Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cheap Coach

I always get a little antsy during race week.  For one, I'm excited about the weekend's upcoming race (Indy Monumental Half).  I've got RACING on the brain, and yet I need to settle down and do less running this week so my legs are fresh come Saturday.  So I default into planning mode... Thus yesterday's rant on 2012 race planning {here}.

Today, I'm working on my next training plan.  I'm a cheapo and can't afford to hire some fancy coach to construct the perfect plan.  However, I still manage to create weekly training that kicks my ass (when I follow it!).  In the process, I learn a lot about running, muscle development and body functions.  Through online research and a lot of book reading, it's like I've gone back to college. I've got notebooks filled with detailed notes, recipes and inspirational quotes.  Over the past two years of building and following my own plans, I've also learned a lot about myself.... what works and what doesn't - both for the mental and physical states of ME.

I'm a work in progress.

Building My Training Plan...

McMillan Running Calculator - Great tool to determine target paces for key runs.  Just type in your recent race time, and it spits you out a nice looking charts on equivalent performances and optimal training paces.  I've found these to be a tad moderate.  I can usually run faster, so I tend to enter in my "goal time" rather than a past performance.

Run Less Run Faster book - I've used this book so much that the pages are falling out of the seams!  Totally worth the $10 on Amazon.  See my full review on this book here.  Some runners can hit the road every day, but this body can't handle that.  Thus the 3plus2 run system of RLRF works well for me (although I'm more of a 4plus2 kinda gal).  The book has training pace charts similar to the McMillan Running Calculator, but I find the online version {here} easier to use.  The training plans in the book are extremely useful in providing a good skeleton for speed and tempo run structure.

Runner's World - There is always so much information on their site that I tend to get a little lost... but I always check it out and compare their Training Calculator results with the ones above.  They also have an abundance of Training Plans online, although it's disappointing that most are for purchase only.  I keep all the back versions of the magazine though, so I tend to pull those out when I'm designing a new plan as "research".

Back to work...  I'm getting close to building My Perfect Training Plan!

Do you build your own training plans?  What resources do you use?
Or do you follow a basic plan from a book or online?


  1. Haha, great training plan "when you follow it". I hear ya. I'm slacking on my cross training and hope to improve that this winter. Good luck this weekend!

  2. I love RLRF but I don't have a bike that functions anymore and can't afford a new one at this point. I do love the McMillan calculator though!

  3. I will be starting RLRF once I get my base built back up - I think it'll be better on my beat-up body than some of the other programs I've used, and I love that the targeted paces are all spelled out.

  4. thanks so much for the training plan tips. i usually create my own as well and am always looking for new ideas. usually i use smart coach but its not always my fave! good luck at the half this weekend!

  5. I am going to check out the first link. I have used books for training, talking to people, asking all you guys on the blog about what I should be doing and runners world. I have basically just started constructing my own. I like it a lot better. I do however use the paces specified by the RW training calculator.

  6. I feel the same way ---> "Through online research and a lot of book reading, it's like I've gone back to college"!!!

    I like to build my own training plan also because I feel only I can know myself well enough to know that I can and can not handle. Right now I'm loosely following a RLRF training plan that I adapted from the plan in the book. LOVE IT. I'd like to move from a 3plus2 to a 4plus2 some day too. Right now I'm a 3plus3 :)

  7. Oh! A new book to read! I am stoked! IS RLRF appropriate even if you aren't training for a marathon?

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