A piece of warning in the start: I was asked to outline Susanne’s training and this I have done. This is not intended as a general program I suggest you start following.
If I get the time I will make another post where I comment on some of the posts in this tread. (I will just comment on posts I believe are given out of interest for our sport and a want for information or serious discussion.)
Some background info on Susanne:
She is from Haugesund on the south western coast of Norway. She has a very good background in endurance training from training with Jon Udal up until she moved to Oslo to get her education as a teacher.
Being from a coastal town in the south western part of Norway also means that Susanne does not have a background of skiing. Contrary many other Norwegian runners she never uses skiing as a training. I mention this because the two great Norwegian female runners Grethe and Ingrid as well as many male Norwegian runners have used skiing for training. Ingrid was actually in the national cross country ski team before she was an international runner and even during her best years of running, skiing was a large part of her winter training.
After getting her teaching certificate Susanne has worked full time as a teacher in an elementary school in Oslo. Around Christmas last year she was able to reduce her workload to 80% giving her Thursdays off from teaching. The more rest she achieved by this has proved to be very valuable for her training.
Working in Oslo means that nearly all her training is done in Oslo. This means no soft surface from October to April and a constant possibility of need to change sessions for weeks in a row due to snow and ice or cold weather during the winter. The last winter in Oslo was very good for running and we never had to make significant changes to the program because of the conditions.
Around Easter she stayed 14 days in Italy.
Some background info on me as coach.
My coaching is not based on a deep understanding of the physiological processes in the body. The basis for my coaching is my experience as a runner in the 70s. This you will also see through this description of Susanne’s training.
I was fortunate to be coached by some very good coaches: Arne Nytrø in Norway (helped me run 3.41 when I was 20 and in the 50s he coached Norwegian running legend Audun Boysen who ran 1.45,9 in 1955). Later Bill Bowerman and Bill Dellinger coached me in Eugene. I learned a lot from these coaches.
Even with coaches like these the one person who probably influenced my ideas on training most was Lydiard. When I started building my own programs in 1973-1974 I used ideas learned from him and this improved my running drastically.
As a coach I have later tried to add some other aspect to the program but gradually they have all been taken away after evaluating the results. Today I am pretty much back where I started with some important adjustments in the track session during spring.
Some general comments on the program
Periodisation based on Lydiard ideas but not a Lydiard-program in any strict sense.
Susanne trains in a group with 10-15 runners.
Structure most weeks the same:
13 sessions a week
Longest run of week is run on Sunday, but only one session that day.
Hardest sessions of weeks almost always run on Monday and Thursday. These days we have most athletes in the group in one session, but they do their work in smaller groups of 2-3 runners. These are the only sessions I regularly attend.
This was just 4 weeks of easy running building up to full training.
From 1.11 2004 to 1.4.2005.
The goal for this period was to get as much endurance as possible. For a 5000m runner like Susanne this basically meant improving her ability to run fast over 45 – 75 minutes.
She ran lots of kilometers: averaged 175 from 1.11.2004 to 4.4.2005. The first three weeks of that period she ran 161, 151 and 161km. After this she never ran less than 165 km in one week and all but 3 weeks were above 170km, 7 weeks above 180km and one week above 190km. All these kilometers were run on roads with pavement except a very few treadmill sessions in March
Contrary to what some people in Norway seem to believe most of it was quite easy running. 120-150 km were covered on easy runs. Susanne normally ran these runs between 4.00 and 4.20 pr kilometer, but we were not concerned about speed on these runs. The main thing was covering distance and building background.
Nearly all weeks included either 2 hard and one medium session, or 1 hard and 2 medium sessions or 3-4 medium sessions. This was varied after what I felt was needed.
The hard sessions were basically close to all out running but we tried to make them somewhat progressive. These sessions were always run on Mondays or Thursdays. Saturday was often run as medium session. In weeks with 4 medium sessions the 4th medium session was run on Tuesday.
An illustration of the difference between a hard and a medium session the pace on a 50 min run works well. If run as a hard session Susanne ran this around 3.25-3.20 pr km while the medium sessions were somewhere between 3.45 and 3.35. pr km.
This gave the following weekly structure
Monday – Saturday she runs ca 45 min easy in the morning.
Monday 12 km run as repeats.
Either run as a hard session as 8 *1500m or a medium session with 3*3000m + a 1500m medium hard run followed by a 1500m run some 20 sec faster. 1 min jogg is always used as rest in these session. The 1500 and 3000 are not accurate distances but crude estimates of the distance run.
Tuesday 60 min easy or 60 min medium.
Wednesday 80 min easy.
Thursday’s sessions are usually run as either a hard session of 50 min hard running or a medium hard session 50 min medium running followed by 10 min in increasing paced finishing with 2 min strong running.
Friday 60 min easy
Saturday 60 min with 40 min medium included.
Sunday run most weeks in this period is about 28km run in about 2 hrs. Just one session on Sundays.
The goal for this period was to add ability run relatively fast without straining and at the same time keep her high endurance level.
This period includes a transition to track running. She still ran 170 km most weeks and the 2 hr Sunday run was still there but not every week.
During this period she also moved from the pavement to the gravel on the roads in the forest around where she lives. These roads are covered with snow and used for skiing duringthe winter.
This period started with the inclusion of some drills in hills to get the legs prepaired for faster running. This was quite simple: kneelifts, heelkicks and triplings and was added in small numbers after medium sessions. This was done for a relatively short time during spring.
Susanne competed in two road races (7 and 10km) and one road relays (1900m mostly uphill) during this period. The competitions are treated as hard sessions but no extra resting or adjustment outside that is done.
All during this period she ran two quality endurance sessions weekly. This would typically be 2 medium runs of 35-50 minutes.
Susanne started on the track in the middle of April. In the beginning most sessions on the track were relatively short like 6*200 followed by 30 min hard running or 45 min medium running + 6*200 on track. During this period strides were also added after many of her easy runs.
Later in this period we included a couple of sessions of 20*200 with 200m jog/run as rest. Susanne covered the 200m rest in ca 50-55 seconds. From earlier I used to have 20*200 with 100m run as rest in many of my programs. The increased rest I tried out this year was suggested by Tinman in a exchange of mail we had during the winter. These were not hard sessions to Susanne and she never struggled on these sessions but ran it all controlled. They proved very valuable to her and was a very valuable part in moving to harder track sessions.
During the period was also two fairly hard track sessions. The first one was run in the last part of April and was 2*2000, 2*1500, 2*500 all with 3 min rest. The second was run in the middle of May and was 6*1200 with 400m jogg as rest. The first of these sessions was hard for Susanne while the last one was fairly controlled and proved easier.
The last of these sessions was also a clear sign that the transition period was over. She was ready to go into the next period where track competitions were included..
All the year we have planed for Susanne to be in top shape in the first part of August. This we did without knowing if she would reach the qualifying standard for Helsinki. If she reached it, as she now has, we just wanted our planning to make her ready to run as well as possible in Helsinki.
During the competitive season the schedule is set up to fit her racing keeping the overriding goal in sight all the time. It is impossible to give a standardised program during this period.
By end of May she ran a 1500m by her self in 4.21.
To give you an feel of her training in this period I give some examples.
Am 10 km easy.
Pm 16 km progressive hard run. Started at 3.35 and ended up running 11 min at ca 3.20 pace (on gravel road). 4 * 100 m. strides in spikes. Jog before and after ca 2 km each.
Am 10 km easy.
Pm 14 km easy + 6 * 100 m strides i spikes.
Am 10 km easy.
PM 13 km easy.
Am 10 km easy some strides
Pm 40 min medium + 6 * 200 m. Cut down from 34 to 30. 200m jog as rest. 3 km jog before and after.
Am 10 km easy.
Pm 13 km easy + 6 * 100 m strides in spikes.
Am 9 km easy + short strides.
Pm 2000 m - 1600 m - 1200 m - 800 m - 400 m 400m jog in 2min 25 sec as rest..
( 6.02,8 - 4.48,6 - 3.33,1 - 2.19,2 – 65,1 )
3,5 km jog before and after.
(Hard workout moved to Saturday to fit racing plan)
20 km very easy in 94 min.
This week was essentially copied on the week staring at 20th of June.
Her times on the Monday run was in general 3-5 sec faster pr km, while her times on Saturday now was 5.56 - 4.43 – 3.28 - 2.16 -64 Rest wasnow 3 min.
Am 10 km easy.
Pm 13 km progressive medium run. Started at 3.45 and ended up running 11 min at ca 3.30 pace (on gravel road). 4 * 100 m. strides in spikes. Jog before and after ca 3 km each.
Am 10 km easy.
Pm 10 km easy + 6 * 100 m strides i spikes.
Am 9 km easy.
PM 10 km easy.
Am No running due to travelling
Pm 10 km easy + 8 * 100 m strides in spikes.
Am 5 km easy + some easy strides.
Pm 5 000 in Rome 14.53
Am 14 km easy
Pm 14 km easy
28 km easy in 2 hrs
Last year this was a month at the end of season with just some easy runs when she felt for it.