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MO FARAH

More Tempo Running – A Key Ingredient To The Kenyan Success

More Tempo Running – A Key Ingredient To The Kenyan Success

For reference, the Kenyan athletes were completing about 60% of their total kilometres as easy runs, 25% as tempo runs, just under 10% as short intervals, just under 5% as long intervals and around 1% as tests/competitions. For comparison the national level athletes completed close to 70% of their total kilometres as easy runs, 10% as tempo runs, around 6% as short intervals, 12% as long intervals and 2% as tests/competitions. 

When considering the application of this for either your own or another athlete’s training it is obviously extremely important to consider the goals, strengths and weaknesses of that specific case however the comparison between athletic levels presented in this study is definitely interesting. If working in a similar time period (10 weeks from major competition) and you’re doing a lot of longer intervals, it may be worth switching some intervals for tempo runs, and hey, Wilson Kipsang does it. 

read more
VO2Max – What is it and Does it Matter?

VO2Max – What is it and Does it Matter?

So why does all this science matter and what does it mean for you? First of all, VO2max is the strongest independent predictor of future life expectancy so everyone out there should be at the very least slightly interested in their own value, athlete or not. Additionally VO2max  becomes especially useful once we consider its impact on athletic performance. 

In order to walk, run or move at all, our body needs to produce energy; we can either produce this energy without oxygen (anaerobic) or with oxygen (aerobic). Any exercise will require energy production from both aerobic and anaerobic systems however their relative contribution is determined by the duration and intensity of the effort. As anaerobic energy production is only possible for a very short period of time, our bodies will always try to meet the energy demands aerobically. In trained individuals it has been shown that during a maximal effort the switch to predominantly aerobic energy systems occurs somewhere between 15 and 30 seconds into exercise as by this point we have “run out” of anaerobic fuel. The rate of work, power output or running pace that an individual can maintain aerobically is determined largely by their VO2max. 

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Mo Farah’s Diet

Mo Farah’s Diet

The Sweat Elite team spent a month in Suluta, the running hub of Ethiopia at the same time Mo Farah was preparing for the London Marathon 2019.
When discussing diet with Mo Farah, he mentioned that he tends to eat a relatively large breakfast before training, as he commences his morning training session at around 9am. Farah mentioned that his stomach is able to process food quite quickly, so he usually eats breakfast around 30-40 minutes before training, which usually consists of 2 pieces of toast (multi grain bread) with jam and butter as well as a small bowl of porridge and a cup of coffee. Post training, it’s a protein shake and carbohydrate drink and did express how important it is for him to consume this within the “25 minute window” post finishing his training session.

read more
Mo Farah – Technique Transformation Analysis

Mo Farah – Technique Transformation Analysis

Dr Jessica Leitch, founder of Run 3D and a visiting fellow at the department of engineering science at the University of Oxford, identified nine key elements of his gait that are fundamental to Farah’s success.

Foot Strike

Many long distance runners strike the ground first with their heels, which causes a large impact force to run up their leg to their knees and hips. Farah, however, strikes the ground with the ball of his foot, known as mid-foot striking.

He then lowers his heel before going back up onto the ball of his foot and then pushing away with his toes. He essentially becomes lighter on his feet.

Dr Leitch said: “By adopting a mid-foot strike running style, the impact on the ground is reduced and the forces acting at the hip and knee joints are lower, which decreases the chances of Mo developing an injury at these joints.

“It also helps him optimise where his foot strikes the ground and the rate of his stride.”

Foot Position

The position where Farah’s feet strike the ground in relation to his body is also highly efficient. His foot lands only slightly in front of his centre of gravity, his knee is bent and his lower leg is almost vertical.

“Many distance runners overstride, which means that they plant their feet well ahead of their centres of gravity and land with an extended knee,” said Dr Leitch.

“This can cause an inefficient up and down motion as well as a relatively long energy absorption or braking phase as the body has to travel over the foot in order to be ready to push off.”

By keeping his centre of gravity over his feet, the force of Farah’s feet pushing off the ground is transferred up through his leg into the upper body to propel him forward. Up and down movements are minimised.

read more
Mo Farah: 9 Running Tips

Mo Farah: 9 Running Tips

For A Quick Energy Boost… “Chocolate – usually dark chocolate – is good for an energy boost. There are all manner of sports snacks that pretend to do wonderful things, but I mostly like to stick to the basics.”

How to Keep Motivated… “When you’re competing, keep reminding yourself how much work has led to that moment. The training you’ve done means you deserve to perform well. That gives a huge confidence boost.”

How Important Are Recovery Days? “The day after a tough workout, you never want to push your body again. The most you should do is a comfortable run (or two) and/or cross training. Don’t have your heart rate up high again.”

read more
Lesson #5: Train Your Mind – Alberto Salazar (World Famous Coach)

Lesson #5: Train Your Mind – Alberto Salazar (World Famous Coach)

“You might not be competing against top runners from East Africa anytime soon, but you can, and should, work on your mental game. Remain relentlessly positive and focus on the things you can control in training and racing rather than be rattled by the things you can’t. And last but certainly not least, have confidence in yourself and your abilities when you step on the starting line. Without that key component, none of the other stuff really matters all that much.”

read more
More Tempo Running – A Key Ingredient To The Kenyan Success

More Tempo Running – A Key Ingredient To The Kenyan Success

For reference, the Kenyan athletes were completing about 60% of their total kilometres as easy runs, 25% as tempo runs, just under 10% as short intervals, just under 5% as long intervals and around 1% as tests/competitions. For comparison the national level athletes completed close to 70% of their total kilometres as easy runs, 10% as tempo runs, around 6% as short intervals, 12% as long intervals and 2% as tests/competitions. 

When considering the application of this for either your own or another athlete’s training it is obviously extremely important to consider the goals, strengths and weaknesses of that specific case however the comparison between athletic levels presented in this study is definitely interesting. If working in a similar time period (10 weeks from major competition) and you’re doing a lot of longer intervals, it may be worth switching some intervals for tempo runs, and hey, Wilson Kipsang does it. 

read more
VO2Max – What is it and Does it Matter?

VO2Max – What is it and Does it Matter?

So why does all this science matter and what does it mean for you? First of all, VO2max is the strongest independent predictor of future life expectancy so everyone out there should be at the very least slightly interested in their own value, athlete or not. Additionally VO2max  becomes especially useful once we consider its impact on athletic performance. 

In order to walk, run or move at all, our body needs to produce energy; we can either produce this energy without oxygen (anaerobic) or with oxygen (aerobic). Any exercise will require energy production from both aerobic and anaerobic systems however their relative contribution is determined by the duration and intensity of the effort. As anaerobic energy production is only possible for a very short period of time, our bodies will always try to meet the energy demands aerobically. In trained individuals it has been shown that during a maximal effort the switch to predominantly aerobic energy systems occurs somewhere between 15 and 30 seconds into exercise as by this point we have “run out” of anaerobic fuel. The rate of work, power output or running pace that an individual can maintain aerobically is determined largely by their VO2max. 

read more
Mo Farah’s Diet

Mo Farah’s Diet

The Sweat Elite team spent a month in Suluta, the running hub of Ethiopia at the same time Mo Farah was preparing for the London Marathon 2019.
When discussing diet with Mo Farah, he mentioned that he tends to eat a relatively large breakfast before training, as he commences his morning training session at around 9am. Farah mentioned that his stomach is able to process food quite quickly, so he usually eats breakfast around 30-40 minutes before training, which usually consists of 2 pieces of toast (multi grain bread) with jam and butter as well as a small bowl of porridge and a cup of coffee. Post training, it’s a protein shake and carbohydrate drink and did express how important it is for him to consume this within the “25 minute window” post finishing his training session.

read more
Mo Farah – Technique Transformation Analysis

Mo Farah – Technique Transformation Analysis

Dr Jessica Leitch, founder of Run 3D and a visiting fellow at the department of engineering science at the University of Oxford, identified nine key elements of his gait that are fundamental to Farah’s success.

Foot Strike

Many long distance runners strike the ground first with their heels, which causes a large impact force to run up their leg to their knees and hips. Farah, however, strikes the ground with the ball of his foot, known as mid-foot striking.

He then lowers his heel before going back up onto the ball of his foot and then pushing away with his toes. He essentially becomes lighter on his feet.

Dr Leitch said: “By adopting a mid-foot strike running style, the impact on the ground is reduced and the forces acting at the hip and knee joints are lower, which decreases the chances of Mo developing an injury at these joints.

“It also helps him optimise where his foot strikes the ground and the rate of his stride.”

Foot Position

The position where Farah’s feet strike the ground in relation to his body is also highly efficient. His foot lands only slightly in front of his centre of gravity, his knee is bent and his lower leg is almost vertical.

“Many distance runners overstride, which means that they plant their feet well ahead of their centres of gravity and land with an extended knee,” said Dr Leitch.

“This can cause an inefficient up and down motion as well as a relatively long energy absorption or braking phase as the body has to travel over the foot in order to be ready to push off.”

By keeping his centre of gravity over his feet, the force of Farah’s feet pushing off the ground is transferred up through his leg into the upper body to propel him forward. Up and down movements are minimised.

read more
Mo Farah: 9 Running Tips

Mo Farah: 9 Running Tips

For A Quick Energy Boost… “Chocolate – usually dark chocolate – is good for an energy boost. There are all manner of sports snacks that pretend to do wonderful things, but I mostly like to stick to the basics.”

How to Keep Motivated… “When you’re competing, keep reminding yourself how much work has led to that moment. The training you’ve done means you deserve to perform well. That gives a huge confidence boost.”

How Important Are Recovery Days? “The day after a tough workout, you never want to push your body again. The most you should do is a comfortable run (or two) and/or cross training. Don’t have your heart rate up high again.”

read more
Lesson #5: Train Your Mind – Alberto Salazar (World Famous Coach)

Lesson #5: Train Your Mind – Alberto Salazar (World Famous Coach)

“You might not be competing against top runners from East Africa anytime soon, but you can, and should, work on your mental game. Remain relentlessly positive and focus on the things you can control in training and racing rather than be rattled by the things you can’t. And last but certainly not least, have confidence in yourself and your abilities when you step on the starting line. Without that key component, none of the other stuff really matters all that much.”

read more

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