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Andrew Lloyd’s kickdown finish



10 Aussie Legends, 10 Super Sessions

By the time he was 22, Andrew Lloyd had won three Melbourne marathons and one Gold Coast marathon. Initially dubbed the fun run king (he won four City to Surf’s and numerous other races), he was best-known for his track exploits and his withering kick-down finish. He won four Zatopek 10km track titles and was national track champion in every distance from 1500m up.  He broke Ron Clarke’s 3000m record in 1987, but his most memorable moment came at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland. Kenyan superstar Jon Ngugi seemed to have an unassailable lead in the 5000m at the bell, but Lloyd moved up behind Welsh runner Ian Hamer and then produced the most amazing final sprint to pass Ngugi on the line and claim the gold medal. 

Lloyd’s session

4x1600m with a lap jog recovery (approximately 2mins) followed by

5 minute break then:

4x400m wind downs (picking up speed) with 2 minute recovery. 

The background

The session was devised by elite distance coach Dick Telford in 1986. Lloydy would do the sessions by himself on the track. The mile reps would be done at about 4:20-25 pace, while the 400m reps would keep getting faster, usually starting at 60 and improving to 55-56seconds. He aimed to run the final 200m in 26 seconds. 

Lloydy says

“For me, the aim of the session was to give me endurance and still make sure I had the ability to finish off a race with a fast final lap. You could be dead for that last lap, but you’d still switch into auto-pilot and go for it.”

Lloyd’s tip for beginners

The 1600m reps can be a little monotonous, so I suggest you do these with a training partner. If you are stuggling to recover, then I suggest you extend the break between each one to 5 minutes.

Lloyd’s 5000m Commonwealth Games gold medal

“It shut a lot of people up to be quite honest. People stopped criticising me. I think everyone wanted me to go out harder in races, but I didn’t have the strength to go to the front, but I had the kick. The field for that race was pretty amazing with Ngugi, Yobes Ondieki and Moses Tanui all world champions.

What is Lloydy up to now

You will often find Lloydy at the expos of major fun runs, selling his GU Energy products.  Lloyd is the director of Blueline Sports, a company that imports GU energy gels. Despite some crippling injuries during his career, including a car crash that claimed his first wife and necessitated a foot reconstruction, Lloyd still runs 3-4 times a week and took part in a 10km at the Gold Coast marathon recently.