Up your coaching game

Learn how to design training programmes for endurance runners as well as key concepts behind endurance training such as exercise physiology, periodisation, VO2 max, and taper.

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Course Description

Course Description

This course is for the recreational to elite endurance runner, running coach, health professional, and student who wants to learn how to design training programmes to maximise performance and reduce the risk of injury. We begin by teaching you the core training principles and methods that are key to writing the best training programmes. We then provide an applicable exercise physiology overview of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and how they respond to exercise training. 

Next, we dive into the exciting and much talked about issues of lactate threshold, running economy, VO2 max, taper, altitude training, and how to evaluate an athlete. We provide video demonstrations for: how to conduct a VO2 max test on a treadmill; nine resistance training exercises to benefit endurance runners as well as sample sets and repetitions to perform; specific quality run workouts; and an interview with renowned coach and sport scientist, Professor Andrew Bosch. We provide nine sample run training programmes at the beginners, intermediate, and advanced levels for the 10-km, 21-km, and marathon distances. The course is broken down into six organised modules that you can work through at your own pace. Join the professionals at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa for an educational, fun, and practical course from the comfort of your own home!


Each module will have four multiple choice questions. Students will have unlimited attempts to answer these questions. A certificate of completion will be issued once all of the assessments have been completed. 

What will I learn?  

  1. Have access to nine endurance running training programmes designed by sport scientists.
  2. Learn the scientific principles behind writing training programmes & learn how to build your own.
  3. See the best resistance training exercises for endurance runners via video demonstrations and word documents as well as recommended set and repetitions.
  4. Understand the concepts of lactate threshold, running economy, and VO2 max and see the protocol for how to test these key variables.
  5. Access to sample surveys coaches can use to evaluate athletes as well as medical screening forms based on the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines.
  6. Access to how sport scientists categorise endurance athletes into beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
  7. Learn about altitude training and how to use it to maximise your performance.
  8. Learn the science behind taper and how to create the one that will maximise your performance the most.
  9. Learn about exercise physiology as it relates to endurance exercise training.

Target Audience 

This course is for the recreational to elite endurance runner, running coaches, health professionals, and students who wants to learn how to design training programmes to maximise performance and reduce the risk of injury. Individuals who want to learn how to incorporate a series of fitness components into a training plan will benefit from this course. Previous experience and knowledge is not required.
Key target groups

  • Recreational runners who are looking for scientifically designed training programmes to optimise performance and decrease the risk of injury.
  • Running coaches who want to understand exercise physiology & training principles and methods behind programme design.
  • Fitness professionals who want to train endurance runners.
  • Students who want to learn about exercise physiology & the training principles and methods behind endurance running.
  • Advanced and elite athletes who want to understand the science behind their training.


No previous experience and knowledge is required. However, if the learner is familiar with endurance sports- particularly running- they will benefit more from the course..

Dr Mike Posthumus

Sports Scientists 

Head of the High Performance Centre and CEO of the SSISA Academy at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, Senior Cycling Coach through Science2Sport and Senior Researcher through the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine within the University of Cape Town.

David Leith


MSc in biokinetics with a special interest in strength & conditioning for runners. Being a runner himself, David understands the discipline inside and out, making him a master at the discipline of running.

Rebecca Johansson

Exercise Physiologist

Rebecca holds a Master's degree in exercise physiology from the University of Wisconsin, and is currently a PhD student in exercise science at the University of Cape Town. She specialises in programme design for runners, swimmers, and triathletes and monitoring training load in athletes.

Course Contents

Course Contents

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