Frank Horwill

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Coach:Yes
Club:Thames Valley
Gender:Male
County:Middlesex
Region:London
Nation:England

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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 
Tom BeedellWoodford Green Essex LadiesSENM3000SC59ALL20149:35.9
Tim ButtBritish Milers ClubV55M
Hywel CareWoodford Green Essex LadiesSENM1000026ALL201330:44.87
Matthew Fraser MoatSerpentineV50M
Tim HutchingsCrawleyV55M
Hussain JamaEaling, Southall & MiddxSENM
Rosalind KieranHerne HillSENW
Wendy LlewellynSerpentineV50W
Huw LobbBedford & CountyV35MMar49ALL20132:28:12
Sara LuckHaveringSENW
Lucy MacAlisterBristol & WestV35WMar13ALL20142:41:17
Mark OldenLondon IrishV45M
Bernadine PritchettWoodford Green Essex LadiesV45W3000333ALL201410:31.16
Sarah WilkinsReading ACSENW3000701ALL201411:12.82
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