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Renato Canova
RE: RENATO, can you comment on the 2011 World Championships preparation
I don't believe in "symmetric schedules", for the following reasons :

a) If we use, for example, 3 sessions per week (this is the old and classic Kenyan system : track on Tuesday, fartlek on Thursday and long run on Saturday), the recovery time is always the same. This means that ALSO THE INTENSITY OF WORKOUTS MUST BE THE SAME, BECAUSE IF THE ATHLETE GOES FOR A SESSION VERY HARD, AND WANTS TO TRAIN AGAIN AFTER 2 DAYS, OR THERE IS AN ACCUMULATION OF FATIGUE THAT CAN KILL THE ATHLETE IN LONG TERM, OR THERE IS NO SPECIFIC INTENSITY IN THE WORKOUTS, AND DURING THE SPECIFIC PERIOD THIS IS A MISTAKE.

b) If you go to investigate what happens inside the body, you can see that little difference in speed (for example, 2'55" vs 2'50" in 1000m) means A DIFFERENT TYPE OF TRAINING, since the lactate level can be very different. Because I want to use many different speeds (for example, for an athlete running 26'30" in 10000m I need to use from speed of 56" in 400m till speed of 3'20" in 1000m, and this means a difference of 6" every 100m), and I consider every speed as a SPECIFIC TYPE OF TRAINING, giving different stimula to the body and consequentely requiring different levels of supercompensation), I can't use classic microcycles, and I can't have fixed days for the same type of wokouts.

An example of training for 10000m :

Monday : Long and easy run + short sprint uphill

Tuesday : Long fast run till 30 km at 85% of the PB in 10k

Wednesday : General volume (30 km) in two sessions at easy speed (regeneration)

Thursday : General volume (30 km) in two sessions at moderate speed (basic endurance)

Friday : 10 - 15 km at 90 / 95% of the PB in 10k

Saturday : Like Wednesday

Sunday : Long run at moderate pace

Monday : Long intervals on track for increasing Aerobic Power (3000 / 2000 / 1000 with a total volume of 16/20 km) at 95/98% of the PB of 10000m

Tuesday : Regeneration

Wednesday : General volume at moderate pace + short sprint uphill

Thursday : Short interval on track (from 400 till 1000m) for a total volume of 12 km at speed 102/105% of the PB in 10000m

Friday : regeneration

Saturday : Increasing volume (30/35 km) at moderate intensity

Sunday : Long basic run (30 km) at 80% of the PB

Monday : Fartlek with great volume with short distances (for example, 20 times 1' fast / 1' moderate + 20 times 30" fast / 30" easy) as introduction to short intervals for speed endurance

Tuesday : Regeneration

Wednesday : General high volume at moderate intensity

Thursday : 6/8 km continuous run very fast

Friday : Regeneration

Saturday : General high volume at moderate intensity

Monday : Regeneration

Tuesday : Regeneration

Wednesday : Special block (for example, 10 km at 85% of PB plus 10 km at 96% of PB in the morning, 10 km at 85% of PB plus 6/8 km on track with medium intervals (600/1000m) at 100/105% of PB in 10000m)

Thursday : Regeneration

Friday : Regeneration

Saturday : Long progressive run from moderate to fast

As you can see, since we use sessions with more intensity approaching the most important competition, we need to use more recovery in between, and this fact is not possible if we want to use a "symmetric" schedule.

c) Training is something attacking the body, and needs to stimulate the reaction of the body itself. This is called "supercompensation". When there is no stimula, there is adaptation, that is the most important enemy of the performance. In order to give always new stimula to the body, we need to do something new, or in intensity, or in extension, but at the end of the process the top shape is connected with the EXTENSION OF THE INTENSITY.
What I do, for example (especially for marathon) is to extend the ability in running near the pace of the competition. So, I don't use many long runs, during the last 3 months that represent the SPECIAL PERIOD, because for me useless. Which is the reason to run 40 km at 3'30" per km for athletes able running the full marathon under 3' ? It's the best way for wasting time.

So, I put in the program something like 40 km very fast (Mosop before Boston ran at 2300m, up and down, with training shoes, on rough roads, in 2:07:15, that means a full marathon in 2:14. If you cut 6" per km for altitude, racing shoes and tarmac this means a marathon under 2:10 in training. Of course you need about one week for recovering. Abel Kirui ran in 2:09:46 on the mud before WCh, and in all the period had only 2 sessions of long run, but this is the best way for improving the specific endurance).

At least, approaching the specific period of competitions, we need to move to more modulation : high intensity, with the goal to EXTEND it, not to run faster every time with the same volume ; and consequently long recovery, for allowing the body to absorbe the attack of training, and to answer in the right way.


I want to change the "Train hard, win easy" of Kenyan in "Training wellm win easy". The two concepts are not exactly the same thing.

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