WRC Speed Development – 01/10/2020 – Kenenisa Bekele – 400+200

29 September 2020 - By Scott Darney

This weekends London Marathon will see the greatest marathon runner of all time against arguably the greatest all-round distance runner of all time.

Whilst all eyes will be on sub 2 marathon runner and strong favourite Eliud Kipchoge, I have chosen to focus some attention on the underdog who has probably not been called an underdog for a very long time!

Kenenisa Bekele has pretty much done it all. Gold Medals on the track and cross country plus a few World Records.

His first major win on the World stage was a Gold Medal in the 2002 World XC Championships in Dublin. In fact he actually won 2 gold medals by picking up the win on the short course and the long course, a feat that he would then go on to repeat in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006!

When swapping his XC spikes for the track spike in the summer, he was just as ruthless: picking up 3 Olympic Gold Medals (including the 5000m/10000m double in 2008) and 5 World Championship Golds (including another 5000m/10000m double in 2009).

To this day he still holds the current 10000m record which he set in 2005 with a time of 26:17. Until only last month he was also the 5000m record holder in a time of 12:37 which stood for 16 years until Joshua Cheptegei bettered his time by 2 seconds on the famously springy Monaco track.

Having somewhat flatterred to deceive (by his own high standards) in the marathon distance to date, he did prove in Berlin last year that he is still to be taken seriously when he picked up his second Major Marathon win in Berlin with a time of 2:01:41 which was just 2 seconds shy of Kipchoges current World Record.

This makes for an exciting encounter on Sunday morning at 10:00am when the two of them go head to head. Will Bekele finally give Kipchoge a race???

For this weeks session, we have chosen a workout that Bekele did 10 days out from his 10000m World Championship Gold in 2007.

400s + 200s:

  • 400m
  • 60s standing rest
  • 200m
  • 90s standing rest
  • Repeat until 30 minutes is up

The recommended pace for the 400s is 5k pace with the aim of performing the 200s at a slightly faster pace.

To give you an idea of the kind of athlete Bekele was, he was running 8 sets with his 400s in 52-54 seconds and the 200s in 24-25 seconds.

We will perform the session again at 7:30pm at Eastways (appreciate this might be getting repetitive but it’s ideal location in current circumstances).
The group will be split into 2 with one group starting at START 1 and the other at START 2 in an anti clock-wise direction as shown below:

You will run 400m loop ending where you started, rest for 60s, then you will run 200m to the other corner, rest for 90s then repeat.

The session will last 30 minutes.

Please can all members ensure that they:

  • Meet coaches at the session location (performing warm up jog prior to session).
  • Do not attend if showing any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Do not attend unless pre-registered and relevant Covid 19 disclaimer has been agreed.
  • Perform the workout in groups of no more than 6 and adhere to current Covid guidelines by staying 1-2 metres apart during the course of the session.
  • Ensure appropriate distance given when overtaking.
  • Perform a suitable 1-2 mile cool down jog and appropriate post session stretching.

The session sign-up form is not open yet but as soon as it is we will let you know so that members can sign up to participate in this session.

Thanks and enjoy!


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