The forgotten man of Ultrarunning is arguably Hardy Ballington (1912-1974), lauded in 1939 in Natal, South Africa, as “the second Newton” and a “human machine”. Dominant immediately before and after the Second World War, he was awarded the prestigious Helms Trophy for his remarkable performances In England in 1937.

The authoritative Lore of Running, (2003) written by Professor Tim Noakes, advocated a training programme drawn up by Hardy Ballington and his archrival and friend Bill Cochrane. The program provided daily, weekly, and monthly training goals in terms of total distance covered; it was focused on gradual progression in training but did not specify the intensity of that training. The goal was to condition the body to run the long distances required for an ultramarathon. Ballington’s training strategy was still seen as relevant 70 years later!

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