Tuesday, 10 August 2010


When was the last time you were down at your local track and the coach said, "Choose a partner of about your ability; tonight we're going to be doing a "paarlauf"!   Not recently, I suspect.
  "Paarlauf" (pair run) sessions were popular as a different form of training or competition in the '60s under the guidance of coach Alan Robertshaw.  I'm certain there are variations but the Sale version of a
"paarlauf" took the form of  PARTNER(s)  A  starting a 200 metre effort midway along the finishing straight.   He would run around the track the normal way to "tag" or pass a baton to PARTNER(s)  B who stands waiting midway down the back straight.  PARTNER B completes the 400 metres running his 200 metres ; meanwhile PARTNER A has to jog across the grass ready to go again in the time it takes B to run his 200.  
  Obviously,  the total distance/ number of laps covered by the pairing can be any number; but training and competition for us meant generally 40 x 200 each ( or 220 yards as it was then)  for a combined total of 10 miles.   So,  2 man 10 mile "paarlauf".  
  We always found them  great fun ,  training but with a competitive edge.  My diary entry for April 7 1968 reads,  " 2 man 10 mile paarlauf with Mike Delaney.  Beat Steve Edmunds (2.16 marathon man and GB international  later in his career) and Brian Goulden.  Surged on 15th and 30th effort to open gaps. They finished 150 yards down.  Time 44.20!   Wish I could 40 x 200 in 33 secs today. Oh to be young!
  That's how we used to tackle our version of the "paarlauf", but if you have another version let me know.
        So if you train at your local track with a group why not suggest to "coach" a "paarlauf" session for a chamge?   Hard work but you'll enjoy it, I'm sure!  
  That excursion up Barden Moor including a mile and a half of incline was certainly felt in the legs today. A flat easy 4 miler proving more than enough today.  I'll maintain the easy theme of the week and miss the track session.......no "paarlauf" for me!.....even if I could find a partner


  1. A few years back there used to be a competitive parlauf every Boxing Day at Gateshead Stadium where you used to draw your partner - so a good pairing really was the luck of the draw. However, like many things, sadly no longer.

  2. Your version of paarlauf works great on a track where there are no field eventers training. Although jogging across the centre of the track avoiding javelins brings in whole new skills! One solution is to run 300m each then jog back 100m to meet your partner. I find with younger or less fit athletes a trilauf is an alternative. Basically a team of 3 running 200m each then staying put whilst the other 2 run 200m.