Senior Endurance Training Guidelines

Malcolm Plant


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.

June 2021

This schedule again focuses on 5k/10k conditioning. After a Winter of almost exclusive Aerobic training June sees the introduction of Anaerobic sessions.

The sessions follow a two week cycle because of the interval since the last anaerobic sessions.

This plan continues to assume that each week includes a long (1hr – 2hr) very easy run – nominally on Saturday or Sunday. This will be a consistent feature of the plan throughout the year.

Milage can be assumed to be as much as practical but essentially at easy or jog pace, pace is not a good indicator of benefit, feeling is. These runs are required for the develop of aerobic systems (capillaries and mitochondria numbers and siting – sorry the biologist in me)

It is advised to include 1-2 steady easy runs over 30 minutes during every 7 days.

All track and interval sessions should include a minimum of 1mile warm up and 1mile warm down

It is assumed that on Thursday there will be an opportunity to use the track. Tuesday will allow more path and field terrain. These sessions can be transposed.

If there are any opportunities to race (sizzlers etc), miss the preceding session.

Target efforts are indicated. These keep you just on the lactic threshold so you are adapting to process lactate. This is what you predominately need for 5k and 10K.

This means that we are targeting a pace of 80% effort which will mean a HR during the effort of around 165 – 170 BPM. Returning to about 120 – 130 at the end of the recovery period.

It is difficult at the moment to address our maxHR and effort indicators but this will develop.

We should not be feeling very stressed starting the last effort

Pace indicators:

10K         50mins                  8min/mile or 5min/km

                55mins                  8.50min/mile or 5.30min/km

This is a pace at which it is difficult to hold a conversation

5k           20-22mins           6.30-7min/mile or 4-4.20min/km

3k           12.00min              800m in 3.12mins

                14.00min              800m in 3.44mins

June Week 1

Tuesday 1st

30 minutes Fartlek. Variable length efforts, Re-grouping after efforts.

5 min warm up and warm down

Run hard on all short (<200m efforts)

On track

2 x 50mtrs fast with 5 min between runs              

Thursday 3rd

2 x (5 x 400m) recovery 90 seconds between reps / 5 min (jog) between sets

Rep pace 90 secs (95% effort) i.e 1500m pace (hard and fast)

Plenty of warm up and warm down

Saturday/Sunday             10-12 mile

June Week 2

Tuesday 8th

10min warm up (very easy)

20 min tempo (10k pace)

10 min warm down (very easy) 

Thursday 10th

3 x 2k at 5k pace (approx. 8mins). 3 mins recovery

3 x 50m strides (full recovery, 3 mins)

Saturday/Sunday             Long 60+ minute easy run

June Week 3

Tuesday 15th

3 x 8 minutes at approx. 5k pace (3 min recovery).

5 min warm up

5 min warm down          

Thursday 17th Training at the track cancelled: Sale Sizzler Race #1 at 7.30om

Here’s what you’re missing: A  Pyramid – this one not fun. Target time indicate effort.

[200m (40secs) , 400m (90secs) , 600m (120 secs)  ,400m, 200m] x 2

2 min recovery between reps

5 min recovery jog between sets

95% effort, this is fast

Long jog warm down

Saturday/Sunday             Long 60+ minute easy run

June Week 4

Tuesday 22nd

30 minutes Fartlek. Variable length efforts, Re-grouping after efforts.

5 min warm up and warm down

On track

2 x 50mtrs fast with 5 min between runs              

Thursday 24th

4 x 800m at 3k pace (approx. 8 mins) 3 min recovery between reps

(3.12min for 12.00min 3K / 3.45mins for 14.00 3K)

3 x 50m fast with full recovery

Saturday/Sunday             Long 60+ minute easy run