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06-11-2014, 03:44   #1
leftism
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Training log from the DCM Champ

As promised

Here is a link to the testing data and training programs which provides info on Eliud Too's preparation for the Dublin City Marathon. James and myself (mostly James) have been working hard over the last two days to put together all the information in one location.

http://jamesrwalters.wix.com/eliuddcmtraining

Essentially the way the training programme is designed is that the athlete gets a lab test done at the start of the training block. This provides data on maximal aerobic capacity, but more importantly heart rates and speeds which correspond to specific blood lactate concentrations. All training intensities are primarily based off heart rates. James uses pace and speed simply as a guideline for attaining steady state heart rates. No pressure is ever put on the runner to achieve a set time. The perfect session is when heart rate was smack on target, regardless of the split times. A training adaptation is defined as an increase in pace for no change in steady state heart rate. These adaptations are very small, take months to develop, but over the course of 4 years can add up to significant improvements in performance.

From a periodization perspective, we use a block periodization model, similar to what Issurin first proposed back in the mid 90's. A full training block is usually a series of 5-6 x mesocycles. Each mesocycle is 4 weeks long and will have a different focus, based on how far out from the race we are.

So the 5 x monthly cycles for Dublin were divided into:

2 x aerobic development (June and July)
1 x transition (August)
1 x VO2max/Lactate tolerance (September)
1 x Speed/Alactate (October)

Feel free to post any questions or comments. I'm sure James will fill in more of the specific details, as he is the main guy devising and implementing the training on a daily and weekly basis.
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06-11-2014, 09:53   #2
ger664
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Interesting to note Recovery Runs where 20-30 minutes with 20 minutes stretching. Some on here including myself would be guilty of 40-50 min recovery run with minimal or no stretching.

What type of stretching involved here Dynamic or static or a mix ?
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06-11-2014, 12:13   #3
PerfectPacing
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Leftism - Thanks for posting, this is great material and brilliant to see such useful information being shared.
Two questions

1) The weekend runs are all long and slow at the lower zones/HR's
Other than the 30km TT, there is no "quality long run" where Eliud runs at race pace for sustained periods.
Can you provide the theory behind this?

It is in contrast to the Canova Long runs where segments at race pace (or race effort) are routinely included.


2) Was a subsequent incremental lactate test performed other than the original test in May?
Were lactates taken during or post any of the key training sessions ?

Thanks in advance
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06-11-2014, 14:09   #4
Itziger
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I had a look at the training programme. Loved the idea that HALF a morning off is classified as rest.
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06-11-2014, 17:22   #5
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Wow! Thanks for this! This is fantastic material...actually looking forward to getting my nerd head on and going through this with a fine tooth comb. Cheers again!
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06-11-2014, 17:38   #6
career move
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Very interesting thanks. I have a few questions

- when Eliud ran in the Eldoret Half Marathon 22 days before DCM, what were his instructions as to the pace he should be running?

- what does Eliud do for the rest of the day when he's not training?

- how have you managed the recovery post DCM?

- did Eliud have any niggles or injuries during the preparation and how did you manage them?

- does Eliud get routine treatments like massages etc
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06-11-2014, 20:11   #7
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Something that should be noted is this is the program he followed, but this doesn't mean it is 100% how his training went. The best he would get and the best I ever expected was 90-95% completion of a mesocycle. Whether this is caused from slight injury, sickness, rain, or some other reason. Eliud once had a little tightness in his ankle, we took a day or two off to recover. He was sick at one point and missed 3-4 days of training. Raining seems a silly reason, but if it rains it is difficult to do a session and not become sick afterwards because we live a very simple life in Iten. There is no running water and no heated water. It takes about 40-60 min to heat water on our little charcoal grill. Then we shower in an outhouse using water from a small basin. It is too easy to be standing around wet and cold long enough to come down with something, so we usually just skip those sessions. With Eliud's success, we'll be able to install a "steamy" and this will solve our problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ger664 View Post
Interesting to note Recovery Runs where 20-30 minutes with 20 minutes stretching. Some on here including myself would be guilty of 40-50 min recovery run with minimal or no stretching.

What type of stretching involved here Dynamic or static or a mix ?
After sessions the typical stretching involved some dynamic stretching and a roller stick or foam roller massage. Eliud suffered some tightness in his legs before Dublin. Of all my athletes he is the best about flexibility exercises, but he doesn't nearly do as much as he should. This is definitely something for him to work on as he maybe does flexibility for half the prescribed time after his sessions. The goal is the prescribed amount of stretching regressing from dynamic to static stretches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PerfectPacing View Post
Leftism - Thanks for posting, this is great material and brilliant to see such useful information being shared.
Two questions

1) The weekend runs are all long and slow at the lower zones/HR's Other than the 30km TT, there is no "quality long run" where Eliud runs at race pace for sustained periods.
Can you provide the theory behind this?

It is in contrast to the Canova Long runs where segments at race pace (or race effort) are routinely included.


2) Was a subsequent incremental lactate test performed other than the original test in May?
Were lactates taken during or post any of the key training sessions ?

Thanks in advance
1) We noticed in May that Eliud's ratio of fat/glycogen utilization was not efficient enough for marathoning, primarily as his background was steeplechase. So to train his body for utilizing fat more efficiently he needed to push his body for increasingly longer efforts at a low intensity, getting to 2+ hr runs. Zone A1 has the highest RER which means it is the optimal zone for enhancing fat oxidation. The rate of glycogen depletion is a key determinant of performance in the marathon and the best way to reduce this rate is by enhancing fat oxidation. This is a component we are very keen to develop in Eliud, but it can take over a year to observe any noticeable adaptation. His A2 zone would be what you are referring to as Canova Long Runs. Neil and I had hoped to have a fair bit of running in this zone, but as things progressed I found Eliud wasn't ready for this component in his program so I reduced the volume of A2. The priority was improving his fat oxidation. His A2 zone is something we will be integrating more and more as he matures. But he's still not ready for it yet.

2) Unfortunately our plans for retesting Eliud before DCM fell through due to visa issues. Once I get back to Kenya I will have him run a sub maximal incremental test collecting blood lactate (BLa) and heart rate (HR) data up to 4-5mmol. During Eliud's 30km time trial on the 28th of August I took a BLa reading at 15km and at 30km. At 15km he was at 3.5 mmol BLa and at 30km he was 3.1 mmol BLa. His final time for the 30km was 1:39:50 (34 seconds of this were for taking a blood sample).
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06-11-2014, 21:51   #8
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This is the most inspiring and best thread ever on this forum. Any chance of having a race report for the man of the moment. From a middle of the road runner like myself the honesty here is great.

Last edited by rom; 07-11-2014 at 10:02.
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07-11-2014, 00:04   #9
wall.e
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Quote:
Originally Posted by career move View Post
Very interesting thanks. I have a few questions

- when Eliud ran in the Eldoret Half Marathon 22 days before DCM, what were his instructions as to the pace he should be running?

- what does Eliud do for the rest of the day when he's not training?

- how have you managed the recovery post DCM?

- did Eliud have any niggles or injuries during the preparation and how did you manage them?

- does Eliud get routine treatments like massages etc
He knew his pace for that altitude should be between 3:00-3:05/km. The objective was for Eliud to be put in a race atmosphere and see how well he could push his body. Races in Kenya are, organizationally, horrible and Eliud didn't even start in the top 100 because he was scared of getting caught in a pile up. By the half way turn around, he was top 12 and on the way back, it was an out and back course, he was pushed back to not even top 50 due to people taking "short cuts." In the end he finished 31st in a time around 65 minutes. The ultimate goal was to be in a race atmosphere and push the body as hard as he could for a half marathon. The time and placing became irrelevant since we aren't confident the race is actually 21km and because many of the other competitors cheated, most importantly Eliud fully understood this and he accomplished what we wanted. This wasn't what we originally had planned for his preparation, but it was the best we could do with the present situation.

When Eliud isn't training he'll work on chores around the camp, there is always something to be done. Typical work around the camp includes fetching more water from the spring, washing clothes or dishes, preparing for an upcoming meal, sweeping the apartments, or going for more groceries. On most days he'll take an hour or two nap between training sessions. On days we don't have any training or part of the day is off, we either do more work around the camp or find something entertaining to do (we did lots of hiking and sitting along the escapement in Iten).

Eliud had one 'injury' in Iten. He didn't like the idea of reversing direction on the track so his ankle started to become overused. It wasn't until we went to the track in Tambach and I made him try the reverse direction did he change his views on the matter. He took one or two days off for this, just to be certain it was resting properly.

Eliud also came down with some type of virus from our housemate Mark. He took two or three days off from training to recover from the illness. He took simple over the counter anti-inflammatories from the local shop, some tylenol PM I was carrying, and lots and lots of fruits.

In Iten, he maybe had 2-3 massages... not as many as we would like him to have.

Neil knows much much more about the details and happenings in Ireland as I was in America.
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07-11-2014, 00:05   #10
leftism
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Quote:
Originally Posted by career move View Post
Very interesting thanks. I have a few questions

- how have you managed the recovery post DCM?
Eliud's recovery post DCM involved a massage directly after the race and the next morning. He was pretty stiff for 24hrs but this was mostly due to the lack of a proper cool down straight after the race (media, prize-giving, anti-doping and such).

2 days after, he was on a turbo-trainer doing 20mins easy cycling followed by 20mins dynamic stretching afterwards. 3 days after he did another 20mins easy cycling, followed by 15mins easy jogging and dynamic stretching. By the 4th day he was feeling much better, went for an easy 20min A1 run with little or no pain/discomfort. He has more or less been resting up since that, but continues stretching and foam rolling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by career move View Post

- did Eliud have any niggles or injuries during the preparation and how did you manage them?
He suffered some pain and tightness in his right plantar-fascia about 1 week out from the race. It was brought on after his final A3 session which he ran in the Phoenix Park in his racing flats. We used some anti-inflammatory cream (Diclac) on the foot that evening. The next day we substituted his runs for cycling on a turbo-trainer and he had two deep tissue massage sessions to loosen out the fascia and the calf muscles over the next 48 hours. As with most plantar-fascia issues, the underlying cause was a very tight calf. An hour of foam rolling and static stretching along with the massages helped alleviate the problem and he was back running pain free by Thursday of race week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by career move View Post

- does Eliud get routine treatments like massages etc
My friend John Caffrey provided regular massage sessions for Eliud in the lead up to DCM and in the days after the race. John has previously worked with pro-Tour cycling teams and was a huge help to Eliud. Ideally we'd like to see him getting regular treatments at least once a week in Kenya. Up until now he simply hasn't had the funds to do this, but the win in Dublin means he should now be able to afford regular sessions.

To be honest, considering the mileage he puts in and the lack of treatment he has had over the years, he is incredibly resilient and rarely has any problems. He's missed a few days in Kenya (which James described) and then 2 days in Dublin. Hopefully he can keep up this resilience to injury over the coming years...

Last edited by leftism; 07-11-2014 at 00:13.
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07-11-2014, 08:10   #11
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Thanks again for this - really amazing.

From the May 14th incremental test, Eliud's A1 pace is 5:43-5:27 - is this the slowest pace that he runs at (other than initial w/up)? Is anything below A1 pace a "junk mile" or does he not count anything slower? (I've a feeling I've been running too slow on easy days - I'd barely even reach A1 pace most days!).

What approaches to marathon training do Eliud's peers in Iten generally adopt? Is there a preferred philosophy or one philosophy that's in vogue (or becoming more widespread) at the moment?

Do the runners in Iten get together and discuss their various approaches to training, or is there much interaction between training camps? Do they get session envy from seeing what other people are doing at training!?

Did Eliud's win get any coverage in Kenya? Did he run competitively at a national level as a junior?

There must be a buzz around different runners in Iten at different times or young runners in Kenya - at any distance - is there competition between different training camps for runners? Will Eliud's win bring more runners to your camp?

And are you training any other runners we should look out for?

I have about 100 more questions but I'll leave it there for now!
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07-11-2014, 09:55   #12
BeepBeep!
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This is a great thread lads...just a question about yourselves? What is your background and how did you become involved with training Kenyan athletes? Totally understand if you want to dodge this question. An Sacksian said I have about 100 more questions too but I'll leave them til later.
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07-11-2014, 10:11   #13
 
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This is a great thread lads...just a question about yourselves? What is your background and how did you become involved with training Kenyan athletes? Totally understand if you want to dodge this question. An Sacksian said I have about 100 more questions too but I'll leave them til later.
The Lads were on the Seconds captain podcast a few weeks ago:
https://soundcloud.com/secondcaptain...duffers-ankles

I have to say Eliud came accross very well, a Lovely chap. Heartwarming to hear his plans for his DCM prize money. Definitely worth a listen.
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07-11-2014, 10:12   #14
leftism
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacksian View Post

From the May 14th incremental test, Eliud's A1 pace is 5:43-5:27 - is this the slowest pace that he runs at (other than initial w/up)? Is anything below A1 pace a "junk mile" or does he not count anything slower? (I've a feeling I've been running too slow on easy days - I'd barely even reach A1 pace most days!).
Eliud's zone A1 is 145 - 155 beats.min-1. The pace is irrelevant. I cannot stress this point enough! We do not pay much attention to what pace he is running as this is an arbitrary number that will change based on his fatigue level, altitude, weather conditions and about 15 other variables. His heart rate is a physiological parameter unique to him and provides better feedback for controlling a workout than pace or speed.

Also, most of the early morning (pre-breakfast) runs are performed well below zone A1. He would normally shuffle along at a very slow pace which i can easily keep up with (i'm not a strong runner). The goal of these early morning workouts are simply to wake the body up in preparation for the day's real training. It also provides some additional exposure to fat metabolism as he's running in a fasted state. The post-breakfast and afternoon sessions are performed much more strictly with a focus on maintaining heart rate.


Note:
I would not encourage anyone to use Eliud's paces or heart rates as a guideline for their own training. Obviously these indicators are unique to his physiological profile and are not to be replicated by anyone else. The best way to replicate this type of training is to get a test done for 60euro and then you'll know exactly where your zone A1, A2 and A3 lie.
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07-11-2014, 11:07   #15
Sacksian
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Eliud's zone A1 is 145 - 155 beats.min-1. The pace is irrelevant. I cannot stress this point enough! His heart rate is a physiological parameter unique to him and provides better feedback for controlling a workout than pace or speed.
Absolutely! (I meant an approximation of my equivalent A1 pace).

Quote:
Originally Posted by leftism View Post

Note:
I would not encourage anyone to use Eliud's paces or heart rates as a guideline for their own training. Obviously these indicators are unique to his physiological profile and are not to be replicated by anyone else. The best way to replicate this type of training is to get a test done for 60euro and then you'll know exactly where your zone A1, A2 and A3 lie.
Agreed - I'm interested in the relationship between "easy" runs and the "A1" runs (and am booked in for those tests in a couple of weeks) just preempting that a little!
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