This program is for serious athletes with a good quality base and experience of the various sessions required. The schedule will take you up to over 50 miles a week, so not for the faint hearted.

The main ingredients of the program are repetition and interval running, but with an emphasis on continuous, fast-paced runs to build up your speed endurance. Thus, much of your steady running should be at around threshold pace, which is reckoned to be the speed of your best 10 miles; this is slightly above half-marathon pace, but it is the best pace to train at.

For a bit of variety you also need some hill running and some short, fast bursts to ‘zap’ the muscles’ enzymes. As the training progresses and your mileage increases you should have the feeling of building up strength in your body. Don’t worry, you’re allowed one low-mileage week as a recuperation phase before testing your progress with a serious race over 10 miles or 10K.

You’ve got to listen to your body and fit your training to its needs, rather than impose a rigid schedule. The pattern is: hard effort, followed by easy running until you’re ready to run hard again. As race day approaches, the efforts become easier and the recovery periods longer, so that you’re bursting with energy on race day.

Remember that week 10 is as important as week 5 so that what you do in this last week won’t make you run any faster. Doing nothing at all would cause you to put on a few pounds, so you do need to keep running, but not too long or pacey, as it may leave you tired on race day.

Week 1

Monday - 5 miles easy

Tuesday - 7 miles steady

Wednesday - 4 x 4 mins with 3 min recovery. Warm down

Thursday - 6 miles easy

Friday - Rest or 3 mile jog

Saturday - 6-8 miles steady + a few strides

Sunday - 8-10 miles easy

Week 2

Monday - 5 miles easy

Tuesday - 7 mile hilly run with efforts on the hills

Wednesday - 5 miles easy

Thursday - 6-7 miles including 8x1 min efforts with 1 min recovery

Friday - Rest or 3 mile jog

Saturday - Warm up, then 5 miles tempo. Warm down

Sunday - 8-10 miles steady

Week 3

Monday - 6 miles easy

Tuesday - 6m tempo, then 1m easy

Wednesday - 4 x 5 min, with 4-min recovery jogs

Thursday - 5 miles easy

Friday - Rest or 3 mile jog

Saturday - 8 miles, inc fast bursts

Sunday - 10-11m steady

Week4

Monday - 6 miles easy

Tuesday - 6-7 mile hilly run with efforts on the hills

Wednesday - 6 miles easy

Thursday - 6-7miles, inc 10 x 1 min fast, 1 min slow, and 6 x 30 secs fast, 30 secs slow

Friday - Rest or jog 3 miles

Saturday - 1 mile jog, then 6 miles at tempo, then 1 mile jog

Sunday - 10-12m slow

Week 5

Monday - 6 miles easy

Tuesday - Warm up, then 6-7 miles, inc 6 x 2 mins fast, 2 mins slow

Wednesday - 6 miles starting slow, finishing last 2 miles at race pace

Thursday - Intervals: 12 x 400m, with 90-sec recoveries

Friday - Rest or 3 mile jog

Saturday - Warm up, then 5 miles fairly fast. Warm down

Sunday - 10 miles steady

Week 6

Monday - 6 miles easy

Tuesday - 3 x 2 minutes at threshold pace, with 6-min recover

Wednesday - 6 miles easy

Thursday - 8m fartlek on grass with 20x30 sec bursts

Friday - 3 miles easy

Saturday - 5 miles easy

Sunday - 3 mile warm up then 5-6 miles steady race pace.

Week 7

Monday - 5m easy, off-road

Tuesday - REST

Wednesday -2 mile jog then 5-6 miles at half marathon pace, + 1 mile jog

Thursday - 5 mile easy inc 8x200m strides

Friday - 3 miles easy

Saturday - REST

Sunday - 6-10 miles race pace

Total mileage - 20 miles

Week 8

Monday - 6m easy, off-road

Tuesday - 7 miles hilly run with efforts on the hills

Wednesday - 6 miles easy

Thursday - 6 x 1 mile with 3-min recoveries

Friday - 3 miles easy

Saturday - 5-6 miles on grass

Sunday - 14-15 miles easy

Week 9

Monday - 6 miles easy

Tuesday - 3x2 miles at race pace with 6 min recovery

Wednesday - 6 miles easy

Thursday - 8 miles fartlek incl 20x30secs bursts

Friday - 3 miles easy

Saturday - 5 miles easy

Sunday - 13-15 miles steady

Week 10

Monday - 5 miles easy

Tuesday - 6 miles steady

Wednesday - 2 x (8x200 metre) tempo + 1 mile recovery

Thursday - 6 miles easy

Friday - Rest or 3 mile jog

Saturday - 4 mile easy

Sunday - Race Day!