10km training plan from 1987

franjo mihalic

this post is a response to gavin’s high tech post. :)

few days ago i met a guy with a 10km pb of 28min something.

i asked him for his training plan from the “good old days” and today he gave it to me.

it is written on one sheet of super clean a4 paper on a typewriter.

this paper was not folded in quarter of a century, and then my father folded it the first second he touched it.

why? because he folds every paper he touches. thanks dad!

the coach and author of this training plan was franjo mihalić.

i am proud to say i started franjo’s wikipedia page almost 5 years ago.

i am so important! :)

franjo, at age of 90, still shows up at races and gives advice.

most make fun of him (i guess that is how you treat 90 year olds) but my respect for him grew today.

here are some details:


plan is fro 15th november until 15th january 1987.

goal is a 10km track race.

it consists of 4 weeks which are more or less the same and control race every 4th week.

there is only one day of rest before the control race, which is done at 15-30ec /km slower than pb.

monday: tempo run 8-10km (3:20min/km)

tuesday: hill intervals, mostly around 20-30 x 200m @ 34-34sec with 200m jog recovery, i am guessing at the same place i ran last week

wednesday: long run, 20-26km

thursday: tempo run 8-12km (3:20min/km)

friday: hill intervals, mostly around 20 x 400m @ 76-78sec with 400m jog recovery

saturday: rest or 30min jog with gym

sunday: long run, 20-26km

after a month, one of the long runs is substituted with 10-15 x 1000m @ 3:10 with 200m jog recovery.

there is a suggestion to do the gym two times more in the week.

also a suggestion to add a second session in the day:

morning run should be easy 6-8km, while afternoon run should be above plan.

nutrition advice: you do not need meat, drink 1 liter of milk a day, eat beans, pasta, potatoes, cakes and pancakes. take vitamins and recovery drinks.

(i hope igor is reading this.)


i have to admire the simplicity of everything being written on one piece of a4 paper…

on a typewriter….

with not one single typo.

super cool!

these guys are crazy.

if i would do half of this week i would be super dead.

super dead is more than dead.

it is SUPER dead!

i guess it is one of those “do or die” methods.

but it worked.

the guy who did it won.

not globally but i think 28min on 10km is always good even though you get lapped by africans.

so what makes a great coach?

1) do not have sex with your junior athletes (some coaches do fail at this),

2) write 3 months of training on a single a4 paper on typewriter without spelling errors,

3) place 2nd in olympic marathon and win boston marathon,

4) find poor bastards who will actually believe you know what you are doing and will puke their guts out to run crazy intervals you came up with,

5) live to be so old people think its funny you are still alive.

bravo franjo!

p.s. franjo was born in good old kingdom of yugoslavia!