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Jakob Ingebrigtsen reveals final big workout before his track return

On Saturday in Eugene, the 23-year-old Olympic 1,500m champion is competing for the first time in eight months. Check out his final epic workout before his anticipated return

Jakob Ingebrigtsen

It’s been eight months since Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen last raced, but this Saturday he will make a highly-anticipated return in the Bowerman Mile at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. During his hiatus, Ingebrigtsen has been enjoying his newlywed status and recovering from an Achilles injury he suffered in the fall. Saturday’s race will be a rematch for the 23-year-old against the man who beat him for world championship gold in the men’s 1,500m in Budapest last August—Scotland’s Josh Kerr.

In preparation for his season opener, Ingebrigtsen spent nearly a month at altitude in Flagstaff, Ariz. FloTrack filmed the Norwegian superstar during one of his final workouts ahead of his opener.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen
American miler Yared Nuguse and Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the Bowerman Mile at the 2023 Prefontaine Classic. Photo: Kevin Morris

The workout

12 reps of 400m (with 60 seconds’ rest) at 5K pace, then 10 reps of 200m at a one-mile pace (with 200m jog recovery)

Ingebrigtsen did this workout just two weeks out from his one-mile race at the 2024 Pre Classic to increase his lactate threshold (LT). During aerobic exercise, muscles use oxygen to produce energy, and lactate is produced in small amounts but is quickly cleared from the bloodstream. Increasing your lactate threshold allows you to sustain faster paces and intensities without fatiguing.

Working within your lactate levels can also help you avoid overtraining. “In this period [before racing], it’s very important for me not to overdo anything,” Ingebrigtsen told FloTrack in an interview. “The goal is to not get greedy with the mileage, and try to not overdo it with race-specific work. I’m trying to listen to the body.”

Ingebrigtsen has been open about his goals and ambitions for his 2024 season. He wants to win gold at next month’s European championships in Rome, defend his Olympic title over 1,500m and break the one-mile world record of 3:43.13 set by Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj in 1999, a year before he (Ingebrigtsen) was born.

While we all can’t be Ingebrigtsen, you can do your own variation of this workout (especially if you’re training for a 5K) by breaking down the 12x400m into two sets of five or six reps of 400m off 60 seconds’ rest at 5K pace, and taking three to four minutes between sets. The 200m reps should be done at faster than 5K pace, with a slow 200m recovery jog between reps.

How to watch Ingebrigtsen’s season opener

You can stream Saturday’s Eugene Diamond League (Prefontaine Classic) live on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports App and CBC Gem. Coverage begins at 4 p.m. E.T., with Ingebrigtsen and Kerr facing off in the Bowermile Mile, scheduled for 5:52 p.m.

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