68th Podcast

Podcast Guest “It's a long road” is the World Champion and endurance sports coach Vassilis Krommidas.


Vassilis is a TEFAA graduate with a specialization in swimming and a triathlon coach, obtaining the highest coaching degree in Greece.

He started to deal with sports in 1980 in the sport of Swimming where in the 100m events. and 200 m. Yptio, won two Panhellenic victories in the youth category, one in the men's category in the winter Championship as well as four times with the relay team in the children's and youth categories. Also many times he had finishes in the top three in many Panhellenic Championships.

He has been involved in triathlon and other endurance sports for over 30 years as an athlete and coach. He has won an Ironman world title in his age group with a course record in Hawaii, while he has finishes in eight IRONMANs, four LONG DISTANCE Triathlons and over 200 international Triathlon and Diathlon events with many podium finishes.

Vassilis has participated as an athlete in two Olympiads, in Sydney in 2000 and in Athens in 2004, while in 2008 he was also present at the Beijing Olympics, this time as the National Team Coach. He was four times 1st in the Balkan Championships, and undefeated by another Greek athlete since Triathlon began, and is also a 16-time National Champion.

In other sports he has distinguished himself, in swimming, with Panhellenic victories and participation in the National team, in Mountain Cycling, participation with the National team and winner of the international race in Cyprus in 1996, in Road Cycling, winner in the regional championships and a podium in the Panhellenic championship of 2004, in the cross-country running with podiums in the regional championship.

Vassilis has been a member of the famous Trisutto team since 2016, while in recent years he has been successfully organizing various training camps throughout Greece, with the aim of the individual improvement and development of each triathlete.

We will have an interesting discussion with Vassilis, as we will talk about training factors that improve a runner's endurance and performance, while he himself will answer various questions that all of you listeners have sent us.

Podcast Interview Highlights “It's a long road” with the endurance sports coach Basil Onion.

08:00 A question that has to do with me is, what have been the training, nutrition, recovery factors that have improved me as a runner lately. And on top of that, I'd like us to start a little bit from the beginning. What was the coaching approach in a tangible example, on me and how I went from being a simple runner who was overweight and running over 2 hour half marathons we made it and I can run a Marathon in a decent time but also Ultra races over 100 km?

12:00 Could I achieve all this in half the time?

16:40 What does my weekly training consist of? How is it built? stamina;

18:00 What is the management that was done to me and how was my preparation based, let's say on my last competitive Marathon that I did in Tokyo, from the moment you took the ergometrics in your hands in December 22 and until March when I went to the race, but knowing that in April and May I would also have 2 races Ultra, 100 and 180 kilometers;


22:55 Is it good for someone to participate in many popular races to gain experience or in more important ones to avoid injury?

24:20 From what age should someone be involved in championships if they want to?

25:30 How many kilometers per week at least should someone run who just wants to participate in 2 Marathons the year?

When does running become unproductive? When and why do we overtrain?

27:15 What is the recommended mileage training volume for a runner to perform 2:45- 2:50 marathon, maybe less. Age 35+

28:00 How we train in periods after a race, i.e. in periods when we need rest or simply maintenance. How long does it take to recover after a race? Is this a good time to focus on strength training? In general, how do we behave after a big match? Maybe this whole thing needs a show on its own…. Fantastic podcasts, very educational and with useful information. Thanks, keep up the great work!!!!

30:10 How is performance in a half marathon related to a marathon finish time? Does 2 times half + 10' = Marathon? We always talk about ideal conditions.

31:00 We do a workout, how long after our body assimilates it and we benefit?

31:40 What training does he recommend to his athletes in the last week before the Marathon? For experienced and non-experienced.

32:18 High Volume Training Vs High Intensity Training. Pros and cons.

34:00 Is 30 laps necessary in preparation for a Marathon or are weekly kilometers enough?

36:17 For us who do 10 and want to improve it.

37:00 How easy should our easy runs be? So is there a benefit if we push as much as it takes us (always at the limit of easy) a free run or will we not have any benefit from it?

38:05 Tips for ultramarathoners to avoid injuries. How important is body positioning technique and how to be relaxed while running?

39:13 Why do I often get cramps? What could be wrong?

39:45 Do you need to warm up before a workout? Does the weather have anything to do with it?

40:50 In preparation for matches long distances what intensity do we put into our interval training?

41:14 What should be the tempo in the breaks? How can I calculate it? If I run faster than the 90% is it good or counterproductive?

42:35 Strengthening exercises. Logically the friend here is asking if we should do and what should they be?

43:00 Number of workouts and weights per week.

43:25 It's the empowerment important to runners? If so, because I have neither the time nor the money to subscribe to gym, are there any strength exercises I could do after my workout and get the most out of them?

44:22 Heart rate training?

45:20 For beginner runners and not only that, heart rate vs watts workouts?

46:20 Training running to aim a fast Marathon. With pulses or rhythm?

47:55 If training based on heart rate (which I know Vassilis supports a lot), sometimes makes us undertrain, compared to training based on rhythm, due to the phenomenon of the displacement of HR observed after some time in a given intensity, we always talk in high sport.


49:30 What is the best Cross Training for runners? Bike, swimming or rowing?

50:20 What bike should a beginner have to be competitive in a half tri 90km?

51:15 Whether it has positive benefits for running bike;

53:08 Does cycling on a daily basis help run speed beyond the interval training we do as runners?

53:30 Could a marathon target incorporate swimming not only as active recovery but as a training structure in the 12-16 week cycle? And how;

54:18 Can be combined the swimming as empowerment and how?

55:00 How can my swimming develop when there is no access to a pool? Summer alone is not enough.

55:55 How to use cycling and swimming to become better runners? If we include these, is additional strengthening with weights necessary?

56:30 In times of minor injuries could we replace our running training with swimming or cycling? Could these workouts maintain our endurance and VO2 Max gains?

57:05 I would like to ask if he communicates with his athletes in his planning. How frequent is the contact? Is he easily approachable? That is, does he make a program and give it or does he often chat with his athletes? And I don't mean the elite athletes he has.

59:15 Has his athlete ever reached the point of "burnout" and if so how did he manage it with the athlete?

01:01:50 I stopped training due to an injury and unfortunately gained weight. How do I get back into my running routine after an injury and with the extra pounds and why did I gain weight without eating much?

01:04:15 To talk to us about the socio-cultural behavior of his athletes. If he noticed changes in the sociability of the runners he coaches, that is, if they wish to join a society of runners for the purpose of providing culture. If he noticed changes in their socialization, i.e. accepting terms and applying them. If their goal in itself is only to improve their running profile and for what reason. If they follow the program even after the end of their partnership. His other observations about their behavior. 

Vassilis Krommidas


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