fbpx

5K-10K

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
Ingebrigtsen Brothers – Key Training Sessions

Ingebrigtsen Brothers – Key Training Sessions

In April 2018, Gjert IIngebrigtsen – farther and coach of the fastest three brothers on earth over 1500m published some information on the training of the Jakob, Philip and Hendrik in Norwegian language. Here are some of the key take aways from the document:

[Important note: the example training blocks are leading up to races, so they’re the final 14 days leading into a key race.]

* 11-12 training sessions/runs per week 

* 2 days per week they will do 2 quality sessions in the same day – one in the morning and one in the evening. It’s a similar idea, in a way to Renato Canova’s Special Block but far less overall mileage. Example:
AM: 4 or 5 x 6min at threshold (assuming 1-2mins rest) – which for the brothers is around 2:55-3:00/km
PM: 20 x 400m (30-60sec rest) or 8-10 x 1 km (1min rest) at Threshold.
They measure their lactate levels during these sessions and try to keep them at around 3mmol/l

* Normally once per week they will do a training session at around 1500m pace. Example:

read more
Training Insights From Norwegian Long Distance Runners

Training Insights From Norwegian Long Distance Runners

Please note: this article was written by a European coach familiar with the Ingebrigtsen’s (and other Norwegian distance runners’) training. The article hasn’t been edited to correct grammar or brevity but rather published as submitted.

Norwegian long-distance runners are on the rise in athletics scene in the last two to three years. Especially the success of the three Ingebritsen brothers and the former European marathon record holder Sondre Moen. But already Ingrid Kristiansen was an outstanding runner from Norway in the 1980’s who has broken several world records from 5000m to marathon. She ran for example 14.37 in 5000m and marathon in 2.21.06 in 1985 and trained with a heart rate monitor and controlled her training by heart rate zone, which was very unknown in the 80’s But also Marius Bakken from Norway ran in the early 2000’s 13.06 in 5000m and he trained in very scientific way, by measuring lactate almost in all his training sessions.

Beginning with Ingrid, who won the London marathon in 1985 with a WR and came from cross country skiing, I want to bring the connection of the training philosophy from cross country skiing in Norway and her training approach in running up. In Norway cross country skiing is a national sport and has far more importance and financial support than long distance running. But the training for both sports has a lot of similarities in terms of distributions of intensity and training volume, as well the movement itself. For example, one of the best cross-country skiers in the world, Therese Johaug, just won recently the Norwegian 10.000m championships on track in 32.20 without specific preparation. Only 30 sec shies of the qualification standard for the world championships this year in Doha.

read more
Kenyan Elite Training Series: Betsy Saina (30:07 10km, 67:49 Half Marathon, 2:22 Marathon)

Kenyan Elite Training Series: Betsy Saina (30:07 10km, 67:49 Half Marathon, 2:22 Marathon)

Please note: this article was written by Thomas Potzinger (European coach and assistant to Renato Canova). The article hasn’t been edited to correct grammar or brevity but rather published as submitted.

“In the training from Renato Canova every week looks different than the previous ones and different forms of fartlek sessions, tempo runs, track sessions, long runs, hill workouts are implemented to build the athlete to get gradually ready for the race. During the above-mentioned fundamental period she did for example track sessions like 3 times 2000m in 6.50 with 3min recovery, followed by 6 times 1000m in 3.15 at a dirt track at 2000m altitude. But she did also shorter track workouts to bring back her abilities she had before she shifted to the marathon, like 10 times 600m in 1.52 with 1.30 recovery, followed by 10 times 400m in 72 sec with 1min recovery or even sometimes in the afternoon very short sessions like 10times 200m in 32 sec with 200m recovery jog between. As well different hill sessions like 10 times 100m uphill, 6 times 300m slope at 95% effort with 3 to 4min recovery or 10 times 80m uphill sprints where in the training included to recruit the fast twitch fibres. The goal should be never to lose what they athlete was able to do, even when shifting to the marathon. The track sessions became a lot faster in the specific marathon preparation, where the 2000m intervals came down to 6.10 and 1000m intervals were run consistently under 3.05.”

read more
Kenyan Elite Training Series: Agnes Tirop (14:20 5km, 30:22 10km)

Kenyan Elite Training Series: Agnes Tirop (14:20 5km, 30:22 10km)

Agnes is training in Iten with a group of Kenyan male pacemakers and there is no other female in the group. The training of Agnes contains a lot quality. The overall quality of her Training is higher than I have ever seen before. The volume isn’t that high. Around 120- 130 kilometres per week in average. Usually Mondays she does in the morning 14 to 16 km at a very high pace considering the altitude of around 2400m and the hilly terrain in Iten. She starts with around 4.20 pace and after 3k the pace goes to 3.45 – 3.35 per kilometre and even uphill she maintains that pace. This is faster for the normal Monday moderate runs in Kenya that I have seen with other female runners. She consistently drops many of the male pacemakers in training.

read more
Seb Coe’s Running Strength Program (Part 6)

Seb Coe’s Running Strength Program (Part 6)

Putting It All Together:

So how much time during any portion of a training macrocycle should be devoted to comprehensive conditioning? The authors of Better Training For Distance Runners, David Martin & Peter Coe, remind us that conditioning is merely an aid to running. It is not a substitute for it and must not be overdone. Running will always occupy the majority of the total training effort.

Also remember that middle-distance runners will need more strength, power and flexibility than long-distance runners. Furthermore, the individual strengths and weaknesses of each runner should be identified to construct a unique training plan for the aspiring athlete.

The following table as extracted from Better Training For Distance Runners show an overview of the varied intensity and pattern of circuit, stage and weight training that Seb Coe personally found useful during his macrocycle.

read more
Seb Coe’s Running Strength Program (Part 5)

Seb Coe’s Running Strength Program (Part 5)

In this article we discuss number 2 – that is, Seb Coe’s Heavy Weight routine. Coe along with his Loughborough teammates would commence heavy weight training straight up in October (start of macrocycle) and are taken right through to the end of August (1 month before end of macrocycle).

Seb Coe’s Number 1 Heavy Weight Exercise: The Full SquatThis works the four quadricep muscles and the gluteus maximus, an exercise which certainly played an integral role in developing Coe’s superior leg propulsion, knee lift, foot contact and leg extension.

Start with fewer repetitions and lighter weights. Then build up to 2-3 sets of 6 reps @ 1.5 times body weight for men, or 1.25 times for women.The movement should be precisely controlled and proper technique is key. Feet should be shoulder width apart, pointing slightly outwards, knees pointing in the same direction. The Quads will initiate the movement, and at a particular angle or range of motion, the gluteus maximus will be recruited to bring the athlete into an upright position. When descending towards the ground, avoid bouncing at the bottom of the movement but also try not to pause.Interestingly, when Coe managed to build up to 3 sets, Gandy said that a ‘ceiling’ had perhaps been reached at this point in Coe’s strength development.

read more
Seb Coe’s Running Strength Program (Part 4)

Seb Coe’s Running Strength Program (Part 4)

In 1979, Coe did something extraordinary in the history of middle distance running. In just 41 days, he set three world records: 800m (1:42:33), 1500m (3:32:03) and the mile (3:48:95). Coe attributed much of the credit to George Gandy, the mastermind behind his strength and conditioning workouts during these crucial years.
 
As Coe recalls, “When I arrived at Loughborough [University] in the late 1970s some of the conditioning work this guy gave me provided the basis for much of what I achieved. It was revolutionary stuff.”
“George Gandy taught me that running on its own was not enough to graduate into the ranks of an Olympian. Supreme core strength and physical conditioning went hand in hand.”

read more
Renato Canova – Marathon Training (Mileage)

Renato Canova – Marathon Training (Mileage)

Traditionally, it has been thought that a marathoner must always run prodigiously high volumes—upwards of 20 miles a day for the top athletes. In contrast, James Kwambi and Duncan Kibet only run 80-90 miles a week, often only running once per day. However, other elite marathoners like Martin Lel and Robert Cheruiyot maintain 135-150 miles per week.

Whereas low-mileage marathoners run 60% (50 miles a week) of their mileage near marathon pace, higher-volume runners do less than 37 miles per week near marathon pace, and the proportion is much smaller—only 25-30% of the weekly volume. Why is high mileage not necessary for Kibet and Kwambi to run 2:04 marathons? To answer this, we have to return to Canova’s thesis—all non-specific training exists only to support the body’s ability to do race-specific training.

read more
Renato Canova’s “Special Period” Example Training Sessions

Renato Canova’s “Special Period” Example Training Sessions

Half-Marathon (59:47 PR)
– 7 x 2000m at 100-102% RP, 400m recovery in 2min
– 5 x 3000m at 101% RP, 1000m recovery at 85-87% RP
– 3 x 5000m at 99% RP, 1000m recovery at 85% RP
– 15 km long run at 102 % RP
– 25 km long run at 97% RP

Marathon (2:05 PR)
– 6 x 4000m at 102% RP, 1000m recovery at 89% RP
– 5 x 5000m at 101% RP, 1000m recovery at 89% RP
– 4 x 6000m at 101% RP, 1000m recovery at 89% RP
– 4 x 7000m at 99% RP, 1000m recovery at 91% RP
– 5 x 2000m at 105% RP during a 35km (22mi) long run at 91% RP
– 25 km (15.5mi) long run at 102% RP
– 30 km (18.5mi) long run at RP
– 35 km (22mi) long run at 97% RP
– 40 km (25mi) long run at 92% RP

read more
Lactic Acid – Friend or Foe?

Lactic Acid – Friend or Foe?

Another commonly held belief is that the warm down after a hard workout or the shake out the next day is important to ‘help get the lactic out of the legs’. However, again the science doesn’t back this up. Yes, walking or jogging does shorten the time it takes for lactate levels to return to normal, but this return to baseline occurs relatively quickly anyway. By the time someone is doing a shakeout the day after a race or hard session, the lactate generated by that effort has long ago left the muscles. And where is it going? This is where lactate being a fuel source again comes into play, according to Brooks, after ‘exhaustive’ exercise lactate then becomes the preferred energy source, being burned up by muscles that are no longer using anaerobic respiration, and by the liver to regenerate glucose.

read more
Nick Willis – Train Smarter, Not Harder

Nick Willis – Train Smarter, Not Harder

Some example sessions:

4 mile tempo (5:00/mile), 4 x 1000m (2:50), 2 x 300m (41), 2 x 400 (56), 600 (1:21)

400 (59), 800 (1:58), 1200 (2:57), 2 x 200 (26), 2 x 300 (38), 400 (50.5)

The Michigan – 1,600m @ 10km pace – 2km tempo – 1,200m @ 5km pace – 2km tempo – 800m @ 3k pace – 2km tempo – 400m all out… Nick has run it with the following splits: 1600m – 4.20, 1200m – 3.13, 800 – 1.58, 400 – 52

200 (26), 1,000 (2:27), 400 (58), 6 x 200 (29)

3 mile tempo (14:10), 7 x 300 (42)

read more
The Perplexing Depth Of Talent In Japanese Running (Part 2)

The Perplexing Depth Of Talent In Japanese Running (Part 2)

Discipline, honour, self-restraint. These are some of the stereotypical character traits people think of when considering Japan. However, devotion to athletics and a motivation to succeed are not enough, in isolation, to explain how so many athletes are competing at such a high level in Japan. Ekiden and the elevated position it holds in the collective conscience of the nation explains a bit more of the situation. However, a final factor that we found came up over and again was the integral role of corporations in the fabric of Japanese running culture. I’m not talking about Mizuno, Asics and Nike.

Many corporations within Japan – Honda, Japan Rail, Kanebo Cosmetics– employ athletes to race and train in-house. The living expenses of the athletes are taken care of, food is cooked by in-house chefs that prepare a menu laboriously agonised over by a nutritionist. Training takes place multiple times per day – some runners in the corporate system reportedly average more than 600 miles (965km) per month – and around these sessions the athletes spend time with the team’s physiotherapists, strength coaches and masseurs. In addition to such extensive support from the team, living expenses being covered, and daily tasks such as cooking being taken care of, athletes running in the corporate teams reportedly receive a salary of US$35,000 and upwards each, depending on performance and their stature within the sport – there are plenty of high performers on six-figure salaries.

read more
The Perplexing Depth Of Talent In Japanese Running (Part 1)

The Perplexing Depth Of Talent In Japanese Running (Part 1)

Japan. Nihon. The Land of the Rising Sun. A country globally renown for many things. A rich cultural history. A cuisine like no other. The world’s largest metropolis – Tokyo. And… running?

Japan is not one of the nations that first comes to mind when most people think about the global running scene. However, in the marathon distance, Japan comes in third place behind Kenya and Ethiopia when looking at the number of athletes in the top thousand marathon times in history. Japan has over one-hundred athletes that have run sub-2:10 in the marathon. Compare this to the USA: with a population nearing triple that of Japan – and massive infrastructure surrounding their collegiate athletics system – the States have only twenty athletes that have run sub-2:10 (thirteen if you exclude record-ineligible Boston).

Our interest piqued, we decided to plunge headfirst into the Japanese running scene and investigate what was going on.

read more
How Much Protein Do Athletes Need? (Part 2)

How Much Protein Do Athletes Need? (Part 2)

It’s interesting that despite studies suggesting that the (already elevated) recommendations for protein intake by endurance athletes may be too low – failing to optimise performance – there are many top endurance athletes who controvert this. An interesting study looked at the dietary habits of elite runners in Kenya.

The athletes were consuming a diet very high in carbohydrates (76.5%, 10.4 g/kg of body mass per day) and low in fat (13.4%). Protein intake represented 10.1% of their total calories which worked out to be 1.3 g/kg per day, which matches the recommendations by the American College of Sports Medicine mentioned above. Another interesting point is that the estimated energy intake of the athletes (2987 ± 293 kcal) was lower than energy expenditure (3605 ± 119 kcal).

This aligns with what we witnessed whilst training with Kipchoge and other elites in Kenya. Coming in from a long run, there was no sign of protein shakes. The snacks of choice were bananas, white bread and milky tea saturated with sugar. The authors of this study also noted that fluid intake by the Kenyan athletes studied was modest, mainly in the form of water (1113 ± 269 mL) and tea (1243 ± 348 mL). Their conclusions: “Although the diet met most recommendations for endurance athletes for macronutrient intake, it remains to be determined if modifying energy balance and fluid intake will enhance the performance of elite Kenyan runners.”
Here we take a look at some of the research and recommendations on how much protein athletes should be consuming, and the reasons why. There’s no universal answer but I hope this will provide some interesting points to consider when making dietary choices. Protein is obviously of significance – playing a key role in myriad bodily functions – but figuring out how much, what type and when you should be consuming protein is really quite a confusing undertaking. It’s by no means as simple as protein = gains. I mean, firstly, what is protein?

read more
How Much Protein Do Athletes Need? (Part 1)

How Much Protein Do Athletes Need? (Part 1)

Protein! A hype word like no other in the health and fitness world. Endless tomes of information and misinformation on the subject lurk out there on the internet, with mud-slinging fights aplenty in any forum you care to look at. There is likely no other dietary component that inspires as much debate, insofar as athletes are concerned, as protein. This article isn’t being published to add more fuel to the fire, and I must warn you that there’s no magical solution proffered in the conclusion. Nutrition is something that different bodies react to in different ways and if someone is trying to bludgeon you with a concrete opinion, it’s probably worth questioning their motives.

Here we take a look at some of the research and recommendations on how much protein athletes should be consuming, and the reasons why. There’s no universal answer but I hope this will provide some interesting points to consider when making dietary choices. Protein is obviously of significance – playing a key role in myriad bodily functions – but figuring out how much, what type and when you should be consuming protein is really quite a confusing undertaking. It’s by no means as simple as protein = gains. I mean, firstly, what is protein?

read more

Subscriber? Login here to unlock all articles!

X

Forgot Password?

Join Us