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More Tempo Running – A Key Ingredient To The Kenyan Success

More Tempo Running – A Key Ingredient To The Kenyan Success

For reference, the Kenyan athletes were completing about 60% of their total kilometres as easy runs, 25% as tempo runs, just under 10% as short intervals, just under 5% as long intervals and around 1% as tests/competitions. For comparison the national level athletes completed close to 70% of their total kilometres as easy runs, 10% as tempo runs, around 6% as short intervals, 12% as long intervals and 2% as tests/competitions. 

When considering the application of this for either your own or another athlete’s training it is obviously extremely important to consider the goals, strengths and weaknesses of that specific case however the comparison between athletic levels presented in this study is definitely interesting. If working in a similar time period (10 weeks from major competition) and you’re doing a lot of longer intervals, it may be worth switching some intervals for tempo runs, and hey, Wilson Kipsang does it. 

read more
VO2Max – What is it and Does it Matter?

VO2Max – What is it and Does it Matter?

So why does all this science matter and what does it mean for you? First of all, VO2max is the strongest independent predictor of future life expectancy so everyone out there should be at the very least slightly interested in their own value, athlete or not. Additionally VO2max  becomes especially useful once we consider its impact on athletic performance. 

In order to walk, run or move at all, our body needs to produce energy; we can either produce this energy without oxygen (anaerobic) or with oxygen (aerobic). Any exercise will require energy production from both aerobic and anaerobic systems however their relative contribution is determined by the duration and intensity of the effort. As anaerobic energy production is only possible for a very short period of time, our bodies will always try to meet the energy demands aerobically. In trained individuals it has been shown that during a maximal effort the switch to predominantly aerobic energy systems occurs somewhere between 15 and 30 seconds into exercise as by this point we have “run out” of anaerobic fuel. The rate of work, power output or running pace that an individual can maintain aerobically is determined largely by their VO2max. 

read more
400m Repeats – “The Ultimate Workout”

400m Repeats – “The Ultimate Workout”

This type of workout has a long and colorful pedigree. Legendary runner Emil Zatopek of the Czech Republic, who won the 5,000, 10,000, and marathon at the 1952 Olympics, reportedly ran 20 x 400 with 200-meter recovery every day before the 1948 Olympics, with hard 200-meter repeats before and after. Before the 1952 Games, he upped it to 40 x 400 daily.

Then there was Jim Ryun, the last American to hold the mile world record, who did the same workout in high school in the 1960s (also completing as many as 40 repeats). The 400-meter distance was ideal, Ryun said, because “it’s short enough that you can run pretty fast, but you can recover and do it again and again.” Here’s how to harness the power of repetition in your own training.

Marathon World Record holder Eliud Kipchoge schedules 400m repeats into his training at least once every month – sometimes running workouts such as 25-30 x 400m repeats in 62-64 seconds with 30-60seconds rest. Another common workout Kipchoge incoprorates 400m intervals into is 10 x 800m (in around 2:10) followed by 10 x 400m (in 62-64).

Other elite athletes known to include 400m repeats into their training include Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe, Kenenisa Bekele, Matt Centrowitz.. the list goes on.

read more
Eliud Kipchoge – A Typical Week of Training – Preparing For A Sub 2 Hour Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge – A Typical Week of Training – Preparing For A Sub 2 Hour Marathon

As we said in the last article which looks at Eliud’s build-up to the INEOS 159 Challenge, little has changed in Eliud’s training in the last five or so years, bar the addition of a more significant amount of strength and core work. This article looks in more detail at a typical training week for Eliud.

The general structure of the training week is broken down by Patrick Sang in the second part of the documentary released by INEOS.

Monday

AM Easy to moderate run: 16-21km
PM Easy Run: 8-12km

Tuesday

Tuesday is usually a track session. They basically do two kinds of workouts on Tuesdays and cycle them in two-week blocks:

– 15km of goal marathon pace work.

15km worth of intervals at right around their goal marathon pace (so 2:55min/km for Eliud). This is actually a bit harder to do on dirt and altitude than on road at sea level, but of course that is part of the training.

*Example workouts:
– 15x1km (90sec rest) in average of 2:50-2:55. They might start closer to 3min and end closer to 2:50, but the average is normally between 2:50 and 2:55.
-12x1200m (90sec rest) in average of 3:24-3:30.
– 5 sets of (2km, 1km) in 5:40-5:50 and 2:50-2:55.

read more
More Tempo Running – A Key Ingredient To The Kenyan Success

More Tempo Running – A Key Ingredient To The Kenyan Success

For reference, the Kenyan athletes were completing about 60% of their total kilometres as easy runs, 25% as tempo runs, just under 10% as short intervals, just under 5% as long intervals and around 1% as tests/competitions. For comparison the national level athletes completed close to 70% of their total kilometres as easy runs, 10% as tempo runs, around 6% as short intervals, 12% as long intervals and 2% as tests/competitions. 

When considering the application of this for either your own or another athlete’s training it is obviously extremely important to consider the goals, strengths and weaknesses of that specific case however the comparison between athletic levels presented in this study is definitely interesting. If working in a similar time period (10 weeks from major competition) and you’re doing a lot of longer intervals, it may be worth switching some intervals for tempo runs, and hey, Wilson Kipsang does it. 

read more
VO2Max – What is it and Does it Matter?

VO2Max – What is it and Does it Matter?

So why does all this science matter and what does it mean for you? First of all, VO2max is the strongest independent predictor of future life expectancy so everyone out there should be at the very least slightly interested in their own value, athlete or not. Additionally VO2max  becomes especially useful once we consider its impact on athletic performance. 

In order to walk, run or move at all, our body needs to produce energy; we can either produce this energy without oxygen (anaerobic) or with oxygen (aerobic). Any exercise will require energy production from both aerobic and anaerobic systems however their relative contribution is determined by the duration and intensity of the effort. As anaerobic energy production is only possible for a very short period of time, our bodies will always try to meet the energy demands aerobically. In trained individuals it has been shown that during a maximal effort the switch to predominantly aerobic energy systems occurs somewhere between 15 and 30 seconds into exercise as by this point we have “run out” of anaerobic fuel. The rate of work, power output or running pace that an individual can maintain aerobically is determined largely by their VO2max. 

read more
400m Repeats – “The Ultimate Workout”

400m Repeats – “The Ultimate Workout”

This type of workout has a long and colorful pedigree. Legendary runner Emil Zatopek of the Czech Republic, who won the 5,000, 10,000, and marathon at the 1952 Olympics, reportedly ran 20 x 400 with 200-meter recovery every day before the 1948 Olympics, with hard 200-meter repeats before and after. Before the 1952 Games, he upped it to 40 x 400 daily.

Then there was Jim Ryun, the last American to hold the mile world record, who did the same workout in high school in the 1960s (also completing as many as 40 repeats). The 400-meter distance was ideal, Ryun said, because “it’s short enough that you can run pretty fast, but you can recover and do it again and again.” Here’s how to harness the power of repetition in your own training.

Marathon World Record holder Eliud Kipchoge schedules 400m repeats into his training at least once every month – sometimes running workouts such as 25-30 x 400m repeats in 62-64 seconds with 30-60seconds rest. Another common workout Kipchoge incoprorates 400m intervals into is 10 x 800m (in around 2:10) followed by 10 x 400m (in 62-64).

Other elite athletes known to include 400m repeats into their training include Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe, Kenenisa Bekele, Matt Centrowitz.. the list goes on.

read more
Eliud Kipchoge – A Typical Week of Training – Preparing For A Sub 2 Hour Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge – A Typical Week of Training – Preparing For A Sub 2 Hour Marathon

As we said in the last article which looks at Eliud’s build-up to the INEOS 159 Challenge, little has changed in Eliud’s training in the last five or so years, bar the addition of a more significant amount of strength and core work. This article looks in more detail at a typical training week for Eliud.

The general structure of the training week is broken down by Patrick Sang in the second part of the documentary released by INEOS.

Monday

AM Easy to moderate run: 16-21km
PM Easy Run: 8-12km

Tuesday

Tuesday is usually a track session. They basically do two kinds of workouts on Tuesdays and cycle them in two-week blocks:

– 15km of goal marathon pace work.

15km worth of intervals at right around their goal marathon pace (so 2:55min/km for Eliud). This is actually a bit harder to do on dirt and altitude than on road at sea level, but of course that is part of the training.

*Example workouts:
– 15x1km (90sec rest) in average of 2:50-2:55. They might start closer to 3min and end closer to 2:50, but the average is normally between 2:50 and 2:55.
-12x1200m (90sec rest) in average of 3:24-3:30.
– 5 sets of (2km, 1km) in 5:40-5:50 and 2:50-2:55.

read more
David Rudisha: Strength Training

David Rudisha: Strength Training

One of the most surprising things we learnt in our month in Iten, was that David Rudisha and his training group don’t do much weight training at all. As described in the individual typical training day articles..

read more
David Rudisha’s Training Group: 17 Week Training Diary

David Rudisha’s Training Group: 17 Week Training Diary

A few important points about the below 17 week training diary from St Patrick’s Athletics Group. #1 (most important): Almost all of the times and paces below might not seem overly impressive at first. The reason for this is the hills and track surface in Iten. Every single run – high run, fartlek – is on a hilly loop.

read more
David Rudisha: Strength Training

David Rudisha: Strength Training

One of the most surprising things we learnt in our month in Iten, was that David Rudisha and his training group don’t do much weight training at all. As described in the individual typical training day articles..

read more
David Rudisha’s Training Group: 17 Week Training Diary

David Rudisha’s Training Group: 17 Week Training Diary

A few important points about the below 17 week training diary from St Patrick’s Athletics Group. #1 (most important): Almost all of the times and paces below might not seem overly impressive at first. The reason for this is the hills and track surface in Iten. Every single run – high run, fartlek – is on a hilly loop.

read more
More Tempo Running – A Key Ingredient To The Kenyan Success

More Tempo Running – A Key Ingredient To The Kenyan Success

For reference, the Kenyan athletes were completing about 60% of their total kilometres as easy runs, 25% as tempo runs, just under 10% as short intervals, just under 5% as long intervals and around 1% as tests/competitions. For comparison the national level athletes completed close to 70% of their total kilometres as easy runs, 10% as tempo runs, around 6% as short intervals, 12% as long intervals and 2% as tests/competitions. 

When considering the application of this for either your own or another athlete’s training it is obviously extremely important to consider the goals, strengths and weaknesses of that specific case however the comparison between athletic levels presented in this study is definitely interesting. If working in a similar time period (10 weeks from major competition) and you’re doing a lot of longer intervals, it may be worth switching some intervals for tempo runs, and hey, Wilson Kipsang does it. 

read more
VO2Max – What is it and Does it Matter?

VO2Max – What is it and Does it Matter?

So why does all this science matter and what does it mean for you? First of all, VO2max is the strongest independent predictor of future life expectancy so everyone out there should be at the very least slightly interested in their own value, athlete or not. Additionally VO2max  becomes especially useful once we consider its impact on athletic performance. 

In order to walk, run or move at all, our body needs to produce energy; we can either produce this energy without oxygen (anaerobic) or with oxygen (aerobic). Any exercise will require energy production from both aerobic and anaerobic systems however their relative contribution is determined by the duration and intensity of the effort. As anaerobic energy production is only possible for a very short period of time, our bodies will always try to meet the energy demands aerobically. In trained individuals it has been shown that during a maximal effort the switch to predominantly aerobic energy systems occurs somewhere between 15 and 30 seconds into exercise as by this point we have “run out” of anaerobic fuel. The rate of work, power output or running pace that an individual can maintain aerobically is determined largely by their VO2max. 

read more
Mo Farah’s Diet

Mo Farah’s Diet

The Sweat Elite team spent a month in Suluta, the running hub of Ethiopia at the same time Mo Farah was preparing for the London Marathon 2019.
When discussing diet with Mo Farah, he mentioned that he tends to eat a relatively large breakfast before training, as he commences his morning training session at around 9am. Farah mentioned that his stomach is able to process food quite quickly, so he usually eats breakfast around 30-40 minutes before training, which usually consists of 2 pieces of toast (multi grain bread) with jam and butter as well as a small bowl of porridge and a cup of coffee. Post training, it’s a protein shake and carbohydrate drink and did express how important it is for him to consume this within the “25 minute window” post finishing his training session.

read more
Mo Farah – Technique Transformation Analysis

Mo Farah – Technique Transformation Analysis

Dr Jessica Leitch, founder of Run 3D and a visiting fellow at the department of engineering science at the University of Oxford, identified nine key elements of his gait that are fundamental to Farah’s success.

Foot Strike

Many long distance runners strike the ground first with their heels, which causes a large impact force to run up their leg to their knees and hips. Farah, however, strikes the ground with the ball of his foot, known as mid-foot striking.

He then lowers his heel before going back up onto the ball of his foot and then pushing away with his toes. He essentially becomes lighter on his feet.

Dr Leitch said: “By adopting a mid-foot strike running style, the impact on the ground is reduced and the forces acting at the hip and knee joints are lower, which decreases the chances of Mo developing an injury at these joints.

“It also helps him optimise where his foot strikes the ground and the rate of his stride.”

Foot Position

The position where Farah’s feet strike the ground in relation to his body is also highly efficient. His foot lands only slightly in front of his centre of gravity, his knee is bent and his lower leg is almost vertical.

“Many distance runners overstride, which means that they plant their feet well ahead of their centres of gravity and land with an extended knee,” said Dr Leitch.

“This can cause an inefficient up and down motion as well as a relatively long energy absorption or braking phase as the body has to travel over the foot in order to be ready to push off.”

By keeping his centre of gravity over his feet, the force of Farah’s feet pushing off the ground is transferred up through his leg into the upper body to propel him forward. Up and down movements are minimised.

read more
More Tempo Running – A Key Ingredient To The Kenyan Success

More Tempo Running – A Key Ingredient To The Kenyan Success

For reference, the Kenyan athletes were completing about 60% of their total kilometres as easy runs, 25% as tempo runs, just under 10% as short intervals, just under 5% as long intervals and around 1% as tests/competitions. For comparison the national level athletes completed close to 70% of their total kilometres as easy runs, 10% as tempo runs, around 6% as short intervals, 12% as long intervals and 2% as tests/competitions. 

When considering the application of this for either your own or another athlete’s training it is obviously extremely important to consider the goals, strengths and weaknesses of that specific case however the comparison between athletic levels presented in this study is definitely interesting. If working in a similar time period (10 weeks from major competition) and you’re doing a lot of longer intervals, it may be worth switching some intervals for tempo runs, and hey, Wilson Kipsang does it. 

read more
VO2Max – What is it and Does it Matter?

VO2Max – What is it and Does it Matter?

So why does all this science matter and what does it mean for you? First of all, VO2max is the strongest independent predictor of future life expectancy so everyone out there should be at the very least slightly interested in their own value, athlete or not. Additionally VO2max  becomes especially useful once we consider its impact on athletic performance. 

In order to walk, run or move at all, our body needs to produce energy; we can either produce this energy without oxygen (anaerobic) or with oxygen (aerobic). Any exercise will require energy production from both aerobic and anaerobic systems however their relative contribution is determined by the duration and intensity of the effort. As anaerobic energy production is only possible for a very short period of time, our bodies will always try to meet the energy demands aerobically. In trained individuals it has been shown that during a maximal effort the switch to predominantly aerobic energy systems occurs somewhere between 15 and 30 seconds into exercise as by this point we have “run out” of anaerobic fuel. The rate of work, power output or running pace that an individual can maintain aerobically is determined largely by their VO2max. 

read more
Mo Farah’s Diet

Mo Farah’s Diet

The Sweat Elite team spent a month in Suluta, the running hub of Ethiopia at the same time Mo Farah was preparing for the London Marathon 2019.
When discussing diet with Mo Farah, he mentioned that he tends to eat a relatively large breakfast before training, as he commences his morning training session at around 9am. Farah mentioned that his stomach is able to process food quite quickly, so he usually eats breakfast around 30-40 minutes before training, which usually consists of 2 pieces of toast (multi grain bread) with jam and butter as well as a small bowl of porridge and a cup of coffee. Post training, it’s a protein shake and carbohydrate drink and did express how important it is for him to consume this within the “25 minute window” post finishing his training session.

read more
Mo Farah – Technique Transformation Analysis

Mo Farah – Technique Transformation Analysis

Dr Jessica Leitch, founder of Run 3D and a visiting fellow at the department of engineering science at the University of Oxford, identified nine key elements of his gait that are fundamental to Farah’s success.

Foot Strike

Many long distance runners strike the ground first with their heels, which causes a large impact force to run up their leg to their knees and hips. Farah, however, strikes the ground with the ball of his foot, known as mid-foot striking.

He then lowers his heel before going back up onto the ball of his foot and then pushing away with his toes. He essentially becomes lighter on his feet.

Dr Leitch said: “By adopting a mid-foot strike running style, the impact on the ground is reduced and the forces acting at the hip and knee joints are lower, which decreases the chances of Mo developing an injury at these joints.

“It also helps him optimise where his foot strikes the ground and the rate of his stride.”

Foot Position

The position where Farah’s feet strike the ground in relation to his body is also highly efficient. His foot lands only slightly in front of his centre of gravity, his knee is bent and his lower leg is almost vertical.

“Many distance runners overstride, which means that they plant their feet well ahead of their centres of gravity and land with an extended knee,” said Dr Leitch.

“This can cause an inefficient up and down motion as well as a relatively long energy absorption or braking phase as the body has to travel over the foot in order to be ready to push off.”

By keeping his centre of gravity over his feet, the force of Farah’s feet pushing off the ground is transferred up through his leg into the upper body to propel him forward. Up and down movements are minimised.

read more

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