Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda ran a world-record shattering 5K on Sunday in Monaco–a 12:51, the fastest 5K time run on the roads or track in the past year. He did this just a few months after a monster 2019 season, where he became both the cross-country and 10,000m world champion. Next up for Chepetegi is a half-marathon debut at the upcoming world championships in Gdynia, Poland.
It’s not typical to run a distance debut at a world championship, but when you’re a former 10K and current 5K world record holder, you’re not a typical runner. Cheptegei told World Athletics that he would like to make history at the March 29 race and become the first person to win consecutive world titles in cross-country, the 10,000m and the half-marathon.
His training plan
The runner also told World Athletics that his usual mileage is between 120 and 140K per week when he’s training for track events, but since he’s stepping up to the half, he’s increased it to roughly 160K. The most important session of the week is a 30 to 35K long run, over rolling hills, at 1,800 metres of elevation.
His World Half-Marathon Championships competition
The world half-marathon championships always draw a strong contingent, but especially this year. The new world ranking system gives points to runners based on their placing at national and international championships. The half-marathon championship is an event where a strong finish could nearly guarantee a spot on the Olympic start line. Also, runners who typically float in between track and road events no longer have to chose as the World Indoor Championships, also scheduled for March, were postponed due to coronavirus.
Federations will finish announcing their world championship teams in the coming two weeks, but spectators can expect to see strong fields including South African national record-holder Stephen Mokoka (59:51).