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This article features an in-depth look at the training regime of Swedish distance runner Andreas Almgren, courtesy of the Sweat Elite podcast. Join us as we dive into Andreas’ journey, his training philosophies, and his transformative approach that has helped him achieve remarkable results on the track. Below are the highlights of the podcast. To listen to the podcast in full, play the audio in the player below. 

An Introduction to Andreas Almgren

On this episode of the Sweat Elite podcast, founder Matt hangs out with Andreas Almgren, an illustrious Swedish distance runner known for breaking several national records. Andreas’ incredible range has seen him excel in distances from the 1500 meters to the half marathon. 

With a personal best of 1:45.59 in the 800 meters from 2015, Andreas has naturally gravitated towards longer distances in recent years. He holds the Swedish national records in the 1500 meters (3:32.00), 5000 meters (13:01.38), 10,000 meters (26:52), and a debut half marathon time of 59:23, showcasing his extraordinary versatility. 

Early Evolutions in Training

Almgren’s leap into elite status was not without its challenges. From 2016 to 2019, he struggled with multiple stress injuries, which limited his progress. It was the adoption of double threshold training in 2019 that radically altered his trajectory and helped resolve his injury woes. Double threshold training, often misunderstood, turned out to be a less intense but more sustainable approach to mileage that significantly lowered his injury risk while enhancing performance.

The Transition to Longer Distances

Once injuries were no longer a recurring issue, Andreas set his sights on extended distances. A promising 1500m runner, Almgren decided to explore his capabilities in 10,000m and half marathons. Results like his 26:52 in the 10,000m proved that this transition was more than successful. Almgren credits his performance to a well-structured milestone of double threshold and high-mileage weeks, further aided by his inclination towards data and physiological testing to finetune his training plans.

The Role of Svexa and Data Optimization

An equally intriguing part of Almgren’s story is his work with Svexa, a data-driven company that focuses on optimizing training through AI and data science. His academic background in applied mathematics dovetails perfectly with his professional running. In fact, Almgren successfully used predictive data analysis from Svexa to fine-tune his training for his phenomenal half marathon debut.

Insights into Almgren’s Training Philosophy

Almgren follows a unique and meticulous training regime. His double threshold training involves two demanding yet controlled sessions twice a week. Mornings typically revolve around six-minute intervals, gradually increasing intensity to target lactate thresholds, while the afternoon sessions expand to include 1k repeats, 25x400m runs, and more.

Interestingly, Almgren does not confine his intensive workouts to outdoor tracks. He frequently uses treadmills, appreciating how they simplify pace control and reduce the effects of external conditions like weather and terrain. This controlled setting helps him keep workouts consistent, a necessary factor when training at varying altitudes.

Balancing Speed with Endurance

Despite shifting towards longer distances, Almgren has not entirely abandoned his roots in speed work. He maintains that his past training in sprints—running a 48.33s 400m in his youth—still benefits his current performance. Regular strides and fine-tuned intervals ensure he remains highly competitive, even in fast-paced race completions. He believes in the performance-enhancing power of tempo runs adjusted for race-specific needs, all while keeping an eye on injury prevention.

Strength, Flexibility, and Nutrition

Almgren acknowledges the importance of strength training, especially for injury prevention rather than performance gains. His approach is moderate, focusing on targeted areas that support his running form. Nutritionally, Almgren is mindful of balancing his caloric intake, especially to sustain his high mileage weeks. While he enjoys indulgences like chocolate and burgers occasionally, he ensures his daily diet is 95% optimized for peak athletic performance.

Aspirations and Future Goals

Looking ahead, Almgren aims to compete in the European Championship and the Olympics, primarily targeting the 10,000m and potentially doubling with the 5000m. With a training base grounded in disciplined mileage and optimized recovery, he dreams of medals and milestones on the world’s biggest stages. As for marathons, while not immediately on the radar, it is clear Almgren has contemplated venturing into this longer territory someday.

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