About Frank

Frank Horwill at Club La Santa

Frank Horwill, MBE, (1927-2012) founded the British Milers' Club in 1963, with the aim of raising "British middle distance running to world supremacy".

Frank Horwill was a Senior BAF Coach (Level 4 under the new UK coaching scheme). Since 1961 he coached over 50 internationals from 800 metres to the marathon.

In 1965 he coached his first UK indoors record-breaker at 800 metres and was to repeat this in 1966 with the women’s 1500 metres. In 1971 one of his female athletes ran a world’s best 3km time indoors. In the course of five years, his athletes broke five UK indoors records.

Five of his athletes have run sub-4 minute miles – the fastest being Tim Hutchings, who ran 3:54:53.

In 1970 Frank Horwill invented the 5-pace system of training, now called multi-tier training. In 1974 he received a letter from Peter Coe (father and coach of Sebastian Coe) asking for full details of the system. In 1980, in a lecture after the Olympics, Peter Coe said “We have used Frank Horwill’s multi-tier system. It’s all embracing.” Coe was later to say, “The 5km pace sessions in the winter are golden”.

In 1984, one of Frank Horwill’s athletes, Tim Hutchings, won a silver medal in the World Cross Country Championships, a feat he repeated in 1989. Hutchings, who came fourth in the 1984 Olympic 5km final, ran 11 seconds faster than ever before to record 13:11.50. He also ran 8:15.53 for two miles.

In 1976, Horwill discovered a relationship between leg strength and 800 metres and 1500 metres performances. In 1980, he invented the 4-second rule, which states that the time per 400m increases by 4 seconds as the distance increases. He also invented the first ever recovery table when training at different speeds, based on jogging fractions of the distance run.

Frank Horwill lectured internationally, including in Canada, Poland, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Bahrain, Portugal and South Africa. He spent six months coaching in South Africa, returning because of ill-health. He had two operations for cancer of the stomach, and was left with just one third of his stomach. Sadly, Frank lost his fight against cancer and passed away peacefully at St Joseph's Hospice on January 1st 2012.

Frank Horwill was a co-author of The Complete Middle Distance Runner (1972), by D. Watts, H. Wilson and F. Horwill. In 1994, Frank Horwill published Obsession for Running, described by The Daily Telegraph as “The athletics book of the year”. Owen Anderson in Peak Performance called it “An outstanding book...”.

Frank was appointed an MBE in the Queen's 2011 Birthday Honours List.

His wikipedia page is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Horwill

Frank has some video clips on YouTube: