Improvers’ eight-week training plan
If you’ve run a mile before and are looking to get faster, this programme for more experiences runners could be for you. Designed by coach and author Sam Murphy, the plan culminates in a mile time trial at the end of the eighth week – perfect if you’re planning to go for a PB at the Vitality Westminster Mile!
Using the improvers’ training plan
Ideally you should aim to space out the three sessions each week, rather than doing them on consecutive days, to allow yourself time to rest and recover. Any other weekly sessions you feel like adding in (not compulsory!) should be run at an easy pace, with the distance dependent on your experience.
Here’s a list of the terminology the plan uses, and what certain phrases mean, in case you’re not familiar with them…
Easy: running at a controlled, relaxed pace.
Strides: 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 repetition 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: this is typically 15 to 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.