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Andy Vernon


Andy Vernon training

Andy (left) alongside fellow GB athlete Mo Farah (right)

Andy Vernon training. Andy is a British long-distance runner with personal bests of 13:11.50 (5000m) & 27:42.62 (10,000m). He is coached by Nic Bideau, head coach at Melbourne track club. Andy has expressed aspirations to move-up to the marathon distance in his 2018 season, in build-up to his goal of running the 42.2km race in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Andy had a tough build-up leading into the Rio Olympic Games 10,000m race, having suffered from achilles tendon problems followed by patellar tendinopathy. He mentions that a month out of the games, he ran no more than 25 miles per week, and had to spend the bulk of his time spent cross training. This lead to his legs feeling flat towards the end of the race.

Andy’s frame is atypical of elite distance runners, weighing in at around 74kg (& 180cm height). Similar to Andy’s build is America’s Ben True, who’s just 3cm taller but weighs about the same. Making a big deal about these 2 athlete’s frames might not seem relevant, as to reach a particular pedigree of ability, you’re likely to already need to poses a genetic make-up which is freakishly different in a brilliant cand omplementary way. Andy is a good reminder that although trends of what world class distance runners ‘should’ look like exist, so do outliers.

A week of Andy Vernon’s training while on training camp in Falls Creek (altitude 5,500ft), Australia:


AM – Foam rolling + 9mi in 61-62min + gym conditioning and stretching
PM – Easy 5miles (pace @ 7min/mi = 4:21/km) + foam rolling


AM – foam rolling + track session: 8x1km with 60sec rest, in 2:58-2:54 and fast last rep in 2:47 + stretch
PM – core stability + knee rehab + 40min high intensity cross training


Same as monday, except with gym work focusing on hamstring and achilles rehab, and a massage.


AM – foam rolling + session: 8x (400m hard (67-68sec) and 200m float in 45sec on trail) rest 2min and then 16min lactic threshold (5:00-5:10/mile) + 30min stretch
PM – gym (core stability and knee rehab with 40min high intensity cross training


AM – foam roll + 10miles steady (68-69min) + gym (hamstring + achilles + core focused) + stretch and massage
PM – 5 miles easy + foam rolling


AM – foam roll + session: 6 mile lactic threshold in 5:03/mile + 30min stretch 
PM – gym and cross train


AM – 2hours long run off steady start and working down to 5:40/mile pace in last 60min

When Andy’s not training, he’s at home recovering in an athlete house home to 5 fellow runners. Most afternoons include a 60-90min nap between sessions. Click here to have a look at his Power of 10 page for more on his personal bests and lifetime progressions. Andy Vernon training.