I am the Sergey Bubka of trail running

2.740 meters; my new Cooper-test record. 240 meters more than last time. Not a lot, but on purpose, because I’m the Sergey Bubka of running.

2.740 meters. That’s my new Cooper test record. I broke my old one today by 240 meters. Not a lot, but that was on purpose. Why? Because I’m the Sergey Bubka of trail running.

If you can’t remember Sergey Bubka, or if you have never heard of him, he was a pole-vaulter who broke the world record (mostly his own) 35 times (17 outdoor, 18 indoor). Often by a minimum distance of 1 centimeter. When I was young, Sergey Bubka was a legend.


World champion

Sergey Bubka was born in Ukraine, when it was still part of the U.S.S.R. He became world champion pole vault at the 1983 world track-and-field championships in Helsinki, Finland, with a vault of 5.7 meters.

He first cleared 6 meters, long considered an unattainable height, in Paris on July 13, 1985. Between 1984 and 1988 he increased the world record by 21 cm. His highest jump was 6,14 meter, which he cleared in 1994 in Sestrière, France.


1 centimeter

What made Sergey Bubka a cult figure, is that he would only jump 1 centimeter higher than his previous record. Even when he thought he could jump more. That way he could strike up a bonus for breaking the world record, every tournament he entered.

There are no bonuses for me, yet I do like his approach. As I told you, I make my own training schedule, and every now and then I want to see if I’m on the right track. Doing a Cooper-test is for me a moment to evaluate. If I can run further than last time, my fitness is going the right way, if I can’t maybe I have to change something.

RELATED: Finally updating my training schedule


Further is not harder

My goal at this moment is to run further, which is something else than running harder. So I do know that’s something I have to keep in mind. I mean a Cooper-test is only 12 minutes, where most of my runs are 2 hours or more.

Yet a test is a test. The last time, which was also my first time, I did my Cooper-test, I easily ran 2.5 kilometers. So for today I set out to run at least 2.6. I could have gone all out, but with Sergey Bubka in mind I decided to set an easy target.

My first kilometer went easy. Almost too easy with 4 minutes 13 per kilometer. 10 seconds faster than I needed. Kilometer two I had head wind. I ran 4 seconds too slow, but thanks to the fast start I had some time to spare.

The last couple of hundred meters I just kept an eye on my watch. That told me I was doing fine, so I didn’t try too hard. That way next time I can probably break my record again. Maybe by 1 meter. Sergey Bubka style.

Today's training

2,74 kilometers in 12 minutes

Recovery training
10 minutes

4,7 kilometers in 51 minutes


John Kraijenbrink

The Running Dutchman

I run. Trails mostly. I am Dutch. That makes me The Running Dutchman.

I am also a massage therapist, yogi, sports science nerd, and journalist/writer. Everything I learn and research about trail running, I share here, on this website, with you.

latest posts