Senior Endurance Training Guidelines



To provide a template around which individual and group training can be planned. It assumes a year cycle divided into two half years focussed on Summer track / road race and Winter cross country periods. This avoids fatigue.

The principals are well founded in experience with the Autumn / Winter focussed on Strength and stamina development and the Spring / Summer on speed. Even for summer road racing this strategy is sound as races are typically shorter and faster.
This strategy is essentially a linear strategy with a progression over the course of the cycle.


  • Every athlete is different. Factors such as age, time to train, reasons to run and ability to train are important. We understand running is hard work so training requires to be achievable and motivational. Hence it is advised that the construction of a principal training plan involves discussion.
  • Experiences of mileage differ
  • Long term objectives are different, an older senior will not expect to plan for county / international status, but a teenager might aspire to this.
  • Ability will differ, and so expected target speeds and intensity of sessions need to be happily modified when required.
  • Training plans need to show, when required by the individual’s objectives, progression.
  • Everything will change. Its important to feel comfortable about modifying and missing training!

When a set of objectives include performance at specific events this requires to be taken into consideration. For example, training and rest periods in the Autumn and Winter will take into account, typically, the Manchester League, county and National championships.
In the Summer specific events may be targeted but the nature of track competition allows the variety of events to be considered to provide virtual resting.

Winter 2021 Senior Training


Develop sound aerobic training base before applying Anaerobic and race conditioning

Strong adherence to recovery strategy

Take advantage of covid 19 induced suspension of racing

The 2021 Winter schedule build through a number of phases, resulting in a base for races in the Spring and Summer.

Each phase focuses on the development of a key strength, Aerobic, Strength, Anaerobic, Integration of phases and Preparation for races.

All types of session are applied, long runs, easy runs, intervals, hills etc. But they must be applied in the appropriate phases.

The key difference to our previous schedules is the requirement to have the courage to adhere to the principals of the phase, mixing the aerobic and the Anaerobic sessions does not work.

This basic plan assumes training 4 days a week.

Time Schedule Overview

Aerobic               10 – 12 weeks

Hills                    4 week

Anaerobic          4 weeks

Integration        2 weeks

Phase 1 Aerobic

Objective: Develop the Aerobic capacity of the athlete as a foundation to later apply Anaerobic stimuli.

In this phase you CANNOT run to slowly, but it is possible to run to fast, remember the talk test and slow down or take recovery if you exceed this effort.


  1. A long weekly run of at least 1 hour (preferably 2 hours)
  2. A steady run (jog level, slower than you are capable of)
  3. A run at just below the Anaerobic threshold (still within the Aerobic region)
  4. An out and back run

WEEK 1 (December 13th -19th)

15th      Steady aerobic run

17th      40 minutes easy Fartlek (10 mins w/u, 10 mins w/d)                 

WEEK 2 (December 20th – 26th)

Long Run (1-2 hours, depending on wax possible, steady, relaxed “slow”)

22nd     30 mins “Out and Back”

Steady 45 minute run, just below Anaerobic with jog w/u and w/d

Jog run (as long as possible)

WEEK 3 (December 27th – 2nd January)

Long Run (1-2 hours, depending on wax possible, steady, relaxed “slow”)

Easy fartlek with variable length strides/efforts and hills, fully recovering between efforts

Steady 45 minute run, just below Anaerobic with jog w/u and w/d

Jog run (as long as possible)

Week 4 (January 3rd – 10th)

Long Run (1-2 hours, depending on wax possible, steady, relaxed “slow”)

7th        30 mins “Out and Back”

9th        Steady 45 minute run, just below Anaerobic with jog w/u and w/d

Jog run (as long as possible)


  • You become fitter during the recovery / rest days, not during the workout.
  • Do not run hard until you have fully recovered from your previous workout.
  • If you can increase the duration of your steady runs slightly
  • Long walks are a good substitute