Frank Horwill

notify us of amends 
Club:Thames Valley

About Login

Frank J. Horwill (born 1927) was a UK Athletics senior level 4 coach most famous for founding the British Milers' Club (BMC) and for formulating the Five Pace Training Theory which is widely used for coaching middle-distance runners throughout the world.

As a volunteer coach since 1961, Horwill coached 49 Great Britain and Northern Ireland international athletes from 800 metres to the marathon - from track to the road and to the country. Five of his athletes have run sub-4 minute miles – the fastest being Tim Hutchings, who ran 3:54:53 and placed fourth in the 5000m in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

In 1963 Horwill co-founded the British Milers’ Club (BMC) with the aim of raising "British middle distance running to world supremacy". Seventeen years after the BMC was formed, British male middle-distance runners held all the middle distance world-records. This was attributed to the first ever national scheme of using ‘hares’ in races. The club has been the nursery and arena for many champions over the years, with the great majority of Britain’s best middle distance runners being members and Horwill was still an active member of the club’s committee.

In 1970 Horwill invented the 5-pace/multi-tier system of training, used by Sebastian Coe to enormous success under his father and coach Peter Coe. In 1980, Peter Coe said, "we have used Frank Horwill's multi-tier system. It’s all embracing."

Many other prominent athletes have also adopted the 5-pace system of training including Said Aouita who was the only man at the time capable of running 800m in sub 1:44, 1500m in sub 3:30, 3000m in sub 7:30, 5000m in sub 13:00, and 10000m in sub 27:30 and Noah Ngeny, the 2000 Sydney Olympic 1,500m champion.

Horwill was a man of many quotes including, "we’ve only just begun to work"; "Anyone can run fast repetitions and have a cup of tea and a doughnut after each repetition!"; "keep going, keep going, keep going until a little something inside you says, 'keep going'". Track side, at the 200m mark at BMC meetings he has been heard to say, "If you can’t go faster than that – get off the track."

[This is a shortened version of Horwill's wikipedia entry]

Sadly Frank passed away on 1st January 2012. We will all miss him.

Athletes Coached
NameClub AG  Sex  Best Event  Rank  AG  Year  Performance 
Tim ButtBritish Milers ClubV65M
Hywel CareLiverpool HV40M5000618ALL202416:07.6
Matthew Fraser MoatSerpentineV60M
Sarah HolmesReading ACV35W
Tim HutchingsCrawleyV65M
Hussain JamaEaling Southall & MiddxV35M
Rosalind KieranHerne HillV40W
Wendy LlewellynSerpentineV60W
Huw LobbBedford & CountyV45M
Sara LuckHaveringV35W
Lucy MacAlisterBristol & WestV45W
Mark OldenLondon IrishV55M
Bernadine PritchettWoodford Green Essex LadiesV55W
Login to submit a picture