Zersenay Tadesse (Eritrea)Preparation of a champion.
The past October 24 and 25, I had the opportunity to travel to the XVI Jornadas Técnicas in Madrid. In these coaching conferences was Jerónimo Bravo, the coach of Zersenay Tadesse. I would like to share an abstract of his conference/lecture, that was one of the most interesting about the training of another great athlete.
Zersenay Tadesse, born in Adi Bana, Eritrea on February 8, 1982. 2007 World XC Champion, Silver medal 10000 m (26:50.12) Berlin 2009, Bronce medal 10000 m Athens 2004, 5th place 10000 m Beijing 2008
4 times IAAF World Half marathon Champion:
59:16 Rotterdam '06
58:59 Udine '07
59:56 Río de Janeiro '08
59:35 Birmingham '09
Results in IAAF World Cross Country Championships
1st. Mombasa '07
3rd. Amman '09
Personal bests: 3000m 7:39.93, 5000m 12:59.27, 10000m 26:37.25, half marathon 58:59.
Jerónimo Bravo is probably the Spanish coach that has achieved more medals in major global events. His athlete has won medals in cross country, track and road racing in the same season, for example in this year Zersenay was world champion in half marathon, world silver 10,000 m in Berlin and bronze medal in world cross country.
Zersenay started to RUN at age 20 in January 2002 and to TRAIN shortly after has been working with Jerónimo since the beginning. At that time was relatively young, with superb qualities, he had to become an athlete first and to get know him both the physical and the personal. If his conditions for the races are exceptional human quality is too. Easy to success and failure, hard-working and professional to the extreme, solidarity and team man who assumes the role of figure in Eritrea remains a model for his 7 brothers, young people and the rest of his countrymen. Besides, he is very grateful to his coach.
Athlete and coach are working on a project that spans from 2004 to 2012 with different training goals, consolidation and culmination in the marathon in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Technically has a great efficiency in a race, and "born" to run the marathon. In training they prefer to run less quantity (volume) but with high quality and, from there, increasing the amount up to 165 or 170 km per week without reducing the speed (2:50/km or 4:32 per mile). These runs are also supported by the increase in strength with hills, drag runs, exercises with his own bodyweight, some light weights, but very specific and aimed at the race.
In the 2008-2012 cycle he will move to the marathon and road races and, indeed, has recently proclaimed World Champion in Half Marathon (11 October 2009 in Birmingham), resulting the 4th consecutive time. They are increasing the quality significantly, and the also quantity up to 200 km per week
Training cycles before Berlin 2009.
After 10 days without being able to train to retrieve a viral problem prior to London Marathon and a small foot injury arose during the race, the following periods were organized:
5 weeks in Eritrea since late April to early June.
Approximately 150 km on average, 3 sessions quality sessions in cycles of 9 days.
6 weeks in Madrid from mid June to end of July. Test of 5000 m in 13:07 (Malaga meeting), in week of high load of volume 180 km. With 5 intense training sessions in the last cycle of 12 days.
4 weeks training in Eritrea prior to Berlin traveling directly from Asmara.
They maintain volume of km and increase intensities at altitude.
Follow the same structure of 5 loads of intensity in cycles of 12 days. (20 sessions)
July 2006. 3 x 5 x 500 m in 1:09-1:10 with 2 min recovery and 4 min between sets
September 2006, just before Rotterdam Half Marathon
2 x 3000 m in 7:57 and 8:00 +3 x 1000 m in 2:32 at Villahermoso stadium in Madrid
December 2007 (place Garabitos forest) 3 x 4000 m in 10:41, 10:39, 10:37, with 5 weeks of training, the following week he ran the Vallecana 10 k race below 27:00 min.
5 x 2000 m under 5:20 with 3 min recovery in Casa de Campo Park, Madrid.
February 2007 (Asmara, Eritrea)
Test of 10,000 m below 28 in training
3 x 6 x 600 m in 1:28-1:29 with 2 min recovery and 4 min bet sets.
8 x 1000 m + 400 m with 2 min recovery in 2:37 and 59 seg
He is a very professional athlete, that year 2007, a month later, was world champion in cross country in Mombasa. They went to celebrate at a dinner in Madrid and Zersenay was nervous because he had to go to rest to restart training the next day. It was only 9:00 PM.
They both believe that his future is in the Marathon in 2012.
There are more details but I hope this could start some technical debate among athletes and coaches (CANOVA and others).
(I must remind you that Spanish is my native language and you may find some mistakes).
This should be normal for any top athlete. I would not like such things either, preferring to rest for training.
Those 500's show Zersenay has some serious speed.
Thank you for posting the info.
It would be good to get some additional information about the running, other than interval training, that presumably makes up most of the training volume.
|Ghost of Shiefer|
Don't believe everything you read, especially on the internet.
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Hey Brojos, can you investigate this?
There is a Jerónimo Bravo who has done quite a bit of research on the topic of epo/hgh receptors ... that would be really "convenient" if you know what I mean. I'm just sayin' ...
|Off the Grid|
2.5yrs after he started running, he won an Olympic medal....after living at sea level all his life.
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Ya see, modulating receptors is really cool because these are not on the radar yet. Has anyone here heard of SARMs? Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. When you mess with the receptors, your hormonal profile doesn't change and you pass the IOC/IAAF/WADA tests. Nifty.
No, Zersenay does not run all the time to 2:50/km. But he is able to sustain this pace for a long time. To prepare for the 2009 London Marathon there was an increase up to 200 km per week and several sessions at under 3:00/km pace.
This type of training helped him to grow even more. For the first time he could increase the loads with the aim to the 10000 m of Berlin and also the quality in a important way. If you observe his times of the 4 km repetitions, they are run at 13:35 pace for the 5000 m.
He runs at 3:05-3:10/km very often. His coach believes that 3:20/km pace is not useful to him, except for recovery. In Eritrea there is not synthetic track. He trains on a cinder track at 2300 m altitude (about 7200 feet). They believe that Zersenay has not achieved his limit, he does not finish the training sessions very tired. He does not train in group neither or with rabbits because there is nobody in their group who can hold him the pace.
Here are some examples of his training:
Place: casa de campo park in Madrid, Spain.
Monday: 1 hour 15 min run + technique exercises + strides.
Tuesday:1 hour run + technique exercises on up hill + 80 m hills sprints.
Wednesday: 30 min run + 12 km at 2:57 per km.
Thursday: 1 h 25 min run.
Friday: 30 min + 10 x 1000 m in 2:36-2:38 with 1:30 recovery.
Saturday: 1hour 15 min run
Sunday: 40 min run + fartlek 3 x 2 min (recovery 1 min)
3 x 5 min (1 min), 6 x 1 min (1 min), PM_ 30 min easy run
Place: Asmara (At 2300 m altitude)
Monday: 1 h 15 min run + 6 x 150 m.
Tuesday: 30 min run + 2 x 5 x 600 m in 1:27-1:28 with 2 min between reps and 3 min bet sets. PM 30 min easy run.
Wednesday: 30 min run + 8km at 3:00/km. PM, 30 easy run.
Thursday: 1 h 15 min run.
Friday: 30 min run + 6 sets of 1200-400-200 in 2:57, 58 and 27 with 2:30,1:45 and 1 min recovery. PM_ 30 min easy run.
Saturday: 1h15 min run.
Sunday: 30 min run + 8km (2 times: 2km at 3:00/km pace + 1km at 2:50 + 1km at 2:40) PM_ 30 min easy run.
But for me, the most surprising is his lifestyle, very simple but very, very professional!!
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If you had a coach who happened to be an experimental molecular biologist specializing in epo and hgh receptors - that might help you might be able to go from couch to gold medal in 2.5 years. I don't know if this is the same guy but ... then again I don't know a lot of guys named Jerónimo either.
Obviously Jerónimo Bravo is the co-author of an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on "The key to top-level endurance running performance" ...
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Since no one is commenting on coach Bravo and the possibility that he might also be the EPO and HGH receptor specialist - typical Letsrun denial - which would certainly not benefit anyone going from couch to gold medal (extreme sarcasm) in 2.5 years, I will assume that they are one in the same until I am proven wrong.
Tadesse was a competitive cyclist before he started running.