• Coach Jacob Puzey

EP 2 of Art & Science of Running Podcast: Group Training, NN Running, Recovery, Trusting the Process

Updated: Aug 2, 2019


Live from Malc’s basement in Cochrane, Alberta, co-hosts Malc Kent and Jacob Puzey discuss group training, specifically the NN Running Team, with whom Malc has been working in Kenya.


Malc originally moved to the area because a research and development center for Garmin is located in Cochrane. Malc’s wife worked as a wireless developer and Malc did some consulting and testing work on running technologies.


Over the years, Malc has worked as a consultant for a number of companies and groups. Most recently, Malc has been working in Kaptagat, Kenya with NN Running, the training group with which marathon world record holder, Eliud Kipchoge, trains.


Coach Patrick and Team Physio, Marc, overlooking a track workout in rural Kenya.

Malc discusses some unique features of the group that help make it so successful:

  • Everyone accepts the process.

  • Everybody does their job.

  • They don’t burden themselves with over analysis.

  • Often in training, the superstars are in the middle and not out front pushing the pace on every run.

  • There are no secrets.

  • The training is the same workouts on the same days every week.

  • The track workout happens on one day.

  • The fartleks happen on another day.

  • The long run happens at another day.

  • This routine helps make recovery predictable and manageable.

  • They just do the work, consistently and consistently recover from the work.

  • The altitude and dirt roads help, but the group mentality is what really sets them apart.

  • Running camps are almost military style and foster camaraderie.

  • When not running, the athletes are fine doing nothing.

  • One key to success is recovering from hard work.

  • The group dynamic is one of constructive interference.

Malc relates his experience as an elite climber to trusting one's teammates or coach. The stakes in climbing are extremely high. There is no middle ground. You're trusting your life with a person hundreds of thousands of times in one trip.


Jacob describes some of the groups of athletes with whom he has worked and how important trusting the process, trusting the training, trusting your teammates, and trusting the coach can be.


For a slightly different discussion of Group Training, please read "Running and Eggs.


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