Kenenisa Bekele Training

Kenenisa Bekele is often regarded as the greatest distance runner in History with 3 Olympic gold medals, 1 Olympic silver medal, 5 World championship gold medals, 1 World indoor gold medal and an astonishing 12 World cross country gold medals.

He broke 4 World records throughout his career. Both his 5000m and 10000m world records were recently broken by Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei. He still holds the 5000m indoor World record of 12:49.60, as well as the World indoor 2000m record of 4:49.99 which he broke 3 days prior to the 5000m one. 

Bekele also has the 2nd fastest marathon time in history with 2:01:41, just behind Eliud Kipchoge’s World record. Bekele’s marathon time for context is a 4 minute 38 second mile, 26.2 times in a row. Just under 13 Miles per hour, for 2 hours, 1 minute and 41 seconds.

The main question this leaves is; why is Kenenisa Bekele so good. Mentality, genetics and lifestyle all big factors, but one which is undeniable is his training.

What is Kenenisa Bekele’s training?…

This next part provides a general training plan used by Bekele as well as the rest of the Ethiopian National Team. In 2004, at the start of Bekele’s track dominance. 

Typical Weekly Schedule
 
Monday
AM3 hour long run in the forest (5:40/mile)
PMnone
Tuesday
AM1.5 hour run; stretching
PM1 hour easy
Wednesday
AMhard 15km – 30km run on roads (half marathon – marathon pace); stretching
PM1 hour easy
Thursday
AMsprints in spikes; jogging; long warmup; 20 minutes stretching
PM1 hour easy
Friday
AM15 – 20 x 400m hills with jog recovery; 15 – 20 minutes stretching
PM1 hour easy
Saturday
AMtrack work; 3 x 1200m to 8 x 2000m; stretching
PM1 hour easy
Sunday
AM1 hour very easy
PMnone
Specific Workouts
 
SessionPaceSpecificsWorkout Goal
6 x 800m1:57/800mlap 1 at 1:04; lap 2 at 0:53final lap kick
6-10 x 1000m2:27/1000m3 minutes recovery3000m pace work
3 x 2000m5:00/2000m3 minutes recovery5000m pace work
5 x 2000m5:15/2000m 10,000m pace work
threshold4:25-4:45/mile15k – 30k (half marathon to marathon pace)threshold
basic speed plyometrics and strides (100m)basic speed and kick
strength light weight lifting at high repetitionsstrength endurance

An Ethiopian newspaper reported on a workout run by the Ethiopian National Team during June of 2004. The athletes ran 7000m (in Addis Ababa at altitude) at an average pace of around 2:40/kilometre. They split 13:22 for 5000m on their way to a 7000m time between 18:40 and 18:45.

Best running shoes of 2022