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.

Senior Training January 2022

This schedule again focuses on 5k/10k and conditioning for the Cross Country season.

This phase continues to assume that each week includes a long (1hr – 2hr) very easy run – nominally on Saturday or Sunday.

Mileage 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

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 1 mile warm up and 1 mile warm down

For convenience set group sessions are specified for Tuesday and Thursday evenings with a long steady run on the Saturday/Sunday.

The winter period introduces regular hill workouts, nominally on a Saturday.

Week 1 January

Tuesday 4th

40 mins variable Fartlek. Efforts from 100m to 1000m.

Pace from fast stride to 10k

Thursday 6th

4 x 1600m (10K pace, hard breathing) 2 min recovery between efforts

2 x 50m hard effort – full recovery slow walk back

Saturday            4 mile tempo run with slow acceleration from start

Sunday              Long 10-12 mile easy steady run

Week 2 January

Tuesday 11th

4 mile group run with v.slow start

Thursday 13th

30 min very easy run

10 minutes strides (50 to 100m) easy and relaxed

Saturday            MACCL Tatton Park

Sunday               Long 60+ minute easy run

Week 3 January

Tuesday 18th

40 minutes out and back (2 x 20 minutes) paced and easy.

3 min recovery

Thursday 20th

12 x 400m (1 min v.easy recovery, standing)

Saturday            Group Hills

Sunday               Long 60+ minute easy run

Week 4 January

Tuesday 25th

3 x 15 variable, 15 min easy, 15min moderate (10k), 15min hard (5K)

Thursday 27th

6 x 800m (5K pace) 3min recovery

Saturday            3ml tempo run

Sunday               Long 60+ minute easy run