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.


Following a disrupted year, the following schedule outlines a training period commencing in September 2020.

Official races are not expected before 2021.

Up to the end of the schedule is focused on events up to 10k. The second winter period will allow modifications for athletes focusing on half marathon and marathon events in 2021.

This training integrates progression over the 4 month period. Until a race program is published progression of training will be the focus.

There is a breakaway from the traditional 7 day mini cycle, this allows for a greater diversity of session and recovery. However the group/social aspect of club Tuesday and Thursday evenings are preserved.

A five pace principal is applied.


Month 1            30

Month 2            37

Month 3            42

Month 4            47

Weekly mileage is presented as an example, however individual athlete norms can be discussed, in the early stages of the period the mileage difference between the target and that generated through the proposed sessions is modest.

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

Month 2

Week 1

Tuesday 6th 

6 mile steady run with gradual acceleration over the final 2 mile to 90% 5K race pace

Thursday 8th  

2 x 6 x 400m (1 min recovery)

5 min between sets

Long run YES (10-12 mile)

Nominal mileage 23

Week 2

Tuesday 13th

6 mile Fartlek with variable length efforts

Thursday 15th

(1600, 1200, 800, 400) x 2

2 min recovery, 5 min between sets

Sunday 18th

Hills (Group) Woodbank/Vernon Park (no long run)

Nominal mileage 19

Week 3

Tuesday 20th

6 mile Tempo acceleration over miles 3 – 5 (3 miles)

Thursday 22nd

4 x 1200m (2 min recovery)

Long run YES (10-12 mile)

Nominal mileage 23

Week 4

Tuesday 27th

4 mile Fartlek (variable efforts 100m – 600m)

1 ml w/u 1 ml w/d

Thursday 29th

20 x 200m (100m rolling jog recovery)

2 ml w/u 2 ml w/d

Long run Yes (10 -12 mile)

Nominal mileage 25