Ethiopian Runners Train Differently. Or Do They?

Training in the African running powerhouse of Ethiopia may look completely different, but their practices reflect universal principles you can use.


Workouts

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Workout of the Week: 800/400 Pacing Sets


This is one of my favorite workouts to practice pacing control — which is important at the beginning of a race. If you run the 800 in each set too quickly then you will be unable to hit the prescribed effort for the 400.

Having to run faster at the end of each set also teaches pushing on tired legs, which is both a physical and mental exercise.

This is a great workout for the track but can also easily be run on the roads/trails. I have a marked 800 meter road loop on rolling terrain that I like to use for this workout as it mimics road racing well.

Workout Summary

Three to four sets of:

800 meters @ 10K perceived effort 60 seconds timed recovery 400 meters @ 5K perceived effort 2 minutes timed recovery Photo: Kevin Claffey @forerunner555 Workout Description

The key component in executing this workout correctly is the rest interval after the 800 meters. It is important to stick to the 60 seconds recovery as this will keep you “in check” for not running the 800 too quickly.

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