Friday, October 26, 2007

Running to the Limit by Paul Tergat

Who is Paul Tergat? If you aren't a fan of distance running, you might not have a clue.

Paul Tergat was born in 1969 in Riwo, Kenya, and here is a partial list of what he has accomplished in the world of distance running:

5,000 meters- 12:49 (1997)
10,000 meters- 26:27 (1997- world record)
Half Marathon- 59:17 (1998- world record)
Marathon- 2 hr 04 min:55 (2003-world record)
World Cross Country Champion (1995-1999)

If you want to know what it takes to be the best, pick up a copy of Tergat's book Running to the Limit, written with Jurg Wirz, Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2005. Here are a few exerpts:

sample week leading up to Tergat's world record marathon run

AM 30 min then 10 x 1,000 meters in 2:45 90 sec rest
PM 1 hr

AM 1 hr 10 min
PM 1 hr

AM 1 hr 15 min
PM 1 hr

AM 35 kilometers
PM recover

AM 1 hr 10 min
PM 1 hr

AM 1 hr 10 min
PM 1 hr

AM 30 min, 20 x 1 min fast, 1 min slow
PM 1 hr

He follows a standard marathon training program that includes one long run, one long interval, and one short interval session per week. He mentions that his typical morning runs are always between medium and fast paced, with the afternoon run at slow to medium. The long runs "are not slow at all." Prior to the Atlanta Olympics, Tergat claims to have been running up to 300 kilometers per week-that's 187 miles.

Tergat's long time coach, Dr. Gabriel Rosa, suggests that training at higher elevations is valuable, as is training on hills. "Somebody who always runs on the flat will after some time lose his strength."

Rosa also thinks quality is more important than quantity- Tergat's 300 kilometer weeks being an exception to that rule. Rosa likes what he calls, "progressive running", or starting slow and ending fast. Runners converting from the track to the marathon must be patient- it's a different biochemistry and running technique.

Tergat thinks it's important for any runner to follow a long term plan. "It is easier to follow a certain training program when you know exactly what you are training for."

What does Tergat do other than running? He illustrates a few simple drills to improve running form, joint range of motion, speed, and strength. He mentions stretching in his sample training logs but does not go into any specifics.

No comments:

Post a Comment