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Maurten – Eliud Kipchoge’s, Mo Farah’s And Kenenisa Bekele’s Fuel Of Choice

Maurten – Eliud Kipchoge’s, Mo Farah’s And Kenenisa Bekele’s Fuel Of Choice

Question: what do Eliud Kipchoge, Mo Farah and Kenenisa Bekele have in common, aside from being fairly quick? Answer: Maurten!

The above list is not exhaustive, a slew of top athletes consume Maurten during races and games: Galen Rupp, Geoffrey Kamworor, Burhany Legese, Desiree Linden, Vivian Cheruiyot, Jan Frodeno and even the English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

So how did this Swedish start-up come to be the fuel of choice for these superstars? Maurten claim that the secret behind their success is their patented hydrogel technology. This has allowed them to make great strides in the delivery of carbohydrates during exercise, without the gastrointestinal issues caused by other sports energy products.

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Eliud Kipchoge – 15 Motivational Quotes About Training and Life

Eliud Kipchoge – 15 Motivational Quotes About Training and Life

“Self-discipline starts with you. It’s no other person. It starts with you. Start to examine yourself…Self discipline is doing what’s right instead of doing what you feel like doing. That’s the meaning of self-discipline.”

“After accommodating self discipline in your mind, self-discipline can help you to actually get three things. It can save your feelings. Get you back on the course when you try to think otherwise, self discipline can help easily come back and think positively. It helps you do the right thing in the moment for long-term benefits.”

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Why Are The Kenyans So Good?

Why Are The Kenyans So Good?

In 2016, 427 Kenyan runners achieved the Olympic qualifying criteria for the marathon.

The top rankings list of the 5,000m, 10,000m, Half Marathon and Marathon is over 75% African athletes and over 60% Kenyan runners.

Ever since the late 1990’s when the African’s began to dominate the distance running world, athletes from across the globe have asked “Why are the Kenyans so good?”

Thousands of runners have even ventured to Kenya themselves to join in with Kenyan running squads to observe how they train, what they eat and how they live to produce such fascinating results.

There have been several theories as to why the Kenyans have dominated distance running events. Ranging from advantageous genetics, to the perfect training environment (dirt, rolling hills at the ideal altitude) or their upbringing and lifestyle, the list goes on.

Of course the reality will be that the country’s athletic prowess can be attributed to a combination of all these reasons and more.

The focus of this article is on one especially interesting aspect of the Kenyan running puzzle, the diet of the Kenyan runners.

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Paula Radcliffe – Running Diet Advice

Paula Radcliffe – Running Diet Advice

“You need to eat protein, but where your source of protein is from is up to you. Everyone has their own reasons. What I do believe is that if you are happy and are sticking to what you believe in, you are then far healthier. So, whatever you believe in, go with that. Just make sure you are getting enough protein. Everyone always talks about carbohydrates for running, but you also need protein because you need to rebuild the muscles.” “I ate a lot of fish – I still do, some chicken and red meat about twice a week.”

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Ryan Hall (2:04:58 Marathon) – 3 Toughest Training Sessions

Ryan Hall (2:04:58 Marathon) – 3 Toughest Training Sessions

“Animal Style” Fartlek (14.9 miles / 24km)3 miles hard, 3 miles float, 2 miles hard, 2 miles float, 1 mile hard, 1 mile float, 1200m hard, 1200m float, 800m hard, 800m float, 400m hard, 400 float. Hall would regularly complete this session in the lead up to marathons, usually around once a month. He would also do this session on a challenging cross country course, with hills to break up his rhythm. This made the pacing difficult to note, however Hall would usually start his 3 mile (4.8km) effort at around 5:00-5:05/mi (≈3:07/km) if it was on the flat, his 2 mile (3.2km) effort at around 4:55/mi (3:03/km), his 1 mile (1.6km) effort at around 4:45/mi (2:58/km) and hold around the same pace for the 1200m, 800m and 400m; sometimes speeding up the final 400m to under 70seconds.Hall refers to this session as one of his tougher sessions and usually did it alone on the hills, making it even tougher for himself.

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Eliud Kipchoge – 3 Toughest Track Sessions

Eliud Kipchoge – 3 Toughest Track Sessions

Below are three of Eliud Kipchoge’s toughest training sessions that he completes on the track in the lead up to a major race. Keep in mind that these sessions are done on a dirt track at 2000m (6500ft) elevation. World famous coach Renato Canova believes that in these conditions for the Kenyan born and raised athletes, repetitions are around 5 seconds slower per kilometre compared with doing the same session on a tartan track at sea-level. The altitude accounts for about 3 seconds per kilometre and the dirt track around 2 seconds per kilometre.

1. 15x1km (90sec rest), progressing in pace.

Kipchoge will start these 1km repetitions between 2:55 and 3:00 and slowly build his pace up to finish at around 2:42-2:45. On occasion, Kipchoge has finished his final repetition in 2:35-2:36, but normally it’s closer to 2:42-2:45. He will normally average around 2:50-2:53 for the session.

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800m/1500m Olympic Gold Medallist Kelly Holmes’s Toughest Workout: 8x200m

800m/1500m Olympic Gold Medallist Kelly Holmes’s Toughest Workout: 8x200m

In 2004, Kelly Holmes won double Olympic gold at the end of a career that had already included an Olympic bronze in 2000 and she gave Athletics Weekly an insight into the training programme that took her to the height of her powers.

Dame Kelly Holmes claims there were lots of ‘killer’ sessions that she used to complete as an elite middle-distance runner but recalls one particularly challenging workout that she did on a regular basis.

8 x 200m split into 2 sets of 2 with very short recovery between the reps and a longer set break.

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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.

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Half Marathon – 4 Race Prediction Workouts

Half Marathon – 4 Race Prediction Workouts

Training for the Half Marathon and want to know what your race pace should be?

Below you’ll find 4 Half Marathon race indicator workouts to estimate your Half Marathon performance. You should already have a vague idea as to what shape you’re in for the Half Marathon, but these workouts are good tests for you to complete in training to hopefully give you some confidence leading into race day.

Keep in mind that these workouts are just an estimate as to what shape you’re in. Don’t take them too seriously and remember that a real Half Marathon race is the true indication of your Half Marathon shape! These are just challenges you can complete in training and are excellent fitness boosters leading into a race, as they are very specific to the event of the Half Marathon.

All of these workouts (or close derivatives of them) have been used by professional runners leading into major Half Marathon races.

3 x 4km @ between 10km and Half Marathon pace, with 1km floating recovery about 10-15% slower.

This 14km (8.7mi) continuous run is a good indicator of Half Marathon shape and very similar sessions are used by many Kenyan and Ethiopian running squads. The pace that you can average for the 14km training run is right around the pace you should be able to race a Half Marathon at, given good conditions and fresh legs.

It’s three 4km repeats slightly slower than your 10km goal pace (with just 1 km recovery, but the key is to make the recovery brisk; about 10-15% slower than your repetition speed.

For someone aiming at a 1:10 Half Marathon (3:19/km or 5:20/mi), we assume a 10km personal best of around 31:30 which is 3:09/km. Your repetitions should be at around 3:15/km pace (4km in ≈13:00) and your 1km recoveries should be around 3:35-3:40/km.

For someone with a goal of a 1:15 Half Marathon (3:33/km, 5:43/mi): 4km reps @ ≈3:25/km and 1km recoveries @ ≈3:55-4:00/km.

For someone with a goal of a 1:20 Half Marathon (3:47/km, 6:05/mi): 4km reps @ ≈3:37/km and 1km recoveries @ ≈4:15-4:20/km.

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Renato Canova – 2 Key Marathon Training Sessions

Renato Canova – 2 Key Marathon Training Sessions

1. “Special Block” – a 45-50km training day over 2 sessions (one session in the morning and one session in the evening) that are both done at 90% effort, with no/minimal consumption of carbohydrates in between these 2 sessions.

This “Special Block” training day is ideally completed 2-3 times in the marathon training preparation, with 2-3 weeks in between each “Special Block.” To maximise this training idea, you would schedule this into your training plan at Week 9, Week 6 and Week 3 (Race week to be “Week 0”).

A classic example of a Special Block:

AM
3km warm up
10km @ in between half marathon and marathon goal pace
10km @ slightly quicker than the first 10km.
3km cool down
(Total 26km)

PM
3km warm up
10km @ in between half marathon and marathon goal pace
8x1km @ 5-10km pace
3km cool down
(Total 24km)

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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.

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Craig Mottram (12:55 5000m) Race Preparation Workout – 4 x 1600m Alternating Pace

Craig Mottram (12:55 5000m) Race Preparation Workout – 4 x 1600m Alternating Pace

4 x 1600m, with laps in 64, 64, 59, 64.
1600m goal time: 4:13, with the 3rd lap being well quicker than race pace.
Recovery: 1 lap jog (around 2mins)

Mottram would complete this session at St Mary’s college in Teddington and usually have 2 pacers, running with him to 800m (Fox usually did this) and 1200m (13:10 5000m runner from New Zealand, Adrian Blincoe was a name mentioned that helped a few times).

The times above were Mottram’s goal times and usually he could hit these times.

It’s a clever workout, instructed by MTC coach Nic Bideau, as the first 2 laps and the final lap are at around the pace the 5000m will be at the championships in the earlier to mid stages of the race: around 13:20 5000m pace.

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