Kevin, this might help. It worked for me:
Ok, I’ve finally got my arse in gear and here are the further progressions. As before you will need to apply some creativity to how you adapt my suggestions and remember these are suggestions. You should make these runs personal to you, your abilities and your local geography.
For reference I’ve reproduced the first 20 sessions.
1. 15 minute run. This can be a jog. Get out. Don't stop. 15 minutes that's it. Go home. No more jogging after this.
2. 1 min on, 1 min off, 30 minutes. You will run hard for a minute. Recover by walking for a minute. This will give you 15 minutes of work, 15 minutes of recovery. The pace should be around your 400 metre mark but really this about perceived exertion. I use a lot of these intervals. The aim is to push as hard as you can but never so hard that you get crushed and can't finish the whole session. If you don't feel great after a recovery drop your pace down a little for the next interval. BUT DON'T STOP!
3. 3 x 7 minutes, 3 minute recoveries. Obviously this will be slower than Run 2. This is a tough one so early on.
4. Benchmark A. For me this run is about 2 miles long. The first 5 minutes are a steep climb, then followed by about 4 minutes fairly flat ground, 2 minutes very fast descent and then two to three minutes of flat running to finish. For the first time aim to do this in about 17-18 minutes ie pace yourself heavily. If you don't have any hills and are just running 2 miles flat then make that 15-16 minutes. Record your time.
5. 2 mins on. 1 min off, 30 minutes. 20 minutes work, 10 minutes recovery.
6. 20 minutes - flat ground. Just a simple 20 minute run at a comfortable pace. At 20 minutes stop and walk home.
7. Benchmark A. Go for it this time and beat your score.
8. Benchmark B. Mine is a 5 minute climb, 15 minutes flat, 4-5 minute fast descent. I reckon it's about 3.9 miles. Time and record.
9. 5 mins on, 1 off, 30 mins. 25 minutes work. 5 minutes walk recovery. This hurts. Intervals 3 and 4 will be challenging.
10. 20 minutes at an even pace over mixed ground. A bit more fizz than on run 6 and mix the ground up a little so you're not just running flat. 20 minutes done, go home.
11. Benchmark C. This should be about 3 miles. 5 minutes on the flat, 5 minute gradual climb. 7 minutes flat. 4 minute descent. Make the last 15-16 minutes fast. Time and record.
12. 12.5 mins on, 3 mins off x 2. 25 minutes work, 6 minutes recovery. Don't overcook it.
13. Benchmark A. Beat your score.
14. 3 x 10 mins, 2 mins recovery. 30 minutes work. 6 minutes recovery. You should be feeling pretty strong on these and reluctant to stop at 10 minutes each time.
15. 25 minutes, mixed ground/mixed pace. Get a hill in there, push your speed right up, drop back down to a plod. No walking. 25 minutes done, go home.
16. 3 mins on, 1 min off, 40 mins. 30 minutes work, 10 minutes recovery.
17. Benchmark B. Time and record. Beat your score.
18. Benchmark A. Beat your score.
19. 30 minutes. Wherever your feet take you.
20. 15 mins on, 3 mins off x 2. Push out on these intervals.
Sessions 21 - 35
This takes thing on a stage, a few longer runs, a chance to beat some benchmark times and some different intervals
21. Benchmark C. Record and beat your time.
22. 20 minutes, mixed ground/pace. Vary the terrain (at least one hill) and push your pace from slow jog to hard running as you feel fit.
23. 1 minute on, 30 seconds off, 30 minutes. Go hard but the 30 second walk recoveries will go in a flash.This is 20 intervals/minutes of work.
24. Benchmark B. Record and beat your time.
25. Hill training. Warm up for 5-10 minutes with easy running. I use a climb that is about 150m in length and is challenging. The hill forms part of a street grid, ie a square of roughly equal sides. Run the climb as fast as you can. Jog very slowly across the top of the square. Run back down at a steady stride. Walk the bottom of the square. Repeat for 9 reps. Cool down with 15 minutes of steady running.
26. Planned Fartlek. I have mentioned before that I think Fartlek takes a lot of discipline. Plan an interval session in your head but don’t be afraid to make adjustments if your feel fried. Mine is roughly like this: 5 minutes climb at a steady pace, then back down the hill by the fastest route, then back up by the most direct (but steepest) route. Recover for a minute or two with slow jogging and then run back down the original 5 minute climb at full tilt. Then run steady for a further 5-6 minutes. Next comes about 1000m of lamp post sprints (trees or other features will do). Sprint to the first one and then jog to the second and so on. I recover for about a minute (the time it takes me to cross a railway footbridge near my house) and then put in a further sprint for 100m. 5 further minutes of steady running follow before a final hard push of 2 minutes to home. Ok, the above takes some digesting but the idea is to plan something that keeps you working at a varied intensity (and remember hills are speedwork in a different guise) for 25-35 minutes. Be creative. With many of the runs I do, home is the end point of the run so I plan routes that bring around to that point and aim to push hard to the finish. With sessions that just say Run 30 minutes I make a rough estimate of where that will take me and then aim to get to as close to home as possible before time runs out.
27. Take Bench Mark C but add a 10 minute loop to the route roughly in the middle of the run. This doesn’t need to be challenging terrain.
28. 5 mins on, 1 minute off, 42 minutes.
29. Bench Mark B but vary the first 10 minutes of the run (ie change your route)
30. Benchmark A. Record and beat your time.
31. 30 minutes. Run wherever your feet take you.
32. 2 minutes on, 1 minute off, 30 minutes. Hard running.
33. Benchmark C. Record and beat your score.
34. 20 minutes on, 5 minutes off, x 2.
35. Using the template of R27, now add 10 minutes to run near the end of the route, preferably involving a nasty climb. So, your five minutes from your usual finish, run in a different direction for five minutes out and then five minute back and then continue.
Sessions 36 - 50
Some of these are nasty and I would apply some caution. Go out and run a trail and see how long you can go for, you don’t to bust a gut. I would have thought that an hour of gentle running would be perfectly possible by this stage.
36. 1 minute on, 1 minute off, 1 hour. Get plenty of hills in here and run hard. This is only 30 minutes of work.
37. 1 minute on, 1 minute off, 2 minutes on, 1 minute off up to seven minutes. Then sevens minutes on, 1 minute off, back down to 1 minute of work. 56 minutes of running with 14 minutes of rest. Get some hills, push your efforts. This can be hellish.
38. Queen of the Hill. There are supposedly seven hills near my house (it looks like one to me) and I originally pinched the idea off a local running club for a method of getting relatively testing climbing work in on my mountain bike. Along a stretch of about 1.5 miles there are 10 parallel streets running up these hills and the start of nearly all my runs takes in one of these. I live about half way along the bottom with 5 mins of running taking me in either direction. Each hill takes 5 minutes to run up, less to run down. I run the five minutes to the start and then run up the first street, down the second and so on until I reach the end and then run the 5 minutes to home. This approximately 5 miles and I don’t like it much. Play around with this. You could just find a steep climb, warm up and then run up and down it 5 times although that could prove rather dull.
39. 35 minute trail run. Make sure you include some climbs. Choose a circular route.
40. 35 minute trail run. Reverse the direction of R39.
41. 45 minute road/trail run. Wear a light rucksack for this one just to make things interesting. Mix the route up a bit, grass, trails, man made surfaces etc.
42. King of the Hill. This hell, an utter grind. It’s R38 run in both directions and measure on my bike is exactly 10 miles. I think 10 reps on the same hill will probably mash your brain up. Good luck.
43. 30 minutes gentle running. Use this as a recovery session.
44. Benchmark A. Record and beat your time.
45. 40 minute trail run. Get some climbs in.
46. Hill work. Find a climb that takes about 3-4 minutes to run. Climb hard, jog back down x 5.
47. Reverse the direction of your Benchmark A.
48. 45 minutes, steady running. Nothing too challenging.
49. 4 minutes on, 2 minutes off, 60 minutes.
50. 1.5 mile timed run. Go hell for leather and aim to get at least below 10 minutes. A flat course is best.
Ok, so there you are. I’m afraid a bit of planning is needed to adapt these to your own situation but the aim is to make it suitable for your individual needs and to give you some ideas to work with. I can run some of these for 5 days at a time but the later runs will need some recovery time despite increased levels of running fitness.