The training regime which delivered victory to Zhou Chunxiu in the Flora London Marathon on Sunday is like no other. It flies in the face of all received wisdom about how much a runner's body can stand. And it may be what derails world record-holder Paul Radcliffe at next year's Olympics in Beijing.

Two parties and a shopping-and-sight-seeing trip later, and less than 24 hours after winning in a scorching 2hr 20min 38, Zhou was cool and relaxed yesterday as she revealed her training programme: a staggering 300 kilometres (187 miles) a week in winter, which is half as much again as Radcliffe, whose record of 2:15.25 Zhou said she will try to beat next year.

That volume goes some way to explaining how Zhou managed four marathons in 2005, all under 2:30, but there must be doubts about how long she can sustain it. Dave Bedford, the London race director, held the world 10,000 metres record, but when he tried to take his weekly mileage much above 125 per week, he kept getting injured.

Zhou said yesterday she trains twice a week: "40-50 kilometres, in two sessions per day. On Saturdays it's one session, about 35 kilometres, in the morning. It's up to my health what I do in the afternoon. If I'm tired I'll go for a rest, or I'll go window shopping."

She revealed she would receive only a quarter of the $105,000 prize and time bonuses which she won. The Chinese federation will receive 40% of that purse, and of the additional substantial six-figure appearance fee negotiated by her agent. "It will go to them for my future training and accommodation costs," she said. "Ten percent will go to my manager, and I will split the rest equally with my coach.

"The prize money is not so important. Those athletes in western countries train by themselves and pay everything from their own pocket. For me, the Chinese Government pays everything."

Money from previous races in Korea have allowed the farmer's daughter from Jiangsu Province to buy a house in the city of Dalian. There have been recent accounts of Chinese sportsmen selling Olympic medals for a few hundred dollars, but Zhou is protecting herself from such a fate. "I have saved for my future. I've put money in the bank, not the stock market. I don't have a car, and I support my family."

Britain's Chinese community flocked to London for the race, and community leaders hosted a celebration attended by the cultural attache from the London embassy. Then she attended a post-race party hosted by the race organisers. Most of the world's marathon elite could have been dressed for the catwalk, but the 27-year-old Zhou wore jeans. It was not simply a matter of being unaware of cultural convention. She confessed she had, "never worn a dress since I became a professional runner at 15. In the West you pay a lot of attention to what is worn to dinner parties like last night. In China that's not so important. It's more important to feel comfortable in what you are wearing."

The manager of Haile Gebrselassie, who dropped out for the second time in London, with breathing problems, suggested a high pollen count had triggered an asthmatic reaction.

Jos Hermens also revealed Geb had spoken of retirement for the first time, but yesterday the Ethiopian said he would see a doctor before making any decisions. "I have had a dust allergy for about four years, and my father suffers badly from asthma. But I don't want to talk about not finishing. Maybe you have not seen the last Haile v Paul Tergat marathon - maybe at the Olympics in Beijing. Who knows? I may even be back here in 2012, to race in the Olympics."