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Eliud Kipchoge – Recovery

Eliud Kipchoge – Recovery

Jogging through the dark, alongside the main road to Eldoret, we made our way to the gates of the Global camp by 6:15am, just in time to join Eliud and the rest of the squad for their recovery run. It had rained again overnight, and the mud was even worse than during the long run the day prior, caking to the soles of shoes and leaving the unsealed roads a slippery, dangerous mess…

Aerobic Running – The most trainable and important facet of your distance running training

Aerobic Running – The most trainable and important facet of your distance running training

The most trainable and important facet of your distance running training is development of your aerobic system. From distances as short as 5k and through to the Marathon, your aerobic system is far more important than speed.
 
So why do many distance runners simply overlook or not target this key component?
 
The simple answer is that it’s not ‘sexy’. There doesn’t need to be a lot of toys such as heart rate monitors, step counters or new power meters. It cannot be bought, or given to you. Aerobic conditioning takes time, discipline and most importantly controlling your competitive nature. Due to all of these reasons, most try to find an easier route, rather than getting down to work.  Often all it takes is a simple tweak to your training and you’ll be absolutely crushing your next race.

Eliud Kipchoge – Long Run

Eliud Kipchoge – Long Run

We arrived at the gates of the Global camp with the full moon still high above us. It was cold, there was a light drizzle of rain, the morning light was just starting to breach the horizon, no one was around. After some minutes, a few athletes arrived and began stretching outside the camp, we chatted with them about upcoming races (Singapore, Amsterdam, Nairobi…). Within five minutes a crowd of over twenty had congregated, awaiting the arrival of Eliud and the commencement of their weekly long workout run.

Eliud Kipchoge – Fartlek

Eliud Kipchoge – Fartlek

Upon arrival at the camp for the Saturday morning interval workout, we had to leave the motorbike next to the main (sealed) road. The dirt road approaching the camp was dangerous territory for the vehicle. Rain throughout the previous afternoon, that continued well into the night, had resulted in the unsealed roads resembling a Tough Mudder obstacle course.

Kenenisa Bekele’s Training

Kenenisa Bekele’s Training

Another key specific session Bekele often used was 8x (400 in 52-54, rest, 200 in 24-25) with 90sec-2min rest between.   Features of this set certainly lean toward needing ‘pure speed’. The compounding nature of this set is that it merges the ability to hold that speed over “longer” distances, via having both highly developed aerobic conditioning, but also tapping into the his bodies ability to clear lactic acid quickly. The final icing on the cake of this session was that it was usually performed 10 days out from Bekele’s focus event and it was done at altitude, additionally straining the system and maximizing benefits.

Fastest Female Marathoner Ever – Paula Radcliffe – How She Trained

Fastest Female Marathoner Ever – Paula Radcliffe – How She Trained

Typical of most elite Marathon runners, Paula was known to take the weekly training volume up to 200km+ per week (or 145 miles approx.) during hard marathon buildups. She felt that once this average of 200km per week had been reached, that there is no point in increasing this further and that it is smarter to increase the quality. Given this philosophy, Radcliffe performed intense aerobic work all year round when compared to many other famous marathon runners. In fact, it was reported that a lot of her aerobic workouts were above her anaerobic threshold. For example, a lot of her sessions leading into a major marathon were at paces between 10,000m to half marathon pace and even her easy days were run quite fast. Perhaps this style of training was captured best in her quote:

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