Steve Jones

Personal Bests

1500m – 3.42.3
Mile – 4.00.6
3,000 – 7.49.8
5,000m – 13.18.6
10,000 – 27.32.00
3,000 s/c – 8.32
Half Marathon – 60.59
Marathon – 2.07.13

Career Highlights

’84 Chicago Marathon – 1st – 2.08.05
’85 London Marathon – 1st – 2.08.16
’85 Chicago Marathon – 1st – 2.07.13
’88 New York Marathon – 1st – 2.08.20
’92 Toronto Marathon – 1st – 2.10.06

Championship Record

’78 Commonwelath Games – 5k – 11th – 13.54
’82 European Games – 10k – 7th – 28.22
’82 Commonwealth Games – 10k – 7th – 29.13
’83 World Championships – 10k – 12th – 28.15
’84 Olympic Games – 10k – 9th – 28.28
’86 Commonwealth Games – 10k – 3rd
’86 European Games – Marathon
’93 World Championships – Marathon – 13th – 2.20
WXCountry 1978 – 1987 3rd 1984

In his five weeks leading up to his 2hrs 08mins 05secs World Best run in Chicago in October 1984, Steve Jones clocked up weekly mileages of 100, 84, 71, 71 and 100. Here is a reprint from his training diary relating to the details of his final three weeks.

Monday 1st October 1984

(am). 8 miles in the rain, Park City, Utah
(pm). Another 8miles, a bit swifter than this morning. Pulse at 11.30am: 51. Finding that I am plodding but I can’t go any faster

Tuesday 2nd

(am). 7miles including 4 x 5mins (90secs recovery).
(pm). 8miles steady, not too bad and relaxed.

Wednesday 3rd

(am). 8miles steady. Still tired not getting much sleep. Stomach still sore (stitch). So, so tired; feel really wiped out all the time (pulse rate 51). Only session today.

Thursday 4th

(am). 8miles with 8 x 3mins (90 secs recovery). Hard session. Only session today.

Friday 5th

(am). 14miles steady. Felt quite good. Did it in 90mins.

Saturday 6th

(am). 10miles including 16 x 1min (1min recovery) but can’t tell if I am moving fast because it is so hard.
(pm). 8miles nice and steady feeling better now. I hope it’s going to stay with me. Don’t feel so worn out but still can’t sleep very well.

Sunday 7th

(am). 16miles on my own. Went okay for 7000feet altitude so I can’t complain


Monday 8th

(am). 10miles with 8 x 3mins (with 90secs recovery). Good session but its still hard to tell if I’m running fast.

Tuesday 9th

(am). 14miles, legs felt tired and weary. Did a little swimming after then had a Jacuzzi.
(pm). 4miles before tea, not too bad.

Wednesday 10th

(am). 8miles gentle, still feel weary, hope it doesn’t last. I can’t understand it.
(pm). 6miles steady and don’t really feel too bad now.

Thursday 11th

(am). 10miles with 12 x 2min ( 1minute recovery). Good hard session, still not satisfied.
(pm). Just did 6miles, nice and gentle. Feel like I am working hard but not running very fast.

Friday 12th

(am). 10miles steady. Not too bad. Wet, windy and snowy.

Saturday 13th

15km road race in El Paso. 2nd to Carlos Lopes. 43mins 29secs. Went okay.

Sunday 14th

A good 18miles in 2hours 20mins, quite hard, not fast but most of it at 8000-9000 feet. Legs were feeling tired from yesterday’s race. Pulse at 4pm: 42

Monday 15th

(am). 10miles gentle pace, not too bad but cold and snowy.
(pm). 8miles steady, very very cold, in snowstorm. Pulse at 11pm: 60.

Tuesday 16th

(am). 10miles including 10 x 2minutes with 1minute recovery, not eyeballs out, just good strides, cold and snowy.
(pm). 5miles steady, felt bloody knackered. Pulse at 7pm: 62

Wednesday 17th

45minutes steady, not too bad but a bit stiff. Flew to Chicago.

Thursday 18th

Another 40minutes steady, very wet and windy. Not too bad but still a little stiff.

Friday 19th

40minutes again, legs sore, chest heavy, confidence seeping away (must have a race soon).

Saturday 20th

Did about 4miles or so, legs not sore today. Come on tomorrow. Getting nervous.

Sunday 21st

Chicago Marathon. World Best – 2hours 08 mins 05secs.


Monday 22nd

Did not train

Tuesday 23rd

Did not train

Wednesday 24th

Did not train

Thursday 25th

3 to 4 miles.

Steve Jones considered running full time after winning the Chicago Marathon in 1984 but decided against it and carried on working in the RAF starting at 8am and finishing at 4.15, even missing lunch to fit in a training session between 11.45-12.30. Most Wednesdays he would turn out for the RAF to race over the country or in low key track races while on Saturday racing for his club Newport Harriers.

In 1976 he finished 7th in the Welsh Championships but was not selected for the World Cross Country Championships and had to watch Carlos Lopez win and he then vowed that Wales would have to pick him from now on… he only lost one Welsh title in the following eight years also placing third just behind Carlos Lopez at the World Cross Country Championships.

The formula was one of lots of steady running and long interval speed work…but steady to Steve Jones is pretty fast! He was said “There is no easy running in the week, no plodding or jogging”. He also had a remarkable recovery rate, once he spent six weeks in plaster and then took only 6 weeks to run a 46:20 10mile road race! Also in 1983a foot injury sustained just before the Chicago marathon (forcing him to pull out) put him on the sidelines for 2 months… within 3 months he claimed his 3rd place at the World Cross Country Championships.

Typical Winter Training Week

Mon – Am – 10miles @ 5min milling
Pm – 12miles @ 5min milling

Tues – Am – 4x5mins Hard
Pm – 10miles

Wed – Am – Race

Thur – Am – 10x2min Hills
Pm – 10miles

Fri – Am – 8miles
Pm – 10miles

Sat – Am – Race or 16x1min

Sun – Am – 20miles @ 6min milling

Steve Jones always ran hard and was always going for world records, In 1986 he won a bronze medal in the 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games. In the European Championships shortly after, he once again competed in the marathon.

Leading from the start and breaking away from the pack, Jones ran a brilliant race up to the 20 mile mark. At that point he was leading by over two minutes and on schedule for another world record. However, he then “hit the wall” and suffered terribly in the final six miles. He slowed to a virtual shuffle, but refused to quit as he watched other competitors catch and pass him.

Two years later, in the 1988 New York City Marathon Jones won with a time of 2:08:20.

Steve Jones still holds the men’s British marathon record and held the world record from October 21st 1984 – April 20th 1985, he won the welsh sports personality award the year after Liverpool Legend Ian Rush and was the first ever Welsh man on the front cover of ‘Running Time’ magazine.

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