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 September 2021

This schedule again focuses on 5k/10k conditioning. 

This phase continues to assume that each week includes a long (1hr – 2hr) very easy run – nominally on Saturday or Sunday. In addition to this a park run tempo run on Saturday is assumed.

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 

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 w/u and 1mile w/d

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.

Pace indicators:

10K 50mins 8min/mile

55mins 8.50min/mile

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

5k 20-22mins 6.30-7min/mile

3k 12.00min 800m in 3.12mins

14.00min 800m in 3.44min

Week 1

Tuesday 24th August

3 x 8min (5k effort)

2 min recovery

On track 2 x 50 fast with full recovery

Thursday 26th August

200m, 300m, 400m, 600m, 400m, 300m, 200m 

1500m effort

200 active jog recovery

Saturday 3 mile tempo

Sunday Long 10-12 mile

Week 2

Tuesday 31st August

(3 min [3k effort] 1min [800m effort]) x 4, one min walk between sets.

Thursday 2nd  September

2 x 5 x 400m 200 jog rec, 5 min between sets

Saturday 3 ml tempo run

Sunday Long 60+ minute easy run 

Week 3

Tuesday 7th

40 minutes variable effort Fartlek

Thursday 9th

5 x 800m (3 k effort)

2 min rec

3 x 50m fast, full recovery

Saturday 3ml tempo run

Sunday Long 60+ minute easy run

Week 4

Tuesday 14th

5 x 5 mins (3k effort)

1 min jog recovery 

Session run as an out and back aiming to arrive back at starting position to judge pace.

Thursday 16th

2 x 5 x 400m. 100m fast, 100m jog

10 mins between sets

A sharpener!

Saturday 3 ml tempo run

Sunday Long 60+ minute easy run

Week 5

Tuesday 21st

6 x 4 min (2 min jog rec)

Thursday 23rd

12x 400m 

200m jog rec (90 secs)

Saturday 3 ml tempo run

Sunday Long 60+ minute easy run