A training program has to be developed to meet the individual needs of the athlete and take into consideration many factors: gender, age, strengths, weaknesses, objectives, training facilities etc. As all athletes have different needs, a single program suitable for all athletes is not possible. The program supplied here is just an example and will require updates to meet your specific aims and objectives.
Prior to starting any training, it is recommended you have a medical examination to ensure it is safe for you to do so.
Overview of the Training Program
The seasons training plan is based on six phases where each phase comprises of a repeated four-week program. The workload in the first three weeks of the four-week program increase each week (easy, medium, hard) and the fourth week comprises of active recovery and tests to monitor training progress. The aim of the four-week cycles is to:
Remember a training program is athlete specific and the results of the tests in the fourth week can be used to adjust the training in the next four-week cycle to address any limitations.
The content and quantity of training in each week and phase will depend on many factors. The Planning page provides an insight into the process of data gathering and preparing training programs
Example Training Plan & Programs
The objective of each phase, with links to examples of a season's training plan and four-week training programs for phases 1, 2 and 3, are as follows:
The content of the four-week programs in phases four and five depends very much on the athlete's progress and competitive races. Your aim in these phases is to address any limitations the athlete may have in order to bring him/her to a peak of performance for the major competition in phase five.
In the specific training phases, you will see that you run at three different paces - race pace, 5% faster than race pace and 5% slower than race pace. To do this you have to decide on a realistic target time for your 5km in phase five. The use of appropriate tests in week four of the training plan can be used to determine if your target time needs adjustment and accordingly the session times on your training plan.
What are the objectives of running at these three different paces?
The following are links to the appropriate page for the activities identified in the training programs.
The pace indicated for the sessions is in terms of percentage of a distance pb. e.g. 3 × 1 km in tpb+5%. If the athlete has a target personal best (tpb) of 13 minutes for the 5km then running at tpb+5% pace would require the athlete to complete the 5km in 13 minutes 40 seconds, (13 x 100 ÷ 95) so the 1 km should be completed in 2 minutes 44 seconds.
The following evaluation tests can be used to monitor the athlete's development:
5km Time Predictor
The following test can be used to predict your 5km time:
Race Time Goals
It is possible to predict your 400 metres, 800 metres, 1500 metres, 3 km, 10 km, ½ Marathon and Marathon times from your current 5km time using Frank Horwill's four-second rule for male athletes and Frank Horwill's five-second rule for female athletes.
Rules of Competition
The competition rules for this event can be obtained from:
If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:
The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic:
The following books provide more information related to this topic: