and chest touch 
the ground. As they do so, press slowly back to 
the first position. Do this once or twice to begin 
with and gradually increase the number until you 
master, say, its successive lowerings and hftings. 
To get the utmost advantage out of the effort, 
let the head shoot out to its full length by sending 
the elbows back. When flat on the ground turn 
the head left and right to encourage freedom of 
shoulder movement. 


With a pair of one-pound dumb-bells (they 
must not be heavier than this for sprinters, and 


they need not be so for any type of runner) make 
a mark on the wall about your chest-level, and 



proceed to fight or aim at it with alternate and 
direct arm dehveries. Work up to top pressure, 
shooting the arm in and out as fast as you can 
do, until you tire. The body muscles, back and 
front, are brought into play and the breathing 
organs are also exercised. 

The " 100 UP " 

Devised and practised by the famous mile- 
record holder, W. G. George, who found it most 

The " 100 up." 

beneficial for the purpose of keeping the legs in 
condition for running, by indoor practice. The 


" 100 upper " toes a mark on the ground and 
lifts his legs alternately, copying the running 
movements as closely as possible, coming down 
to tiptoe on the mark again. A daily course 
each morning before breakfast by an open window 
will assist in keeping much of the rust that comes 
to the joints of the athlete out of practice, and so 
further his more speedy recovery of form when 
he comes back to the track. Its benefits are not 
confined to the active athlete, as a course of this 
exercise cannot fail to do good to all who take it. 
The individual must be the best judge as to what 
suits him best in respect of the pace and duration 
of the leg movements. 

Sprint "Pattering" 

To encourage quickness of leg action there 
is no finer exercise than this. Take the 
tiniest of strides you are capable of at the 
utmost limit of your speed. See that you are 
poised well forward, the arms hung down in 
front of you and the shoulders worked in the 
best sprinting manner. The strain is so great 
that the best of " patterers " will not go much 
farther than 20 or 30 yards at full pressure. 
He will only go about half his usual length and 
be moving his feet so fast that in an action- 


photograph (or in the accompanying drawing of 
the exercise) he appears to be hopping hghtly 

Sprint " pattering" for quick leg action. 

off one foot to the other. " Pattering " will 
sharpen up the most slow-going natures. 

The Sprinting Style 

The correct action of the sprinter is as 
illustrated above. Note the loose, drooping 
down carriage of the arms, with the fore- 
arms and hands swung inwards and outwards, 
pendulum fashion, across the pit of the stomach ; 
the slightly forward pitch of the head and the 
chest, and the low stride, implying no waste of 
time or effort, and assured rapidity. One most 
vital detail may, however, be overlooked 


(although imprinted there surely enough), and 
that is the wriggling, rising and falhng of the 
shoulders which govern the arms in the same 
high proportion that the arms command the 
legs. This shoulder movement was the real 
secret of Harry Hutchens' (the fastest runner 
the world has yet seen) extraordinary speed. 
His shoulders could be seen bobbing up and 
down, keeping regular time to the swiftly moving 
play of his arms. 

One may practice the style and gain strength 
at all the necessary points indoors or outdoors. 
Every part of the body must be quite loosely 
held and operated. 


IT is up to everyone to keep himself or 
herself in fairly good physical condition. 
Not all of us can play the popular outdoor 
games, although there are many entering and 
well into middle age who can be seen indulging 
in such robust pursuits as cricket and tennis. 
It may be depended on that most of them have 
" never left off." They have preserved some 
glimpses of their best form and shown a com- 
paratively slight, if gradual, decline from the 
day that they turned into the fateful thirty- 
sixth year which divides youth from the true 
maturity, both in physique and intellect. The 
outdoor life is, of course, the one to aspire to. 
Country folk may have it, but the townsman 
has, usually, to take his glimpses of the fields 
and charge his lungs with God's fresh air during 
the interval between the business calls of a 
stuffy office or workshop. This being so, it is 
not a matter for wonderment that he soon loses 
the first blush of youth, often slows down 
when he reaches the thirties, and becomes an 
old man before his time. Then the day comes 


when he repines a lost digestion, a weight of 
superfluous flesh and a lack-lustre state which 
can only be cured (so the doctor rightly tells 
him) by fresh-air and exercise. 

The business man and he who leads the 
sedentary form of studious life are the greatest 
sufferers. The most healthy are the toilers in 
the open air. Change their lives and you could 
guarantee to change their respective states of 

In between the two extremes come the 
factory and general indoor workers, whose lot is 
the hardest of all. Their only chance is to take 
as much of the air, night and day, as time will 
permit of their doing. Food is really a secondary 
consideration, although it ranks high, with 
cleanliness of body and habit, proper rest and 
rational clothing. The athlete in training con- 
forms to a simple set of rules which can well 
be varied to suit all classes — ^men, women and 
children alike. He avoids the things which do 
not agree with his well-being, takes his meals 
at regular hours, strengthens his limbs and 
clears lungs and stomach, sleeps his seven or 
eight hours, going to bed and rising fairly early. 
He is bright -eyed, clear-headed and at a weight 
which leaves him master of his own strength 
and actions. 

There may be some virtue in patent medicines, 


but the value of the best of these is but slight 
as compared with what Nature can do for you, 
with her judicious blending of cleanliness, plain 
good open-air exercise and living (never for- 
getting the open window at any time, though 
taking care of draughts), rest and regularity in 
everything, with every reasonable precaution 
set against colds and chills. These common 
complaints are the beginning of most ailments. 
" Prevention is better than cure " is a maxim 
which holds a stronger place in a work on 
physical training than anywhere else. For 
exercise improperly taken is the cause of more 
trouble almost than no exercise at all. So, 
with a view to inducing the " man in the street," 
his wife, his sons and daughters to take a little 
more care of himself, and of themselves, a few 
general cautions which apply to all who heat 
the blood, and so put a strain on the heart and 
muscles by deliberate exercise or unaccustomed 
exertion, may be found acceptable. 

I do not profess to be a health expert nor to 
command any special knowledge. What I have 
to say is, I believe, just bound up with simple 
facts. The skin inhales the air and exhales (to 
a far greater extent) the fumes and vapours of 
the body, while the pores are apparently closed. 
Theirs is, or should be, a continuous function, 
at its lowest limits in cold weather and at its 


greatest height in warm weather, or when the 
blood is overheated by prolonged or very- 
violent efforts. When the blood and the flesh 
are heated they melt the waste tissues or the 
fatty products and cause perspiration. The 
pores of the skin expand and open with the 
added warmth of the body, and the beads of 
sweat ooze through. 

The skin lets out or keeps in poisonous and 
superfluous matter according to the habits, 
the requirements or the understanding of each 
individual. It provides the only healthy and 
proper means of reducing weight, either by 
dry heat (Turkish) or hot vapour (Russian) 
baths or, far preferably, running, walking or 
other active exercise in the open air. Indoor 
sweats are not conducive to good health because 
they lack in the chief requirement of the body 
(a greater requirement even than food, rest 
and clothing) — ^namely, fresh air. This is best 
obtained in open spaces, the hillier the better, 
where grass and trees abound. 

There is one drawback, though full of com- 
fort and an absolute necessity, to open-air 
violent exercise, and that is change of clothing. 
Whether you are going for a long tramp in the 
country, rowing, at cricket, tennis, golf even, 
you should change from your ordinary walking 
attire and wear the regulation flannels or light 


knickerbocker suits and good airy clothing 
while you are engaged in your walk or games. 
Having finished them, take a shower-bath or 
sponge-down; in any case have a rub-down with 
a towel. Avoid anything in the way of food and 
drink or chilly draughts until you have cooled 
off, and you feel that the pores of the skin 
are closed again. 

There are thousands of chills contracted 
every year, mostly between the months of April 
and October, through neglect of this simple 
but all-important matter of taking the greatest 
care of yourself when the pores of the skin are 
open and you are perspiring. It may be that 
you came out of a heated room or place of 
amusement, or started perspiring through over- 
haste on some muggy day. To go on top of a 
bus (especially the swift motor buses) in such 
a condition means a certain chill, the end of 
which none can foretell. The remedy is to 
watch yourself closely, and note your surround- 
ings and the effect they have upon you. You 
can soon shake up the circulation by a brisk 
walk (the only healthy way) to overcome the 
cold of the winter months. It is when you are 
heated that you have to take the greatest care 
of yourself and cool off gradually. If you are 
not able to change your clothes take a bath or 
a rub-down. 


These everyday matters apply equally to the 
athlete in training with all other classes of people. 
They must come to know that there is nothing 
more dangerous to their well-being than a cold 
or a chill ; that only by bodily cleanhness can the 
pores of the skin perform the allotted part they 
have to play in the upkeep of the body ; that 
exercise is as important as food and rest and 
fresh air, really more necessary than all these ; 
that a middle-aged man or woman need not 
necessarily be burdened with fat and incapable 
of any but the sHghtest exertion ; and that the 
utmost benefit to the general state, physical and 
mental, is to be derived from common-sense 
exercise and habits. 

As regards athletic training, this is out of the 
question for boys and youths. They may be 
taught to carry themselves in the proper way 
for what they promise to shine at, whether it be 
sprinting, middle distance, long distance, running, 
walking even, the jump and hurdles. But they 
should do no strenuous work at any time. Their 
frames are unset and they are not physically 
fitted to take more than gentle exercise. We 
hear of youthful prodigies in all branches of sport, 
but it can be depended upon that where any great 
strain is put upon the organs of a growing youth 
the result will surely be to his future disadvan- 
tage. The old adage of " Early ripe, early 


rotten," if not sounding well, is pregnant with 
truth. A boy will take his natural exercise 
in his games or occupation. 

The average man's athletic prime is from twenty- 
three to thirty-five years of age. In the inter- 
vening years he is capable of undergoing the 
most severe physical tests which his frame can 
stand. Every manis, of course, a law unto himself, 
and what might (metaphorically) kill one in the 
way of exercise would merely be a light pastime 
for another. The man's own instinct will go far 
to tell him whether he should be a footballer, 
cricketer, sculler, rower, boxer, runner, jumper 
or athletic " strong man." There are really 
not many who absolutely misplace themselves. 
Having found his particular athletic hobby, the 
young man cannot do better than obtain speciahst 
advice, which is, unfortunately, at a discount in 
England, owing to there being so few inducements 
for the best trainers to come to the front. 

At all events, the growth of the Olympic 
international rivalry will have achieved its share 
of good if (as seems probable) it paves the way 
to a reversion to the " old ways of the old days," 
when the English foot-runners, jumpers, shot- 
putters, hammer-throwers and hurdlers had the 
field to themselves. Things work round in a 
circle, they say, and if the revolution of the wheel 
brings us to where we were in the glorious old 


eighties (of delightful memory), when we had the 
world's champions in the land (such as we can 
reproduce again, out of a combination of enthusi- 
asm and knowledge), we shall only come into our 
own again. The quality of our best instructors 
and our raw material is unsurpassed. Give 
them both a real chance (ask men what they 
know, and not depend upon easily won reputa- 
tions), and the Union Jack will be seen floating 
up at the top of the winning flagstaff more often 
than it was at Stockholm, more frequently, too, 
than at Shepherd's Bush. 

No finer subject than the athlete in his prime 
could be had for one who has lived his life in 
what some people have described as the " narrow 
field of athletics." It is something for the 
Impressionist artist to paint, but not those 
misshapen, muscle-bound creations of the 
" Hercules " type and advertising strong men, 
who are so only to those who do not understand 
the chief requirements of the shapeliest human 
bodies. Agility should be as clearly displayed 
as strength. Those bosses of muscle the weight- 
lifters are so fond of showing can be developed 
by the poorest weaklings, hut only at the expense of 
some other part of their bodies. The true specimen 
of the athlete is a level frame with little or no 
outstanding muscle, when he is in repose, but 
a rippling play of long, loose, coiling bands 


beneath a gleaming skin in the moments of 
action. Loose and hthe, supply strong, quick of 
eye and movement, the nervous system in keep- 
ing with the muscular, the true athletic ideal 
means a combination of speed, activity and 
power such as Nature will best form out of her 
marvellous self, but which can (but in a minor 
degree) be developed. 

Physical fitness means the subjection of self 
to the best and cleanest of principles and ideas. 
Here, in England, we should be at least as for- 
ward as they are on the Continent in general 
training for the young. The only points where 
we might differ should be the substitution of 
the rudiments of the primitive outdoor pursuits, 
such as walking, running and jumping, for the 
gymnasium. One sound natural exercise is 
worth the whole bunch of artificial gymnastic 
culture. There is not the slightest reason why, 
given encouragement in high quarters, which 
means all or nothing in the advancement of a new 
propaganda, we should not have our own English 
musical drill formed to present the outlines of 
our leading sports and pastimes. 

To those who are prepared to give more than 
a passing glance at the technical poses shown in 
various parts of this work, there must come the 
conviction that, even in running, the matter of 
correct style has been ignored. Do you ever see 



the best of the track athletes (and the sprinters, 
in particular) conform to the true tenets of their 
art ? The very mechanism of the human body 
throws the searchlight of the student upon the 
keys which must be touched to put its bearings 
into the best working order. But running is 
such a common action — everybody runs, more or 
less — that its very claims to be regarded for what 
it is, a marvellous combination of the nervous 
and muscular forces, added to the fluent working 
of the joints below and all the parts above, are 
overlooked. If it were not so, we should have 
a far superior class of runner at every distance. 
Humour the young, teach them the outlines 
of style and urge upon them the folly of making 
any real effort until they have turned the precari- 
ous age of twenty-one years. Then, in the flower 
of their vitality, they may come (and then only 
by degrees) to bring out the best that is in them. 
If a track athlete does not lose entire touch of 
his especial department, whether this be running, 
walking, jumping, hurdling, the shot or hammer, 
he will keep going for, perhaps, a dozen years 
and be able to find his best form with a sufficient 
preparation. To do this, he should either get out 
in the roads or the track once or twice a week all 
the year round. There are indoor exercises, 
such as are set out in other sections of this book, 
which will nearly suffice to the same purpose in 


very inclement weather. Retention of form 
is, in this way, rendered comparatively easy. 
By contrast, the disappointments which come 
with the loss of speed or ability after many 
months out of harness make the trouble one has 
taken to keep moving well worth the while. 

Once the average amateur athlete nears the 
thirties, he gets the notion into his head that it is 
time he should retire. The thought of the burden 
of veteranship seems to weigh too heavily upon 
him. It is, however, quite a mistaken feeling. 
As a matter of fact, a hale, hearty man can go 
on until he is forty, although he will be losing 
in fire and dash in the last three or four years. 
By way of a counterbalance he should be gifted 
with greater stamina. This is again the natural 
order of things. Many sprint -runners (the long- 
limbed kind particularly) have lost their speed 
on turning into the thirties, to suddenly discover 
that they can go on to run quite a decent half- 
mile. A little thought will again tell how this 
change is brought about . Unable to fairly extend 
himself at the short distance as he used to do, 
the sprinter retains his action while having said 
" good-bye for ever " to his former light, lively 
striding. If he examines his footprints he will 
find that he is stretching himself out much farther 
than he used to when sprinting at his best, in 
the manner of the middle-distance men. And, 


doing so, he can run farther and stronger than 
he thought he would ever be able to do, simply 
because his best pace is nothing like what it was, 
although he has the same inner vitality, but less 
pliant muscles and joints. 

If the many athletes who " retire " and pass 
out of active track life at or before thirty years of 
age were to keep going, their development into 
more pronounced stayers than they were sus- 
pected to be would set a new fashion. This would 
take the form of seeing more young middle-aged, 
full middle-aged, old and very old men careering 
about the few athletic tracks left to most of our 
cities. If the average man came to understand 
the great health value of gentle natural exercise 
in the open air, and the outstanding merits of 
running and walking (easily but regularly taken), 
followed by the tub or shower and rub-down, 
there would be fewer ailing and bewailing loss 
of shape and the resultant evils. I may hardly 
be believed if I state that the several septuagen- 
arians I have known to continue their track 
exercise up to the allotted span of human life 
have had the clean, ruddy-hued skin of a child, 
and with eyes as clear and bright. 

If not exactly the conqueror of all ills that may 
befall the flesh, running and walking in the open 
air for the middle-aged and old, with proper 
treatment in the dressing-room, and a set of 


sensible, easy exercises, would reduce the toll 
of suffering and incapacity as no other form of 
treatment can hope to do. All other panaceas 
are as the molehill to the mountain. Home 
exercises are better than none at all, if quite of 
a makeshift kind. But they are liable to be 
harmful unless conducted in a fresh atmosphere 
— that is to say, where windows and doors are and 
have been open. A brisk jog over the fields or 
a nice walk in the lanes or parks before breakfast 
will be more effectual as a remedy to the accumu- 
lating courses of ill health than anything else. 
A hale, hearty man may go on through the 
forties, the fifties and the sixties, doing his bit of 
exercise by keeping his legs going, and his body 
swaying. In the writer's list of acquaintances is 
an old man of seventy years of age who can run his 
100 yards in 14 seconds ; what is more he prefers 
150 yards — ^he runs on so strongly — ^to the 
hundred. He is not an exception by any means, 
as there is a gay seventy-three-year-older some- 
where in the north of England, who won an open 
sprint handicap last year (1912) and immediately 
threw out a challenge to run anyone in the world, 
of seventy years or over, a match at 60 yards. 

There was the pathetic case, just over twelve 
months ago, of a former sprint champion of 
London (one David Isaacs), who succumbed to 
the effects of an operation at one of the big 


hospitals. The day before he was taken there, he 
had actually given a runner thirty-five years his 
junior a yard start in a sprint handicap heat and 
only been beaten by a bare few inches. In his 
sixty-seventh year, he was then a model of the 
truest physical culture. No bosses of muscles 
(the sure sign of slowness as well as of strength) 
anywhere, but a certain lithe muscular system, 
reminding one of the whippet or greyhound. 
With skin as clear as a child and a suppleness 
of limb which was really astonishing to behold, 
this relic of a former glory stood as an example 
of what true physical training, natural and there- 
fore unforced, can achieve in one near the end of 
his life. He withstood a most painful and pro- 
longed surgical operation, but in the days of 
an especially sunless January (the sun is the 
life !) he gradually sunk where few would have 
lasted out at all under the twofold strain of the 
surgeon's friendly knife and anaesthetics. 

Isaacs was the greatest student of foot-racing 
matters that the professional section will, prob- 
ably, ever know. He was a walking encyclo- 
paedia of athletic lore and a very practical 
exemplar on the track, and when surveying, 
watch in hand, the performances of others there. 
In his rough way he knew the value of correct 
form. As a judge of a handicap he certainly had 
no superior and, it may be, no equal. But he was 


not the stamp of man to impart his knowledge to 
others. Educated in a school which had secrecy 
as its chief subject, this remarkable old man kept 
to himself and stored in his mind the dictionary 
of hard facts he had gleaned in his half-century's 
connexion with foot-running. He had seen the 
days when there was no sport more popular, and 
the other side of the picture — when no other 
pastime was so poor as to do it reverence. He 
marks the passing of an old era, and, it is to be 
hoped, the coming of a new and (shall we say) 
better one. 

If the introduction of this old-time character 
of the running track may not seem to be entirely 
in place, the excuse must be the writer's pre- 
dilection for the first glimpse that he had of 
track and field sports, which led to his observance 
of systematic method. It led to an acquaint- 
ance with the stars of the path, and, notably, 
the sprint -running experts, who were, at the 
close of the seventies, in the heyday of their 
popularity. They were " kept " and trained 
for years together, before the eventful day came 
round that found them backed to win many 
thousands of pounds and called upon to justify 
their employer's judgment, care and patience. 
Runners came from all parts of the world to take 
part in these " pedestrian Derbys." Now and 
again an American or a Canadian came out on 


top ; but these were fleeting exceptions to the 
general rule that England was the home of all the 
great runners, sprinters and distance-men alike. 
Now, " to point a moral and adorn the tale," 
it has to be told that the professionals maintained 
British supremacy in foot-racing until their hold 
on the public — ^foolishly and deservedly lost — 
not by the runners themselves, but by the men 
who controlled their doings — waned. Then, 
with the growing strength of genuine amateur 
athletics (not its subsequent hybrid active and 
legislative condition), came a period of an 
improved class of athlete, morally and capably. 
Under the guidance of the professionals, the 
amateurs developed faster times. And it is 
safe to say that, in the eighties, we could much 
more than hold our own with either set, profes- 
sionals or amateurs, against the world. The names 
of Harry Hutchens (the sprint phenomenon), 
W. G. George (of mile record fame), and the 
peerless Shefhelder, George Littlewood (able to 
lower all previous bests, from one hour to days, 
either walking or running), stood out alone, 
while among the amateurs there were the black 
sprinter, A. Wharton, the eastern shires Hercu- 
lean sprinter and quarter-miler, C. G. Wood, the 
'varsity quarter and half milers, H. C. L. Tindall 
and F. J. K. Cross (who also won the mile, 
although this was above the length of his best 


distance), W. G. George (until he turned to pro- 
fessionalism), W. Snook (from i to 10 miles), 
Sid Thomas (4 to 10 miles), and a host of others. 
We have had good men since, but none better 
than they; nor has the quality been in such 
abundance, although the recorded times mostly 
favour those who followed them, because of 
the circumstances which carried the annual 
championship meetings all over the country, and 
the difficulty of setting one set of conditions 
against another. 

Good as the amateur has often proved himself 
to be, there is not the shghtest doubt that he 
would have been far better had he adopted the 
technique of the professional, such as is done in 
cricket, football, rowing, boxing, bilhards and 
in all games of skill. For example, both 
Wharton and W. G. George were improved 
greatly by a professional regime. Afterwards, 
in the passing craze of the " new profes- 
sionalism " of the nineties, such lights of the 
amateur world as A. R. Downer, E. C. Bredin, 
F. E. Bacon and H. Watkins did not go back, 
and one, at least, of them improved in no small 
measure. Since that short relapse to what has 
been described as the " methods of barbarism," 
we have really great runners in Shrubb, and 
Lieutenant W. Halswelle, E. R. Voigt, several 
of the 'varsity men (who have, unfortunately. 


not been seen without their own select games) 
and the present-day celebrities, the Oxonian, 
A. N. S. Jackson (the miler) and that dapper 
little sprinter, W. R. Applegarth, who has, 
certainly, trained on to produce a rate of speed 
such as has not been at the command of a 
sprinter since the old professional ascendancy of 
thirty years ago. All that he needed was to 
come under the supervision of one who could 
trace those several little faults of his, the smooth- 
ing down of which has meant so much to him. 

There is not the slightest attempt being made 
here to belittle the amateur athlete and to 
glorify the professional. That would be as 
wrong as it is silly. Professional or amateur, 
all came out of the same basket. But with the 
extra attention bestowed upon the rearing of 
the better-class amateur athlete ; his longer 
delay in entering the workaday world ; his 
presumably higher intelligence and other 
advantages, should fashion him to be the better 
man. Some of these theories work out true, as 
a visit to that splendid annual sports carnival 
at Queen's Club, West Kensington, where the 
master athletes of the two great English seats 
of learning are pitted one against the other, 
shows. The running achievements of some of 
the winners, who are obviously quite untaught, 
simply bewilder one. We had thought in the 


old days that no such a half-miler as W. 
Williams of Sunderland (who could " do " 
I minute 50 seconds and also run a " quarter " 
in 48 seconds — and be some 2 seconds behind 
Hutchens, according to calculations, at that) 
would ever be seen again. But when you see 
comparative novices " doing " i minute 55 
seconds and i minute 56 seconds for their half- 
miles in cold, howling winds and on a heavy, 
soddened track, you view things in a newer, 
clearer light, or should do so. 

Distance-men, jumpers and hurdlers of 
exceptional calibre keep cropping up in the 
inter-university sports. They go to confirm 
the impression that there is a wealth of talent 
among the well-bred youth of the country. 
Where the leanness of the land is exposed is in 
the sprints. Now and again there is a fast 
quarter-mile, but never any really good sprint- 
ing, simply because there is no sprint coach 
(who has gone into its many details and is able 
to show the inner side of this most delicate 
branch of track athletics) now practising in 
" fashionable circles." It is .here that the 
Americans (with not a little to learn themselves 
of fast running) supplement their vast superiority 
in the field events, where ordered strength and 
much practice, under careful tuition, spells 


In England, here, we have such an abundance 
of raw material as no other country possesses. 
Were it possible to-day, even in our neglected 
state, to put teams of 200 men, drawn from each 
country, into competition at all running dis- 
tances, jumps and field games, I don't doubt 
that we should easily head the list. An intelli- 
gent system of training would assuredly give 
us the individual as well as the team champion- 
ships. The man who will come along and set 
the athletic house in order will deserve well 
of his country. To fire the imagination of the 
younger generation to again take the old-time 
interest in the track and field sports, for their 
own personal welfare as well as for a fitter race 
and enhanced national prestige, would be doing 
a greater and better work than the founding 
of libraries or the endowment of charities. He 
would, too, deserve (and surely receive) a 
suitable reward in the shape of the appreciation 
of those who can differentiate between mere 
ostentation and a true desire to do some good 
in the world. 

Before closing these rambling impressions of 
what might and could be, the matter of suitable 
dress may well be touched upon. It is a com- 
plex subject. The advocates of woollen clothing 
have been many and distinguished. To me, 
however, they have seemed to always provide 


against the most rigorous weather, leaving the 
warm, muggy and mild days to care for them- 
selves. In England here, with the young 
people, it is either one extreme or the other, 
cuddled up in thick underclothing the winter 
through, to suddenly burst forth from their 
bondage and often discard all but absolutely 
necessary outer raiment during the fleeting 
summertide. This is, of course, unwise, equally 
with the overburdening and artificial warming 
of the system in the colder months of the year. 
The great thing is to strike the happy medium 
between the two extremes. Personally, I 
flatter myself that I have long ago succeeded 
in doing so. All the year round next to my skin 
I wear a little openwork cotton vest. It is a 
network in which the cavities occupy much 
more space than the material. In the summer 
these little vests (they cost me 6Jd. each) are 
delightfully cool ; in the winter they give (to 
me) all possible warmth. More than this, I 
contend they enable me to lead a natural 
life by allowing the exhalations from the pores 
of the skin to be carried off and the air to reach 
and refresh them. Another point, I do not 
wear under-drawers and only the plainest of 
knitted woollen socks. 

Some people have told me that I am a crank, 
others that this light way of dressing may suit 


me, where it might do harm to most. Of the 
first imputation I am not the best judge ; and 
of the second, I have to admit there is reason 
in such a contention. But of this I am certain, 
that the robust man or woman in the prime of 
Hfe, well nourished and taking a reasonable 
amount of exercise, needs little more under- 
clothing than I do. I may have a greater 
vitality than most (and with all due respect to 
everybody else, I hope, as I believe, that this is 
so) owing to a natural legacy and a lifelong 
connexion with all manner of field sports. All 
the best, hardiest and most resolute athletes 
I have known were those who wore just a linen 
shirt and nothing else under their outer clothes. 
Granted that they were the right stamp, hewn 
out by nature, the fact remains that they could 
easily have been spoiled by a fulsome applica- 
tion of woollen and flannel clothing on their 
bodies. For people of low vitality, who take 
little exercise, warm underclothing is indis- 
pensable. But they are hothouse plants that 
shrivel up when the fresh, pure air of the 
heavens touches them. And I am sorry to say 
that there are tens of thousands of our city 
youths and young men, with lungs and tonsils 
charged with the poisonous fumes of cheap 
cigarettes and vitiated air, who are of this 
unhealthy stamp. 


Whether conscription be good or bad for 
this Old England of ours it is not for me to 
decide. But I would support any such measure 
to the best of my ability were I sure that with 
it would come a new and enforced code of 
health rules. These should be framed to drive 
all the young people, capable of using their 
limbs and their senses, into the beautiful parks 
and open spaces which have — thanks be to 
common-sense — been secured for the people in 
every quarter of the kingdom. Look at the 
wonderful expanse of Hyde Park I What 
might not be done with it as a centre of sensible 
physical recreation for the rising generations ? 
Some of the public money that is being 
squandered on educational subjects for the 
mind, and which will not be of the slightest 
service to one in a thousand, might well be 
directed to a higher and better cause. To 
have travelled through the heart of the Con- 
tinent is to feel a sense of shame that our 
own youngsters, who come of the finest stock 
the world will ever know, are not given the 
same health opportunities as those of other 
and poorer countries. There is too much 
counting-the-cost as regards personal interests 
and jealous rivalries instead of there being 
that harmonious surrendering of the pocket 
to the physical welfare of those who have 


to carry on the race at the wrong end of the 

One hears much of breathing exercises. In 
certain circumstances they have their special 
value. But to ordinary persons, or to the 
athlete taking plenty of walking {not strolling), 
running, cricket, tennis, golf, etc., in the open 
air, they are not a necessity. A good striding 
walk with your head up and your chest out 
will nicely open the lungs. For a real " pipe- 
opener," however, running is the thing, if only 
a mere trot. You will soon find out whether 
you are thick or clear in the wind, too, at golf, 
to say nothing of the more exacting calls of 
cricket or tennis. You will get all the breathing 
exercises you require in this manner, while 
buoying up the body with invigorating calls 
upon it. The deep inflations made to order 
should mostly be reserved for those who do not 
or cannot take other open-air recreation. The 
best breathing exercises are those made through 
the opened mouth and taken, of course, out- 
doors. When the sun is shining, or the ozone 
of the sea or the hills is available, there can be 
no doubt of the good that deep breathing will 
do for everyone. 

As to smoking and the drinking of alcoholic 
liquors, they are acquired habits, harmful to 
most but beneficial to some. Many an athlete 


in training finds pleasure in a cigarette after 
a meal. It may aid his digestion, so long as he 
does not inhale the smoke. But the real top- 
notchers leave smoking severely alone. Their 
instinct tells them that it is neither good for 
the breathing organs nor the nerves. Good 
beer, brewed of malt and hops, has a decided 
value as a food. There is no better tonic than 
a tankard of genuine ale and nothing more 
sustaining than a glass of stout. Moderation 
is the chief thing. Those who can do without 
either have the gratification of knowing that 
they can take consolation in the seasonable 
fruits and vegetables and Nature's greatest 
liquid food — milk. 

With regard to food, too much meat -eating 
is not good. Mutton is decidedly better for 
the athlete (and for the great majority of 
people) than beef ; and fresh meat is infinitely 
better than any which has been pickled or 
preserved. Pork and veal (especially) cannot 
be recommended. A good beef or mutton stew 
will work wonders with a lowered temperature 
or depressed nerves. Above all milk-porridge 
(made of oatmeal taking its full hour to cook) 
will build up the nervous system as nothing else 
can do. Poultry and game are most acceptable 
as a change. The athlete in training requires 
plenty of changes. The old-fashioned notion 



that only dry toast and raw steak, washed 
down with beer, was of any service to him, has 
long ago been exploded. Meat -pies and meat- 
puddings may be rather rich, heavy fare for 
some, but quite suitable to the greater number. 
Potatoes, butter, cheese and bread (well-baked, 
stale and of a crispy crust) are indispensable. 
Bacon (as obtained in the big cities) is a fallacy ; 
fresh eggs are wonderfully nourishing to nine 
out of ten, but almost a deadly poison to the 
tenth person ; good fresh or dried (dried, not 
pickled) fish will be to the taste and suit all 
but a select few whose systems cannot assimilate 
anything taken out of the sea ; last, but not 
least, the after-pudding of milky tapioca, sago, 
rice, semolina or bread and butter, and the 
plain suet puddings or those with the added 
luxury of sultanas or currants as presenting 
easily digested and most nourishing foodstuffs. 
The bath that is most neglected of any is the 
easiest and cheapest to take. I mean the air 
and sun bath. For anyone, and for the athlete 
in training more than all others, the purifying 
of the system by God's fresh air and sun rays 
means nothing short of the induction of the 
real ehxir of hfe. With the pores of the skin 
cleansed of their natural grease by the water- 
bath after exercise, an hour or so's exposure of 
the naked body to the sunhght is a precious 


thing. Never hurry to get your clothes on 
during the sunny, high-temperatured days of 
spring, summer and autumn. Let the body 
draw in the electrical atoms which float amidst 
those transmitted beams of glowing heat. 
Remember that we were originally destined to 
lead the outdoor life bereft of clothing. The 
air and sun bath stands for a fleeting return 
to the first natural state. 

Without any desire to glorify the athlete 
beyond his limits, that most truthful maxim, 
" the survival of the fittest," will always rise 
up invincibly before the man who attempts to 
write or speak on health or training matters. 
It is pregnant with common-sense. Eminently 
an English phrase, one feels it would gain 
greater force were it applied to the highest uses 
in this country. For instance, there is our 
" splendidly equipped little army," which I 
(for one) patriotically wish may' be all as near 
to that stage of perfection as is claimed for 
it by our own military experts. Comparatively, 
and man for man, there may be that measure of 
superiority generally admitted over the Con- 
tinental conscript armies. This may mean much 
or not so very much. In the first place, every 
soldier should be developed to the utmost of his 
abilities as a pedestrian athlete. Speed and 
endurance are (according to my own observa- 


tions) the very soul of modern military under- 
takings, now that the scouting is done from 
high up among the clouds. Changes of position 
will now be made (more than ever) under the 
cloak of night. 

If these statements are admitted (and who 
will deny their sober truth ?), why are the 
foot soldiers taught to walk or march in an 
unnatural and retarding style ? A soldier 
should be a fighting man trained to that great 
end, not to be so ordered in his movements as 
to mainly look imposing on parade or at state 
ceremonials. To keep his shoulders stiff and 
his arms working in semi-rigid, right-angled 
strokes from the elbow is both a waste of energy 
and pace. With a less effort the marching foot 
soldier can cover several extra inches at each 
stride and walk in the manner that his Maker 
intended him to do. Loose, supple motions, with 
every part of the body swinging rhythmically, 
will mean fewer men falling out, not so severe 
a strain upon the heart and therefore greater 
recuperative powers. Are not these prime 
qualities in the fighting man ? 

I have not the exact terms of the quotation by 
me, but I believe I am correct in saying that 
Napoleon (surely the authority on the mechan- 
ism of war !) declared that a good marcher was 
of greater value to an army than a crack shot. 


The more one looks into this assertion the more 
clearly is its meaning and correctness realized. 
The man who can get to the tactical points is the 
better soldier. All the daredevil courage, steadi- 
ness and fine shooting in the world will not avail 
the soldier unable to keep pace with the changing 
positions of his corps. He is an encumbrance 
unless tied down to the trenches, a third or 
fourth class fighting instrument. In modern 
warfare only the really first-class men are likely 
to be of service. 

As an incentive to every soldier in the 
British army to become a pattern of soldiering 
efficiency and an example to all ranks, it is the 
opinion of the writer that a Corps d' Elite, com- 
posed only of men able to walk seven miles or 
over per hour (in athletic costume on the walking 
track or road), would set up a standard of com- 
petitiveness the results of which would be felt 
on every side. From being able to perform this 
good, but not excessively fast, walking, this 
preliminary qualification would bring with it 
some equally good, if not better, proportionate 
achievements in full service marching order. 
But the walking must be of the loose, swaying 
shoulders and hips kind, with the rifle slung over 
the shoulder, the hands allowed free play across 
the groin, taught by competent instructors. The 
effect, with its suggestion of pace and ease, would 


be far more pleasing to the eye than the cast- 
iron marching incorrectly supposed to be the 
acme of military form and which the men cannot 
shake off (especially the shoulder and arm 
crudities) even when they would be allowed to 
do so. Here is a direction for the energies of 
some soldier-athlete. 


It will doubtless be noticed that the special 
field games of the pole-vault, discus and javelin 
throwing,along with that fine sport, cross-country 
running, are not included in this book. There is 
no attempt made to underrate their importance 
or rob them of their proper place amongst current 
athletics. The writer is, however, diffident of 
touching subjects with which he has had so little 
practical acquaintance ; and it would not be fair 
to his readers for him to paraphrase the works of 
others or advance second-hand opinions. So he 
considers the only honest way out of a difficulty 
is to " own up " to his deficiencies and beg the 
indulgence of those who do him the honour to 
take notice of his opinions and theories in other 
athletic directions. 


Applegarth, W. R. , 250 

Bacon, F. E., 249 
Bredin, E. C, 249 

George, W. G., 74, 248 

Half-Mile Race, the, 66-69 ? 
schedule times of, 69 

Hammer-throwing, 185-187 ; stand- 
ards of, 187 

Health hints and personal notions, 
general, 233-262 ; fitness, 233- 
235 ; natural exercises, 241-242 ; 
age, 243-249 ; present - day 
athletes, 249, 251 

High jump, the, 173-176; stand- 
ards of, 176 

Hop, step and jump, 177-180 

Hurdles, the, 161-168; evolution 
of style of, 161-166 

Isaacs, David, 245-247 

Jackson, A. N. S., 250 

LiTTLEWOOD, George, 248 
Long jump, the, 169-172; stand- 
ards of, 172 

One-Mile Race, the, 70-75 ; 
champions of the, 70 ; prepara- 
tion, 72-75 ; schedule, times of, 


Putting the Shot, 181-184 ; 
standards of, 184 

Quarter-Mile Race, the, 59-65 ; 
preparation, 62 - 64 ; schedule 
times of, 65 


Running and Walking, the 
rudiments of, 1-7 

Running, long-distance, 76,-83 
schedule of times of, 83 

Running, Marathon, 84-117; pre- 
parations, 85-S7 ; medicine, 87- 
88 ; foot pickle, 88 ; shoes and 
socks, 89-94 ; daily routine, 94- 
95 ; duration of training, 95-99 ; 
preliminary training, 99 - loi ; 
schedule of times of, 102 ; what 
to do when fit, 102-105; ^ong 
walks, 105, 106; diet, 107-108; 
what to wear, iio-iii ; on the 
day of race, 1 11 -11 3; champions 
of, 113-115 

Shoes, 188-194; differing patterns 
for various distances, 188-189; 
length and placing of spikes, 

Shrubb, 249 

Snook, W., 249 

Sprint - running, 9-53 ; sprinters' 
length, 30; action, 13-19; strid- 
ing, 20-21 ; on the track, 22-26 ; 
preparation, 26-40 ; schedule of 
average times by various classes 
of, 39; starting, 40-53; longer, 
54-58 ; schedule times of long, 58 

Starting, 195-199; style, 196; the 
starter, 197-199 

Stride measuring and tracing, 216- 
221 ; diagram of, 217 

Tactics, Track. See Track Tactics 

Timing or watch-holding, 200- 

211 ; table for the use of making 

handicaps, 202 ; watch-holding 

"impressions," 207-211 

Tindall, H. C. L., 248 


Track Tactics, 1 18-134; examples 
of, 12 1 -13 1 ; diagrams of, 126 

Track, care of the, 212-215 

Training exercises, 223-232 ; arm 
and shoulder swing, 223-224; 
leg - dance, 224-225 ; skipping, 
225-226 ; raising and stretching, 
226-227 ; bell-fighting, 228-229 ; 
sprint "pattering," 230-231 ; the 
sprinting style, 231-232 

Training methods, true, 135-151 ; 
the trainer, 135-138; care of 
feet, 138-139; the massage, 140- 
141 ; hurts, 146-148; baths and 
sweating, 141- 145 

Training section, introduction to, 

VoiGT, E. R., 249 

Walking and Running, rudi- 
ments of, 1-7 

Walking, track and road, 152-160; 
schedule times of, 159; prepara- 
tion ; 159-160 

Watkins, H., 249 

Wharton, A., 200 

Williams, W., 251 

Wood, C. G., 25P 


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