How the Young Kenyan Athletes are Training
Iten Athletics training camp, December 1998
Training program for St. Patrick High School, Kenya – the “birthplace” of runners such as Charles & Kipkoech Cheruiyot, Peter Rono, Matthew Birir, Helen Kimaiyo, Wilson Kipketer, Japhet Kimutai, Sally Barsosio, Rose Cheruiyot, Joseph Tengelei, Benson Koech, David Kiptoo, Lydia Cheromei and Julius Chelule. (age 14-18 year)
(complied by Joseph Ngure and Brother Colm O’Connell)
Mon : am (men) 8-9 km and stretching
am (women) 6-7 km and stretching
pm (men) Long run 45-60 minutes (12-14 km)+excercises
pm (women) Long run 45-60 minutes (10-12 km)+exercises
am (men) 8 km 27-30 minutes
am (women) 6 km 25 minutes
pm (men/women) 10 munutes w/up,Fartlek for 60-75 minutes – 2 minutes hard/3 minutes easy or 3 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy+exercises
am (men) 9 km pace endurance 60 % and flexibility
am (women) 7 km pace endurance 60 % and flexibility
pm (men/women) Circuit training 4x2 min each, 3x2 min each. Then 100 meteres striding plus long strides for 45 minutes
am (men/women) Long slow 60 minutes over mixed terrain
pm (men/women) 15 min. runs. Then diagonal drills for 30-35 minutes, 10 minutes dynamics
am (men) 8 km easy 30 %
am (women) 6 km easy 30 % plus dynamics
pm (men/women) Hill reps. 120-200 meters x 14 at 60 % pace.
am (men/women) striding for 40 minutes over 100-120 metres
pm (men/women) Competition or speed play over 1-1 mins. or 500 meters
am (men) easy 8 km
am (women) easy 6 km
pm (men/women) active rest
Comment by Marius : St. Patrick High School is located about 35 minutes drive from Eldoret (2150 meters altitude) and is around 2500 meters above sea level. It is very hilly and all training is done on soft red cinder. If you look at the training program, from the experience I have had when visiting Iten training camp - and the talks Frank Evertsen has had with O’Colm (O’Colm has also visited Frank in Norway) - all long runs, except the one labeled “easy 30 %” and “the long slow run in terrain”, is AT running. Even for these very young ones.
Twice a week before the real racing season starts (spring) the athletes go down to around 1000 meters (in the Valley only 20 minutes drive) to do speed work. So “high-low” training has hit Kenya as well :-)
It is also interesting that the home of 800 meter runners like Wilson Kipketer and Kimutai emphasizes speed work so much. Lots of drills and striding - even as main workouts. That might be one of the reasons why Kenyas top 800 meter runners come from St.Patrick. If you look at the program, they run 13 sessions and one “active rest” at very young age – and at high speed. The “fartlek” on Tuesday I observed in 1999 and it was VO2 max training. So in one week, they have 2 Vo2 max sessions (Tuesday and Saturday) 2-3 speed sessions (Wednesday and Thursday, plus partly Saturday morning) and one speed endurance session (hill reps on Friday). This comes in addition to the 4 AT sessions/week (the “long runs”) and two easy runs (am Friday and am Thursday......even though I would suggest that this last one does not go very easy at the end :-) )....so there you have it......the Kenyan training at a young age. AT training, speed and Vo2 max sessions....and competitions year around almost....try it on 14 year old Norwegians or Americans and let them enjoy.......at 2500 meters altitude :-)
For the spring training in Iten and more info on St.Patrick High School : look at the web page http://www.iatfcc.org/Kenyan.html . This page adds some good stuff to the program I have shown you here (that I got down in Kenya from a friend). On the page you can also see the all time best list for former St. Patrick High School students in the 800 meters (as of 1996 – later Kimutai has run 1.42s and Kipketer 1.41low :-) ) :
St. Patrick High School (almuni) All time 800 m. bests
1. Wilson Kipketer - 1:41.83 (96) / 1:46.5 in (90)
2. Benson Koech - 1:43.17 (94) / 1:44.77 World Jun in 92 - School Record
3. David Kiptoo - 1:43.38 (96) / 21.5, 47.5 & 52.4H in 1985
4. Mike Boit - 1:43.57 (76) / 1:48.7 in 1969
5. Joseph Tengelei - 1:43.57 (95) / 46.8 in 1988
6. Cosmos Sielei - 1:45.38 (73) / 3:56.2 for 1500m in 1969
7. Japheth Kimutai - 1:45.4 (96) No. 2 on school list with 96 time
8. Kipkoech Cheruiyot - 1:46.46 (86) / 1:47.8 in 1984
9. Peter Rono - 1:46.66 (88) / 3:39.2 for 1500m in 1985
Here's the December 2004 training of Isaac Songok and Augustine Choge, the two professional men Brother Colm coaches.
some notes: trains 2-3 times a day
diagonals are 200m accelerations
Fartlek at this time of the year is described as 3 min hard, 90s easy
Feb 12- Kenyan XC trials champion
13-20 2 easy runs each day 30-45 mins, 1 hour long run 20th
21- 45 easy/ 35 min fartlke/ 30 easy
22- 50 (easy unless noted)/ 30/ 30 mins of exercises (drills)
23- 40 medium/ - / 30 easy
24- 50 easy/ 45 fartlek/ 30 of exercises
25- 40/ 35 mins of diagonals
26- 45/ 10 X 200 hills/ 40
27- 1 hour
28- 50/ 45 fartlek/ 30
Mar 1- 40/ 35 mins diagonals
2- 45/ 15X 200 hills/ 40
3- 40/ 30 mins at high speeds (threshold work)
4- 35 medium/ 30 easy/ 30 mins of exercises
5- 50/ 45 fartlek/ 30
6- 1 hour
7- 50/ 35 medium
8- 40 easy/ 35 mins of diagonals
9- 50 easy/ 45 fartlek/ 30
10- 40/ 30 mins of exercises
11- 45/ 10 X 200 hills/ 40
12- 30/ 35 mins at high speeds
13- 1 hour
The final week leading up to World XC had two easy runs each day with a 30 min at high speeds followed by diagonals on the 15th.
As you can see not much quality work. Looks like a solid base to me. Some hill work, some threshold running, aand some fartlek to work on threshold and VO2max Nothing scientific. Just putting in the miles, with easy work here and there.
It suprises me that his long run is only one hour in his build up. He does train three times a day, so he gets plenty of strength from that, but there seems to be a lack of the long run. Even in season he never goes longer than an hour. Could this be a factor of why Songock starts the season off very hott (beating Bekele and running fast time) but when the championships roll around he is not very competitive?
Many of the kenyan world class non-marathoner don´t do long runs. Salah Hissou from Morocco never ran longer than one hour and he ran 26,38 and won the WC 5000 m. Some people benefit from long runs, some don´t.
Big Question: Does prayer, or meditation, enter into any of this? I mean, this isn't Joe Bloggs's training plan, this is a monk or non-ordained brother doing this. And there's a good secular reason for asking this. Much of athletics is a mental game.
|It is about time|
I once had a brief conversation with Lameck Aguta---his comment about training is pretty much representative of all Kenyan training (when they are not being closely monitored by coaches). When I asked Aguta what he did for training, he said, "I run until I am tired and then I stop." He was not joking to even the slightest degree.
Does: "Then 100 meteres striding plus long strides for 45 minutes" from Wednesday mean running for 45 minutes emphasizing a long stride? Or is this 100m strides, followed by 45 minutes of longer strides?
I'm also not that clear on what saturday morning is.
|moron dat later|
"More Fire" and "Train hard, win easy" tell the whole story
I know he was big into making his guys snorkel alot. This areated the lungs and cleansed them providing adequate bronchodilation for speedwork. It is not knowledge thats widely available to the public. The only reason I know this is that one of my relatives used to cut his hair.