Given that it is almost one year since the Atlanta Olympics, it seems timely to examine the training and physiological issues that may impact on endurance performance in the next millennium. Although we will focus primarily on distance running, the issues that will be raised are relevant to similar endurance activities. Dr Pate will set the scene by examining the trends in world records set in both male and female middle-distance and distance events and some of the likely reasons. Dr Snell will tackle a topic that is the subject of great debate among coaches and scientists: whether endurance athletes should place more emphasis on long slow work or speed in their training program. Dr Telford will examine another controversial area: whether there is any evidence that altitude training enhances endurance performance at sea-level. Dr Smith will continue the environmental theme by discussing the effect of heat and humidity on performance and how the Australian Olympic team acclimatized for the Atlanta Olympics. Finally, given that many poor Olympic performances were due to infection, Dr Nieman will examine the relationship between carbohydrate ingestion, blood glucose and hormone concentrations, and the immune response to long distance running. Participants in the symposium will gain an insight into the current training and physiological issues being studied and the difficulties in conducting these studies with elite athletes.