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The three Norwegians Henrik, Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen are the fastest brother trio in the world.

While Filip and Henrik have already been responsible for numerous continental titles at European level for many years, the youngest of them could now even celebrate great success at world level. Jakob Ingebrigtsen is already one of the fastest middle-distance runners in the world, as he impressively demonstrated at the Olympic Games with his victory over 1,500 meters.

2-time European champion at 17

Jakob Ingebrigtsen ran away from all competitors at the European Outdoor Championships in the summer of 2018 at the age of just 17. He took European Championship gold in both the 1,500 meters and the 5,000 meters against much more experienced competition. After a few more titles at the European level, he was ready for his first titles at the global level in 2021. The 181 cm tall Norwegian definitely has what it takes to defeat the sheer superior competition from Africa.

The big Olympic victory

Over the 1,500 meters, he holds the European record both outdoors with 3:28.32 minutes (2021) and indoors with 3:31.80 minutes (2021). Jakob Ingebrigtsen can also call himself the European record holder over the 5,000 meters since June 10, 2021, with a time of 12:48.45 minutes. Over these two distances, he would have been one of the hot Olympic candidates at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Japan. His brother Filip Ingebrigtsen also competed in the 1,500 meters (he was eliminated in the preliminary heat). Henrik Ingebrigtsen, the eldest of the three brothers, will miss his third Olympic start after 2012 (5th place in the final of the 1,500 meters) and 2016 due to injury.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen decided before the Games to start in the 1,500 meters and not in the 5,000 meters. A tactic that ultimately paid off. In a thrilling Olympic final, he defeated top favorite Timothy Cheruiyot. With 3:28.32 minutes, the Norwegian improved his own European record by 36 hundredths. He thus became the first European men's Olympic champion over this distance in almost 30 years (1992).

Extremely successful in Europe for a decade

Jakob Ingebrigtsen was born in 2000 and had won five European Championship titles between 2018 and 2021 before following it up with an Olympic victory in 2021. Filip Ingebrigtsen (born in 1993) can call himself a two-time European champion. In 2017, he also won bronze in the 1,500 meters at the world championships in London. Henrik Ingebrigtsen (born in 1991) finished in the medals a total of seven times at European championships between 2012 and 2019. His only title in the general class came in the 1,500 meters in 2012 when he was only 19 years old.

Coached by father

The trio is coached by father Gjert Ingebrigtsen. He also repeatedly provides insights into the training of the three world-class runners. We have summarized the most interesting details.

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The training of Jakob Ingebrigtsen and his brothers

All 3 focus their training primarily on the 1,500 meters. In addition, they often compete in the 3,000 meters indoors and the 5,000 meters outdoors. This means that the training is based on distances from 1,500 meters to 5,000 meters. In the meantime, however, Jakob has also managed a world-class time of 27:54 minutes (national record) over the 10-kilometer distance on the road.

Important facts about training

  • 11 - 12 training sessions per week
  • 2 times per week on one day 2 (!!) quality units are completed. More about this below
  • Interval training is done only 1 time per week, running at competition pace. This is also described in more detail below.
  • On days with easy runs (8 - 12 km), short incline runs, mobility and stretching are regularly incorporated. Example: 10 km in the morning + 8 km in the afternoon including mobility, stretching and incline runs.
  • In the last 3 days before the race, 2 short tempo sessions are completed. 3 days before the race, 5 minutes of running at the anaerobic threshold (about half marathon pace) and 8 short tempo runs at 1,500-meter race pace. Thursday will be followed by 2 easy, short runs and Friday will be a short workout with 4 short tempo runs.

1) The 2 quality units in one day.

Very interesting in their running training are the 2 days where they do 2 pace units in one day. However, they do not run too intensively, but in the anaerobic threshold range (threshold runs / steady state runs / threshold training). This is roughly equivalent to half marathon pace. Such a training block was often integrated by world-class marathon runners in the past decades, but with significantly higher volumes, because the training of the Ingebrigtsen brothers does not necessarily read extremely intense.

The anaerobic threshold for the Ingebrigtsen brothers is around 2:55 to 3:00 minutes per kilometer.

Here's an example:

Armband Love Running

Morning: 4 - 5 x 6 minutes anaerobic threshold with 1 - 2 minutes rest.

Afternoon: 20 x 400 meters with 60 seconds rest or 8 - 10 x 1 kilometer with 60 seconds rest.

The aim is to keep the lactate level at around 3 mmol/l during these sessions.

2) The interval training

Due to the many threshold runs (Lactate Steady State), interval training is only done once a week, now actually running at competition pace.

Examples:

  • 10 x 300 meters at 1,500 meter pace with 90 seconds rest.
  • 10 x 400 meters very close to 1,500 meter pace (or slightly slower).

3) The last days before the competition

3 days before the competition:

  • Morning: 8 km Loose
  • Afternoon: 20 minutes run-in, 2 x 2 minutes threshold pace, 3 x 300 meters + 5 x 200 meters at 1,500-meter competition pace

2 days before the competition

  • Morning: 30 minutes easy
  • Afternoon: 30 minutes easy

Last day before the competition

  • Morning: 200 meters, 150 meters and 2 x 120 meters fast with walking or trotting return
  • Afternoon: recovery

Competition day

  • Morning: 15 minutes + 2 incline runs
  • Afternoon: competition

More interesting facts about Jakob Ingebrigtsen and his brothers

  • Jakob Ingebrigtsen ran the 5 kilometer in 17:19 minutes at the age of 11.
  • At the age of 12, a VO2max (maximum oxygen uptake) of 68 ml/kg/min was measured for Jakob Ingebrigtsen. World-class athletes reach values of over 70 ml/kg/min (though not at age 12, of course).
  • Out of 140 - 160 kilometers per week, about 25% are run at threshold pace
  • Jakob Ingebrigtsen's running style conveys a very soft or gentle foot strike with slight upper body projection from the pelvis.
  • Jakob Ingebrigtsen is positioned among the top 10 fastest runners of all time in both the 1,500 meters, the 2,000 meters and the 3,000 meters.
  • He is also the only runner, along with legends Hicham El Guerrouj and Noureddine Morceli, to have a best time of under 3:29 minutes in the 1,500 meters and a best time of under 7:28 minutes in the 3,000 meters.
  • Experts rate Jakob Ingebrigtsen's chances low of regularly winning major races at the world level, as his final speed may be too low to win in the final sprint at global championships. He proved his critics wrong in the 2021 Olympic final in the 1,500 meters.
  • In addition, it was feared that Jakob Ingebrigtsen had already reached his peak of peak performance, as he started targeted high performance training at a very early age.

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