CFTS for over 40's

What if any changes would you make to the general template for an athlete over 40?


For competing masters athletes in track or for conditioning the over 40 athlete who plays a number of different sports throughout the year?


Only two speed days a week. More stretching and regeneration.

I generally do a number of aspects of training (sprints, weights, mountain bike) but am considering doing track.

nArKeD that was pretty much my thoughts.


I find at 52 I can still do speed work and tempo runs. I’m recovering from a knee operation but will return to do modified versions of the programs I lay out for the football players which are based on Charlie’s principles.

Other than the obvious that I can’t run as fast as I once did and I can’t do the volume I also find I can’t take the pounding. I do everything on grass.

So you may find that you need to do less volume and while you do your speed work on the track you do your tempo on grass.

And as nArKeD posted Recovery and Regeneration will be very important.

Hope that helps

No junk training, only two track sessions a week (if a sprinter), keep up weights/resistance training, 9 to 10 hours sleep a night, excellent nutrition and supplements to support recovery and immune system.
Recovery between sessions is the key.

Too many Masters train to much, don’t get enough sleep, eat rubbish and are old-fashioned when it comes to supplements/vits.
Come on guys! What you’re doing is not natural for a wrinkly( i can say this 'cos im one myself). So you need to adapt your habits/lifestyle so your body can cope.

Great advice for any sprinter…of any age?

I agree with the 1st part and boy do you have the 2nd part right.

“A Wrinkly?” - that’s good. British humour? You must be from London, England.

How old are you anaerobic? and gf_200 are you over 40 as well?

Bang on…Football Coach!
I’m 43 (sob!)
P.B’s as a master:
60m 7.47E
100m 11.7HT
200m 23.3HT
Some people say these marks are good for an old-git, but i think they’re rubbish. I’ve assessed that if one keeps fit, healthy and trains well that for 100m one should be recording 100m times about 0.3secs slower than PB as a senior.
I started training at 29yrs old for 800m. Never been a sprinter…but did record a ‘loose’ 11.3 hand-timed (and 22.5 for 200m) in training at 31/32yrs.

Troy Douglas as a forty yr old has recorded 10.29
Bill Collins as a 50yr old 10.95
Ron Taylor as a 60yr old 11.6

I can still improve!! (why im still training…i don’t know!) No stone must be left unturned in my quest to run low elevens and eventually 10.9.
Then i can die in peace :slight_smile:

Hehe I like your attitude anaerobic.

And lets not forget the mother of all regeneration strategies-therapy!
I for one would have ripped apart long ago without it!

All good input so far guys, thanks very much.

I have a question re weights.
I have been doing my srinpting before an upper body workout (modified WS split with 1 leg day pw) but the last week or so have been doing a full body workout but have been zonked even though I haven’t been going that heavy. I think I will change back to what I was doing but am interested if you guys do full body or upper/lower splits.

I have never competed at track before and am 42, in not bad shape but def need to lose some bf and increase speed.

Rather than just saying I am as slow as a wet week I will give comparisons for each distance.

60 = 3 days constant rain
100 = a week of rain with children at home.
200 = family holiday with cousin Denise and her brats
400 = snowed in for 5 days, no electricity


I agree with the posts regarding training over 40, 2 speed days per week, tempo in-between, a regeneration week every 3rd or 4th week, stretching, and strength training. I’m 57, ran 57 @ 57 in the 400 last summer, problem with Masters is we can still train hard but wo’s must be spaced out, the tendons will tell you when to back off, less blood flow as we get older, I have had a terrible problem with achilles due to tight calves, I went on a daily stretching and strength program for them, and have seen a significant improvement, as one member stated, get on grass when you can, I use it for tempo. The other thing I’ve found as a Master, is don’t overrace, the CFTS can fit right into a Master’s program. :o

Can you post a sample weekly schedule? When do you hit weights?

Do you break it out?

1 speed/weights
2 tempo
3 rest
4 speedweights
5 tempo
6 Rest
7 Rest

Bingo. Good breakdown.

How would one distribute the speed training on the speed days? Starts and acceleration on speed day # 1 and special endurance on speed day #2? Or, should one do max accelerations on both days followed by low-volume special endurance runs? What are any of your thoughts on this?

I’d go with the first option

Charlie, for in-season training would you still do a fast special endurance run on speed day # 2 (Thursday) if you race on Saturday? Or would it be better for a master athlete to do it on Wednesday an then take two full days off? Example:
Monday- starts/acceleration, Weights
Wednesday- Special endurance, Weights?
Thursday-off -recovery/regeneration
Saturday-Race-100m, 200m

For the comp period, you’d probably flip the sessions and do the SE early in the week (prob only one rep, as the meet will represent another SE session) and starts and limited speed on the second session before the meet.

What about someone over 40 who is slow…real slow? :frowning:
I have never competed and till now have generally done HIIT as part of my general program but am considering doing some masters track later in the year (Nov on) even if I don’t do it I want to get in better shape.

I read that there is no point doing SE unless suitable speed is in place. What if someone is carrying too much bf (which will be inhibiting speed) and has an inefficient neural system (like me) what would be the best plan?

I know Charlie prefers short to long but you can also use long to short depending upon the athlete. What is the best way of determining suitability?

I am doin speed work 2 days pw and on Monday did what I call flying 50’s (tempo 50 yards, 100% 50 yards, walk 100 and repeat) but am unsure what to do the other day. :confused:

A knowledgeable friend (and I agree) reckons

I believe you need to figure out a way to lower your work capacity…or in other words…exchange some efficiency for proficiency. With volume motor unit recruitment often decreases. An option could be doing a contrast sprint with a sled or vest or something similar…Ii used to put a pair of ankle weights in my pocket …warmup and run 2-3 up to 90% effort with the exta load…then take it off and set your absolutes…you’ll drop off quicker cause you’re “tricking” the body into increasing it’s output. You can also do the same with shoes…wear a heavier pair to warm up in then take them off. Something to consider anyway.

I generally train on the beach and was considering having a good cup of cofee 30 mins prior, grabbing a tire and drag that on the beach 3 times in shoes over 30 yards then run 10 x 100 without shoes as I really feel the difference without them.


Running on sand sure isn’t going to help your speed, with or without shoes! On smooth grass, you might be onto something at a volume and distance far below 10 x 100. Maybe 2 sets of 4 x 50m for example. Check out the grass you intend to use VERY carefully if you’re going to be in bare feet.