Photo: Erik van Leeuwen

An insight into the training of Jakob Ingebrigtsen

Photo: Erik van Leeuwen

The Ingebrigtsen family has taken the running world by storm and there have been many different theories and speculations about how they train to reach the level they have (and especially around Jakob). Many people have heard that Jakob runs a very high weekly kilometer-volume to be a middle distance runner – this is true, he runs over 180 km every single week (181.5 km to be exact). In this article, we will look at how Jakob trains during the base training period. The Ingebrigtsens are relatively open about how they train during this period. However, how they train and prepare during the competition specific period to gain maximum fitness is more of a "secret", and left for speculation.

Jakob's base training period can roughly be categorized into 4 different parts: "easy" training, threshold training, hill training and long runs.

 "Easy" training. This is the biggest part of the training. Jakob runs 2 x 10 km easy every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Jakob has stated that he is supposed to run approx. 4:00 min/km pace on these sessions, but that he often ends up running around 3:45-50 min/km because he gets “bored”.

 Threshold training. Threshold training is the key to the enormous aerobic capacity Jakob has gained and is the reason why he can be on the highest level at all the distances from 1,500-10,000 m (and probably half-marathons as well). Ingebrigtsen does so-called "double threshold" 2 days a week (Tuesday and Thursday). Normally, the first session is a slightly longer efforts with a bit lower lactate (<2mmol), while the evening session is a shorter efforts with a bit higher lactate (<3.5mmol). Ingebrigtsen is very careful of the intensity of these sessions. They always measure lactate and often run them on the treadmill.

 Hill training. Every Saturday is hill training for the Ingebrigtsen-brothers. The session consists of 20x200 m of hill repeats, where the break is to jog easy down the hill to the start again (approx. 1 min). This is the hardest session of the week. Measured in lactate, they are often around 8-10mmol in this session. Normally, they run a lighter threshold session in the evening, after this hill training.

– Long run. Sunday is for the long run  this also applies in the Ingebrigtsen universe. 20 km to be exact. Jakob has actually stated that he has never run longer than 20 km in his entire life, and that he is careful never to run longer than he has to, even on long runs.

So, what might a typical training week look like?


AM: 10 km easy run @ 3:45-50
PM: 10 km easy run @ 3:45-50


AM: 5x6 min @ <2mmol lactate
PM: 10-12 x 1000m @ <3.5mmol lactate


AM: 10 km easy run @ 3:45-50
PM: 10 km easy run @ 3:45-50


AM: 6x5 min @ <2mmol lactate
PM: 20x400 m @ <3.5mmol lactate


AM: 10 km easy run @ 3:45-50
PM: 10 km easy run @ 3:45-50


AM: 20x200 hills @ 8-10mmol lactate
PM: Easy threshold work @ <2mmol lactate


20 km long run @ 3:45-50 (and often faster according to rumours…)


By completing this training weeks (or similar) week after week, Jakob has become perhaps the world's best runner at the moment. We hope this article can give you some inspiration to your own training. 

And remember: If you need any help setting up and planning your training, take a look under the "Training Programs"-tab to see what we have to offer!

/ BErunning

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