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This article looks at a type of training known as repetition training which is also suitable for the ‘Base-Work Foundational Stage’ to build up aerobic efficiency and aerobic resistance i.e. stamina.

The third type of training in this stage of your preparation is ‘Long-slow distance’ but not too slow – see next month’s article.

In this stage stretching for flexibility, circuit training to recover from the fatigue faster, and weight training and other means of strengthening should also be emphasized.

The proportion of time spent on these three types of training in this stage should be:

Long slow distance 30%

Medium easy 20 – 30%

Medium 10%

Medium hard 5%

Repetitions up to 20 – 30% (Fartlek or variable training can be used too – see later articles)

Tempo Run 5%

Definition of Repetition Running

Used to develop speed, speed endurance (aerobic resistance) and local endurance, a predetermined set distance is run a predetermined number of times. With a specific optimised recovery or ‘interval’ between each repetition run.

There is enormous variation, but here I will concentrate on the methods of the great Czechoslovakian Olympic gold medals in 1948 and 1952 Emil Zatopek for the 5000 and 10000 metres, and Moniz Pereira the coach of the great Portuguese athletes of the 1980s such as Carlos Lopez who won the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic’s marathon, and Rosa Mota.

Zatopek would go to the athletics track and run 200 metres 5 to 10 times, then 400 metres 20 to 40 times, and after that, 200 metres 5 to 10 times again.

Pereira gave his athletes longer repetitions of varying distances from 1000 metres to 3000 metres two, three or four times as the weeks past. At an extreme are the 5000 metre repetitions run three times by the Italian Gelindo Bordin before he won the gold medal for the marathon at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.

This is not a training session for an unfit runner trying to get fit – you need to be fit first, and build up to 3 x 5000 over several months.