Abebe Bikila 1960, 64& Feyisa Lilesa 2016

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Basics Of Smart Marathon Training

The Basics Of Smart Marathon Training:

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The Basics Of Smart Marathon Training

  • By Jeff Horowitz
  • Published 22 hours ago

You can improve your running economy without battering your body.

LET’S GET THE BASIC WHAT AND WHY OF THIS PLAN right on the table so that you can keep them in mind as you read the how that follows. Here’s what you can expect to be doing on a weekly basis under this plan:

  • * Three runs a week, totaling no more than 35 miles, consisting of speed work or hill repeats, a tempo run, and a long endurance run.
  • * Core strengthening, strength training, running drills, and balance work done two to three times per week.
  • * Aggressive cross-training, recommended as cycling, at least twice per week.

Why this plan? Because too many of us get hurt too frequently doing the sport we love. That’s not acceptable, and it’s not the way things have to be. You may be reading this book because you believe that a change in your running program is a good idea, which also means you’ve already got an open mind about trying a new program. Or you may have come to this program because you’ve had too many injuries or a chronic injury that won’t go away.

RELATED–Smart Marathon Training: Training Smart, Running Healthy

You’re not alone. Most runners sustain an injury at some point that keeps them sidelined. For many of them, the cause is not hard to find: too many miles spent running, with not enough recovery. The high-mileage example comes right from the top: Elite middle- and long-distance runners routinely top 100 miles run per week and often reach over 120 and 140 miles.

Just where did this mania for piling on mileage come from? Often it’s hard to identify the origin of a widespread trend, but in this case it’s not too difficult: coaching legend Arthur Lydiard.

A native New Zealander, Lydiard revolutionized the running world in the 1960s by introducing long, slow runs into his training program. He emphasized the benefits of building a huge endurance base. This provided great improvements in running economy, which is a measurement of how much oxygen the body requires to run at a given speed. High oxygen consumption is a sign of oncoming fatigue, so good running economy means that less oxygen is used to run fast. High-volume running brings improvements in this measurement.

Lydiard’s program required all of his runners—including sprinters and middle-distance runners—to log a minimum of 100 miles per week. His program included more than just this base-building phase, but the high-mileage requirement was always its defining component. From this philosophy was born the general consensus that to be a good runner, an athlete had to nearly always be running. Six days, seven days a week, often twice a day.

It would seem hard to contest Lydiard’s program because of the results it produced: three of his protégés medaled at the 1960 Rome Olympics, and one, Peter Snell, hit double gold in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Nevertheless, a few coaches, like famed coach Jack Daniels, began to question Lydiard’s program. They began to put more emphasis on the intensity of the training effort instead of just the mileage. “Adding more and more mileage to your weekly training does not produce equal percentages of improvement in competitive fitness,” Daniels argued. Long, slow running generally produced long, slow races, they argued. And although high mileage worked for some runners, Daniels argued that each body was different and that each runner had to discover and appreciate his or her limits (Daniels n.d., 2005).

So is it true or isn’t it that only high-mileage running can produce successful long-distance runners? Consider the Africans. Road-racing fans have watched the rise of African long-distance runners since the great Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila won the gold medal in the marathon in the 1960 and 1964Olympics. Since then, Kenyan and Ethiopian runners seem to have been conducting a private duel in most of the world’s top races, from New York to Boston to the Olympics.

This has led many American runners to wonder what it is about the African approach to running that has garnered these runners such success. Part of the reason, no doubt, is that many of these runners live and train at high altitude, which forces their bodies to learn how to work harder with less oxygen. Plus, the African culture and daily lifestyle revolve much more around running than does American culture. But the fact that these runners follow high-volume training plans has led many observers to conclude that high running mileage is necessary to achieve any success.

Still, I suspect that there’s a part of the puzzle that’s been missing. Even though successful African marathoners might run high mileage, it doesn’t follow that every African runner can do high mileage. For every successful African runner we see winning or placing in the major races, there might very well be scores of runners back in Africa whose bodies are not able to tolerate the rigors of high-mileage training. But we rarely see in the popular press data about the injury rate of the rest of the African runners, so the myth grows that only high mileage can produce successful long-distance runners.

If you conclude from all this, however, that I believe that high mileage is always bad, you’d be wrong. For the many elite runners whose bodies can handle it, high-mileage training has yielded astounding fitness and success. Other coaches, Daniels included, agree that high mileage can be beneficial where appropriate.

RELATED–Durability: Art or Science?

The problem is that for many of us, high mileage has brought stress fractures, patella tendinitis, iliotibial band syndrome, Achilles tendinitis, and a host of other maladies, not to mention the frustration of not being able to do the thing we love at the level we’d like to do it. Or, depending on the injury, at all.

This dilemma isn’t limited to middle-of-the-pack runners; many elite runners who prosper with high-mileage training also fall prey to injury. Former world record holder Khalid Khannouchi swung like a pendulum between record-setting performances and disabling injuries, and the fastest American female marathoner to date, Deena Kastor, was sidelined after suffering a stress fracture in the BeijingOlympics. Even for many elite runners, high-mileage training is often not a sustainable lifestyle.

Specificity Of Training

Here’s the problem in a nutshell: To run better, you have to run more. Runners need to run. That’s called specificity of training. You can’t be a better runner by playing racquetball, no matter what other health benefits might come from that activity. And alongside that fact sits this conundrum: To improve in any activity, you need to practice that activity, but when you do nothing but that activity hour after hour, you raise the risk of developing a repetitive stress syndrome and other overuse injuries.

But you don’t have to settle for one extreme or the other. You can improve your running economy without battering your body.

This book presents an alternative to high-mileage training. It focuses on quality runs over quantity of miles, supplemented by other activities that not only produce better overall fitness but also develop the kind of strength that wards off running injuries. By running less frequently and at a lower volume while running more purposefully—and developing balanced strength—you can run better and be stronger and healthier.

Although much of the running and coaching community still sticks by the older method of training, which calls for running six to seven days a week, building up to 60, 70, or more miles per week, there’s a growing body of evidence supporting the view that less is often more. Research has linked the relationship between mileage and injury onset and has established that as the miles pile up, so, too, does the rate of injury. For example, a 2007 British Journal of Sports Medicine review of running injury studies found strong evidence that running more than 40 miles per week increases men’s risk of lower extremity injuries, especially to the knees, from as low as 19 percent to as high as 79 percent (van Gent et al. 2007).

Clearly, then, there’s a point at which most runners top out on the benefits of running, after which more miles bring more harm than good. Research shows that this point hovers somewhere around 35 miles per week (Eyestone 2007).

All this seems pretty straightforward, so the question, then, is, why do so many runners continue to log more than 35 miles per week?

There’s no single answer to this question, but here’s what I suspect: We’re stubborn people. We wouldn’t be distance runners and marathoners if we stopped every time we got tired or sore. I don’t know if running distance makes people stubborn, or if stubborn people are drawn to distance running, but in the end these just seem to go together. If we believe that running more than 35 miles per week is what it takes to become better, many of us are willing to live with the pain and injuries that come with that. At least up to a point.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Haile’s Olympic hopes in tatters as Kipyego wins Tokyo Marathon

TOKYO: Kenya’s Michael Kipyego tore up the script to win the Tokyo Marathon with former world record holder Haile Gebrselassie left floundering in fourth position yesterday.

The former 3000m steeplechase specialist Kipyego clocked a winning time of 2’07:37 in chilly conditions for his first marathon victory.

Gebrselassie broke away from last year’s winner Hailu Mekonnen before the 36km mark but Kipyego powered past the fading Ethiopian with around four kilometres to go.

Surprise victor: Michael Kipyego of Kenya crossing the finish line to win the Tokyo Marathon men’s title yesterday. – EPA

The result leaves Gebrselassie’s Olympic hopes in doubt after three Ethiopians ran below two 2’05:00 in the Dubai Marathon last month.

Gebrselassie finished in a disappointing time of 2’08:17 after targeting a sub-2’05:00 run to boost his chances of securing a spot on the Ethiopia team for this year’s London Olympics.

The 38–year–old twice Olympic and four–time 10,000m gold medallist, however, vowed to fight on.

“I could run another marathon in two weeks,” a defiant Gebrselassie told reporters. “I felt fantastic for the first 30km but then I had some problems at the end of the race.

“The last 5km was the worst I’ve ever run,” added the Ethiopian, who lost his world record to Kenyan Patrick Makau (2’03:38) five months ago in Berlin.

Gebrselassie’s previous record stood at 2’03:59.

He has had his struggles in recent marathons, failing to finish the 2010 New York City Marathon and pulling out of Tokyo last year after injuring himself in training.

Japan’s Arata Fujiwara boosted his chances of making his country’s Olympic squad by finishing runner-up in 2’07:48 after passing Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich in the final stretch.

Kipyego could hardly believe he had stolen the thunder of the man dubbed the “Emperor”.

“Today I won but you can never compare anyone with Haile,” the 28–year–old Kipyego added. “He’s the king of the marathon. I salute him.”

In the women’s race, Atsede Habtamu of Ethiopia overtook front-running Eri Okubo of Japan after passing the 39km mark to win in 2’25:28.

Her compatriot, Yeshi Esayias, was second in 2’26:00, followed by Helena Loshanyang Kirop of Kenya in 2’26:02. Okubo finished fourth place in 2’26:08. – Agencies

London Olympics 2012: Ethiopia's former world marathan record holder Haile Gebrselassie could miss Games - Telegraph

London Olympics 2012: Ethiopia's former world marathan record holder Haile Gebrselassie could miss Games
Running out of time: Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia is escorted by a volunteer after finishing fourth in the men's race of the Tokyo Marathon Photo: AP

The former world record holder had entered the Japanese race to achieve the required Olympic qualifying standard of 2hr 15min and to run quickly enough to secure his place in the three-man Ethiopian team for London.

But his time of 2hr 8min 17sec means he is only the 14th fastest Ethiopian over 26.2 miles this year, while three of his countrymen ran under 2hr 5min at last month’s Dubai Marathon — performances that would make them medal contenders in London.

It raises the possibility that fans lining London’s streets this summer will be denied the chance to see one of the true legends of the sport, whose record includes two Olympic 10,000 metres gold medals, four world 10,000m titles, nine marathon victories and the distinction of being the first man in history to run a sub-2hr 4min marathon.

Given Ethiopia’s fierce rivalry with neighbouring Kenya, currently the dominant force in marathon running, it is unlikely there will be any room for sentiment in the Ethiopian selectors' deliberations, which means Gebrselassie’s dream of an Olympic swansong may require him to run another marathon in the spring.

With a mere five or six weeks’ recovery time, that would be a tall order for any athlete let alone a 38 year-old whose body has shown signs of wear and tear in recent years, though it was something he did not discount after yesterday’s race.

“I could run another marathon in two weeks,” he said. “I felt fantastic here for the first 30 kilometres, then had some problems at the end of the race.

“Sometimes you are too ambitious. This can happen. My target was 2-05 today but it didn’t work out that way. On the last downhill, I started to get some pain in my back. The last 5km was the worst I’ve ever run.”

Gebrselassie had led the race with three miles to go before he was caught by Kenyan Michael Kipyego, who surged ahead to win in 2-07-37. He was also overtaken by Japan’s Arata Fujiwara and Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich.

Kipyego could hardly believe he had upstaged the great Ethiopian, saying: “I won but you can never compare anyone with Haile. He’s the king of the marathon. I salute him.”

But Gebrselessie’s reign already looks over after a race that provided further evidence of his diminishing powers.

In November 2010, he failed to finish the New York Marathon after being troubled by a knee problem and at a tearful press conference afterwards he announced to the world that he was quitting the sport.

That decision was swiftly reversed, though he was forced to withdraw from last year’s Tokyo Marathon through illness and then he failed to finish the Berlin Marathon last September after developing breathing problems.

The loss of his status as the world’s greatest marathon runner was underlined in the German capital as Kenya’s Patrick Makau triumphed in a world record of 2-03-38, obliterating Gebrselassie’s previous mark of 2-03-59.

Should Gebrselassie consider a final throw of the dice by running a spring marathon to secure an Olympic spot, it is highly unlikely he will choose the Virgin London Marathon on April 22.

He suffers from acute hay fever and has said previously that he would never again run in London in the spring after the high pollen count in 2007 provoked a strong allergic reaction and forced him to pull out mid-race.

Athletics-Kipyego triumphs in Tokyo, Gebrselassie flops | Reuters

* Gebrselassie defiant after disappointing display (Adds quotes, detail)

By Alastair Himmer

TOKYO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Kenya's Michael Kipyego tore up the script to win the Tokyo Marathon with former world record holder Haile Gebrselassie left floundering in fourth on Sunday.

The former 3000m steeplechase specialist Kipyego clocked a winning time of two hours, seven minutes and 37 seconds in chilly conditions for his first marathon victory.

Gebrselassie broke away from last year's winner Hailu Mekonnen before the 36-kilometre mark but Kipyego powered past the fading Ethiopian with around four kilometres to go.

The result leaves Gebrselassie's Olympic hopes in doubt after three Ethiopians ran below two hours and five minutes in the Dubai Marathon last month.

Gebrselassie finished in a disappointing time of 2:08:17 after targeting a sub-2:05 run to boost his chances of securing a spot on the Ethiopia team for this year's London Games.

The 38-year-old twice Olympic and four-times 10,000 metres gold medallist, however, vowed to fight on.

"I could run another marathon in two weeks," a defiant Gebrselassie told reporters. "I felt fantastic for the first 30 kilometers but then I had some problems at the end of the race.

"The last 5km was the worst I've ever run," added the Ethiopian, who lost his world record to Kenyan Patrick Makau (2:03:38) five months ago in Berlin.

Gebrselassie's previous record stood at 2:03:59.

He has had his struggles in recent marathons, failing to finish the 2010 New York City Marathon and pulling out of Tokyo last year after injuring himself in training.

Japan's Arata Fujiwara boosted his chances of making his country's Olympic squad by finishing runner-up in 2:07:48 after passing Uganda's Stephen Kiprotich in the final stretch.

Kipyego could hardly believe he had stolen the thunder of the man dubbed the "Emperor".

"Today I won but you can never compare anyone with Haile," the 28-year-old Kipyego added. "He's the king of the marathon. I salute him."

(Editing by John O'Brien)

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

International Association of Athletics Federations iaaf.org -


Japheth Korir working his way towards victory in Diekirch
Japheth Korir working his way towards victory in Diekirch(Rosch Kohl)
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Kenya’s youngster Japheth Korir and Ethiopia’s Almensh Belete reestablished East African supremacy at the ING Eurocross in Diekirch (Luxemburg) on Sunday (12).

The 18-year-old Korir won the 10.2Km race ahead of fellow countryman Albert Rop and Tasama Dame of Ethiopia. Almensh Belete, at the age of 22 also still very young for long distance running, took the 5.35Km women’s race from Etenesh Diro of Ethiopia and Moroccan Fatiha Benchatki. In the past two years there had been no winners from Kenya or Ethiopia in Diekirch, an IAAF Cross Country Permit Meeting.

Sunshine on a wintry day provided fine conditions for the race. With temperatures around zero Celsius the grass and sand course was still covered with snow and frozen. Up to 2000 spectators followed the various races in which about 500 athletes competed.

Men’s Race - Korir displays great finishing speed

In the men’s race eight runners formed an early lead group, but they did not stay together for long. After two kilometres Kenyans Korir and Rop increased the pace and it was only Dame who could hold on while the others dropped back significantly. Among them was last year’s winner Elabassi El Hassan of Morocco, who would eventually finish sixth with 31:32.31, almost a minute behind the winner. Onesphore Nkunzimana (Burundi), the three-time Eurocross record winner, was even further behind. He would ultimately have to be content with 12th place in 32:28.97.

While the bigger leading group had broken up early the other three stayed together to the final stages developing a thrilling race for victory. The pace increased again, and again and it was then Dame who could not hold on with 600 metres to go. Meanwhile Korir and Rop exchanged the lead a couple of times before the 18-year-old finally secured a narrow victory. The bronze medallist from the World Junior Cross Country Championships in 2010 clocked 30:34.03 while Rop crossed the line in 30:35.56. Dame followed in third place with 30:59.56. Running alone for long parts of the race Canada’s Reid Coolsaet showed a fine performance, taking fourth in 31:17.09. Abdelhalim Zahraoui (Morocco/31:23.00), El Hassan and Taye Damte (Ethiopia/31:35.47) followed while France’s Marathon specialist, Driss El Himer, was the best European finishing eighth in 31:42.84.

Women’s Race - fourth time a charm for Belete

In the women’s race a leading group of five were together for most of the contest. With four Africans involved – Belete, Diro and Shankutie Mestawot-Tadessa (all Ethiopia) plus Benchatki – it was a surprise that a German set the pace at the front of the group. Working hard Susanne Hahn, the winner of the Eurocross in 2006, took to the front. “I ran as best as I could today,” she said. But in the final lap the Africans surged ahead and dropped the German.

The decisive moment came with around 300 metres to go. Belete strongly increased the pace and was successful with a long sprint. The 22-year-old, who had placed second in Diekirch in 2009 (behind her sister Mimi) and 2010 and finished fourth last year, won in 18:25.75, followed by Diro (18:28.15) and Benchatki (18:29.78).

Mestawot-Tadessa (18:41.62) faded badly in the closing stages of the race, but she just managed to defend fourth place in front of a strong finishing Hahn (18:43.75). Sonja Roman of Slovenia took sixth place with 18:46.22.

“After having placed second two times I am very happy to have finally won in Diekirch,” said Belete.

Jörg Wenig for the IAAF

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Prof. Muse Tegegne has lectured sociology Change &  Liberation  in Europe, Africa and Americas. He has obtained  Doctorat es Science from the University of Geneva.   A PhD in Developmental Studies & ND in Natural Therapies.  He wrote on the  problematic of  the Horn of  Africa extensively. He Speaks Amharic, Tigergna, Hebrew, English, French. He has a good comprehension of Arabic, Spanish and Italian.