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8 Interval Training Workouts by World Champions and Coaches

8 Interval Training Workouts by World Champions and Coaches

4. Bill Dellinger, a bronze medalist at the 1964 Olympic Games for the 5000m, used advanced interval training to his advantage. He completed 3 miles of alternating 30s and 40s 200m runs with no recovery. The workout finished when he could not keep up with the pace anymore. As a coach he uses the 40-30 with his athletes almost 3 times during winter training with some of his best athletes going for 18 laps continuously. He also used the 800-300, which consisted of running 800m at a runner’s 5km goal pace with a 400m recovery, followed by 300m at mile race pace with a 200m recovery in 40s. The cycle repeated until the athlete could not keep up with the pace anymore.

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Sweat Elite Guide To Training in Ethiopia

Sweat Elite Guide To Training in Ethiopia

The team here at Sweat Elite just spent the most unforgettable month training in Ethiopia, learning the ways of some of the world’s top athletes. Not only was the experience a great way to build fitness and be exposed to the training of these athletes, but it was also such a unique exposure to the culture in Ethiopia: a unique blend of ancient history, and burgeoning development, with assuredly some of the most hospitable people in the world.

Due to high demand, and lots of questions coming from the community, we have decided to put together a little bit of a how-to guide for training in Ethiopia.

Specifically, this article is aimed at people looking to train in Addis Ababa or Sululta, one of the more accessible training bases for the top athletes.

Reaching Sululta

Addis Ababa has become an African travel hub and can be reached easily from most large European and Asian hubs. Many of the top athletes who have a larger income choose to live in Addis Ababa and drive out to the training areas in their cars each day, however many still live in and around Sululta. Situated at 2800m Sululta is easily reached by taxi (or local mini busses although these are more difficult to coordinate, and taxis shouldn’t exceed US$20). The journey over the range from Addis International airport takes roughly forty minutes, the road is not in amazing condition and the drivers can be quite aggressive so prepare for a little adrenaline.

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Arthur Lydiard Method Summarised – Anaerobic Training Phase (Part 4)

Arthur Lydiard Method Summarised – Anaerobic Training Phase (Part 4)

The Anaerobic Training Phase is the final phase in the Lydiard Training cycle leading up to the athletes first competition of the season. It can be divided into 4 sub-phases:

* VO2 max intervals
* Glycolytic (lactic) repetitions
* Peaking
* Freshening

By now:

* Your aerobic energy systems (blue) involving your slow-twitch fibres and cardiovascular system should have been developed to its maximum potential within the given timeframe;

* The work capacity of your fast-twitch fibres (both Types IIA and IIB) have been increased via hill work and fartlek work;

* You’ve also developed fine speed via leg-drills and short sub 10-second sprints throughout the year.

Given that the layers of the training pyramid have been built to the level of the anaerobic threshold, now it’s time to lay down the (red) icing on the cake: to increase the capacity and power of your anaerobic energy system. A trained athlete only requires 4-5 weeks to develop this system to its physiological maximum.

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Arthur Lydiard Method Summarised – Hill Resistance Training (Part 3)

Arthur Lydiard Method Summarised – Hill Resistance Training (Part 3)

The hill resistance phase follows the base phase and typically lasts for 4 weeks. Lydiard considers this as the ‘transition’ between aerobic (base phase) and anaerobic (speed phase) work.

The main focus is to strengthen the muscles (especially the Type IIB fast-twitch alactic fibres) in preparation for the track sessions ahead, without delving into sustained anerobic energy systems.

During muscle contraction, the nervous system will usually fire off muscle fibres in order of increasing ‘motor unit’ size. Slow-twitch fibres have the smallest motor units, followed by Type IIA glycolytic fibres then finally Type IIB alactic fibres, provided there is a huge incoming electromotive charge.

So the problem is this: if a runner sticks only to aerobic sessions for the entire preparation, he will not adequately strengthen the Type IIA and IIB muscles that gives you the extra advantage in distance races.

Fortunately, the solution lies in running uphill. This induces plyometric contraction whereby the plantar flexors concentrically contracts, while eccentrically stretches from the landing force. This preferentially stimulates recruitment of the Type IIB fast-twitch alactic fibres over the other fibres.

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Arthur Lydiard Method Summarised – Base Phase (Part 2)

Arthur Lydiard Method Summarised – Base Phase (Part 2)

The base phase, typically 12 weeks in duration, is considered the most trainable and important facet of the entire race preparation (far more than speed workouts).

The purpose of the base phase in running is two-fold:

* To build your aerobic fitness (i.e., your endurance/stamina) via regular low-to-moderate intensity long runs, progressively increasing mileage; and.

* To prepare the athlete for more intensive, race-specific training later in the training cycle (i.e., hill training, speed development and race tuning).

What are the body’s physiological adaptations during this phase?

Aerobic training produces muscular adaptations that create denser capillary networks to deliver oxygenated blood to the muscles, reduces the rate of lactate formation, increases energy production and utilization, and teaches our body to use fat as a primary fuel source. This process also enhances and allows for denser mitochondria (inside your cells) to develop greater energy during exercise.

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Arthur Lydiard Method Summarised – Fundamentals (Part 1)

Arthur Lydiard Method Summarised – Fundamentals (Part 1)

Almost 60 years ago, New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard pioneered a breakthrough in the distance running world. His athletes included Peter Snell, Murray Halberg and Barry Magee, who dominated the global running stage especially at the Rome 1960 Olympic Games. Since then, his principles stood the test of time and form the basis of most elite and recreational training programs today.

The emphasis is on building a substantial mileage base and limiting the frequency and duration of anaerobic sessions, relative to other strategies at the time. Runners must listen to their body and adjust their effort levels to prevent over or undertraining at any one time (aka ‘Response Regulated Training’ and ‘Feeling Based Training’).

Phases

A fundamental of the regimen is the dividing of the training period into sequential phases. The ideal schedule spans across 28 weeks and culminates in a peak cardiovascular, muscular and mental condition for one major race. Each phase is progressively shorter than the previous, with the final weeks acting as a fine-tuner for enhanced performance.

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