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MARATHON

10 Fartlek Training Sessions by World-Class Athletes & Coaches

10 Fartlek Training Sessions by World-Class Athletes & Coaches

4. Renato Canova, coach for several world record holders and medalists across varied athletic events, likes his athletes to continue with a strong pace even during the ‘off’ period during a fartlek run. He uses some basic combinations of 1/1 (one minute hard, one minute easy) or 2/1 especially in the build-up phases of training. For example, during the build-up phase for Ronald Kwemoi in 2017, Canova programmed a one hour fartlek session for him: 20 x (1min on/1 min off) + 20 x (30s on/30s off).

5. Abel Kirui, a double world champion in the marathon and Canova’s athlete, completed a specific fartlek session in the build up to the 2012 Olympic Games: 27km continuous run consisting of 4 sets of 6km fast (marathon race pace) with 1km recovery (25-30s slower than marathon race pace).

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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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Eliud Kipchoge – Diet

Eliud Kipchoge – Diet

Ugali: made from maize meal, it is cooked in water to form a sort of corn cake. This staple is very high in starch and is very bland, lacking much in the way of flavour. Many meals in the farm-stay were served with an almost insurmountable pile of ugali on the side.
Managu: a dark leafy green, somewhat like spinach. This is normally eaten after being sautéed in water and some oil, however some athletes we spoke to even cooked the leaves in milk!

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Eliud Kipchoge – Outsiders

Eliud Kipchoge – Outsiders

When we shadowed Eliud and the squad on some long runs, we were very surprised by the typical composition of the group. When we arrived in the darkness, the group assembled outside the compound gates were predominantly outsiders, who waited for Eliud and the Global athletes to exit the camp. The entire group started together, however as the pace quickened Eliud and a small group led the charge, leaving a long line of outsiders strung out in their wake.

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The Training and Tactics of Steve Jones

The Training and Tactics of Steve Jones

Jones’s philosophy of training hinged around long-repeat runs by time, away from the track, hence allowing him to run free and open without any mental limitations that a track or watch may bring – running in its pure, instinctive form. Jones grew up racing countless British cross-country races, a fact he insists is vital to the development of any runner.

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Intervals with Coach Ahmed – Co-Coach of the Dibaba Sisters (day 12)

Intervals with Coach Ahmed – Co-Coach of the Dibaba Sisters (day 12)

On Sunday evening we bumped into Ahmed – who had been coaching the Dibabas for the hill session on Saturday morning – in our hotel. The next morning he was going to be overseeing an interval workout with some of the athletes from the Somali national team, to which he invited us to join.

At 6:30, before the sun had even started to appear over the horizon, we joined Ahmed in front of the hotel. He hailed a passing minibus and we bundled in. 1 birr (4 cents) each for the quick ride to the centre of town. We alighted and immediately Ahmed opened the door to a bajaj (tuk-tuk) and ushered us in. The bajaj unsteadily made its way down the bumpy street, passing between many concrete hulls of the unfinished (and seemingly abandoned) houses. Partially constructed buildings are ubiquitous in Ethiopian cities and towns, sometimes it seems like there are more buildings that are under construction than those which are complete.

After a short trip in the bajaj we arrived at the house where Ahmed is living with a group of Somali athletes that he coaches. We spent a quarter of an hour stretching in the courtyard as the athletes prepared themselves. The house was very simple, with bare concrete walls. A woman was in the courtyard washing dishes in a large plastic basin, using water from a freshly boiled kettle to battle the chill of the water from the tap.

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Track Thursday with Kenenisa Bekele’s squad 

Track Thursday with Kenenisa Bekele’s squad 

The athletes gathered around and Mersha dealt out the workout: 2 x 3km, 3 x 2km, 5 x 1km. The group started the workout all together. Mersha oversees the training of a large group, with athletes racing distances from 5000m to the marathon. The 3km reps were both done in slightly over 9 minutes. An impressive pace given the 2700m altitude. Recovery between the reps was not specific however they generally had an active walk/jog recovery for 3-4 minutes. The 2km reps all completed in right around 6 minutes (the second in 5:54).

At this point the group split. 5,000m and 10,000m athletes did 12 laps striding through the straights and walking the bends. Yenew and two others started the 1km repetitions. who Mersha informed us that these three are currently preparing for the half-marathon. Pace in these reps remained around 3:00/km.

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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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The Importance Of “The Long Run”

The Importance Of “The Long Run”

What is the perfect long run training distance for marathoners?

There is no “perfect” distance. 32km (20 miles) is the peak distance used in most training programs, however many elite runners will run 35km or longer on 3 or 4 occasions leading into a marathon. Most coaches feel that once you reach 25km (16 miles)  you’re in long run territory. That’s the point where the psychological changes Vaughan mentioned kick in. But a few coaches prefer talking “time” rather than distance, “hours” rather than kilometres/miles.

Running much further than 35km in training increases the risk of injury, especially for those new to running. Many experienced coaches argue that running further than 40km for seasoned and elite runners is not necessary and again, increases the chances of injury.

It’s well known in the elite running world that some Japanese runners do 5+ hour runs when building up for a marathon. Former world record holder Robert de Castella and Steve Monaghetti from Australia would peak with a 48km (30 miles) run 5 weeks before the marathon, but that’s after steady diet of 35-40km runs nearly every weekend leading in. Most runners would self destruct on that much mileage.

Marathon World Record holder Eliud Kipchoge completes his long runs on Thursdays and alternates 30km one week with 40km the next and does 12 weeks of this 2 week cycle before a marathon, meaning he will complete 6 40km runs before a marathon.

Mo Farah is similar – peaking at 40km runs 4-8 weeks before the targeted marathon.

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The Benefits Of High Mileage

The Benefits Of High Mileage

Will running very high mileage actually make you a better runner? It can – but the main reason why it can isn’t what you’d expect. It won’t necessarily improve your aerobic or anaerobic threshold, VO2 Max or general fitness, but it will improve your ability to use fat as an energy source and this is key for racing a marathon.

The late physiologist Al Claremont claimed that high mileage helps you better utilise glycogen, the starchlike substance stored in the liver and muscles that changes into a simple sugar as the body needs it. Carbohydrates in our diet are our main source of glycogen – one reason spaghetti is such a popular pre race meal for marathoners. Glycogen is the preferred fuel for running, but your levels can become depleted within 60 to 90 minutes. Thereafter, your source of fuel is fat, which is metabolised less efficiently.

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Renato Canova – Elite 10km Training Plan (1 Month)

Renato Canova – Elite 10km Training Plan (1 Month)

This is a schedule Renato Canova designed for a hypothetical elite 10km runner to illustrate his training principles.

Week 1 – Monday: Long Easy Run (75-90min) + 5-10 Short Hill Sprints

Week 1 – Tuesday: Long Fast Run (25-30km) at 85% of 10km Pace

Week 1 – Wednesday: 2 Easy Runs Totalling 30km (Easy/Regeneration) 

Week 1 – Thursday: 2 Moderate Runs Totalling 30km 

Week 1 – Friday: 10-15km Tempo Run at 90-95% of 10km Pace

Week 1 – Saturday: 2 Easy Runs Totalling 30km (Easy/Regeneration) 

Week 1 – Sunday: Long Run (90-120mins) at Moderate Effort

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Jim Walmsley – Training WSER 2019

Jim Walmsley – Training WSER 2019

In January we published an article about Jim’s training in the lead-up to his qualification for the US Olympic marathon trials, running a 64-minute half-marathon in Houston. The Flagstaff local posts all his training on Strava, consistently huge sessions that entertain and inspire his legions of followers. Again, we are going to take a look at some of his sessions leading up to a big event, however this time it is moving away from relatively faster events on the road and preparing for the gruelling ordeal of a 100-miler with around 5,000m vertical gain.

The following day (May 14th) Jim posted a similar run: Elden #2. Mount Elden is a peak outside of Flagstaff, rising about 2,400 feet from the already elevated city of Flagstaff, the peak sits at 2,834m. By the end of the training leading up to the WSER Jim ran up Elden twenty-six times. His training block post Project Carbon X was kicked off with six consecutive days up Elden, followed by a 32km run on rolling hills outside Flagstaff, and then by more Elden climbs.

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What Runners Should Know About Altitude Training

What Runners Should Know About Altitude Training

Altitude training is a complex topic which has garnered substantial attention in the modern running era. Most athletes are aware of the basic mechanism by which altitude training ought to enhance performance. But the real issue lies in how exactly should we approach this without, in the authors’ words, “disrupting all the other facets of lifestyle that contribute to the well-being of a healthy athlete”.

Here are six frequently asked questions about altitude training:
 
1) Can we quantify the extent to which a certain altitude slows down a marathoner’s performance?

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