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Middle Distance Development Plan

by Chris Quine

Following on from my recent appointment by the IOM AA as Performance Manager for Middle Distance running, I am publishing  a copy of the Middle Distance Development Plan.

This has been sent to all Island clubs and I have offered to speak to any of the clubs about it if they need more detail. The things I want to start off doing are:

– Identify all middle distance coaches. These can be qualified or unqualified, active or inactive. I would be interested to hear from any readers of the site who feel that they fit into any of these categories so that we can involve them.

– Identify all our current middle distance runners – male and female – from around 13/14 years upwards.

– Establish a squad of middle distance runners. This is not a training group as such, but a squad who will meet on a regular basis, perhaps quarterly, for training sessions but also for advice on training, fitness, nutrition, etc.  Coaches will be welcome to join in this too. I also hope to use this session to help athletes who are without a coach to link up with a coach or group of athletes who already train together.

There will be a squad training day on Saturday 1st November based at the NSC. Myself and Gianni Epifani are planning this at the moment. I will be writing to athletes in due course. However, all interested parties will be invited so if someone is interested but does not receive a letter they will still be welcome to attend. Our main aim is to make the day informative, interesting and most of all fun.

There are many things we need to to develop this area of the sport but it is a case of one step at a time. Hopefully this will give us a good base to work from.

If anyone has any comments or questions please e-mail me at [email protected] or phone me on 670521.

Middle Distance Development Plan – PDF format

Middle Distance Development Plan – Word format

WET 2003

Winter Endurance Training

by Andy Fox

(WET – we will probably experience this as well!!!).


The aim in this programme is to bring together 3 groups of athletes of all abilities, namely those advised by Margaret Lockley and Richie Stevenson, Dave Newton and Andy Fox. The reasons for this are quite simple – to try to improve the standard of all athletes involved and bring some new or different ideas to all athlete’s training. We could write more about the reasoning behind it but hope all will come along and join in and find out for themselves how successful it might be.

If the session takes place on NSC track you will need to pay NSC rates to use it, this is around £2.80 for adults.

The Plan.

All sessions on a Tuesday will begin at 6.00pm. This means if the coach is not there  it is the athletes responsibility to get warmed up from 6pm and be ready to start the session proper at 6.30pm. The groups will join up on a Tuesday once every fortnight. The dates are listed below :-

Tues. 7/10      Fell Runners meet at Grandstand.

Track Runners meet at NSC.

Tues. 14/10     All meet at NSC for 4 or 5×5 mins on roadway. (mile sessions)

We will work to time rather than distance so all can work at own level and also get the same rest period between reps. This session will have 2 minute rests.

Sat. 18/10      Special – Saturday Sand Dune session at Blue Point grid ref.393 026.

Meet at Blue Point car park at 10am or Grandstand in Douglas 9.15am. and travel up in convoy.  Session developed in late 80s by Maurice Herriot based on undulating 300m loop. 2 sets, first of 3×1 loop & 2×2 loops, 6 mins rest, then second set, 1 loop, 2, 3 and finally 4. Short rests between each effort.

Tues. 21/10     Fell Runners meet at Grandstand.

Track Runners meet at NSC.

Tues. 28/10     All meet NSC for 5 or 6x2mins 30secs. on track. Organised as on 14/10. (2mins rest)

Tues. 4/11      Fell Runners meet at Grandstand.

Track Runners meet at NSC.

Tues. 11/11     All meet for 10km tempo session on NSC track. This is a complex session but will involve running 12 km on track, 6km at estimated 10km race pace. Think about estimate time – be a little conservative first time. More details later.

Tues. 18/11     Fell Runners meet at

Grandstand.Track Runners meet at NSC.

Tues. 25/11     All meet for 5/6x5min reps meet at Grandstand. (can also run 2.30 reps if wish to give more flexibility)

Sat. 29/11      Special Sand Session same details as 18/10. May use longer 350m loop instead.

Tues. 2/12      Fell Runners meet at Grandstand.

Track Runners meet at NSC.

Tues. 9/12      All meet on NSC track 6x2m30secs, 1min.30secs. rest.

Where the groups have come together are underlined above, the special sand sessions also allow for this.

Training will continue over the festive period but due to social activities and racing we have not listed sessions here.

Saturday sessions are not easy due to races at weekends however if you wish to know what training is taking place, instead of racing, contact any of the people below.


The above is an experiment to try to help athletes of all abilities in all disciplines to improve and so develop the standard of IOM distance running. The group below will meet again in early December to assess how things have gone and plan the next set of sessions. Our feeling is that before Christmas training will be quite similar for all. Once into Feb. 2004 things will alter as some are preparing for 30 miles on the Fells others 3miles on the track. This may mean joint sessions are monthly after the New Year at most.

Why not come along and support this initiative, it could be good for your running but above all it should be fun!!!!

Those at the meeting to produce the plan :-

Margaret Lockley –      837702

Richie Stevenson –      629267 and [email protected]

Tony Rowley – 674968 and [email protected]

Simon Skillicorn – 615193 and [email protected]

Dave Newton – 679552 and [email protected]

Andy Fox – 626415 and [email protected]



KEIRON MURRAY LOOKS FORWARD TO THE FRUITS OF THE DEVELOPMENT PLAN and looks forward to the next two Island Games!   (06-10-03)


Congratulations to Chris Quine and the IoMAA for putting together the MD performance plan.

It’s good to see that there’s already some progress being made with the inter-club co-ordination of training in the Douglas area. Let’s hope there are plenty of runners from clubs other than the Fell Runners and Harriers who take up this opportunity to do some structured training.

It would appear that the main reason for the decline in standards is that my local contemporaries (i.e. born in the 1970’s) have – but for myself and Julie Harrison – largely been lost to the sport from their mid-teens onwards. The drop off in standards is down to that fact. If you haven’t got competitors in their 20’s, you’re going to struggle. Look also at the nucleus of the past few Games teams (in particular the medal winners) and you’ll see that it is made up of a disproportionate number of competitors who didn’t spend their formative years here. Again I think this is a pretty important point to recognise.

The competitive environment on the island when I began racing in the mid 1980’s was very parochial and has hindered athletics right through to the more recent efforts of clubs, particularly Manx Harriers to bring teenagers through into the senior ranks. As an example of the parochial atmosphere, I can still clearly remember the big fuss made by Manx AC at the 1986 IoMAA track championships when I ran first claim for Western AC despite (or in the face of) the fact) that I contested the Manx AC track league every week in the summer. The simple reason for this was that my first ever league cross-country race was at Peel and so Western got me first claim but that was how it was back then. If I recall correctly you also had to join a club (second-claim) to run a cross-country league as well.

The main reason I stuck with Western at that time was because Dave Phillips made such great efforts forging links with Sale Harriers and organising trips away. They were the races I looked forward to more than any others. Unfortunately after under 13’s there was nothing in the way of off-Island competition to keep that development going. I’d be racing and getting beaten by the same runners week in week out.

13 through to 18 is the key age for development as the Plan has identified and the squad system /mentoring can get rid of the stagnation that often resulted in our best teenage runners not retaining interest.  

The Plan has also identified that the efforts need to be Island wide. This will of necessity involve shedding the parochial approach particularly as it is being driven – as is often the case with these initiatives – by someone from Manx Harriers / Manx AC.

Lets have all the clubs contributing to this and trying to make it work, so that it feels like a proper IoMAA initiative.

On a more personal level…

Training has at last resumed with a bit more seriousness after the disappointments and injuries of the summer and some recent holidays. I’ll hopefully be back on the track to do some faster work for the first time in a few months this evening and I’ll be contesting the long course cross-country league and Ramsey Firemen’s series later this week. I’m presently training twice a week with the IoMAA / Harriers squads and learning how to really hurt myself again, so that running flat out 300m reps seems easy.

One positive point is that it’s been so long since I ran really well (i.e. 2000 and 2001) that I’ve come round to the viewpoint that its not worth beating myself up that I’m not running as fast as I was then or even looking at my training diaries and getting depressed. I’m now measuring my performances week-by-week as I did when I first came back in 1998 and it has given me lots more enthusiasm. Here’s hopefully everything stays in one piece and that my back doesn’t give me too much bother…. roll on the Shetlands and Rhodes


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