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.

It’s not all about running, conditioning exercises help too.


  • 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 Feb 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. 

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

Tuesday 1st

40 mins variable Fartlek. Efforts from 100m to 1000m. Pace from fast stride to 10k

Team selection of recovery and effort duration.

Thursday 3rd 

Track warm up 

800m, 1200m, 1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m, 400m (200m slow jog recovery)

Saturday 4 mile tempo run with slow acceleration from start

Sunday Hill session Woodbank park, Stockport 10am

Week 2

Tuesday 8th

40 minutes run incorporating 2 efforts of approx. 8 minutes.

Thursday 10th

20 x 200m (consistent pace, not short rep pace!)

100m roll on recovery.

Saturday 3 mile easy run

Sunday Long 60+ minute easy run