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Training Progression: 7 Reasons Why Mo Farah Stays Injury-Free And How You Can Too (Part 6)

By on Sep 6, 2013
Image of Mo Farah and coach Alberto Salazaar

It’s a fundamental aspect of any Alberto Salazar programme – a gradual build-up in the runner’s capacity to handle more running at greater speeds. But the Salazar approach sits in stark contrast to that adopted by most runners. In this article the focus turns to progressive training, as your countdown of the reasons behind Mo Farah’s success continues.

Earlier this week we started our review of the top 7 factors behind Mo Farah’s consistent, injury-free success. You’ll find the start of the article here; your countdown continues below.

2   Progressive training

While Farah has achieved remarkable progress under coach Salazar, it would be a mistake to think of this as an overnight success story.

Indeed, one of the most fundamental aspects of the Salazar approach is his focus on progressive training, gradually increasing his runners’ capacity to handle more running at greater speeds.

This approach is particularly evident for runner Galen Rupp. Salazar began coaching Rupp while the athlete was still in high school. More than a decade on, the coaching relationship is as strong as ever.

One key aspect of the progressive training approach is to ensure adequate recovery and rest – not just during the season, but also crucially in between.

In a recent interview, Salazar noted that his athletes typically take two four-week breaks a year, resting for two weeks and then lightly jogging for two weeks each time. As he puts it, this allows their batteries to recharge.

The contrast between the Salazar progressive training approach and that of your average runner is stark. As highlighted in a StrengthRunning.com article last year, many runners repeat similar workouts, at similar paces, for long periods of time. Perhaps inevitably, their performances often flatline as a result.

To achieve long-run improvements, a fresh perspective is required. A perspective that is consistent with the evidence we’ve gained from the successes of Salazar’s runners in recent years.

To find out more about progressive training, check out this video from our friends at StrengthRunning.com:

…There needs to be a shift in how runners approach their training in order to realize their potential. One aspect of that shift is perspective – the perspective of long-term training and being patient. After all, success doesn’t happen overnight.

Click below to continue your countdown. Next is the number 1 reason why Mo Farah stays injury-free.
Mo Farah training secrets: continued image


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