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RE: Mr. Renato Canova: Could You Please Answer a Question About Effective Ways to Improve the Lactate Threshold?

can smell a fish when i see it wrote:


Yes Kennedy lacked endurance. He ran sub 13 for 5k and couldn't even break 27 for 10k! Something is fishy.

Wrong. Look at the outline of Kennedy's career. From 1992-1999, his focus was 5,000m. He dabbled only sparingly in the 10K, running 27:38 in his debut in 1999. That is one race, likely without specific preparation.

A quote from Renato might explain why Kennedy, a 5K specialist, was not so able to post fast times in a 10K:

"Dear Jzs, the ratio that you say is fruit of a statistical study, and, how all the statistics, is connected with what happened till now. The reality is that the frequency with whom 5000m and 10000m are run is very much different. In any season there are more than 10 opportunities to run 5000m at toplevel, only 1 or 2 for running 10000m. This means that the most part of athletes of 10000m ARE NOT SPECIALISTS OF THIS EVENT, but of 5000m, running 10000m only in Hengelo or in Bruxelles.
In my athletes, for example, that are specialists of 10km better than 5km, we can see these results (like PB) :

JOHN KORIR : 13:09 / 26:52 (34.0 differential)
NICHOLAS KEMBOI : 13:01 / 26:30 (28.0)
HASSAN ABDULLAH : 12:56 / 26:38 (46.0)
ROBERT KIPCHUMBA : 13:19 / 27:25 (47.0)

At the same time, the runners specialists of 5km :

MARK BETT : 12:55 / 27:02 (1:12)
MOSES MOSOP : 13:09 / 27:13 (55.0)

And, about women, the Italian record holder (that is a Marathon runner),
MAURA VICECONTE : 15:18.8 / 31:05.5 (27.9)

So, you understand that speaking about a ratio is almost ridiculous, because the difference depend on the opportunities that the athletes have for competing at top level in 10000m when fully prepared. I want to continue looking at the results of Bruxelles :

CHARLES KAMATHI : 13:03 / 26:51 (45.0)
BONIFACE KIPROP : 13:07 / 27:04 (50.0)
MOSES MASAI : 13:28 / 27:07 (11.0)

During the world record women, the Chinese WANG JUNG-XIA ran 29:31 with the second half in 14:26.

Try to compare the PB of the best athletes of last year in 5km and 10km, then tell me the ratio.

Another thing : many times an athlete is able to improve of a lot of seconds his PB in 10000m, never in 5000m. Why ? Because when you REALLY decide not only to run,but also to prepare 10000m, you can modify very much your parameters of specific endurance, going very far from the statistical ratio. So, no little bag of tricks, but only specific training for an event that is not well prepared for a lot of reasons (the main is the lack of competitions).

The rest among every test is only the time that you need for taking blood from the ear (normally from 45.0 to 1 min), the same after the last 2000m before 1200m. We need continuity in this type of test, because we have to investigate what can happen running long time at an even pace well precised before, so the ideal test could be running without stopping the action, but in this case is not possible to take blood.

I think that the problem of "ratio" is a false problem. Athletics is something conventional, and training is normally a compromise between the natural attitudes of the athlete and the official event. Are you sure that, if distances like 600m, or 1500m steeple, or 300m HS, were official, the record holder had to be the same of 400 or 800, of 3000 steeple or of 400 HS ? Are you sure that, if also for men the weight of shot (4 kg), discus (1 kg) and javelin (600 gr) was the same of women, the record holder could be the same ?
So,you must remember that, regarding EACH RUNNING EVENT, two different typologies of runners exist : "The fast" and "The resistant". Under this point of view, to speak about a "ratio" is an exercise of phylosophy, very much appreciated by many readers and writers of the post, but that has nothing to do with the real solution of an individual training. If, for example, El Guerrouj in the future will move to 10000m too, I think that his ratio will be about 2.09, because there is no doubt that, for 10000m, he is a "fast" type of runner. But, when you want to exhamin the reality, you cannot forget that the density of hard competitions in 10000m is very much little than in 5000m. Look at the all-time lists, and can see like the most part of the performances are in Bruxelles and Hengelo, the only sites where 10000m are frequently run at top level. Also analyzing the development of the races where the athletes beated WR, we see that Gebre and Bekele were alone for the last 6.5 km, while, for example, Tergat was back Paul Koech till 8800m. Regarding Nicholas Kemboi, Ißm sure that, last year, he could run 5km not in 12:42 but in 12:50. The difference is that he was in a wonderful race of 10000m (how many athletes were able to improve their PB last year ?), never in a fast race of 5000m when was in shape. This is a demonstration of the importance of the pace of the race, and of course, if in 5000m there are more opportunities, the PB in 5000m are closer to the potential of the athletes than the PB in 10000m.
Regarding the fact that I prefer to prepare runners of 10000m for this distance (also if they can run it only 2 times a year) instead for 5km, my answer is clear : I PREPARE FOR 10000m ATHLETES THAT HAVE MORE CHANCES ON THIS EVENT, not who has less chance. For example, I don`t prepare Mark Bett (12:55) or James Kwalia (12:54) for 10km, but John Korir and Hassan Abdullah, that also run HM.
And in any case remember that, if you prepare well 10000m, you can run well also 5000m, while the contrary is not true.

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