PH Racing Club are pleased to reveal the second block of our Winter 2016/17 training program which has been put together by our coach, highly respected athlete Ben Hukins.

Block 2 Duration: 7 weeks – 5th December 2016 to 22nd January 2017

Block 2 Focus: End of block races but still progressing towards National XC Champs and Spring road racing season

Block 2 Focus Race: Scottish Veteran Harriers Club Road Relay Championships (Men & Women 35 and over); Devils Burdens Relay


  1. Whilst the overall target of the winter training is the National Cross Country Championships at the end of February and the early road racing season in March and April, we now move a bit more towards race specific training and away from the strength and endurance work of block 1. Block 1 was focussed on working hard and putting in the effort but now in block 2 we move to focusing a bit more on running at specific target race pace. When we progress in to block 3 we will fine tune this with the final peaking/race specific phase.
  2. Some of the general philosophy stays with some of the usual sessions and still accommodating what we can meaningfully do on a night at the loop to suit everyone. Again though I have put in some suggestions that some may wish to add in to their training as additional support work or specific to what they plan to race especially the longer distances.
  3. This block sees the introduction of some structured long runs which I intend to run on a fortnightly basis through the first few months of 2017. These will alternate between long progression runs and marathon race pace runs. The idea is to try and get as many people as possible out for these to help each other work together. When we have the marathon race pace runs these are beneficial for all, not just those targeting marathons. Also, with the latter, faster runners just wanting an easier long run can help with pacing others or even people can come out on bikes to help others. If we all pitch together and help each other out, we can hopefully get a few groups running at set paces. If you help someone out one time then someone will repay the favour to you hopefully! All these runs will start with a social 2 miles or so where we can all run together and chat before starting the serious bit.

Christmas and New Year

The week between Christmas and New Year is blank at the moment as many people will have different plans with family, work etc. and it may not be best to continue waiting until the evening to do loop sessions for smaller numbers and especially when there may be the potential for some good sessions during the daylight hours. Training will be organised during this week but it will be a bit more adhoc. If you want a session, run etc. then just shout and no doubt others will join in.

Week No. Commencing Tuesday Thursday Weekend


1 5th December Paarlauf at the loop

Team up with your partner for a wee bit of paarlauf.

2 x 20mins paarlauf

Speed Endurance

6 x 4mins

2mins recovery

5km to 10km pace

2 12th December Hills

6x45secs / 6x45secs / 6x10secs

Dunfermline Public Park

Jog back / 4mins between sets


8mins / 4x2mins / 8x1min / 4x30secs

4mins / 2mins / 1min recovery

Dunfermline parkrun – PH Club Xmas Event!
3 19th December Speed Endurance

10 x 2mins

90secs recovery

5km race pace


3-4 x 8mins tempo

2mins recovery

See tempo table

Christmas Eve Morning – Kirkcaldy trails explore (TBC)
4 26th December MONDAY

Ian Johnston’s Boxing Day Paarlauf

Sunday 1stPortabello Promathon

Club Championship Race No. 1

5 2nd January Speed

12 x 45secs

2mins recovery

95% top speed – fast!

Speed Endurance

10 x 3mins

2mins recovery

10km pace or slightly faster

Sunday 8th – Club long progression run
6 9th January Hills

9 x 90sec hills

Dunfermline Public Park

Long Hill

Jog back recovery


6mins / 2x3min / 3x2mins / 6x1min

3mins / 2mins / 2mins / 1min recovery

Saturday 14th – East District Cross Country League – Broxburn
7 16th January Speed Endurance

10 x 2mins

90secs recovery

5km race pace

Race Prep

6 x 2mins / 2mins recovery

5km to 10km pace

Easy ahead of race

Saturday – Devils Burdens Relay – Fife
Sunday – Scottish Veteran Harriers Club Road Relays – Strathclyde Country Park

Suggested Additional Training:

With regards these suggestions please feel free to incorporate these in to your other training although within reason and not overloading yourself with too much quality work. If coming to a Tuesday or Thursday session you should ideally be fresh to hit the session at the required pace/effort level. This maybe means a day of easy running before or after the club session day as opposed to complete rest. For any individual or personal advice or help with your all round plan / training week then please feel free to get in contact.

For the next block I will include in here some more specific sessions/ideas for those of you targeting Spring marathons. For those who have already started or are building a base it is always good to get some hilly (around town not up and down the fells!) runs in your marathon training as a great way to build strength.

If doing Tuesday and Thursday sessions I would suggest only doing 1 of the below. If doing no quality work in a week then you could do two of the items listed below.

  1. Short hill sprints at the end of your steady run to keep some speed in the legs (or to develop a little). At the end of a steady run do 6 to 8 short (<10second) sprints up a moderately step hill at full effort. Walk back down the hill after each effort. Whilst full effort the duration of these sprints and walk back recovery should have minimal fatigue on the body. Do this after 1 or maybe 2 runs a week.
  2. 60minute Steady-State run (steady fast run or any other name you fancy!). This is just a run that should be performed faster than your normal steady run pace. This should be 10 to 15% slower than your 10km pace. To calculate this work out your km split for your 10km race time, calculate 10% of this value and add it to the km split to work out your pace. Example: 45minute 10km is 4:30/km (270secs/km). 10% of 270secs is 27secs (15% is 40.5secs). Therefore your target run pace is between 297secs (110% = 270+27) and 310.5secs (115% = 270+40.5) i.e. between 4:57 and 5:10 per km.
  3. 60minute progression run. A 60 minute run where you get faster through the run. These can be done in a variety of ways but the ones I recommend are:
    • Finish the run with the last mile at HM pace. Each mile during the run gets 10seconds quicker. I do this as a 10mile run but I would suggest you do as a 60minute run. Calculate your HM pace for your last mile and then work back to calculate the duration of the run required to get roughly 60minutes in.
    • Use a known loop (maybe a different known loop than the usual!) of about 1.5 to 2 miles in length. Run round the loop for 60 minutes with each loop getting quicker. Start with say an easy loop and aim to have a consistent progression over the loops to finish with the last loop in about 10km/HM pace.