Chanman's Blog

A 2-week training cycle to master recovery for Masters

Posted in Coaching,Training Thoughts by Andy Chan on April 8, 2009

John Spriggs - this is who I was coaching when I came up with the 14 day training cycle

The below appeared in the Coaches’ Two Cents section of Peter Magill’s website, Younger Legs for Older Runners.

Training as you get older (i.e. creep into those master’s years, which I myself am fast approaching) does call for some new strategies. What I’ve found to be the key is recovery. The body can still train hard, it can hammer out repeats on the track, and pound out a long run. In fact, if you’ve made it to 40 and you still have the drive to train hard, you may be biomechanically or genetically predisposed to be a masters runner. So keep at it!
The key is to manage your recovery. This doesn’t have to be a major change, some slight tinkering can allow your body the rest it needs between hard workouts, while still allowing you to maintain close to the same number of hard workouts. I like a 2 week cycle that goes like this:
Week 1
Sunday – Long
Monday – Bike
Tuesday – Medium
Wednesday – Medium
Thursday – Track Intervals or
Trail Fartlek
Friday – Medium
Saturday – Long
Week 2
Sunday – Medium
Monday – Bike or Off
Tuesday – Hills or Tempo
Wednesday – Medium
Thursday – Track Intervals
Friday – Cross Train
Saturday – Medium


So over a 14 day period you have:
  • 5 hard days: 2 long runs and 3 “speed sessions”
  • 3 non-running days
  • 6 medium run days
I’ve been using this 2 week cycle to coach John Spriggs since the summer of 2004. Previously his training schedule was a traditional 1-week cycle but something just didn’t seem right. He was flat at races and didn’t feel quite recovered for hard workouts or long runs. So I altered his training to this 2-week cycle and his body (then 43 years old) really took to it. He felt more rested and thus got in more quality running during hard sessions. Long runs weren’t such a grind. Since that time he has run numerous “masters PR’s.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: