Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Ronaldo Repeats: A Marathon Training Secret

Are you looking for a workout routine that will prepare you for a long race? Look no further than the “Ronaldo Repeats” – a training method inspired by Ronaldo de Costa, the marathon world record holder in 1998. This workout is not only fun but also highly effective in improving your stamina and race performance.

The Workout

Ronaldo’s coach had him perform 3 sets of 5K runs, starting at marathon pace and progressively getting faster with each repeat. The key is to take 2-4 minutes of recovery between each set. This approach allowed Ronaldo to achieve the world record while still having enough energy to celebrate with cartwheels afterwards.

Pace Control and Intensity

The main focus of the “Ronaldo Repeats” workout is to avoid running too fast too soon. It’s important to stick to the prescribed pace for each repeat and run as comfortably as possible at this moderately fast pace. This simulates the early stages of a long race where conserving energy is crucial.

As the workout progresses, you will learn to increase your intensity as fatigue sets in, mirroring the demands of an actual race. It’s important to remember that the goal is to challenge yourself with the duration of the workout, not the speed. Completing the full workout at a slightly slower pace is more beneficial than cutting it short due to exhaustion.

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Workout Breakdown

  • 5K (3.1 miles) at marathon pace, followed by a 2-4 minute recovery jog
  • 5K at marathon pace minus 5 seconds per mile, followed by a 2-4 minute recovery jog
  • 5K at marathon pace minus 10 seconds per mile, followed by a 2-4 minute recovery jog

Why It Works

One of the great aspects of the “Ronaldo Repeats” workout is the opportunity to practice dialing in your marathon pace early on. Furthermore, progressively increasing your pace throughout the workout trains you to push yourself when fatigue sets in, helping you maintain your target pace during a race. This workout is best incorporated later in your training plan when you have built sufficient fitness and are in good shape.

Recovery and Nutrition

Proper recovery and nutrition are essential after completing the “Ronaldo Repeats” workout. Make sure to rehydrate and consume protein and carbohydrates within the first 30 minutes post-workout to kickstart the muscle recovery process. Additionally, allow ample recovery time in the day or two following this challenging workout.



Q: Can I modify the pace for the Ronaldo Repeats workout?
A: It is recommended to stick to the prescribed paces as they are designed to improve stamina and race performance. However, you can consult with a running coach or adapt the workout to suit your specific needs.

Q: How often should I incorporate the Ronaldo Repeats workout into my training plan?
A: The Ronaldo Repeats workout is best performed later in your training plan, once you have built sufficient fitness. It is generally recommended to incorporate it once or twice a month for optimal results.

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Q: Can beginners perform the Ronaldo Repeats workout?
A: The Ronaldo Repeats workout is more suitable for intermediate and advanced runners who have already built a solid running base. Beginners should focus on gradually increasing their mileage and building endurance before attempting this workout.


The “Ronaldo Repeats” workout is a hidden gem for marathon training. By incorporating progressive pacing and interval training, it effectively prepares you for the mental and physical demands of a long race. Remember to listen to your body, fuel properly, and allow for sufficient recovery to maximize the benefits of this challenging workout.

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