I usually follow a training plan of sorts, over the years these have taken on different formats
- Marathon number 1 I followed a plan in Non Runners Guide to Marathon Running- simply the best plan for that first time
- I have downloaded plans from Runners World Magazine web site
- I have placed them on the fridge ticking off the runs as I go
- I have placed a page on here, changing the font colour to red once done
- Last year I created my own plan for my first Ultra fitting it in around my life and using expert knowledge gleaned from the web
- January I created another plan, got injured and did not look at it again-not the ideal way to train!
What ever method chosen for me a plan is necessary it keeps me on the straight and narrow.
Recently I have tried something new. I have registered on Trainasone. Carla (lapsed blogger) told me about it when she came down for a weekend, apparently Rachel (also lapsed blogger) had used it and credited it with her recent GFA marathon time. Now I don’t have any aspirations for a GFA but this kind of plaudit needed to be followed up. Trainasone is web based and was free, now they are starting to charge. Basically you enter your goal EG race date and time to complete and it spits out a plan. They like you to do a couple of assessment runs and the plan adjusts from there. The night before a run it emails you to tell you what needs to be done and you can see the plan for up to two weeks ahead. If you have a new fancy Garmin you can even send the workout to your device, mine is not fancy, so I resort to writing the details on a piece of paper for reference, After the run, you get another email wanting you to confirm what you have done, it syncs with Strava after this syncs with Garmin!
So what do I think?
The Jury is out! The good parts
- Having the donkey work done for you
- The emails before and after
- Being able to see what is ahead
- Having it adjust depending I assume on performance
- I love the varied pacing of the runs and that it adjusts for the elevation locally!
- The charts!!!!
- The running maps- I love the places I have run maps-in Europe and UK! simply the best part!
The not so good parts
- Not being able to adapt the plan-I would like to be able to tell it I can’t do the run on a certain day and move it to an other
- If I pause the Garmin (comfort break) it counts this time, it works on the theory that this is resting time so needs to be counted I would argue that squatting somewhere is NOT rest!
- I have set the Goal of 50k for October. This weekend it wanted me to do a 1.2 mile recovery run-seriously who goes out for a 1.2 mile run???? Hardly worth getting the kit dirty in my opinion
- This weekend it wanted me to do very little, I ignored it and did 23 miles over the two days (ok badly but I did it), it now says I shouldn’t run till Wednesday! Mmmmmmm
- The charts………..for rocket scientists only!
Definitely a case of trail and error. Looking ahead it wants me to do some longer runs so I might do as I am told once we get there, no promises though!
You have done really well with you previous methods, so I expect that you will continue to do well! Like you say, nice to have someone do all the thinking for you, but then you give up a bit of flexibility and control. Do you think you can stick with it?
The problem with this method is I don’t have control, I believe a plan should be flexible to fit in with life, this is more rigid. I will however continue for a while with it. I like the interval/tempo sessions than seem more do able than text book ones maybe that’s where the tailoring comes in to its own.
He he I don’t like anyone telling me what to do – not even a chart on the fridge -as I discovered in my ditched attempt at marathon training! I’m much better with loose rules like run 4 times this week but even that doesnt guarantee success😬😆
Me I like to answer back and be rebellious
Shaz… you just amaze me with how you work you plans and know the deal.
I just started with ‘plans’. Hence my msg you the other night… I have NO CLUE *lol* I didn’t even know what LSR stood for… What a ‘tempo’ run was etc…
So to get to the point where you can design your own plan to suits your needs with a goal to aim for is just so fab!
The charts etc just scare me… I just leave it to hubby to tell me that I am either doing OK or need to ‘up the ante’ (sp?) THAT is it, all i want to know! *lol*
Give me a Mac and PhotoShop and I can rocket science that to the moon and back.
Hand me my Polar (or Garmin), its five buttons and very detailed online feedback system and I am clueless! Totally dof! 🙂
But I am with you on the control thing… I think i kinda fancy the ‘just do it’ approach. If you don’t have a goal I guess its OK… If you DO… I guess thats when a ‘plan’ is really needed.
The plan is a good “guide” then I tweak it all over the place. When training for an event it is good as you then feel prepared (or not depending how the training has gone!)
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‘…trail and error…’
Is this when you take a wrong turn while running off-road?
Wondered how long it would take you!
I did try out Trainasone, however my training for my Manchester marathon PB was mainly based around a training plan from Strava and the McMillan pace calculator.
I became frustrated with Trainasone’s pace calculations based on total time which was unable to cope with the stop-sprint nature of BMF (boot camp) classes and that some of its workout paces appeared either extremely slow and occasionally fast. In the end I decided I knew myself best with a bit of help and advice from experienced friends. It did however help me realise that as an ‘older runner’ to stay injury free I need to build up the volume with the bulk of my mileage at an easy pace, but maybe a bit faster than walking!! R.x
Thanks for that Rachel. I will see how it goes, got no desire for a speedier marathon at the moment, those days are gone but like the work being done for me. Don’t like the way it changes the training plan ALL the time, I like to see the week runs laid out. Last week I tried not updating with Garmin until the end of the week that way got my intervals in, and a threshold but since updating it does not want me to run till Wednesday! I like the. Speedwork sessions it sets up, that’s what I need but wish it would leave them there even if i throw something extra in. These seem to be pitched at the right pace. All trail and error I guess, nothing is perfect especially for 6 Quid a month. Will see how it goes. Congrats on the 100 X