Frank Horwill



  • These articles were first published many year's ago and whilst some are as relevant today as they were when new, many are now mostly of historical interest as modern research and coaching methods have superseded them.

Predictive Sessions

By Frank Horwill

Specific track sessions can predict subsequent performances with up to 95% accuracy. The old Soviet Kosmin Test requires the athlete to run for 60 seconds flat out and stop. Then, after three minutes rest, starting from where the 60 seconds run expired, running for another 60 seconds flat out. An athlete who covers 950m distance from the two combined runs will be assured of running 1.44.2 for 800m; 900m will predict 1.50.3; 850m covered will predict 1.56.2, and 800m will forecast 2.02.2. (This table is not valid for female athletes).

The other great predictor for 1,500m times is 2 x (1 x 400m + 1 x 800m + 1 x 300m). The recovery periods are 45 seconds, 90 seconds and 3 minutes respectively. If the accumulated time of the first set is 4 minutes (64 + 2.08 + 48) and the accumulated time of the second is 4 min 15 secs (68 + 2.16 + 51), the average of the two is 4.07.5, which is the predicted 1,500m time.

The great forecaster of 5km times is 4 x 1,600m with 90 seconds recovery. If the average for the 1,600ms is taken, this will be the subsequent 5km pace. 4.10.5 average = 12min 55. 4.16 = 13 min 11. (This is what one of my athletes averaged when running 13 min 11 to come 4th in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic 5km); 4.20 = 13 min 30; 4.30 = 13 min 58.