5 ridiculous workouts from ultrarunner Aleksandr Sorokin

5 ridiculous workouts from ultrarunner Aleksandr Sorokin

Lithuania’s Aleksandr Sorokin has five ultrarunning world records to his name, and it is his grueling training sessions and mileage that set him apart from other endurance athletes. Leading up to his recent 100km world record in Vilnius, Lithuania, the 41-year-old averaged 300 kilometers per week, with some ridiculous training sessions. Here’s a glance at a few of them.

Aleksandr Sorokin
100km record holder Aleksandr Sorokin of Lithuania. Photo: Mantas Stankevičius

40 reps of 1,000m with 1-2 minutes’ rest

Kilometer repeats can feel long for most runners; now imagine doing 40 of them. This workout from Sorokin is mind-boggling. He averaged three minutes and 28 seconds per kilometer over the 40 reps. According to his Instagram post about the workout, he told his long-time coach Sebastian Białobrzeski that he wanted to cry after finishing rep #20. (Sania, we don’t blame you.)

Three reps of 10K progressions off 1K

Adding progression runs to your training is a great way to improve your endurance and help your body adapt to running longer distances and sustaining higher intensities. It also plays a role in building mental stamina. In Sorokin’s case, this 30K progression workout is to help him get familiar with world record paces when fatigued. This can be a good session for someone training for a marathon, but the workout would be way too much mileage for any distance under 30K.

Five reps of 5K with three minutes’ rest

In the lead-up to the 2023 Seville Marathon in Spain, Sorokin threw down this wild 5K session, averaging 3:15-3:20 per kilometre off three minutes’ rest between reps. The 41-year-old ended up placing 118th overall in a time of 2:25:33.

If you switch the workout to three or four reps with the same amount of rest, it can be a good workout for those training for a half-marathon or marathon, as it simulates your race effort.

10 reps of 2K, off 1K float

This might be the least ridiculous Sorkoin workout of the five, but it’s still 30 kilometers of volume and done at a fast pace. Similar to the 5K workout above, this can be done at your goal half or marathon pace. The thing about float rest is, you have the ability to mark the workout as hard as you want. The faster you float (faster than a jog), the harder the workout will be, and vice versa.

42-kilometre steady run

A week after breaking his 100K record by six seconds in 6:05:35, the Lithuanian star celebrated his achievement on his Strava in typical ultrarunning fashion, heading out for a casual 42.2-kilometre steady run in two hours and 50 minutes.

Sorokin hasn’t always been a runner; he did not start until 2013, at 32. In a 2021 interview with canadian running, Sorokin told us that he began running to get in shape, when he weighed 100 kg (220 lb.). “At the time I wasn’t playing any sports, just drinking and smoking a lot,” he said. After a few months of training, he entered a half-marathon, and a few weeks after that, he saw an advertisement for a 100 km race in Lithuania and began his ultrarunning career. (And the rest is history.)

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