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Lesson #5: Train Your Mind – Alberto Salazar (World Famous Coach)

Lesson #5: Train Your Mind – Alberto Salazar (World Famous Coach)

“You might not be competing against top runners from East Africa anytime soon, but you can, and should, work on your mental game. Remain relentlessly positive and focus on the things you can control in training and racing rather than be rattled by the things you can’t. And last but certainly not least, have confidence in yourself and your abilities when you step on the starting line. Without that key component, none of the other stuff really matters all that much.”

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Lesson #5: Train Your Mind – Alberto Salazar (World Famous Coach)

Train Your Mind

Practice visualisation techniques and see yourself accomplishing your goals. Use mantras while racing to stay focused and work through rough patches. Remain relentlessly positive and focus on the things you can control in training and racing rather than be rattled by the things you can’t. And last but certainly not least, have confidence in yourself and your abilities when you step on the starting line. Without that key component, none of the other stuff really matters all that much.

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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.

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Craig Mottram (12:55 5000m) Race Preparation Workout – 4 x 1600m Alternating Pace

Craig Mottram (12:55 5000m) Race Preparation Workout – 4 x 1600m Alternating Pace

4 x 1600m, with laps in 64, 64, 59, 64.
1600m goal time: 4:13, with the 3rd lap being well quicker than race pace.
Recovery: 1 lap jog (around 2mins)

Mottram would complete this session at St Mary’s college in Teddington and usually have 2 pacers, running with him to 800m (Fox usually did this) and 1200m (13:10 5000m runner from New Zealand, Adrian Blincoe was a name mentioned that helped a few times).

The times above were Mottram’s goal times and usually he could hit these times.

It’s a clever workout, instructed by MTC coach Nic Bideau, as the first 2 laps and the final lap are at around the pace the 5000m will be at the championships in the earlier to mid stages of the race: around 13:20 5000m pace.

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10,000m – 5 Race Indication Workouts

10,000m – 5 Race Indication Workouts

Example #5: Interval Session: 2 x 3km, 2 x 2km, 2 x 1km with 1 minute recovery between reps and 2 minutes recovery between sets. Ideally the 3km reps are at just slower than 10km goal race pace, the 2km reps at 10km goal race and then 1km reps at just faster than 10km race pace.

Perhaps a more interesting interval session to complete for those not wanting to stare 5 x 2km, 10 x 1km or 12 x 800m reps at the same grinding pace in the face. However this workout is a a little longer in duration than the others.

To be clear on the recovery times, the interval session goes like this: 3km, 1 minute recovery, 3km, 2 minutes recovery, 2km, 1 minute recovery, 2km, 2 minutes recovery, 1km, 1 minute recovery, 1km. Finished!

As stated in the header, try to do the 3km reps at just slower than your goal 10km race pace, perhaps 5-10sec/km slower. Then hit the 2km reps at your goal 10km race pace and the 1km reps at 5-10sec/km faster than your 10km goal race pace. At the end of all of this, you may need a calculator to work out your average pace across all reps to work out your 10km prediction.

Let’s say that you feel that you can run 35:00 for 10km and you want to test your fitness. Your predicted 10km pace is 3:30/km. In this interval session, you would want to try to run the 3km reps in around 10:45-11:00, just slower than your 10km pace. The 2km reps should be in 7:00, right on your goal 10km pace and your 1km reps should be in 3:20-3:25, just quicker than your goal 10km pace. Whatever your total average pace here is, is your 10km predicted race pace.

Let’s say that you feel that you can run 31:00 for 10km. This is right around 3:05/km (this speed actually equates to 30:50, but for ease of use we’ll use this pace). Your 3km reps should be in around 9:30-9:40, your 2km reps in 6:10 and your 1km reps in 2:55-3:00.

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Steve Scott (137 Sub 4min Miles) – 5 Technical Running Tips

Steve Scott (137 Sub 4min Miles) – 5 Technical Running Tips

2. Do your drills. Work on running mechanics, even if you think they’re boring. Creating bad running technique habits when you’re young can stay with you forever. Scott would do drills 2-3 times per week, before interval/tempo sessions and never skip them. Butt kicks, power skips, A-skips (skips with high knees), B-skips (knee extensions) were common in his routine…

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Steve Prefontaine (13:21 5000m / 27:43 10000m) – Key Training Sessions

Steve Prefontaine (13:21 5000m / 27:43 10000m) – Key Training Sessions

10 Miles (16km) in 50 minutes + 10x300m in 50-52 seconds (jog 100m recovery)

The 10 mile tempo run would be done at 5 minute per mile pace (3:06/km) on the road. He would then hit the track and run 10x300m (if feeling very tired he would sometimes reduce this to just 6 intervals) in 50-52 seconds with a slow 100m jog recovery. The last thing you feel like doing is track intervals after a long tempo run, but Pre was a hard man.

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Julien Wanders (27:25 10km, 59:13 Half Marathon) – 8 Training Stats

Julien Wanders (27:25 10km, 59:13 Half Marathon) – 8 Training Stats

Intensity – The majority of this volume is done at serious speed. 25km runs @ 3:10-3:15/km average, 35km long runs at 3:25-3:30/km average, aerobic runs every other morning of around 16-18km at 3:30-3:40/km and of course the interval sessions are even quicker again. Most afternoons will consist of an easy recovery run at 4:10-4:30/km which for Wanders is jogging. Keep in mind that the above speeds are done at 2400m (almost 8000ft) altitude on rolling hills.

Toughest Workout – Wanders’ toughest workout is a session he completes around once a fortnight. 22km of continuous running consisting of 3km at just under 9mins (3min/km or 4:45/mi) followed by 1km “recovery” in 3:20. He tends to run through the half marathon distance in around 1:04 in this session.

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