Serious Training for Endurance Athletes, Rob Sleamaker

If you are engaged in cyclic sports like ski or bicycle, or jogging, more than 4 hours a week, then a plan for a long period of time, which I will discuss below, will help to maintain interest in training.

If you exercise less than 4 hours a week, then perhaps you will be interested in my article How to lose weight fast.. ..

Without a plan, going to the next training session it is impossible to remember about macro-cycles or even cycles within a month.

Without the cyclical nature of the load, you do not improve your performance effectively, and without development you will inevitably lose interest in training at all.

Predeterminism for months ahead can seem depressingly boring. But on the contrary, it brings diversity - you don’t do the same thing week after week.

Secondly, it makes it easier to combine workouts with your other social life. Thanks to the plan, you can completely free your head for work problems and for the family.

To draw up a plan for us, the amateurs, there is no need to use high-class trainers or study the theory for a long time in order to draw up a plan on our own.

There is a wonderful book: Rob Sleamaker, Ray Browning Serious Training for Endurance Athletes 2nd

Which allows you to very quickly make a training plan.

And to make it even easier for you, I prepared a Google Sheet with a template, so you just have to put a start date and indicate how many hours a week you can train.

For more information about using table read Google Sheet...

In this article I describe the exercises of which the plan consists.

It is very important to understand that the effect will only be from following the plan as a whole.

It is effective as a systematic approach, it makes no sense to take individual pieces from it.

The structure of the training plan

The plan is drawn up for six months or a year.

My template is for six months, because it is interesting for me to participate in sporting events both in winter (skiing) and in summer (running).

Intensity levels

You can estimate your pulse zones with the help of the pulse zones calculator

To do this, you need to know your resting heart rate (measured lying down in the morning) and the maximum heart rate.

Maximum heart rate can be estimated by the formula 220 - age.

It can be determined on intensive training.

But if you haven’t been involved in physical exercise for a long time, I strongly recommend that you do at least a cardiogram with your doctor.

And preferably stress echo is an ultrasound of the heart, which is done after exercise. As a bonus, you will determine your maximum heart rate.

A visit to physician is mandotory so that you do not run straight into ER, or get serious illness as a result of your attempt to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Take it seriously.

At trainings the pulse monitor is obligatory - it is difficult to determine the sensation of the load. See my hart rates sensors comparisom.

Also, you need to know your level of anaerobic threshold. This is important because training at the level above the anaerobic threshold is not only useless, but also harmful.

If the exercise description says “level 4”, but your anaerobic threshold is at level 3, then you should not exceed level 3.

The definition of anaerobic threshold is a separate topic please google it.

Low intensity

Please note that most of the workouts are carried out at a minimum load level. At first at your trainings you will be easely overефлу ин old women and children, learn to ignore it.

If you make an untrained heart work without recovery, then you can get irreversible changes in it, microinfarcts.

Warm up and cool down

The book emphasizes the importance of warm-up and it’s hard not to agree.
Without a warm-up, even a short run can lead to micro-stretching in the most unexpected place, which will put an end to training for more than one week. Yes, and psychologically this is an important point of inclusion in the workout.

The cool down is also important in order to remove the toxins accumulated during training from the muscles.

And you consider warming up and hitch as a training like “Over-Distance”.


The authors talk about stretching, but here they do not give the results of research.

Judging by the books of other authors, the effectiveness of stretching after exercise is now questioned.

Stretching is important, but perhaps it is more rational to do it with cold muscles.

Plan structure

All preparation is divided into phases:

Each phase has its own goal and its own set of workouts, as well as the training volume.

Inside the phases there are four-week cycles. If the phase is shorter than four weeks, naturally, the cycles will be less than four weeks.

Cycles create periodization of the load so that the body adapts more effectively.

Weeks are better to plan monotonously, because you need to relate all this to your daily life, and it is easier to do this when you already remember what day of the week comes from the point of view of training.

All this will tell you the Google sheet...

Types of training

Speed (p.112)

We use at these trainings that kind of sport in which you are going to compete.

The goal is to train the connection of muscles and nerves, speed training in economy mode.

Fill you fly. Aerobic intensity and relaxed muscles.

15 minutes warm up, 10 cool down.

The duration of the plan includes rest periods between accelerations.

Three types of speed training:

10km race goal 200 meters, months 24 week plan
50 minutes 67-65-63-60 seconds
45 minutes 61-59-57-54 seconds
40 minutes 55-53-51-48 seconds
35 minutes 49-47-45-42 seconds
30 minutes 43-41-39-36 seconds

Endurance (p.116)

The goal - aerobic training in the game mode, the use of other sports for a change.

5 minutes warm up, 5 cool down.

You can as a warm-up for intervals or speed or power.

At the second level of the pulse, 5-20 minutes, then 15 seconds rest and so on.

Race/pace (p.119)

The goal - the imitation of the race, in the target sport.

This includes testing the drinking and eating regimens.

Warm up 15-20 minutes, 10 cool down.

Competition or self-testing.

4-5 level of intensity depending on the distance (but not higher than anaerobic threshold).

It is desirable in one place to monitor progress every month.

To learn not to change the pace during the entire workout (that is, in fact, find your own pace and start and end on it).

No more than 1-2 times per month. The plan distributes these workouts by weeks, but in fact it is necessary to accumulate all this time in training, sufficient in duration to simulate the planned race, or 80% of the distance of the planned marathon.

The distance and HR are fixed in order to improve the technique and monitor the progress over the final time.

Intervals and up/vertical (p.123)

In the target sport. Up/vertical differ only in that they are up the hill.

Level 3-4 but below anaerobic threshold.

If you exceed anaerobic threshold and your muscles feel clogged, you have shortness of breath - you do not exercise, but destroy the previously achieved, slow down.

The goal is to improve the anaerobic threshold.

Warm up 15-20 minutes 10 hitch. Not longer than 75 minutes. The duration of the plan includes rest periods between accelerations.

Fartlek - without pulse control, accelerate and relax on sensations.

Intervals - 1 km or 2-8 minutes (increase with each week). Rest to pulse 130 or half the duration of the interval.

Overdistance (p.127)

It is desirable target sport but periodically use other types.

Strictly 1st level of load.

Without a warm-up hitch, moreover, you can take into account this type of workout to warm up to other types of exercise.

Do not increase the duration faster than 10%.

If the expected marathon is more than 2 hours, then once a week the distance is from 2 to 5 hours.

Bursts every 10-15 minutes.

Strength (p.129)

8-12 exercises on three approaches.

12-20 repetitions.

Up to 60 minutes.

The book has detailed recommendations for different sports and training phases. For example, do not press on the chest at the intensive stage of training skiers.

But here it is up to you to decide whether you want to reach a peak in running so that you can ignore strength training for this.