Training

Training Plans

This programme, by coach and author Sam Murphy, culminates in a mile race or time trial at the end of the eighth week – perfect if you’re planning to go for a great time at the Vitality Westminster Mile!

Aim to space out the three sessions each week, rather than doing them on consecutive days. Any other weekly sessions should be run at an easy pace – the distance dependent on your experience.

  • Getting started
    Every beginner’s running programme starts with walking, and you will have to walk before you can run...

Using the plan

Strides – A fast but relaxed effort over a short distance to help set up good form and ease you into speedwork.

CMP – Your current mile pace.

Jog/walk – If this feels too short, take longer. If it feels too long, reduce it – but only if you can sustain the same speed from the first rep to the last.

Tempo – The pace you can sustain for approximately an hour – usually between 10K or half-marathon race pace, depending on your ability.

3-5K pace – Corresponds nicely with VO2 max and is typically 15-40 seconds per mile slower than your mile pace.

Hill sprints – These are about developing speed and power. Don’t pick too steep a gradient and concentrate on good form.

Week 1

Session 1: 1-2 miles easy; 4-6 x 60m strides; 8-12 x 30 secs at CMP with 60 secs jog/walk; 1-2 miles easy

Session 2: 3-5 x 1 mile at tempo with 60-90 secs jog/walk; 2-4 x 200m at CMP with 200m jog/walk

Session 3: Easy run up to 80 mins plus 4 x 60m strides

Week 2

Session 1: 1-2 miles easy; 4-6 x 60m strides; 8-10 x 45 secs at CMP with 90 secs jog/walk; 1-2 miles easy

Session 2: 2 x 15 mins at tempo with 3 mins jog/walk; 2-4 x 200m at CMP with 200m jog/walk

Session 3: Easy run up to 80 mins

Week 3

Session 1: 1-2 miles easy; 4-6 x 60m strides; 6-8 x 60 secs at CMP with 2 mins jog/walk; 1-2 miles easy

Session 2: 1-2 miles easy; 3-5 x 4 mins at 5K pace with 3 min jog/walk; 1-2 miles easy

Session 3: Easy run up to 45 mins

Week 4

Session 1: 1-2 miles easy; 4-6 x 60m strides; 8-16 x 200m at CMP with 400m jog/walk; 1-2 miles easy

Session 2: 1 mile easy; 4 x 60m strides; 1 x 1200m time trial (record your time); 1 mile easy

Session 3: Easy run up to 80 mins plus 5 x 60m strides

Week 5

Session 1: 1-2 miles easy; 4-6 x 60m strides; 4-8 x 400m at CMP with 400m jog/walk

Session 2: 2 x 15 mins tempo pace with 2 min jog/walk; 2-4 200m CMP with 200m jog/walk

Session 3: Easy run up to 90 mins

Week 6

Session 1: 1-2 miles easy; 4-6 x 60m strides; 4-8 x 200m at 1200m pace with 200m jog/walk; 2 x 400m at CMP with 400m jog/walk; 2 x 200m at 1200m pace with 200m jog/walk; 1-2 miles easy

Session 2: 1-2 miles easy; 4-6 x 3 mins at 3K pace with 2 mins jog/walk recovery; 4-6 x 60m strides OR 4-6 x 10-sec hill sprints

Session 3: 5K or 10K race

Week 7

Session 1: 1-2 miles easy; 4-6 x 60m strides; 3-5 x 600m at CMP with 600m jog/walk; 1-2 miles easy

Session 2: 20-30 mins at tempo pace; 2-4 x 200m CMP with 200m jog/walk OR 5-7 x 10-sec hill sprints

Session 3: Easy run up to 90 mins

Week 8

Session 1: 1-2 miles easy; 6-8 x 1 min at 3-5K pace with 1 min jog/walk; 1-2 miles easy

Session 2: 45 mins easy run; 4-6 x 60m strides

Session 3: Westminster Mile!