Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Fartlek Session
Run Sessions Triathlon Training

Friday Fartlek Run: Eliud Kipchoge’s Key Session before #INEOS159

Building consistency at race pace is an important skill for all runners regardless of race distance. This is a session Eliud Kipchoge did a few weeks ago in the build up to last weekend’s successful attempt to run a marathon in under 2 hours. This session is great for runners and triathletes running events up to Marathon distance and longer.

Each week I will be posting the Friday Fartlek Run Sessions that you can do to enhance your running. Fartlek is a Swedish term that is often used by runners and it means speed-play. See a previous post about training intensity (levels) to know how hard to work.

Last weekend Eliud Kipchoge became the first person to run a marathon in sub-2hrs. The inspiration for this session comes from a YouTube video of a track session Eliud Kipchoge has recently done in Kenya (at an altitude of 2,200m) in the build up to #INEOS59. I’ve modified the session so as it is done on time not distance, making it easier for mere mortals to replicate.

Eliud Kipchoge’s Key Track Session before #INEOS59

  • 10min WU Level II;
  • 5x
    • 6min Level III, 1:45min RI;
    • 3min Level III, 1:45min RI;
  • 10min CD Level II;
  • 10min Stretching

The Warm Up (WU) should be done at an intensity that is steady, but not over consuming at Level II for ten minutes.

The main set is made up of five reps. Each rep has two sub reps. Start off with 2,000m at Level III, follow this with a Rest Interval (RI) of 1:45 minutes. Keep the legs slightly active during this period by walking about in this time. The next sub-rep is only 1,000m also at Level III, prior to another Rest Interval (RI) of 1:45 minutes. Once again keep your legs slightly active during this period by walking about during this time. Then complete the next rep. The workout should look like: 2,000m – 1:45min RI – 1,000m – 1:45min RI – 2,000m – 1:45min RI – 1,000m – 1:45min RI – 2,000m – 1:45min RI – 1,000m – 1:45min RI – 2,000m – 1:45min RI – 1,000m – 1:45min RI – 2,000m – 1:45min RI – 1,000m – 1:45min RI

The Cool Down (CD) is at a low intensity, jogging (Level II) for a minimum of ten minutes.

Finish with 10 minutes stretching to assist with the recovery.

Kipchoge ran this session extremely fast as you would expect from someone who is aiming to run a marathon in under two hours. The paces he ran for the longer segments (6min) segments between 2:51 & 2:54 min/km and the shorter (3min) segment sub-reps in 2:43 & 2:51 min/km. Remember these are Kipchoge’s Level III!!! That is how he managed to maintain his pace with only a very short rest. If he was doing these at Level IV he would have been running the longer segments in about 2:45 min/km pace and all the shorter legs under 2:46 min/km. To maintain this pace he would have needed a longer rest. If he was to run at Level V he would have needed a longer Rest Interval (RI) to maintain the higher intensity and his times would have been in the vicinity of 2:45 min/km for the longer legs and about 2:30 min/km for the shorter legs!!!!

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729.

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If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published.

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Ray has competed in triathlons from sprint to ironman distance (both IM Taupo and Challenge Wanaka). Consequently he is aware of the importance of balancing training with lifestyle, thus complimenting other important aspects of an athlete’s life (family, work, study commitments etc…). • Entering your first triathlon? • Stepping up to a longer distance? • Looking to go faster? • Wanting to turn previous negatives into positives? Ray has coached athletes to achieve these and more. Training programmes are accessible online, so athletes can be located anywhere and still reap the benefits of Ray’s coaching. Contact him to discuss how he can assist you to achieve your goals.
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