fbpx

LEARN THE TRAINING METHODS OF THE WORLD’S BEST ATHLETES

brdn

Brand Partners

Garmin-Logo-transparent-1-980x551

Recent Articles

Jake Riley – Training for the Olympic Trials

Jake Riley – Training for the Olympic Trials

Troop detailed two key sessions that had been completed in the leadup to the trials.

One was completed at Teller Farm trails outside Boulder, as follows. 5km warm up. 4 miles of hills out, return and do a 5km press uphill back towards the parking lot. Jake closed the final 5km uphill in 16:45 in windy conditions, which Troop took as a good indication for his preparedness for the hilly course in Atlanta. He said that Jake’s cross-country pedigree would really favour his chances come race day.   

The other key workout which Troop uses is an eighteen-mile progression. This should be run eight and then four weeks prior to a race, with a three-hour run six weeks out. Troop aims to simulate race conditions as much as possible. The workout is completed on a three-mile loop, a drinks table is put out to practice taking on fuel. Practice makes perfect.

Three miles easy to warm up, change shoes. 

Miles 3-6: 5:55-6:00/mile

Miles 6-9: 5:30-5:35/mile

Miles 9-12: 5:15/mile

Miles 12-18: 5:00-5:05/mile – marathon pace (with a ~5second/mile concession for the 1600m elevation)

Jake ran this workout significantly faster in the leadup to Trials than when he was preparing for Chicago. Troop says he executed the session really well and looked comfortable.

read more
Training With Tokai University – Ekiden Winning Team

Training With Tokai University – Ekiden Winning Team

The athletes strip down to singlets and shorts. Next% adorn the feet of all but a few athletes, and we follow the fluorescent queue of feet out onto the track. There are a number of students at the infield next to the start line, wearing Tokai tracksuits but evidently not running. Noriaki says they’re the team assistants. The half dozen assistants are gathered around a cooler box and a small whiteboard. The athletes join them and form a circle leaving a gap for the two coaches to make their address. After attentively listening to both coaches speak, a collective bow by the students indicates the session is about to start. Five by one-mile, repeats followed by five two-hundreds. Jogging a lap between each rep. Noriaki explains that he and Moro asked the athletes to keep it very steady, make sure pace was constant.

read more
Tokyo Marathon 2020 – Press Conference Highlights

Tokyo Marathon 2020 – Press Conference Highlights

Finally, the whiteboards with the athletes’ predicted times. They took their time, and definitely stole glances at each other’s boards before volunteering them to the audience. Shitara posted a modest 1 second PB of 2:06:11. Inoue – 2:04:30. Osako – 2:??:??. When Osako was questioned, he said the race was a fight against himself. His time will depend on weather and conditions, but he plans to make an effort to be in the lead pack. “That’s why I left it blank.” His face was determined, focussed, almost confrontational. He didn’t want to place limits on what he could achieve come Sunday.

read more
Kenenisa Bekele – Training Before Berlin Marathon 2019 (2:01:41)

Kenenisa Bekele – Training Before Berlin Marathon 2019 (2:01:41)

Wed Aug 21
AM: Track. 2 Sets of (3km in 9:00, 2km in 5:55, 1km in 2:55, 500m in 1:13). Recovery: 2.5min.
PM: 50min easy (4:20/km > 4:10/km)

Thu Aug 22
AM: 1hr easy (4:20/km > 4:10/km). 10x100m (16sec).
PM: 6km easy. Gym (general strength, corrective workout).

Fri Aug 23
AM: Fartlek (road): 20x1min (1min jog recovery), 20x30sec (30sec jog recovery), 5min recovery between sets. Reps at 2:40-2:45/km.
PM: 6km easy. Gym (general strength, corrective workout).

read more
Thijs Nijhuis (2:10:57 Marathon) – Training Principles and Diary

Thijs Nijhuis (2:10:57 Marathon) – Training Principles and Diary

Week 51 (Denmark)
M: 10k in 4.00, commute to hospital + 14k in 4.00 commute back T: 8k in 4.10, commute to hospital + 20k in 3.59, commute back
W: 25k incl. 15 x 1k with 60 seconds standing rest. 1k avg. 2.58.
Th: 25k in 3.50 + 10k in 4.25.
F: 14k in 4.03
S: 26k incl. 5-4-3-2-1k with 3min light jogging rest. Times: 15.13-12.01-9.03-5.57-2.51. Overall 3.32 per k. Eve: 10k in 4.19.
Sun: 34k in 4.05, hilly forrest.
Total: 186k

read more
Marathon Specific Training – Five Creative Long Runs

Marathon Specific Training – Five Creative Long Runs

Preparing for a Marathon in the coming months and looking to step your Long Runs up a level or two?

We recommend adding some variety to your long runs by incorporating pace changes. Not only is this a perfect stimulus for a Marathon, it also breaks the Long Run up mentally.

Most elite Marathoner’s alternate same-pace long runs with pace-changing long runs. These pace-changing long runs feature some running at Marathon goal pace interspersed with running at easy paces.

Here are a few examples you could use in your Marathon preparation, completed by elite Marathoner’s from Australia and the USA…

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
Insights Into The Training Of Kilian Jornet

Insights Into The Training Of Kilian Jornet

Kilian claims to train seven days a week – amassing 1200 hours of training per year. For a long time, Kilian has eschewed the tutelage of a formal coach and devised his training himself. A key to his success appears to be how he varies training according to the seasons, mixing running (mostly in the mountains although he has incorporated more flat running in recent years) with skiing, alpine climbing and cycling. This has allowed remarkable consistency through the years, which in turn has enabled him to develop a phenomenal aerobic apparatus and a body that is near perfectly adapted for what he does.

Endurance – He says that the vast majority of his training (88% according to his site) is done at low intensity – zones 1-3. Z1 before and after races. Z2 in long workouts (up to 10 hours plus) “to create volume”. Z3 in the lead-up to races, long sessions of up to a few hours.

10% is at high intensity (zones 4-5): “In Z4 specific workouts with intense intervals and repetitions. In Z5 workouts of a few seconds and many repetitions. Only about 10 times per season and during the competitions (about 30-35 days of competition per year).

2% of the time at maximum intensity (zones 6-7).

Whilst these numbers appear to be somewhat generalised estimates, Kilian is known for his fastidious documentation of his training, so they are probably more accurate than you would imagine.

read more
Kilian Jornet – Ultramarathon Training – Variety Is The Key

Kilian Jornet – Ultramarathon Training – Variety Is The Key

Kilian has achieved all this whilst maintaining an imperturbable aura of positivity and fun. He lives for the mountains, and what he does as ‘training’ for these events he has dominated is so clearly what he would prefer to be doing on any given day. He is well known for essentially having no taper for events. Prior to dominating the Hardrock 100 he spent the week running up 14,000 footers in the San Juan mountains, exploring new terrain. When questioned about this approach in an interview with Outside magazine on this approach he responded “Such beautiful mountains! I went out, met people, ran summits, the rivers. It’s a shame if you just go there to race.”    

These incredible performances are the culmination of decades of aerobic base and a life spent in the mountains, doing what brings him joy. Kilian is now based in Norway, where he can climb and train away from the throngs of people that descend on Chamonix and other alpine hubs. In our last article we took a look at some of Kilian’s training philosophies, now we will take a look at some more specifics. He spends lots of time on excursions that last the whole day, climbing mountains and descending through valleys around his home.
Why am I talking about Michael Joyner’s predictions of the fastest conceivable marathon time? Well, Joyner and a number of other researchers have published a paper (again in the Journal of Applied Physiology) on the female equivalent of the two-hour marathon, addressing “physiological, historical, and social factors that contribute to current and past sex differences in marathon performance.”

This paper was published in 2015, when the world records stood as follows: 

Men: Dennis Kimetto, Kenya – 2:02:57 (2014 Berlin Marathon)
Women: Paula Radcliffe, UK – 2:15:25 (2003 London Marathon)

Their initial approach to establishing the equivalent mark is to determine the difference in marathon performance by elite athletes of each gender in terms of a percentage. The difference between these two records was approximately 10%, meaning that the equivalent to a two-hour marathon for women would be 120 minutes plus 10%, 2:12:00. However, when analysing the top marathon times (at the time of writing their study), it appeared that the difference between men and women was more significant than 10%, coming in at closer to 12-13%. Interestingly online predictors such as the Mercier Score suggest that the two-hour equivalent sits at 2:15:34, and this had already been achieved by Radcliffe (and subsequently smashed by Kosgei).

read more
Female equivalent of the Two-Hour Marathon

Female equivalent of the Two-Hour Marathon

Doctor Michael Joyner M.D. is a renowned scientist studying the limits of human physiology, he is well-known in running circles for his paper in the Journal of Applied Physiology, back in 1991, that speculated that the “hypothetical best subject” could run a marathon in 1:57:58. This was at a time when the current world record was 2:06:50, set by Belayneh Dinsamo in the 1988 Rotterdam Marathon. The variables that went into formulating this prediction were maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max), lactate threshold (as a percentage of VO2 max) and running economy. For those interested, the hypothetical values he used were “a VO2 max of 84 ml kg-1 min-1, a lactate threshold of 85% of VO2 max, and exceptional running economy.” His paper at the time left a lot of people confused and very sceptical, but with Kipchoge’s recent performances closing in on this hypothesised ideal performance (albeit with a long way yet to go), Joyner’s prediction no longer seems so far-fetched.

Why am I talking about Michael Joyner’s predictions of the fastest conceivable marathon time? Well, Joyner and a number of other researchers have published a paper (again in the Journal of Applied Physiology) on the female equivalent of the two-hour marathon, addressing “physiological, historical, and social factors that contribute to current and past sex differences in marathon performance.”

This paper was published in 2015, when the world records stood as follows: 

Men: Dennis Kimetto, Kenya – 2:02:57 (2014 Berlin Marathon)
Women: Paula Radcliffe, UK – 2:15:25 (2003 London Marathon)

Their initial approach to establishing the equivalent mark is to determine the difference in marathon performance by elite athletes of each gender in terms of a percentage. The difference between these two records was approximately 10%, meaning that the equivalent to a two-hour marathon for women would be 120 minutes plus 10%, 2:12:00. However, when analysing the top marathon times (at the time of writing their study), it appeared that the difference between men and women was more significant than 10%, coming in at closer to 12-13%. Interestingly online predictors such as the Mercier Score suggest that the two-hour equivalent sits at 2:15:34, and this had already been achieved by Radcliffe (and subsequently smashed by Kosgei).

read more
Specific Marathon Training: Hidden Hills 21-Miler (Boston Simulation)

Specific Marathon Training: Hidden Hills 21-Miler (Boston Simulation)

Durden would complete his preparations for the Boston Marathon with a long run that started with a five mile (~8km) warm up to the track at Stone Mountain High School in Georgia. Then the real workout would begin. Durden would run 1km hard – in around 2:50, followed by a 200m jog, followed by a 2km in around 5:50-5:55 (2:55-2:57/km). He would repeat this 3 times through, finishing with a 2km interval which would mean completing the 10km in around 29:00-29:30. But that’s not all…

read more
X

Forgot Password?

Join Us