Mike Hurst

About Mike Hurst

Mike Hurst coached Australian sprinters to qualify for five successive summer Olympic Games from 1980–1996 and one more in 2020. His most successful athletes were Seoul Olympic 400m Finalists Maree Holland (50.24s) and Darren Clark (44.38s), who set NSW State and Australian National Records. Most recently, Hurst coached Rebecca Bennett and Ian Halpin to anchor Australia’s 4x400 relay teams at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

While pursuing his love of coaching, Hurst worked as a sportswriter for the News Ltd group of newspapers in Australia, for which he reported in-stadium at the first nine athletics world championships (Helsinki 1983 to Paris 2003), seven Commonwealth Games, and six summer Olympic Games.

He is a former president of the Australian Olympic and Commonwealth Games Writers and Photographers Association and a former vice president of the Association International Presse Sportive (athletics section).

In 1987, Hurst created what he termed the “Concurrent Training System” (referred to by more recent adopters as the “Conjugate System”), which is a vertically integrated series of short (16–18 days) cycles of event-specific conditioning involving no more than three consecutive days of training per week with a strict high-/low-intensity sequencing of exercise days and a circuit-breaking “rest and test” week every sixth week during the general preparation phase.