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Alberto Salazar

August 6, 2012

Following Farah and Rupp’s 1-2 finish at the Olympic 10k, Alberto Salazer shed some more insight into his training, specifically the need for year round speed training:

“We do speed consistently year round. We never give the body anything that it’s not accustomed to. I don’t believe in systems like the Lydiard system where they times of no speed. The body likes consistency. We always have some of it in the mix. We just use different intensities at different times of the year.

“In some of their recent workouts, Galen and Mo have been running 51-52 pace for 300 or 400. That’s at the end of a workout. Galen ran an 11-second 100 two days ago. That was at the end of a workout, too, from a two-step start, and it wasn’t all out. I told him the other day: You have a chance to win, but only if you wait and don’t sprint until the last 100.

Also, the seemingly credible letsrun poster ‘drillz’ summarized a conversation he had with Alberto earlier this year:

Two week cycles. Here is a general outline for the majority of the year. (more specific in the final 6-7 weeks)
1 short speed session per week year round. In the fall this can be hills and 200’s. The key is progression. If Galen wants to run 12×200 in 25.5 in August, he starts in late March/April (double periodization) with 200’s in 29. Always a 200j between. The short speed day obviously gets tailored to the specific needs of the athlete as races approach (can be 400’s or a mix of short intervals)

2. 1 longer workout per week. This can be long intervals (ex: 6×1600 w/400j or 8×1200 w/400j) or a 6-8 mile tempo run. Again the key is progression. Moving from say 4:30-25 for mile repeats down to 4:11-4:13 for Galen. The intervals are faster than 10k race pace, but longer recoveries than most other “elite” runners training. Just an interesting side note.

3. One medium interval workout every other week. Most of the time is 600’s or 800’s or 600m breakdowns (600,400,300,200). 3 or 4 sets of the breakdowns, or 8×800.

4. Long run once per week. One week is a slower long run and one week is a harder long run. The hard long run for Mo and Galen would be anywhere from 5:00 to 5:30 depending upon the time of year. Normally 17-20 miles.

The last 6-7 weeks before your key race is the hardest training cycle. Notice very little to no racing for Salazar’s athletes in this time period.

Normal easy runs are around 5:40-45 for Mo and Galen.

A couple notes…

– The easy days are 5k + 40%.

– The faster long runs are M+5% to M+15%.

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