Spring Training Guidelines for aspirational club runners

The second training phase is just about over so changes to training routines should be started especially for those people wishing to speed up in the Summer months and improve over 10k, 5k and shorter (?? anyone for the track??).

The winter work has largely consisted of long endurance work to support cross country, 10k and longer road races. This work usually produces strong cardio vascular and other endurance responses but inevitably leaves athletes somewhat one paced.

The summer is the time to try to do something about this and the following is an overview of one possible approach.

I recommend multi pace training where the athlete will vary the pace and extent of their training sessions.

A good way to approach this is that each week the athlete would do one 10k session, one 5k session, and one 1500 or 3k session. This would preferably include one rep. session of short units (800m or less) and one rep. session of long units (1000m or further), plus one tempo run.

The pace the intervals are run at should be based on the athletes proposed realistic best race time with recovery intervals to support that pace.

The shorter the event, the faster the pace and the longer the recovery.

  • A 1500 session of 400s might be 8*400 with 2.5 mins. recovery.
  • A 3k session of 400s might be 12*400 with 1.5-2 mins. recovery.
  • A 5k session of 400s might be 15*400 with 1 min. recovery.
  • A 10k session of 400’s might be 20-24*400 with 30 secs. recovery.

Other sessions with different rep distances would follow the same principle.

These sessions done regularly through the summer will condition the athlete to work at a higher percentage of their maximum aerobic capacity and will also train their ability to be more comfortable and coordinated when running with higher leg speeds and a more vigorous running action.

A word of warning however, this work needs to be approached with some caution i.e. several weeks of gradually increasing speed to allow a comfortable transition from the slower Winter work should be scheduled in, before full out session are attempted.

Also three high intensity sessions per week is not a good idea unless sufficient background work has been logged through the winter. If the athlete has been running most days with a reasonable mileage then three of these sessions will probably be OK, for those with less back ground then two sessions is the most they should attempt.

The remaining days of the week should consist of steady state aerobic, and easy recovery running, with one longer of run up to one and a half hours.

Some of these sessions will be done in Cofton on Saturday mornings. I have talked to Jon Grix about this and we think it is a good idea to do a formal track session once every 2-3 weeks, probably at the university track.

Best of luck,

Joe Lewis