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Steve Cram


80’s British middle distance athlete, multiple world record holder and major titles winner. Notably he was the first man to go sub 3:30 in the 1500m. Steve is now a popular global athletics commentator.

Personal Bests:


Steve started running at the age of 10 and by 15 would train once a day 7 days a week. By his professional years he’d follow a 5 meso-cycle periodization plan within a 1 year macro-cycle. Phases include:

  1. Endurance (22 weeks) Oct-Feb
    – Avg mileage = 60-80mpw
    – Fast routine runs
    – A “challenging” workout (e.g. hills / long repetitions) or XC/Road races on Saturdays
    – Long Run (10-14 miles) on Sundays
    – Evening group runs included serges on hilly sections (150-500m length)
    – Easy Morning Runs of 4-5 miles (Monday to Friday)
    – More intense, tempo paced runs of 5-8 miles in the evening (Monday to Thursday)
    – Barely any track work done here
  2. Altitude (3 weeks) March
    – Mainly to join training camp of others who at altitude
  3. Pre-competition (9 weeks) March-May
    – Weekly mileage = 60-70mpw
    – Speed endurance focused
    – Includes track intervals 200-800m (15sec rest per 100m), and at controlled efforts based on strategic feel
    – They’d classify none of sessions to have long rest
    – Increased the volume of quality training in conjunction with decreased total volume
    – Routine runs remain at same pace
  4. Competition (15 weeks) June-Aug
    – Start with 3000m races, then 800m/1500m with no pacing and practically solo efforts, then race in big competitions
    – Usually 2 weekly track sessions (faster & shorter: e.g. 6-8 x 200m)
    – Tempo Runs
    – Reduced mileage and tapering
  5. Rest and recovery (3 weeks) Sep 

Source: British Milers Club

“Other types of training can help give you all-round body strength, but running is specific and that’s one of the things in training which a lot of people tend to neglect. When you get out on the track nobody’s going to ask you to pick up a weight halfway round, nor to do 10 press-ups at the end of each lap” – Steve Cram

Additional: checkout Athletics Weekly’s article for more on Cram’s training