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Polarized training

73 watchers
25 May
2:22pm, 25 May 2021
57174 posts
  • 0
I found that post incredibly helpful Canute. Thank you.
10 Jun
11:30am, 10 Jun 2021
17790 posts
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Canute - have you seen V'raps blog (today) on "Old people running very fast"? M65 17.11 5k on the road taking Ed Whitlock's 17.23 record...

It would seem to be this guy here Have you come across him before and if so how does his training compare to Ed Whitlock/Gene Dykes?
13 Jun
2:54pm, 13 Jun 2021
2417 posts
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Chrisull, thanks for the link. I had not previously been aware of him. I note that prior to the World Masters Championships in 2018 his weekly schedule was one long run; 2 speed sessions; other days were steady running. Around 50 miles a week. It would be interesting to know how fast he ran during the steady running.

It seems clear that he made great advances after he increased the intensity of his training, similarly to Greg Dykes.
22 Sep
11:20am, 22 Sep 2021
2444 posts
  • 0
A bit more about Alastair Walker.

In some comments reported in a local newspaper (the News and Star) after his world record breaking 5K run at age 65 in Carlisle in June this year, he said:

“I hadn’t run since I was 37 until 2019. I used to run for Scotland, and I won the World Championship in 2019. I think the 20 years of rest I had have saved my legs, and they are still quite spritely.”

I am reminded of Yoshihisa Hosaka described in my post on the previous page of this thread. After a long rest following an elite level surfing career in young adult life, Hosaka started serious running in his early 60’s. He ran 20 miles a day, every day, with more than 10K at or faster than marathon pace. At age 60 he took nearly two minutes of the world M60+ record with a time of 2:36:30. Hosaka was still running marathons for a few years after that (e.g. he was the 65-69 age group winner in a time of 2:52:13 at the Gold Coast marathon a few years later) but never set another world record. He subsequently appears to have dropped below the horizon. In contrast, when Ed Whitlock returned to serious running in late middle age, he settled on a programme of high volume low intensity training interspersed with fairly frequent high intensity 5K and 10K races. He continued to set world age group records until prostate cancer caught up with him in his mid-eighties.

These are mere anecdotes. Nonetheless, I will be very interested to see how things unfold for Alastair Walker in the next few years.
22 Sep
11:27am, 22 Sep 2021
2445 posts
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Incidentally, the year 2019 reported in the News and Star was wrong. Alastair started serious running again at age around 59 in 2015 after a 22 year lay-off, and appears to have been training fairly hard for about 6 years sicnce then.

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About This Thread

Maintained by Canute
Polarised training is a form of training that places emphasis on the two extremes of intensity. There is a large amount of low intensity training (comfortably below lactate threshold) and an appreciable minority of high intensity training (above LT).

Polarised training does also include some training near lactate threshold, but the amount of threshold training is modest, in contrast to the relatively high proportion of threshold running that is popular among some recreational runners.

Polarised training is not new. It has been used for many years by many elites and some recreational runners. However, it has attracted great interest in recent years for two reasons.

First, detailed reviews of the training of many elite endurance athletes confirms that they employ a polarised approach (typically 80% low intensity, 10% threshold and 10% high intensity. )

Secondly, several scientific studies have demonstrated that for well trained athletes who have reached a plateau of performance, polarised training produces greater gains in fitness and performance, than other forms of training such as threshold training on the one hand, or high volume, low intensity training on the other.

Much of the this evidence was reviewed by Stephen Seiler in a lecture delivered in Paris in 2013 .

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