Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cerutty's Camp at Portsea

Portsea Daily Training Schedule
What follows is an excerpt by Herb Elliott of the daily training schedule at Portsea in Australia.

7a.m.--A five-mile run before breakfast in any direction our whim took us,followed by a dip in the ocean.
8a.m.--Breakfast of uncooked rolled oats(without milk) sprinkled with wheat germ,walnuts,sultanas,raisins and sliced banana. Perhaps a few potato chips to follow.
9a.m.--Swimming and surfing or outdoor chores like chopping wood,painting and carpentry.
Noon--Training and lectures at Portsea Oval,followed by another swim.
2p.m.--Lunch--fish and fresh fruit.
4p.m.--Weight lifting.
5p.m.--Ten-mile run along dirt roads ending once more at the beach.
7.p.m.--Tea and a general discussion led by Percy on a wide variety of subjects.
11p.m.--Lights out.

There is something to be said about the communal aspects of training with others. I don't know if you ever were able to go away to the summer camps they would hold prior to each cross-country season, but if you did, you'll understand what I mean. Getting together with other athletes while living and training together is a great experience,something that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Cerutty's camp was probably a little more difficult than the ones I was familiar with,Elliott recalled:Pain, not euphoria,set the tone of Cerutty's camp,and he preached on and about it, "Pain is the purifier..thrust against pain...walk towards suffering,love suffering,embrace it..."

One of Elliott's fellow athletes wrote this poem about Cerutty's regime:
A runner at the Pearly Gates,
His face was worn and old,
He bravely asked the man of fate
Admission to the fold.
"What have you done," St.Peter said?
"To seek an entrance here."
"I trained at Portsea,that was my task,
For many and many a year!"
Then wide the gates did open,
The angels clanged the bell.
"Come in and take a harp," he said,
"You've had enough of Hell."

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