TRAINING  OF  THE  CHAMPIONS
   1996 Atlanta Olympics 800m Final                                                  by  Tim  Gouldthorp

Training of Haile Gebreselassie:


Haile Gebreselassie

Haile Gebreselassie trains twice a day (at altitude) running about 150 - 200km (94 - 125 miles) during the winter, but less during the racing season).; 5 x 2000m in 64 or 65seconds a lap. (close to 10,000m pace)
8 or 10 x 1000m in 2 min 28 seconds with 3 min recovery. (close to 5000m pace)
3x2000s at 5:05 w/ 3 min. rest.

Regularly undertakes plyometric sessions
Trains with light weights with a high number of repititions
Regularly does strides ( 100 meters), after training sessions (this may partly explain his incredible speed for a distance athlete)

Training of Sebastian Coe


Sebastian Coe-1500m Final, 1984 Los Angeles Olympics

Never ran more than 90km a week
Trained extensively with weights during winter
Focussed on aerobic capacity training at 5000m pace to build aerobic endurance

Training at 18 years of age (1500m 3:45; 3000m 8:14):

Example 1:

Sunday A.M. 5 miles easy; P.M. 30 x 100m on slight hill
Monday 7 miles easy
Tuesday 7 x 800m
Wednesday 11 miles easy
Thursday A.M. 1 x (400m + 300m + 200m + 150) P.M. 3 miles easy
Friday 4 x 1200m, 10 x 150m
Saturday A.M. 30 x 100m on slight hill. P.M.4 miles easy
Sunday 7 x 400m
Monday 7 miles easy


800m Final - 1997 Athens World Championships

Tuesday A.M. 4 miles easy. 10 x 100m
Wednesday 3 miles easy
Thursday 1500m race in 3:50
Friday A.M. 4 miles easy P.M.  1 x (200m + 400m + 300m + 200m)
Saturday A.M. 4.5 miles easy.; P.M.  20 x 200m
Sunday 1 x (100m + 300m) + (2 x 400m)
Monday A.M. 5 miles easy. P.M. 5 miles easy.
Tuesday 5 miles easy.
Wednesday 3000m race in 8:14.2

Example 2:

A.M. Work with weights. P.M. 8 miles easy.
Monday A.M. 4 miles easy. P.M. 20 x 200m in 28 sec.
Tuesday A.M. 4 miles easy. P.M.  4 x 400m + 1 x 1600m
Wednesday 4 x 150m in 18 sec, 3 x 300m in 41 sec, 1 x 400m
Thursday A.M. 4 miles easy. P.M. 10 x 400m in 60 sec.
Friday Weight work
Saturday 7 x 800m in 2:10 average
Sunday AM 1 x 200m + 400m + 200m + 300m + 4 x 100m PM 6 miles easy
Monday 4 miles easy
Tuesday A.M. 4 miles easy. P.M.  strides to loosen legs
Wednesday 1500m race in 3:45

Training of Japhet Kimutai (during track season, following off-season base):


Japhet Kimutai

Monday: AM 3 miles easy   PM  4 x 600m (1:35) + 2 x 200m (24 sec).  2 min rest after 600m, 1 min after 200m.
       Tuesday:  AM  3 miles at 5:40 pace.  PM  9 x 300m (35 sec), with 2 min rest.
       Wednesday:  AM  3 miles at 5:40 pace PM  5 miles on hills.
Thursday:    AM  3 miles easy.   PM  12 x 200m (25 sec) + 2 x 400m (58 sec) 60 sec. rest.
        Friday:    AM  3 miles easy. PM  3 x 600m (1:30) + 2 x 400m  (58 sec) + 4 x 200m (27 sec) 60 sec. rest.
        Saturday:  AM  6 x 400m (57 sec) + 3 x 200m (27 sec) 60 sec. rest.  PM  Hill repeats
        Sunday: Day off.


Wilson Kipketer

Example of 5-Pace Training (method used by Sebastian Coe):

Day 1:    3 x 2000m or (2 x 1,200m) + (1 x 800m) + (2 x 400m) 5000m pace
Day 2: Fartlek Run
Day 3: 6 to 8 x 800m 3000m pace
Day 4: Distance Running
Day 5: 16 to 30 x 200m alternating with 10 x 400m 1500m pace
Day 6: Rest day if race the next day, or fartlek if not
Day 7: Race or time trial
Day 8: 4 to 6 x 400m or 9 x 300m 800m pace
Day 9: Distance running on roads
Day 10:  1 x 300m + 2 x 200m + 4 x 100m + 8 x 60m 400m pace

Training of Norredine Morceli


Norredine Morceli winning 1996 Atlanta Olympic 1500m

"I run to be known as the greatest runner, the greatest of all time. I could not eat or sleep for a week after I lost in the [1992] Olympics. I have to win or die." - Norredine Morceliy

Example of Norredine Morceli's training:

90 minute run at 6:20 pace.
65 minutes fast pace at 5:10 pace
60 minutes very very easy.  Can be as slow as 10 minute pace.
12 x 400m in 55 sec with 40 sec jog rec 60 minutes very very easy.  Can be as slow as 10 minute pace.
Fartlek run with easy striding on soft grassy surface.

Training of Australian middle distance great, Herb Elliott:


Herb Elliott

Coached by the controversial training Percy Cerutty, trained at Cerutty's seaside camp at Portsea, Victoria, Australia.
Trained to exhaustion by repeated sprints up sandunes
Training based on 5 month base, 3 month pre-comp training, 4 month competition phase
Occassionly ran over 20miles during winter training
trained with weights in winter
5-6 runs a week were performed at maximum intensity
typical pre-comp training involved 10-15mile hard runs, and some sprint sessions
trained as little as  4-5 times a week during competitive season

Training of Hichem El Geurrouj:


Hichem El Geurrouj breaks Noredine Morceli's mile world record.
Following closely is Kenyan Noah Ngeny

click here to see article on training of Hichem El Geurrouj

Training of the Kenyans


typically large Kenyan training group (plus two non-Kenyan imposters!)

     The runners of Kenya  constitute the most indominable force in modern middle distance and distance running.  There has been much speculation as to the origin of their stupendous success, with much emphasis placed upon the benefits of the rarefied high altitude air, and a supposed genetic superiority.  Such arguements overlook the amazing training of the kenyans, which I believe truly accounts for their incredible success.  Typical kenyan training involves a steady early morning run, followed by hard intervals or hills mid-morning.  A third session is often completed in the afternoon.  Training in Kenya is characterised by extremely intense training at high intensities (the most potent producer of aerobic development), made only more intense by the affects of the altitude.  Hill training is also a characteristic of training in Kenya.  Large training camps, whether they be military or school based, provide stiff competition in training.  Kenyans name this group ethos "harumbee."

Cross Country Training of Kenyan Paul Tergat:

            Sunday
                     6:00 a.m.  60 min at 5:40 pace
                                            10:00 a.m.  45 min at 5:40
                                                   pace
             Monday
                     6:00 a.m  12 miles at 5:20 pace
                                            10:00 a.m  5 miles at 4:50
                                            pace, then 15 x 200m hills
             Tuesday
                      6:00 a.m  9 miles in 5:30 pace
                                            10:00 a.m  9 miles at 4:50
                                                   pace
            Wednesday
                     6:00 a.m  14 miles at 5:40 pace
                                             10:00 a.m  6 miles easy
             Thursday
                     6:00 a.m  9 miles at 4:50 pace,
                     then 20 strides practicing form
                                            10:00 a.m  9 miles fartlek
              Friday
                      6:00 a.m  9 miles in 4:50 pace
                                            10:00 a.m  5 miles at 7:00
                                                   pace
             Saturday
                      6:00 a.m  7 miles at 7:00 pace
                                                10:00 a.m  Off
Sunday
                      12 miles at 6:00 pace

Training of Kip Keino:


Kip Keino (far right) during the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games

Track Training: 

         Sunday  AM   3 miles at 5:40 pace. PM   4 miles at 5:40 pace.
        Monday AM   3 miles at 5:40 pace. PM  12 x 400m, run in 55-58 sec, 200m  jog rest.
        Tuesday  AM   3 miles at 5:40 pace. PM   3.5 miles at 5:20 pace.
        Wednesday  AM   3 miles at 5:40 pace.PM  15 x 400m, 55-58 sec, 200m jog.
        Thursday  AM   3 miles at 5:40 pace. Pm  Hill session
        Friday  6 x 800m in 2:00 with 2:00 rec.
        Saturday   11 miles at 5:40 pace.
        Sunday  Day off

   Cross Country Training:
        Monday
                      AM   40 minutes easy
                                             10 x 400m in 62 with 2 min rec.
        Tuesday
                      AM   40 minutes easy
                                            6 x 800m in 2:10 with a 4 min rec.
       Wednesday
                      AM   40 minutes easy
                                                20 x 200m in 29 sec.
       Thursday
                      AM   40 minutes easy
                                               10 x 100m at 95% speed
        Friday
                      AM   40 minutes easy
                                            4 x 70m sprint with 330m stride to  next sprint.
                 Saturday
                                                           9 miles at easy pace for recovery.
 
 

Training of Kenyan 800m-1500m athlete, Martin Keino (son of Kip Keino):

Monday: 6am 45mins, 10:30am 40mins, 6pm 30-45mins
Tuesday: 6am 40mins, 10:30am track, 6pm easy run
Wednesday: same as Monday
Thursday: same as Tuesday
Friday: same as Monday
Saturday: morning run and hills

                                                                           Sunday: 90-105mins

Kenyan runners training in the Rift Valley (notice the hills)


                Jim Ryun

                           track training of Jim Ryun:

                   All runs are finished with kicking the legs in
                   the pool to loosen the muscles and enhance
                                 flexibility.
                    Averaging about 110 miles per week with
                            most of it at a fast pace.

                              Standard Warmup

            1320m, with 800m rec.  2 x 600m with 4:00 for run and recovery.  4
            x 300m with 3:00 for run and recovery, then 800m recovery jog.  6
                       x 100m sprints, then 8 x 60 m sprints.

               4 x 200m steep hill sprinting to practice sprinting when tired.
                                 Warmdown

                                                20 x 400m in 62.5 seconds

Cross Country training of Jim Ryun:

                  Averaging about 88 miles per week with most of it at a fast pace.

                                         Saturday   16.5 miles at 6:07 pace
                                                       Sunday     5 miles easy jogging after church
                                                        Monday    20 minute standard  warmup (1 mile jog,  stretching, 4 x 120 yards, 4
                           x 60 yards) Mile in 4:23, 3 x 800m in
                                                                          2:45, 4 x 400m in 69 sec, with 3 minutes for each  run and recovery)
                                                            Tuesday        Standard Warmup  6 x 1500m in 5:02 with 3 minutes rec. 6 x 800m in 2:49
                                                 2.5 mile warmdown
Wednesday                A.M.  4 miles easy PM.  Standard Warmup
                                           4 x (8 x 400m) Averaging
                                           71, 70, 70, 68 for each set
                                           of 8.  In between each set
                                            he jogged a mile for his
                                                rest period.
                                             Standard Warmdown
             Thursday   AM 3 miles easy
                                           P.M.  Standard Warmup
                                            3 x (10 x 200m) 30, 30,
                                           33.  Rec. 2.5 minutes rest
                                             for run an recovery.
                                             2.5 mile warmdown

 training of Bob Kennedy (American 5000m athlete, 6th in world in 1996):

          Monday
                       AM   6 miles easy
                                           PM   Hard 15k Road Run  (5:05,
                                           5:15, 4:59, 5:12, 4:19, 5:08, 5:25,
                                            4:51, 5:10)   Total time:  47:12
         Tuesday
                    AM   7 miles at 6:00 pace
                                             PM   6 miles at 6:00 pace
        Wednesday
                    AM   5 miles at 6:00 pace
                                           PM   3 miles warmup, 5 x 800m
                                           (2:08, 2;07, 2:06, 2:02, 2:04) 1:40
                                            rest between each.   2 miles
                                                  warmdown
         Thursday
                    AM   6 miles at 6:00 pace
                                             PM   7 miles at 6:00 pace
          Friday
                    AM   5 miles at 6:00 pace
                                             PM   5 miles at 6:00 pace
         Saturday
                       AM   2 miles easy
                                                  PM   RacCross Country Training


 

Best Links:

Homepage of Norredine Morceli

Homepage of Haile Gebresellessie (this link may not work)

Homepage of Hicham El Geurujj (this link may not work)

Homepage of Marko Koers

Peak Performance Online (best site for scientifically based advice on training and injury)

Athletics Australia

Runners World

If you have any information on the training of middle distance and distance champions, or any comments or questions, please e-mail me.

rapid motion through space elates one  -  James Joyce