Jakob Asserson Ingebrigtsen on the problem with the Achilles tendon and the thigh: – Lucky I have three seconds to go

SWEAT PARTY: Jakob Ingebrigtsen runs intervals in his new training annex with VG visiting. Photo: Bjørn S. Delebekk / VG

SANDNES (VG) Jakob Asserson Ingebrigtsen (23) struggled with his thigh last year and the Achilles has spoiled the winter. But he thinks the competitors have it worse.


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  • Jakob Asserson Ingebrigtsen (23) is struggling with his Achilles tendon, but the competitors think he is struggling more.
  • – If I’m crap, I’m just as good as the others, says Ingebrigtsen.
  • He is positive despite the injury, but admits that it has been frustrating and confusing to deal with.
  • With all the training he has done before, he is sure to quickly reach the top.

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– Compared to my competitors, I think that I have been the least injured this winter. There are many who year after year have not been able to run indoors, while I have been doing it for many years. I don’t think this is as bad as people think.

That’s what Ingebrigtsen tells VG after running a 6×5 minute interval in his training annex outside the new, large-scale house in Sandnes. The running prodigy has started to step up her running training again.

He is struggling with an achilles, which will keep him out of the indoor WC in March. The 23-year-old usually runs 180 kilometers a week at this time of year. In recent months, however, he has hardly been able to run. The two daily sessions have been alternate.

– There is an Olympic season coming up. What do you say to Norwegians who are worried that you haven’t been able to run as usual for a long time?

– Lucky for me that I have three seconds to go. If I’m crap, I’m as good as the rest. If they are normal, I have a bit to go on, answers Ingebrigtsen and laughs.

– But you were beaten in the WC (by Josh Kerr in the 1500 metres, Ingebrigtsen took gold in the 5000 metres)…?

– Then the body did not function normally (disease). I will be as good as I can and want to win by the greatest possible distance. Then you have something to go on if something happens. It is worse if you depend on competitors to underperform, while you overperform. If something happens then, you are far behind.

Last season it was the inside of the thigh (the adductor) that caused problems – an injury he suffered in 2019 and since then has been a bit “on and off”.

– It is a type of injury that is quite similar to the Achilles tendon: If you do not exercise, it can be very painful when you start again.

It caused problems after the world’s best runner in recent years was ill last winter.

– I lost some continuity in training with illness then. The adductor got worse when I came back. I went back and forth all last year in a cycle of 3-5 weeks where it got worse and I had to stop for a bit.

CONFIDENCE: – Lucky for me that I have three seconds to go, says Jakob Asserson Ingebrigtsen about his own injury problems. Photo: Bjørn S. Delebekk / VG

He seems almost zero worried about the Achilles problems. But it has still been troublesome and confusing:

– The injury itself is the smallest I have had. The only problem is that it is very individual how long it takes. It is not particularly painful or serious, but it can take time, says Ingebrigtsen and continues:

– The most frustrating thing is that you don’t know how long it will take. If you get help from people who “can do it”, then they can’t do anything!

– They give you a bit of false hope. That’s the worst. You go to one physiotherapist who says “two weeks, then it’s fine”. Then four weeks pass and I ask “what’s going on?”. Then they answer “no, no, it can take much more time”.

– That is the worst that can happen. It got better after someone actually said what it was and how long it takes. Then you can make peace with it, and not chase something that doesn’t exist.

As easily trained as he is and with the gigantic amounts of training he has behind him, he believes it is possible to quickly reach the top.

– It can be just as well to have a longer break from normal training. When you are in the same routine for so many years, it is only a matter of time before the effect drops a little. It can be positive.

– But then I look at it very positively, laughs Ingebrigtsen.

– The best thing about my training, in addition to getting good at running, is that I have a huge foundation and buffer if anything should happen. In a way, it’s cool to get paid for everything I’ve done from work, he says and points out that many of the competitors have a completely different philosophy.

– They like to stand and fall a lot more during individual sessions and have to do their training, without having anything to walk on.

ON THE STEP: Most people wish they had stepped up to Jakob Asserson Ingebrigtsen.
ON THE STEP: Most people wish they had stepped up to Jakob Asserson Ingebrigtsen. Photo: Bjørn S. Delebekk / VG

– Your brothers, Henrik and Filip, have suffered from injuries with age. Are you afraid that you will suffer the same fate?

– It is very individual. If you have injury breaks all the time, you never get to train. Then it doesn’t go well. But if you train with very good continuity for four or five years, there is no problem with an injury, if you get back into training. But if you are in a bad spiral, it may be difficult to get out.

– You have received a lot of praise for taking part in many races. And when you first participate, it’s not to get in shape for this and that later. It is to set a record or a good time that day. But have you pushed yourself too hard?

– No. There is a reason why something happens, but it is not always something that can be determined. Top sport is a big burden. I have better control of this than many others when I can compete in so many races and maintain a consistent level.


Published: 03.02.24 at 09:09

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The article is in Norwegian

Tags: Jakob Asserson Ingebrigtsen problem Achilles tendon thigh Lucky seconds


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