Training plans and how to choose.

Hi all,<div>
</div><div>Fairly newish to running. Started coach to 5k just before lockdown V1 and haven't looked back since. I love it and never thought I would ever say that about running, or any sport for that matter.</div><div>
</div><div>Currently run around 50k a week and my PB's for 5k and 10k are 22:37 and 46:18 respectively.</div><div>
</div><div>I have been using Garmin coach for the most part but found it can be quite buggy and random and after now finishing the 10k plan, I'm looking for recommendations for good plans / apps / methods to get to the next level.</div><div>
</div><div>Currently looking at hal higdons app, train as one and run coach. But open to any ideas on how people generally train and choose their plans. I have no idea what are respectable plans or even if seasoned runners use plans at all!

I do know I have enjoyed have a structured plan and goal though which Garmin coach does really well. Also enjoyed the adaptive nature.

My general long long term goals would be sub 20 5k low 40's 10k. Shorter term goals would be to get under 22mins for 5k. Might attempt a half soonish but not sure what to aim for that yet.</div><div>
</div><div>Many thanks in advance (and happy new year!)




  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    Not sure about plans, never followed one, but what I would recommend is  - Join a running club, then you'll get all the advice you ever want+

  • Thanks for the reply.

    I would like to at some point, but I have only ever run during the pandemic. Where I am based it wouldn't be possible to meet more than one person outdoors and so I'm not sure they are meeting at the moment. Certainly not officially anyway.

    Apart from a brief month or so after completing couch to 5k, all of my running so far has been quite structured. I would be a bit lost without a plan I think! But I think that is down to inexperience.

    How do you train without a plan? 

    Genuinely interested how others try and meet their goals.
  • chamolkchamolk ✭✭✭
    Well done for starting running, and keeping it up. Nice pbs for 5k and 10k, and 50k a week is a very good mileage base to start aiming for those targets. 

    Like senid, I've never used a specific plan, so I cant really recommend one. 

    I've read a fair bit about various training, nutrition and coaching ideas over the years, and prefer to take what I like from those. I find the idea of a set plan rather constricting (due to work /family, I would struggle to do the planned sessions on certain days), and obviously they are written without any direct knowledge of you or your running.

    I think of you can get an idea of the different types of run, and the reason for doing them, and then think about what you currently want to achieve, you end up getting the basics of your own plan. 

    For example, for my marathons I knew I needed long runs, tempo runs, a bit of speed work, some hills, and easy runs. I had a rough idea how I wanted my long runs and my weekly mileage to progress, and just put it all together. This meant I could change things week to week depending on how I was feeling, how much time I had etc. It also allows me to experiment to see what works or doesn't work for me. 

    It'll be difficult to do this at the start, to be fair, as it takes time to get the experience. A friend of mine much prefers specific plans, and he just makes himself follow them.

    I started off reading Runners World and some of their books, then got Bob Glover's The Competitive Runner's Handbook. More recently, I've got Daniels Running Formula and Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathon, and I'm currently reading a Lydiard book. Haven't read the Higdon books yet. 

    As a useful, and free, intro, I'd suggest Greg McMillan's website. I quite like his articles, some of them are quite in depth, and form the basis of his marathon training ebook.

    Hope that's useful
  • Thanks Chamolk.

    It's funny you should mention McMillan as that is one of the coaches you can select with Garmin Coach (free inbuilt coaching plan with Garmin watches) and it is the one I always chose as I just liked the look of his plans and workouts more than the others.

    I did like Garmin Coach, I think mainly as coming from a completely none running background it was handy to be able to chose a goal time and a finish date and know if you completed all the workouts you should theoretically be able to do the 'race' at the time you specified. It just did it all for you. It also was good to learn a bit more about all the different types of runs at what sort of paces / effort levels you should do them at. Just a shame it was so buggy and sometimes just infuriatingly random. It did get me to my goal times though so can't complain too much.

    But the fact you mentioned McMillan gives me a bit of confidence that he is worth listening to. I found some stuff on his website that seems to give a good backbone of a plan (specifies some intervals to do at certain stages in order to meet a goal time) so perhaps I could just flesh that out with some easy runs and tempo / hills etc... and see where it gets me.

    I think I probably need to just keep experimenting as you mentioned and also keep reading about all the different methods out there. There is alot of info out there and it's hard to find which is worth listening to sometimes, so thanks for the reply and advice 👍
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