Our winter training program has two major goals. They are:

  1. To maximize your bodys ability to utilize oxygen
  2. To continue the multi-pace training we started at the beginning of school

Here is the 12 week plan of how we are going to meet those two goals.

1. Take a Balke Test. This consists of running 15 during which time you cover as much ground as you possibly can. We will call this distance D.

2. Each week you run the following sessions:

    1. 2D in 33:00, trying to run it about 1:00 faster each month until you can do it in 30:00
    2. 4 x D/2 in 7:00 with 60" rest.
    3. 4D in 69:00 trying to work your way down to 63:00
    4. 200s. Take the per-400m pace of your 15 run and halve it. Then subtract 8". This is the pace for your 200s to start with. Do the 200s with 90"- 75"- 60"- 45"- 30"- 15" recoveries. Then start the series over again at 90".Continue in this fashion until you can no longer hit the times or until you have completed 24x200.
  1. At the end of 12 weeks you will take the Balke Test again. If you have trained well, you should be able to run significantly farther in the 15 period. Hopefully you will be able to run at least 400m farther when you re-take the Balke Test.
  2. The twelve-week period will take us into mid-February, at which time we will start to transition into more traditional track work. We will start the outdoor season with a 5000 and/or a 3000. If you have increased your Max VO2 you will be able to run a PB or near PB in either of these two events. Once you can do that, we can confidently move onto preparing for your specialty races.
  3. Notice what you have for your training runs:
  1. This is about 10K pace
  2. This is about 3K pace
  3. This is tempo pace
  4. This is about 1500m pace
  1. The focus of this 12-week program is volume, not speed. So for your 200s, make sure you can do all 24 comfortable before speeding up. If you do get to that point, only speed up by 1" per 200. The object is to get a lot of them in, not a few fast ones. That will come later. It is the frosting on the cake that you are building this winter.
  2. If you can increase your 15 distance by 400m (or close to it) you will have made a significant increase in your Max VO2. To run with the best middle distance runners, a high Max VO2 is a necessity. The higher you can raise it, the longer you will be able to run fast using oxygen, thus delaying the need to use anaerobic energy sources which produce lactic acid. The runner who can do this has a tremendous advantage over one who cant.

I recognize that doing the same 4 workouts, over and over again, ever week, might drive some of you nuts. So.we have some alternate workouts that you can do in place of the main 4.


  1. Your old friend from x-c. Run 5 all out and measure the distance. Take a 5 rest and then run the same distance in 5:45 with 45" rest between repetitions. Do a lot of these, until you cant his the distance. If you miss by a second or two, do at least one more to see if you can bring the time back down. If not, that is it for the day. Dont cheat yourself. One great goal for this 12-week period is to build up the # of repeats you can do. Another goal is to try and increase the distance you run in the first 5 section.



  1. 16 x 400m at 3K pace with 60" rest. This should be about 8" faster per 400 than your 10K pace or about 4" per 400m slower than your 1500m pace.
  2. Another old friend from x-c. Run 5 all out and cover s much distance as you can. Take 5 rest. Then run the same distance in 5:15 and take 75" rest. Do several of these repeats.