Gary's new website

Monday, December 04, 2006

How do Kenyan runners train?

This is an interesting website page about how Kenyan runners train, including what is done with older school children.

The general gist of it is this: If you want to be as fast as a Kenyan then you have to train at about the lactate threshold (Don't worry about what this means, other than that you need to hike along most of the time!).

If you carefully read my earlier article about Kenyan Training Secrets, you will see I have a different angle on their training. It is what they (Kenyans) do from birth that produces the adult champions. As we can see from the current state of affairs of athletics in soft countrys like NZ and the US, our trying to copy them by following what is published by the "experts" is a disaster. We could learn a few lessons by reviewing Arthur Lydiard's pioneering work. When viewed macroscopically Kenyan training is very similar to Lydiard's structure that steadily builds an athlete to peak performance over 8-10 years .

If we want to beat the Kenyans then we need to start by toughening up our kids from birth by making them run and walk everywhere, preferably barefoot, doing chores about the yard and lifting heavy weights in between (This is low intensity endurance and strength work). When they have time off, they can play typical kids games like soccer and scampering away from adults with big sticks! (Speed and agility training).

After 15 or so years of hard labour they are then ready for all the fancy speed work - and who cares in what form that is because it is the early years that is the foundation of Kenyan running performance.


Anonymous said...

as kenya is one of the world's poorest countries, with low life expectancy and quite a bit of aids, maybe nz'ers would run better if children were orphened, starved, and made to run over the desert road barefoot and naked to harden them up a bit :)

Gary Moller said...

Yep, you have got the drift. While there is an element of tongue in cheek, there is also a good deal of truth in what I am writing about.

A lean and strong body, efficient fat metabolism, a lifetime of daily physical activity and a burning, if not desperate desire to succeed. Hmmm!