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Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

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Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Ben Z on Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:57 pm

I posted about Canova's (really) hard (really) long run before but I think we can all learn something from the type of training he advises for his elites. From a good article on RT:

http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=25230&PageNum=2

As the fear of the marathon has lifted, runners are training more effectively for the distance. According to Beauttah, runners now understand that endurance is only one piece of the puzzle, and that speed is absolutely essential.

Canova notes that the training has become far more marathon-specific. For instance, instead of the traditional weekly long run at an easy to moderate effort, today's top marathoners will run 30 to 40K close to marathon pace. For example, before taking second at Boston in his debut, Mosop ran 40K in 2:07; that's the first 25 miles of a 2:14 marathon, in training shoes, at 8,000 feet of altitude. Naturally, this high-intensity workout requires a much longer recovery. Canova says, "During the final period of preparation, [athletes] have one specific training every five to seven days only." Canova's marathoners sometimes do what most people would consider a long run only once or twice a month.

In addition to the high-intensity long run, Canova's marathon-specific training also includes speed endurance workouts, like 7K, then 6K, then 5K, then 4K, then 3K, then 2K, all at marathon pace, alternating with a "recovery" kilometer at 80 percent of marathon pace (read: not jogging). Canova's runners also do large volumes of repeats on the track--up to 20K worth in a session--at faster than marathon pace.


Now we all need to realize this is prescribed for elite athletes and we probably can't handle these exact workouts. However, what I take away from it is that when you think you are ready it may be time to push the envelope in terms of the really hard workouts. Only a few of them can go a long ways when placed in appropriately in a training cycle with adequate rest before and after.
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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Diego on Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:01 pm

The key and most neglected feature of marathon training is still basebuilding and endurance. Once marathoners have 2-3 cycles over 12-18 months, then I think the speedwork produces more gains(why would you want to run 16-20 miles slow when you already have the big engine?)

But to perform long PMP workouts before a base is built is a recipe for poor races relative to the ability of the athlete.

I can't help but to think of those 7-6-5-4-3-2k MP workouts like we do the Insanity workouts. High level interval training with brief moderate intensity breaks.
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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Ben Z on Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:06 pm

@Diego wrote:The key and most neglected feature of marathon training is still basebuilding and endurance. Once marathoners have 2-3 cycles over 12-18 months, then I think the speedwork produces more gains(why would you want to run 16-20 miles slow when you already have the big engine?)

But to perform long PMP workouts before a base is built is a recipe for poor races relative to the ability of the athlete.

I can't help but to think of those 7-6-5-4-3-2k MP workouts like we do the Insanity workouts. High level interval training with brief moderate intensity breaks.

Couldn't agree more Diego. Base, base and more base. Then a handful of really tough, key workouts.
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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Dave-O on Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:35 pm

It does seem like longer sessions closer to goal pace have become a key component to elite's training. The important question that is how and when to incorporate them.

I have a buddy that's well-versed in Canova training. I'm tempted (and slightly scared) to have him coach me for next fall.
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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Ben Z on Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:44 pm

@Dave-O wrote:

I have a buddy that's well-versed in Canova training. I'm tempted (and slightly scared) to have him coach me for next fall.

Does your friend have any literature to reference? I would be interested to read it if it can be distributed electronically.
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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Schuey on Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:13 pm

@Dave-O wrote:It does seem like longer sessions closer to goal pace have become a key component to elite's training. The important question that is how and when to incorporate them.

I have a buddy that's well-versed in Canova training. I'm tempted (and slightly scared) to have him coach me for next fall.

I think you hit right on the head Dave that the important thing in any training plan is to know when to incorporate certain type of runs. It is all about the timing of things. Something that could very well work or be the right thing may end up to be bad just due to the placement of it.

@Ben Z wrote:
@Dave-O wrote:

I have a buddy that's well-versed in Canova training. I'm tempted (and slightly scared) to have him coach me for next fall.

Does your friend have any literature to reference? I would be interested to read it if it can be distributed electronically.

I agree I would love to read more on the subject myself.

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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Dave-O on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:54 am

@Ben Z wrote:
@Dave-O wrote:

I have a buddy that's well-versed in Canova training. I'm tempted (and slightly scared) to have him coach me for next fall.

Does your friend have any literature to reference? I would be interested to read it if it can be distributed electronically.

I'll ask him. I think he said he has an 80 page training manual that he's essentially translated. This is the guy I mentioned in my race report who's run 2:21 on lower mileage and is planning on dropping that to 2:15.
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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Admin on Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:34 am

This is a pretty good thread from LetsRun - http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=222028&page=0

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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Chris M on Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:34 am

@Dave-O wrote:
@Ben Z wrote:
@Dave-O wrote:

I have a buddy that's well-versed in Canova training. I'm tempted (and slightly scared) to have him coach me for next fall.

Does your friend have any literature to reference? I would be interested to read it if it can be distributed electronically.

I'll ask him. I think he said he has an 80 page training manual that he's essentially translated. This is the guy I mentioned in my race report who's run 2:21 on lower mileage and is planning on dropping that to 2:15.

I've been reading his blog. Interesting stuff and I like how he lays out the multi-week segements of his training. I hope you take the plunge and get coaching from him because I benefit indirectly!! It all rolls downhill from fastest to fast to slowest!
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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Ben Z on Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:54 pm

@Dave-O wrote:
@Ben Z wrote:
@Dave-O wrote:

I have a buddy that's well-versed in Canova training. I'm tempted (and slightly scared) to have him coach me for next fall.

Does your friend have any literature to reference? I would be interested to read it if it can be distributed electronically.

I'll ask him. I think he said he has an 80 page training manual that he's essentially translated. This is the guy I mentioned in my race report who's run 2:21 on lower mileage and is planning on dropping that to 2:15.

Cool, that would be sweet.
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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  ounce on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:09 pm

@Chris M wrote:
@Dave-O wrote:
@Ben Z wrote:
@Dave-O wrote:

I have a buddy that's well-versed in Canova training. I'm tempted (and slightly scared) to have him coach me for next fall.

Does your friend have any literature to reference? I would be interested to read it if it can be distributed electronically.

I'll ask him. I think he said he has an 80 page training manual that he's essentially translated. This is the guy I mentioned in my race report who's run 2:21 on lower mileage and is planning on dropping that to 2:15.

I've been reading his blog. Interesting stuff and I like how he lays out the multi-week segements of his training. I hope you take the plunge and get coaching from him because I benefit indirectly!! It all rolls downhill from fastest to fast to slowest!

Just make sure that by the time it gets to me, it'll still be usable.

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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Ben Z on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:12 pm

@Mr MattM wrote:This is a pretty good thread from LetsRun - http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=222028&page=0

Excellent! This combined with his article on Mosop's training last year is awesome.
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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Dave-O on Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:28 pm

Ben and anyone else interested: Here's a link to purhase the Canova training manual for $8.00. My friend bought it from here and said its completely legit. His copy is too marked up and higlighted to pass along, but this is pretty cheap.

http://www.iaaf.org/mm/Document/AboutIAAF/Publications/04/23/69/20110506010726_httppostedfile_publicatMay2011_24367.pdf
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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Ben Z on Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:18 pm

Thanks Dave. I will order it.

I found this post from Renato interesting.

Repetitions of 200 and 400m are no more used in modern marathon training. We don't use normally speed faster than 10% of your Marathon Pace (for example, for an athlete able running at 3:00 pace in 2:06:36, 110% in 2:42 in 1000m : this is the max. speed that we use, going till 400m in 64.0-65.0 for 15-20 times, but exalting recovery (f.e. 200m in 45.0). However, running distances under 1 km can have only mechanical reasons, and of sure is not a fundamental work.
If you want to run at 3'10" / 3'12" pace, your main works are around that speed. You must remember that marathon IS A SPECIALISM OF EXTENSION. So, for example, you can develop your SPECIFIC MARATHON ENDURANCE with these workouts (once every two weeks) :
* 8 x 2000m in 6'20" rec. 1000m in 3'40" (23 km in 1:16:20)

* 6 x 3000m in 9'30" rec. 1000m in 3'40" (23 km in 1:15:20)

* 5 x 4000m in 12'40" rec. 1000m in 3'40" (24 km in 1:18:00)

* 4 x 5000m in 15'50" rec. 1000m in 3'40" (23 km in 1:14:20)

* 3 x 7000m in 22'10" rec. 1000m in 3'40" (23 km in 1:13:50)

* 6/5/4/3/2/1 km rec. 1 km improving speed (19'12" at 3'12"-15'50" at 3'10" - 12'32" at 3'08" - 9'18" at 3'06" - 6'08" at 3'04" - last km under 3', rec. 1 km in 3'40") = 26 km

At the same time, you must develop your long run, alternating every 10 days a work having different goals :

* DURATION (moderate speed, becoming from 2 hr, increasing of 15 min every time, arriving at 2:45 at the 5th session)

* DISTANCE (at a 3'20" pace, starting from 25 km, for going to 30 - 34 - 38 in 4 different sessions).

The normal development of your preparation can be done during a period of about 3 months.


Read more: http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=222028&page=4#ixzz1mfyR4f4w

So add in the easy runs for mileage, perhaps one really long run slightly slower than goal MP, and there is your last three months of marathon training. I can really see where Hudson gets his workouts from.
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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Alex Kubacki on Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:53 pm

@Ben Z wrote:If you want to run at 3'10" / 3'12" pace, your main works are around that speed. You must remember that marathon IS A SPECIALISM OF EXTENSION. So, for example, you can develop your SPECIFIC MARATHON ENDURANCE with these workouts (once every two weeks) :
* 8 x 2000m in 6'20" rec. 1000m in 3'40" (23 km in 1:16:20)

* 6 x 3000m in 9'30" rec. 1000m in 3'40" (23 km in 1:15:20)

At the same time, you must develop your long run, alternating every 10 days a work having different goals :

* DURATION (moderate speed, becoming from 2 hr, increasing of 15 min every time, arriving at 2:45 at the 5th session)

* DISTANCE (at a 3'20" pace, starting from 25 km, for going to 30 - 34 - 38 in 4 different sessions).

So is this saying that if planned MP is 3:10/3:12 then the group of intervals he lists would be done at MP? Or is that 3:10/3:12 the 110% of MP?

I would also think it might be tough (if working with typical hours) to do the alternating long run every day 10 days. That would require long runs that would happen middle of the week. I wonder if you could get away with two straight weeks of Duration and then one week of the Distance. The Distance one is the tougher and so that would be every 21 days instead of 20 but you'd be adding an extra Distance run.
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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Admin on Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:17 pm

Looks like all of the session are at MP except for the progression run:

* 6/5/4/3/2/1 km rec. 1 km improving speed (19'12" at 3'12"-15'50" at 3'10" - 12'32" at 3'08" - 9'18" at 3'06" - 6'08" at 3'04" - last km under 3', rec. 1 km in 3'40") = 26 km

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Re: Learning From the World's Best Marathon Coaches

Post  Ben Z on Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:09 pm

@Alex Kubacki wrote:
@Ben Z wrote:If you want to run at 3'10" / 3'12" pace, your main works are around that speed. You must remember that marathon IS A SPECIALISM OF EXTENSION. So, for example, you can develop your SPECIFIC MARATHON ENDURANCE with these workouts (once every two weeks) :
* 8 x 2000m in 6'20" rec. 1000m in 3'40" (23 km in 1:16:20)

* 6 x 3000m in 9'30" rec. 1000m in 3'40" (23 km in 1:15:20)

At the same time, you must develop your long run, alternating every 10 days a work having different goals :

* DURATION (moderate speed, becoming from 2 hr, increasing of 15 min every time, arriving at 2:45 at the 5th session)

* DISTANCE (at a 3'20" pace, starting from 25 km, for going to 30 - 34 - 38 in 4 different sessions).

So is this saying that if planned MP is 3:10/3:12 then the group of intervals he lists would be done at MP? Or is that 3:10/3:12 the 110% of MP?

I would also think it might be tough (if working with typical hours) to do the alternating long run every day 10 days. That would require long runs that would happen middle of the week. I wonder if you could get away with two straight weeks of Duration and then one week of the Distance. The Distance one is the tougher and so that would be every 21 days instead of 20 but you'd be adding an extra Distance run.

All are done at MP during the specific period. He always writes in pace/km so in this example that is the runner's goal per km pace.

And yes, you would have to do long runs midweek with his plan. He doesn't follow a typical 7 day cycle it appears.

I already knew this but his 'distance' run is toooough. Look at that! 15.5-24.6 miles at goal MP + 5% (i.e., 5% slower) over 4 runs in 80 days. PLUS the long MP intervals. No wonder his athletes are killing it lately. For every record-breaker he has I am sure a number of athletes have fallen by the wayside.
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