SmartCoach Pacing



  • Just to add another question.  If you are doing 80% of training at 10.25min/mile does your body not get used to this pace making a target pace of 9min/mile on race day rather difficult?
  • Responding to Rover on irregular training and racing paces...hard for me to answer without knowing what you input to SC. No way you should have been able to do tempo runs at 50 seconds per mile faster than recommended. And the interval days should have been quite demanding also.

    You got the PB anyway but are disappointed that you didn't run even faster??? Okay, I'm a little confused, sorry. I can only suggest that you do another good buildup to your next race, and I hope you have another PB.

    Try several different inputs on SC just to be sure you're getting the precise one you want. Oh, and SC does believe you can run faster than expected on race day with taper, fluid stops, competiton...all the good stuff. 

  • Responding to heraroja...SC has received other queries like this. I don't think SC will be producing ultra running programs for some time. I'm not sure there's much science to ultra running. Just putting in the time/distance.

    But you raise a VERY important point about hills. I think hills can be a big factor in training programs, and in improving race times.

    Of course, every hill in the world is a different length and incline--as opposed to standard 400m training tracks--so SC doesn't really know how to give hill advice.

    But run hills, run hills, run hills. They improve power, strength, economy, just about everything.

  • I put in my 54 minutes for a 10k, the latest race time i had - up unitil my 1hour 56 half marathon.  No i was very happy with my time but am just confused at the difference between training paces and expected race pace.
  • That gave me tempo runs at 8.58 when i did them at 8min/mile - so where did i go wrong?  Was 54 minutes for a 10k underperforming for me?
  • And if i put in 1 hour 56 in now it gives me a tempo pace of 8.36
  • Responding to Rover Queen about 80 percent paces...well, I guess I would say that an 80 percent pace tells your body it still has 20 percent in reserve for going faster. I don't mean that to be a smart-ass answer. MUCH research has shown that endurance athletes in different sports all do about 80 percent of their training at an easy, relaxed pace. Yet they can compete much faster.

    That's because they reserve 20 percent of their training for more specific, and often faster paces. This is what SmartCoach does too.

    Most runners don't have to worry that they're doing too much easy, slow running. They might have to worry that they're running too fast on easy days. And also that they're not  doing enough tempo and interval running at appropriate paces.

  • Thanks for joining in the discussion...I gotta go off to my real job.

    Good luck with all your training. I hope you keep using SmartCoach, and discussing the outcome on your Forums. 

  • it's good to know this amby. i thought it was more competitive to aim for a greater time cut, thus pushing yourself harder, as 5% doesn't seem that much, but i am only competing with myself, so this would still be good.

    one more question, if i may, when you ran the boston marathon, did you know you were going to win?
  • then on race day i'm expected to do 8.06 per mile for 13.1 - what i'm saying is should i not be training at race pace?

  • Amby, thanks for such a useful Q&A session. image

    Guys, if you have any more questions about the training tool then post them here and we'll answer them as soon as we can.


    Daniel RW
  • Quick question here.. im a metric man... is there anyway to change the settings displayed in the training program from minutes per mile to minutes per km?

    (other than manually altering each pace calculation?)



  • hi, i also need to know how to set up my garmin forerunner 101 for the speedwork sessions- iv got it on min/mile at the mo and cant find the right settings to do 2x1600 with 800 jogs, god i hate metres and ks!
  • I've used the smart coach to plan a 7 week 10k training plan and it seems fine except for the speedwork. I just can't run as fast as it says i should for more than 400m let alone 3x800m! But otherwise the distances are fine and the tempo and easy run speeds seem fine, although I find it hard to slow to the easy pace but this is probably what I need.
  • I havnt used these schedules before, they look very good, except that we train on Tuesdays and Thursdays at club. The schedule says run easy on Tuesday - but no one will do their speedwork on their own, so it has to be on Tues, with long run on Thursday. Can the schedules be amended to take account of club races and club training nights? I imagine that loads of other runners have the same dilemma. 

  • I am quite new to running and do everything in m and km (as does the treadmill that i use sometimes). Can the smart coach be adapted to include paces and distances in km? I'm sure there's an easy way to convert paces but just can't figure it out! Thanks
  • I like the idea of this smart coach but it is judt making a programme from the info you put in based on previous race times and how long and hard you want to train. But if like me you want to aim for a     specific time i.e sub 1.40 for h/m then how can i be sure the programme it suggests will be sufficient training to make this time achievable? i mean there are many programmes that suggest training based on a specific target but to me what is this training for? to get round or to help achieve a target?
  • Daniel, I sent you an email with a few questions re smartcoach and Garmin schedules.  Did you get it?  Will you respond direct to me or post a response here?


  • toddytyke-i dont think anybody uses this thread now if you look at the dates of the last posts, shame really i could have done with some answers

  • steve, if daniel replies to my email i'll refer him here as he did put in his last post that other questions could be posted here for answers.
  • that would be great!!
  • Done it.  Now just wait.
  • Hi folksimage!

    I've just tried putting details into the 'SmartCoach' and is just me, or is the BIG question missing? i.e. 'How Fast Do You Want to Run' for whatever distance race it is you're aiming for? Surely that should be the whole point of this thing, to get you to run what time you think you can do/wnat to aim for?

    I put in the time for my last marathon (3h 22m) and a 'hard' training prog and the schedule it gave me was laughably under mileage every week, I'd be lucky to run to the end of my street by the end of it. It seems to ask all the wrong questions (i.e. 'how far do you run PW now?' Who cares!) . Also, why only 16 week training plans? Why can't you put in the number of weeks you'd like to train for (within reason of course)? Personally I do 12 week plans, and at the moment am just doing what I feel I can do each day, just getting in the mood and keeping myself ticking over before the REAL training starts.

    All seems pretty flawed to me. Wouldn't like to think of anyone new to running using this as a tool to set themselves up for a race. Dangerous I think.



  • Neil, you can select the number of week's for the training plan.

    Why do you think that a new runner following a structured plan would be dangerous?

  • Neil this is the thing i say is missing, i am following a plan but i have no idea what kind of time it is going to help me achieve-i mean is it a get you round plan or faster than you know you can do-i have no idea!
  • Hi Steve, looks like we have our own thread image

    I would have thought that by including your recent race time, you are getting a realistic plan to run the next race.  Would be dangerous if a novice put an unrealistic race time in and then tried to train to that wouldn't you think?

  • Hi guys,

    I have just started using smartcoach. I find the idea of using a current best time for a race distance sensible, and in terms of improvement scientific- check out the work that that Furman Institute is doing.
    I have an irregular work schedule to say the least and usually change the order of the programmed runs around, I do try to stick to the principle of easy runs and days off/xtraining around the harder days.
    If you are using a garmin, 400m is basically 0.25 mile. That makes it easy to set up, regards pacing if you work out what the pace per mile would be, eg 400m in 2mins=1/4mile in 2mins=1/4mile at 8min/mile pace, you can set your garmin display to show "lap pace" and use that. Works for me anyhoo.
  • toddytyke- your probably right but i just think it needs that 1 bit of information to give you some idea what that session might help you achieve, but then like you say it could be the wrong thing  for a complete novice.

     Did Daniel gert back to you?

  • Daniel did get back to me and I referred him here but as yet he has not appeared image
  • Why is this thread not very popular? Is it because everyone thinks the smart coach is a waste of time or is it because everyone loves it and does not feel the need to comment?image
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