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HALF MARATHON

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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Should Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly 4% be legal?

Should Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly 4% be legal?

Over the last year, an unprecedented number of athletes finished on top of the podium. Out of 36 possible top three finishes in the 2017 World Major Marathons, 19 athletes were wearing Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly 4%. With several records being broken, here are some of the stats for elite runners using these shoes:

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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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Abraham Kiptum’s Half Marathon WR Preparation

Abraham Kiptum’s Half Marathon WR Preparation

“I knew I was in good shape after my last track workout: 400m×15, recovering 1 min, all done in 60-61 seconds. I was also doing fartlek, 30x 1′-1′, that’s 30 times 1 min fast followed by 1 min not so fast, at an average of 3:15 per km, at an altitude over 2,000 meters (6,562 feet). I was really feeling comfortable.”

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The Making of Joshua Cheptegei and Training Insights of the Ugandan Team (Part 2 of 2)

The Making of Joshua Cheptegei and Training Insights of the Ugandan Team (Part 2 of 2)

Like Kaptagat in Kenya, Kapchorwa is abundant with hilly terrain. The team mainly runs on dirt trails for long runs (which comprises the majority of their mileage). The surface is usually hard-packed, but can become muddy during rainy seasons, or extremely dusty during dry periods. As in Kenya, this is inevitable and the runners are reasonably flexible with their schedule (taking another route, for example). The trails enable the runners to develop lower leg and feet strength. Also, the softness facilitates running longer mileages while keeping the risk of volume-induced injury low. Track sessions occur at a local school’s grass track. For tempo runs, the athletes will head down to an altitude of 1400m.

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Running Tales from Kenya – Iten, the recipe for Success

Running Tales from Kenya – Iten, the recipe for Success

Kenyans are not perturbed if they miss a training session.  Some will simply not train if they are not feeling well or are too tired. The Western athlete seems to worry about the fitness they might lose if they miss one day of training. The Kenyan athlete is probably adding to their longevity and avoiding injury by taking a day off when their body tells them to. Running at the elite level requires discipline and that includes the discipline to give your body a rest or an easy day.  Some Western athletes find this a hard thing to do.

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The Flying Finn – Lasse Virén – Training

The Flying Finn – Lasse Virén – Training

Viren’s training was different to the ‘complex system’ of de Castella as he didn’t have a weekly re-occurring routine or schedule but instead switched his training around from week to week.  However, he did have his favorite workouts that he would complete regularly. Examples of these are below:50 x 100 meters all-out as 5000m around the track of sprinting the straights and floating the bends or 10 by 400m in 59 seconds with 200m jog recovery.  Notably this session was paired with the ritual of Viren climbed over the fence at the track in Helsinki, as a kind of mental stimulus. Climbing the fence instead of walking through the gate was symbolic of getting over the problems he had faced.”

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Haile Gebrselassie (12:39 5000m, 26:22 10000m) – Training Week and Attitude

Haile Gebrselassie (12:39 5000m, 26:22 10000m) – Training Week and Attitude

Elsewhere Geb makes it clear that he was careful to avoid too much stress. In his BBC Q&A session in 2002 he states: ‘I generally have 13 training sessions a week. On Sunday I only run once. Each week, I try to do 3 speed sessions, one long run (1½/2 hours) and one or two Fartlek sessions. The rest of the sessions are endurance runs that I try not to run too fast. They help my muscles to recover from the hard training’. Thus 8 of his 13 sessions are not too fast in order to facilitate recovery. He takes delight in running in the forest. He considers that one of the best pieces of advice about running he ever received was from his agent Jos Hermens. He states: ‘Jos taught me not to run too many races and to train and rest well. When I started to do this, my performances got even better’.

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What Do Elite Runner’s Eat Before A Race? (Part 2)

What Do Elite Runner’s Eat Before A Race? (Part 2)

Getting enough food in is crucial, but also involves dancing on a knife edge – too much and you could be weighed down and feeling ill. Research suggests that 1.5-1.8 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight is optimal for aerobic performance. For a 150-pound runner that amounts to 225-270 grams, which is around 1,000 calories. This might sound like a lot to consume before a hard effort – the key is to get it in early. Three to four hours before the race is ideal according to the American College of Sports Medicine, allowing enough time to digest, leaving you hopefully with an empty stomach and replete glycogen stores. Make sure to stay hydrated as well.

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What Do Elite Runner’s Eat Before A Race? (Part 1)

What Do Elite Runner’s Eat Before A Race? (Part 1)

The days preceding the big race you’ve been preparing for over several months can trigger anxiety and doubt in any runner. What should I wear come race day? How much should I be running during my taper? What will the weather be like? How much should I warm up? A stream of worries that don’t come into play before a standard training session but are prompted by the pressure put on yourself because of months of preparation.

Another major source of confusion for athletes is what to eat! Here we look at pre-race nutrition and later we will examine the intricacies of feeding yourself during a sustained effort. Pre-race food is something that never fails to spark debate between runners and will most certainly continue to be met with mixed opinions for years to come.

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Why Run Easy? Here Are The Benefits Of Easy Running

Why Run Easy? Here Are The Benefits Of Easy Running

alent can take you far, but as many elite runners can tell you, talent is nothing without the commitment to train hard. Most of the best middle to long distance runners in the world frequently log 160km (100 miles) per week that consists of threshold runs, intervals, fartlek, hill work and continuous short, medium and long runs. No pain, no gain, right? Not exactly.A significant percentage of most elite athletes’ training logs consist of easy running; that is running at speeds less than 1 minute per/km (or 1.5mins/mile) slower than their 10km race pace. This effort “aerobic running” is done right around 70% (give or take 5%) of the maximum heart beat count per minute and at this effort, runners should be able to have a conversation.“The most common mistake most runners make is that they think if they’re running easily then they’re not getting much benefit,” says Brian Rosetti, a running coach in New York City and founder of the Run SMART Project. That couldn’t be more off-base because easy (or sexy pace) running comes with a laundry list of benefits.

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Altitude Training – Why, When And How To Get High (Part 2)

Altitude Training – Why, When And How To Get High (Part 2)

During a short stay at altitude it will be tempting to cram in as many hard workouts as possible to reap the benefits for which you’ve travelled so far. Many athletes fall into the trap of working too hard, too soon. This can overstress the immune system, interfering with the generation of red blood cells and leaving you flat and low on energy. For the initial days at elevation cut back on mileage and stick to easy runs, it’s important to go easy as the body is already subjected to significant stress. If flying from sea level to a significant enough elevation (generally over 2500m), altitude sickness is a real risk – and, importantly, aerobic fitness isn’t a protective factor. Watch out for developments of nausea, headache, trouble sleeping or significant shortness of breath. To start with, focus on feeling, not pace. Pay heed to your perceived level of exertion. It may feel like you’re struggling to even handle a crawling pace, this is a normal part of the adaptation to altitude. If you finish an easy run feeling like you’ve just run a hard race you should be cutting back. Make sure to keep pace easy and only progress to faster workouts after around a week of adaptation.

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Altitude Training – Why, When And How To Get High (Part 1)

Altitude Training – Why, When And How To Get High (Part 1)

The effects of training at altitude on athletic performance have undergone much scrutiny in recent decades. Many athletes who have dominated the domain of long distance running have spent their lives living and training at altitude – notably the East Africans in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda who almost exclusively come from high elevations. And since the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, which took place at 2200 metres above sea level, the vast majority of medallists at major championships have either lived or trained at altitude. Here we will look at the effects of altitude training on the body, why athletes incorporate it into their training regimes, and how you should go about trying it out for yourself. Nowadays, altitude training is a component of virtually all elite running programs. Many elites are flocking to elevated hubs such as Flagstaff, Boulder, and lesser known spots in Kenya, Ethiopia and Mexico. But what is it about running at altitude that can give such a boost to athletic performance?

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