Athletes Exclusive

Athletes Exclusive with Johnny Rayner

Johnny Rayner is a 400m and 800m runner from Victoria who has competed at National leveled competitions since he started high school, in almost every event possible. Now though, he focuses on the faster distanced events, as he tries to secure himself a spot in next years Commonwealth Games.

Lachlan – What made you get involved in athletics?

Johnny Rayner – The first sport I played was footy when I was 8yrs old. The following year, I wanted to do some sort of sport during the summer so my parents got me involved in the Keilor little athletics club. I’m not sure why they chose little athletics above any of the other summer sports but I’m pretty happy they did.


Lachlan – During the peak of your season, what does a weekly program look like for you?

Johnny Rayner – The days of particular training sessions will vary depending on what day the competition is and whether the race will be for a PB or just a “hit-out” that does not require me to be fresh. A example of a solid week of training for last season was:


5 x 600m in 1.30


30min jog + weights and plyometrics

Wednesday 3 sets of 2x300m in 38 (45sec between reps and 6min between sets)

30min jog +weights and plyometrics


light warm up and run throughs

Saturday competition or hard training session to replicate competition e.g. 500m in 66 then 2min break and 300m in 39

50min run + core and stretching

Lachlan – What advice would you give to someone who is looking to start to dedicate more time to athletics?

Johnny Rayner – If you are going to increase your training load, you need to be smart about it. Reckless increases in intensity or volume can get fast, yet unsustainable results (not to mention the injury risks). The way to achieve a long and successful athletics career is to build up slowly and be patient.


Lachlan – You’re studying medicine at University. Has this changed your approach to athletics at all? For example, have you changed how you recover, or what you eat?

Johnny Rayner – Studying medicine while competing in athletics means that my training times can be somewhat irregular. In terms of medicine changing my approach to athletics, I have never really thought about it, but I guess it does. Whenever I get an injury, I am constantly reading sports medicine text books and journal articles about what the best treatment is. While not directly related to the study of medicine, but rather my general interest in health and fitness, I feel that I have a good knowledge of sports nutrition/supplementation and weights training due to the amount of reading I do on the subjects.


Lachlan – Being a 400 / 800 metre runner, do you have to do work away from the track? If so, what do you do and how does it affect your running program?

Johnny Rayner – Yes, the main component of my training that is away from the track is in the gym. I complete three two-hour gym sessions each week where my focus changes depending on the stage of the year I am in. Currently, I am in a strength building block, however, this will soon switch to a focus on power.

Originally I found it difficult to complete my running sessions well after heavy gym sessions, however, after a few months I became accustomed to the load.


Lachlan – What goals are you hoping to achieve for the coming season?

Johnny Rayner – My main goal is to qualify and be selected for the 2014 Commonwealth games.

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Lachlan Rayner
Lachlan is the Founder of Athletics Exclusive. His athletic background is basically made up of distance running, who competes in a range of events, varying from the 400m up to 3000m.

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