Haile Gebrselassie Training – Schedule, Program & Diet Plan
Haile Gebrselassie is still known as one of the greatest runners of all time. During the peak of his career, he won 2 Olympic Gold medals and 7 World Championship medals. He also broke countless world records during the 25 years of his career.
His versatility across middle and long-distance running was displayed early in his career when we won both the 5000 m and 10 000 m at the 1992 World Junior Championships.
Since then, he has gone on to be one of the greatest runners of all time. But how did Haile Gebrselassie train? And how did his schedule look? In this article, we take a sneak peek into some of his training that made him a world record holder.
Haile Gebrselassie Training – UPDATED 2021
Like most top runners, training twice a day is not uncommon, and Haile Gebrselassie’s training program included just that.
For most of the year, he would wake up at 5:30 am to start training. His training plan not only included high mileage like most distance runners but running drills, strides, and plyometrics. This would include 3 days a week performing 10×100 m stride outs and once a week a 40-60 m sprint session.
In early 2002 he states that he incorporates 13 sessions into his training each week and Sunday he only runs once. He has also publicly stated that out of his 13 sessions per week, 8 of them are at low intensity in order to facilitate recovery.
During some parts of the season though, he spent periods adding supplementary sessions into his training such as low weight workouts and sprinting sessions. This undoubtedly helped increase his finishing sprint, for which he was well known for having.
Haile Gebrselassie’s training program included some incredible workouts for even a top runner. His 8-10 x 1000 m at 2 minutes 28 seconds or his 3 × 2000 m at 5 minutes 5 seconds, just showed how fast he really was. Remember this was just in training too and doesn’t account for the speed he ran at in races.
Haile Gebrselassie Training Plan Schedule
If we are to take a look at his training plan schedule it is quite impressive. His training volume is similar to other top professional runners at the time, but the speed at which he can run easy and recover from them, is impressive.
You can see a sample of a training week below. His training plan schedule includes a mixture of distance runs, fartlek sessions, and a dedicated track workout.
1. 60-minute fartlek running on rolling hills 60 minutes – (3:31.8/km pace)
2. Easy recovery run session 50 minutes – (4:10/km pace)
Daily Mileage = 29 km
1. Endurance run of 70 minutes – (3:53.3/km pace)
2. Easy run 10 km + 10×100 m stride outs.
Daily Mileage = 29 km
Warm-up / cool down + speedy run of 48 minutes (3:12/km pace)
Daily Total = 15 km (*excluding warm-up and cool down*)
1. Endurance run of 80min – (4:00/km pace)
2. Easy run of 10 km + weight training.
Daily Mileage = 30 km
1. Endurance run of 75min – (4:10/km pace)
2. Easy run of 10 km + 10×100 m sprints.
Daily Mileage = 29 km
1. Track workout of 6×2000 m in 5:40min (2:50/km pace)
2. Recovery run of 10 km (4:18/km pace)
Daily Mileage = 22 km* (*excluding warm-up and cool down)
A long run of 90 minutes – (3:36/km pace)
Daily Total = 25 km
In this sample week of his training schedule, he completed a total of 190 km (120 miles) of running. You can see also that he doesn’t include a lot of speed work each week, this helps him recover from the training correctly. It also helps him to be able to produce a quality session.
Haile Gebrselassie Diet
Even though Gebrselassie has surpassed 40 he is still giving much younger runners a run for their money.
Haile Gebrselassie has been known to follow a diet of iron-rich, fermented pancakes plus loads of lean, raw meat and Injera.
He has often stated that he followed a relatively varied diet and Injera is a major part of his nutrition plan. Injera is a type of flatbread made from the grain teff. He believes this has helped his recovery because of the large amounts of iron and other valuable ingredients found in it.
His overall belief is to follow a diet that varies in foods while making sure the body isn’t starved of carbohydrates.
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