Seb Coe’s Middle Distance Training – Part 2

Seb Coe’s Middle Distance Training – Part 2

There are six mesocycles (X1 to X6) which make up one macrocycle, each with their own emphases (aerobic base, increasing intensity, consolidation, fine-tuning, tapering). The order in which these mesocycles are to be completed starts from the bottom (X1) and goes to the top (X6).
Within each mesocycle (aka ‘tier’ or ‘level’) there are seven domains (aka ‘rooms’) representing broad categories that classify different training assignments. These domains include aerobic conditioning, anaerobic conditioning, aerobic capacity training, anaerobic capacity training, general mobility, circuits and weights, and health maintenance.
The relative proportion of each domain (aka the size of each room) varies depending on the floor. For example, the ‘aerobic conditioning’ room is largest on floor X1, whereby the emphasis is on establishing an aerobic base.

Seb Coe’s Middle Distance Training – Part 1

Seb Coe’s Middle Distance Training – Part 1

Periodisation refers to the arrangement of specific training elements into a unified plan with the aim of producing a single peak race performance at the end of the season. Prior to the 1950s, the planning and sequencing of training sessions were relatively crude; runners adopted common-sense training principles involving a basic cycle featuring hard work (with stress and fatigue), then recovery (with repair and regeneration), then an improvement in performance which leads into another cycle all over again. In the 1950s, New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard pioneered the first major periodised training system which prescribed an intentional separation of the training season (macrocycle) into distinct phases (mesocycles) and outlining the order in which different training sessions are to be performed.

In this article series, we will specifically focus on one such non-linear approach called the Multi-Tier Training System. This was proposed by Dr David Martin (Exercise Physiologist) and Peter Coe (Coach of Seb Coe) in the 1980s as outlined in their famous classic ‘Better Training for Distance Runners’. Here, we will learn how to precisely structure various training assignments into a unified periodised training plan that (in the authors’ opinion) will best support an athlete’s development.

5 Lactic Tolerance Sessions Used By Elites

5 Lactic Tolerance Sessions Used By Elites

The following training sessions are aimed at improving the lactic tolerance; your ability to maintain pace as the by-products of repeated anaerobic lactic energy production accumulate and have been extracted from elite runners’ training logs.

1. 5 x 200m @ first 200m of 800m pace (2min recovery)
4min recovery
2 x 300m @ first 300m of 800m pace (2min recovery)
5 min recovery
400m max effort.

Nick Symmonds completed this training session a few weeks before placing 5th at the 2012 London Olympic Games in 1:42:95 (his personal best). He ran the 200m’s in an average of 25.0, 300m’s in 37.5 and 38.0 and 400m in 52.5.


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