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800m-1500m

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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

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Renato Canova’s “Special Block” Explained

Renato Canova’s “Special Block” Explained

For the best development, Canova believes that athletes must increase the “modulation” or day- to-day variation in distance and intensity, introducing greater stresses with proportionally greater recovery. To this end, every 3-4 weeks during the special and specific periods, he includes what he calls a “special block” (during the special period) or a “specific block” (during the specific period). These “blocks” are days on which the athlete does two workouts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Runners must take special care to arrive at a special block well-rested and to recover well afterwards. A special block can focus solely on endurance, solely on speed, or can mix both. Canova gives the following examples of each.

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Seb Coe’s Running Strength Program (Part 3)

Seb Coe’s Running Strength Program (Part 3)

If you were to explore the training diaries of your favourite elite distance athletes, you would notice that virtually all of them include some kind of plyometric training in their routine. It could be a simple set of box jumps or bounding up hills.

Or if you’re Eliud Kipchoge – 1 hour of ‘rhythmic dancing’ and jumping on steppers, performed thrice weekly with your Kenyan comrades. But you may also wonder – exactly how relevant is it for distance runners to be interested in improving their jumping ability? After all, isn’t efficient running all about minimising vertical oscillation and maximising the conversion of energy into forward motion? 

The authors of Better Training for Distance Runners, Dr David Martin (exercise physiologist) and Peter Coe (Seb Coe’s coach), argue that a modest amount of plyometric training will add a beneficial power component that would not be acquired through the more traditional isotonic training techniques (i.e. lifting weights or wall sits). Such power would be relevant for sudden pace changes and reducing your risk of injury. In this article we outline the key points from Martin & Coe’s bestselling classic on plyometric training.

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Five 800m Lactic Tolerance Workouts by Elites

Five 800m Lactic Tolerance Workouts by Elites

#2: Wilson Kipketer (past 800m World Record holder and currently 2nd fastest 800m runner of all time)

Training Session: 600m, 300m, 600m, 300m with 5mins recovery after 600m’s and 10mins recovery after 300m’s.

Kipketer would complete this training session around once per month in the competition period. Kipketer would aim to run the 600m intervals in 1:16-1:17 (slightly slower than goal 800m pace) and 300m intervals in 35 seconds (slightly faster than goal 800m pace).

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Are You Overtrained? Everything You Need To Know About Overtraining

Are You Overtrained? Everything You Need To Know About Overtraining

The overtrained runner may maintain speed but with poorer form and with greater expenditure of energy. David Costill, PhD of Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, cited one other runner who, early in his training, could run 3:45/km pace at only 60% of his aerobic capacity. Later, when he became overtrained, the same runner had to use 80% of his capacity to maintain that same pace.

As athletes enlist all available muscle fibres in an attempt to maintain their training pace, they invariably exhaust their fast-twitch muscle fibres than their slow-twitch muscles. This is one reason runners lose speed: their fast-twitch muscles have become exhausted through intensive training.

But glycogen depletion is not the only problem. Another is microscopic damage to the muscle fibres, which tear, fray and lose their resilience, like a rubber band that has been snapped too often.

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Seb Coe’s Running Strength Program (Part 2)

Seb Coe’s Running Strength Program (Part 2)

In this article, we will explore the different types of resistance training that runners have used over the years. This is a summary of the key ideas from Chapter 6 of Better Training For Distance Runners written by David Martin & Peter Coe. 

Static Resistance Training: Isometrics

What is it? This is when we push against an object that is immovable. Our skeletal muscles generate tension but does not lead to movement. As such, muscle length stays constant throughout the exercise (at least externally; there are some changes which also occur microscopically).

Where’s the evidence? While there are many variables involved, the current status of studies suggest a weekly improvement in muscle strength by 2-5% when static resistance training is used. While the initial gains are sizable, they plateau rather quickly after about 5 weeks.

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Seb Coe’s Running Strength Program (Part 1)

Seb Coe’s Running Strength Program (Part 1)

Virtually all elite runners incorporate some kind of strength and conditioning work into their training routine. There are various reasons – to enhance muscle strength and endurance, as well as minimise risk of injury. But what kinds of exercises should we do? How often should we do this? How lean is too lean? Should we use weights? In this series, we will share the principles and practicalities on how runners should approach this minefield. This is a summary from Chapter 6 of Better Training For Distance Runners written by David Martin & Peter Coe.

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800m Training by Peter Hoffman (Part 4)

800m Training by Peter Hoffman (Part 4)

o run a fast half mile you will need to be able to run a great quarter too.

Most half-milers neglect this area.

Sometimes I ask good half-milers what they can run for 400 metres; they will reply vaguely ‘Oh! I’ve run sub 48 seconds.’

But when you ask what they can run right here, right now there’s a world of difference.

So don’t kid yourself.

To run fast over a quarter you need to incorporate regular quarter-mile sessions e.g. 3 x 300 metres flat out in around 34 seconds with a full recovery.

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800m Training by Peter Hoffman (Part 3)

800m Training by Peter Hoffman (Part 3)

More recently the controversial Taoufik Makhloufli ran an 800 metres in 1:44.5 (10 minutes recovery) followed by 500 metres in 65 seconds; 400 metres in 52 seconds and a 300 metres in 39 seconds the last three runs with a four minute recovery.

An alternative good session which we did however use to do was to run a 600 metres (78 seconds); 500 metres (63 secs); 400 metres (48 secs); 300 metres (34 secs); and a 200 metres (22 secs) with a good recovery.

Whatever you do, don’t shy away from these sessions.

A further great session is 3 x 2 x 300 metres with a jog 100 metres recovery and full recoveries between sets.

Aim to run the first repetition in each set at 36 seconds.

Similarly an incredibly tough session is 5 x 300 metres with a walk 100 metre recovery kicking off the first two repetitions in 37 seconds and thereafter holding on!

The world record holder David Rudisha liked to run a 400m/200m/400m/200m at his 800m goal pace with a 3 minute recovery. So if you’re aiming to run 1:44 then your aim should be 52/26/52/26 seconds.

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800m Training by Peter Hoffman (Part 2)

800m Training by Peter Hoffman (Part 2)

Speed is your greatest asset and by running fast I mean sprinting flat out several times each week.

Be honest with yourself – when did you last sprint as fast as you could, putting the pedal flat to the floor? For most athletes it will be months, for others even years!

Unless you’re a 60 metres indoors specialist or a 100 metres sprinter 99% of runners never practice running flat out so how can you expect to suddenly turn on the turbo-jets come a race, especially if it’s a year on from the previous summer!

A good approach is to incorporate the all important strength sessions after your 30-50 metres sprints; do this several times each week e.g. 8 x 30 metres with a good recovery walking 370 metres between each sprint.

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800m Training by Peter Hoffman (Part 1)

800m Training by Peter Hoffman (Part 1)

I use my own grading system of (Ex) Extreme; (VH) Very Hard; (H) Hard; (A) Average; and (E) Easy. A good rule of thumb is at the very most to never undertake more than one Extreme; Very Hard; and Hard session in a 7 or 8 day cycle. By the way, Extreme is pretty much eye-balls out! And close to race effort. When adopt such an approach to your training will enable you to fly a half mile.

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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.

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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:

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