While most of us will never be able run like Eliud Kipchoge, understanding his training may help us become better runners in our own right.
A full month of Eliud Kipchoge’s training in the lead up to the Berlin Marathon was recently published, you can find it here. Kipchoge follows a very simple structure to his training, he runs seven days a week and doubles on five of these days giving himself two afternoon rests. Each week he runs three distinct workouts being his interval track session, long tempo run and fartlek session. The remainder and the majority of his running is described as easy or moderate running and in these sessions Kipchoge runs well within himself to recover and build an aerobic foundation.
So how fast does the fastest marathoner of all time go on an easy day? Well as it turns out not that fast. Kipchoge often runs a 10km easy run in 40 min or at 4 min/km pace. This is really easy for a guy whose marathon pace is 2:55 min/km.
So what can the average runner learn from Kipchoge’s day pace? Average runners of all abilities and experience levels often run their easy runs too fast. What this does is not assist recovery and they spend too much time fatigued and not absorb training load and improve.
So what is your Kipchoge easy pace?
Relative to his marathon pace Kipchoge’s easy pace is 27% slower than his marathon pace.
Runner Marathon Pace Easy Pace
Kipchoge 2:55 min/km 4 min/km
2 hour 30 min marathon 3:33 min/km 4:30 min/km
3 hour marathon 4:16 min/km 5:25 min/km
3 hour 30 min marathon 4:59 min/km 6:19 min/km
4 hour marathon 5:41 min/km 7:13 min/km
4 hour 30 marathon 6:24 min/km 8:17 min/km
Kipchoge runs his five weekly afternoon easy runs at this pace and four times a week his aerobic runs are at a similar pace but for distances between 17 – 22km. For him this pace is very easy, just as the paces for your goal marathon above will look very easy.
If you are running your easy days too quick you’ll likely not run your harder workouts as effectively as they could be. Slowing down on your easy days will let you absorb training and let it take effect.
Run like Kipchoge and run slower.