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Training Plans and Finish Times (Read 150 times)

crazyrunninglady


Warrior Princess

    I have this theory - supported by the results of some friends - that perhaps training plans do not make much of a difference.  The runner you are and will be is possibly already set.  I am curious to hear from anyone who has a specific improvement they attirubute to a specific training plan.

     

    Full disclosure - I have never really followed a training plan.  I sort of followed Hanson for marathon #3 but then an injury took speedwork out so I didn't really follow the plan.  My "plan" if you will, has been to run a lot.

     

    But my orthopedist is a Higdon believer.  From his debut to his latest, his times have been 3:40 - 3:10.  He followed a modified Hanson for his PR of 3:05.

     

    My training partner only entered a marathon at my urging and only sort of following Higdon.  Despite her inability to beat me in a 5k, she ran twenty minutes faster than my marathon PR.

     

    So I am left to wonder - how much does a training plan matter?  Would Stacey or Bill have run faster with Pfitz or Hudson or did they have a special something that no plan can quanitfy?

     

    And what does that leave the rest of us when attempting to determine which plan is best?

    Luke79


      IMO, some people just like structure applied to their running.  There are some people who, without a training plan, may otherwise run too much or too little in preparation for a particular race.  As far as a training plan being necessary to succeed in a race, I don't buy that.  They make a difference to the person because it appeals to them.  The plan, in and of itself, is not crucial.

       

       

       

       

       

       

      MJ5


      Chief Unicorn Officer

        Hmmmmm.  I don't use a plan, but I don't do really long races anymore.  The two HM's I did last year, I did off of my plan-less 5K training.

         

        I do think that running success (defining it as in, improvement in time, or a PR, even though success can be defined many different ways) happens when you do plenty of miles to support the race you're racing, you have in there some strength type work, like hills, and you have in there speedwork that helps prepare you for a specific distance.  I don't necessarily think it's "the plan" that makes the improvement happen, I think it's simply that set of factors being present.

        Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54


        Muddling through

          Training plans definitely make a different. The issue is finding the right one for you. That isn't always the one you're most comfortable with nor does improvement using a plan always mean that plan is the best for you. While I firmly believe that and can point to some interesting results from my HS coaching days to support that, hard proof is difficult to obtain because you're aren't working in a laboratory situation where you can recreate the exact same beginning conditions and try using a different method.

          2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race


          The Chairman

            How you train does matter. Everyone has a ceiling, but not everyone is able to approach it.

            So_Im_a_Runner


            Go figure

              I don't think I could ever reach my running goals without a plan. I need quality workouts, not just volume, to be able to run at the paces I'm striving for. Because I'm not a coach, I'd have no clue how to build a plan that increases intensity and takes advantage of the physiological changes that prior runs have created.

               

              As for choosing the right plan, that has just been trial and error for me. I started with Higdon, moved to Daniels, and now am on Hudson. So far, the Hudson plan has kept me feeling the strongest of the three, but my race results will obviously be more telling.

               

              As for the runner I could be being predetermined, I agree with Scrape. that I do have a ceiling. I'd never come close to that without the aid of a plan and dedicated training, in my opinion.

              PRs:  Marathon (2:49xx; '13)  Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:33; '13)

              happylily


                I don't think I could ever reach my running goals without a plan. I need quality workouts, not just volume, to be able to run at the paces I'm striving for. Because I'm not a coach, I'd have no clue how to build a plan that increases intensity and takes advantage of the physiological changes that prior runs have created.

                 

                As for choosing the right plan, that has just been trial and error for me. I started with Higdon, moved to Daniels, and now am on Hudson. So far, the Hudson plan has kept me feeling the strongest of the three, but my race results will obviously be more telling.

                 

                As for the runner I could be being predetermined, I agree with Scrape. that I do have a ceiling. I'd never come close to that without the aid of a plan and dedicated training, in my opinion.

                 

                Pretty much what I think as well. I also do think that most serious plans will have very similar results in the end, despite the small differences they may have among themselves. I think it comes down to finding something that fits our personality, schedule, prefered type of running, etc...

                PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                        Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

                4 years racing, 14 marathons, 14 BQs     

                So_Im_a_Runner


                Go figure

                   

                  Pretty much what I think as well. I also do think that most serious plans will have very similar results in the end, despite the small differences they may have among themselves. I think it comes down to finding something that fits our personality, schedule, prefered type of running, etc...

                   

                   

                  I love when people quote what I say - makes me think I'm not full of it. Thank you Smile

                   

                  Eta...I know you're another one that likes the training journey as much as the race. I'd miss that without a plan. Glad that I've seen rumblings that your DH survived and did well last weekend, btw.

                  PRs:  Marathon (2:49xx; '13)  Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:33; '13)


                  Mmmmm...beer

                    So far I am very happy without a plan, just lots of running, sometimes fast, sometimes slow.  But I know that I will reach a point where I will need a plan or a coach to keep improving.  Until then I'm just going to enjoy the miles and the noob gains Smile

                    -Dave

                     

                    2014 Goals | sub-19 5k done! | sub-40 10k | sub-1:25 HM | BQ done! | sub-3 M

                    meaghansketch


                      I think that the issue is that how well you do in a marathon is going to be about 80% determined by your level of aerobic fitness going into training and your genetic factors, not the training plan you pick.   Although the plan you pick will certainly influence how prepared you are, and how much you are able to build your fitness over the course of the 12-24 weeks before the marathon, you can only do so much during that time.  Someone with a very high level of aerobic fitness can do a beginner Higdon plan and still do better than someone who has a much lower level of aerobic fitness starting a more well-respected plan like Pfitzinger 18/55.  

                      Up next: Front Runners New York LGBT Pride 5-mile  06/28 |  NYRR Team Championships: Women (5M) 08/02

                      Goal race: NYCRUNS Haunted Island 10K 10/25


                      Muddling through

                        I think that the issue is that how well you do in a marathon is going to be about 80% determined by your level of aerobic fitness going into training and your genetic factors, not the training plan you pick.   Although the plan you pick will certainly influence how prepared you are, and how much you are able to build your fitness over the course of the 12-24 weeks before the marathon, you can only do so much during that time.  Someone with a very high level of aerobic fitness can do a beginner Higdon plan and still do better than someone who has a much lower level of aerobic fitness starting a more well-respected plan like Pfitzinger 18/55.  

                        Success is more likely to come based on the aerobic fitness you build over the 12-24 months before the marathon. The plan can still make a big difference. The plan probably makes a greater difference the shorter the race for which you are training.

                        2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                        crazyrunninglady


                        Warrior Princess

                          George basically circles it back to my inherent internal crisis - after a point does it really matter?  I've run high mileage, although my speedwork is admittedly flightly, for a very very long time.  OTOH, the girl who has run with me for years but barely runs beyond our long runs that she frequently bails on, ran a 3:52 in her first marathon on very little training this weekend.  If you went based purely on the miles - and even on the speedwork since she had never heard of such things before we started training together - one would have given me the advantage.  Yet, she  ran a spectacular race far beyond anything I could aspire to.  When someone succeeds or fails to succeed, is it training or is it something else?

                           

                          And this is not to dis my friend so much to wallow in my own mediocrity...

                          xor


                            The term "training plan" is ambiguous and means different things to different people.  Some people's plans boil down to "run lots, mostly easy, sometimes fast".  Others have, shall we say, significantly more detail.

                             

                            So it is a strangely hard to answer question.  Really comes down to the person.

                             

                            (and honestly, "did it make a difference" is also kind of a loaded question.)

                             

                            RSX


                              In 1999 a friend wrote us a marathon plan on his own, and I still dust it off from time to time and try to hit the weeky mileage at a minimum plus the long runs. In August I may re-vise it. It worked for me as far as being able to predict my times. Now that I am older I understand that I need to ensure it does what I need.

                              meaghansketch


                                Success is more likely to come based on the aerobic fitness you build over the 12-24 months before the marathon. The plan can still make a big difference. The plan probably makes a greater difference the shorter the race for which you are training.

                                 

                                Yes, sorry, this is the point I meant to make-- that the training plan will have an effect, but the most important factor to marathon success is your aerobic fitness before you even start training.  Reading over what I wrote it's not that clear.

                                Up next: Front Runners New York LGBT Pride 5-mile  06/28 |  NYRR Team Championships: Women (5M) 08/02

                                Goal race: NYCRUNS Haunted Island 10K 10/25

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