Perhaps Not So Smart.
I have decided that I am not a fan of the Runners World SmartCOACH. It’s not all bad and perhaps if you paid for it, you would get some better functionality and more quality plans. This week, I sort of abandoned it.
The good thing with the plan is that is gradually builds up your mileage and doesn’t have any crazy workouts. That bad of it is it ropes you in my projecting some magical PR time if you follow said plan, so you feel obligated to follow it. I finally decided it wasn’t for me this weekend.
I ran a 5K on Saturday morning and my legs were like lead. My 10K PR from February (the day after another 4K race, so I wasn’t rested) is 48:17. I ran 24:08 on Saturday. Literally the same pace for half the distance. My legs were toast.
I was not impressed.
Especially given that I am running about 10 more miles per week than back then – last week was 29 miles total – the most I’ve run since 2003. Granted, I did not really rest much to prepare for the race but it’s a 5K, for Pete’s sake.
I looked at the SmartCOACH schedule for this week (Fontana Days Half is this Saturday) and it looked like this:
|Sunday||13 miles easy|
|Monday||4 miles easy|
|Tuesday||4 miles easy|
|Wednesday||2 x 1600 @ 7:36 – 4 miles total|
|Thursday||4 miles easy|
|Friday||rest (gee, thanks)|
|Saturday||RACE – 13.1|
That’s 29 miles in the 6 days before the race. What kind of crack are they smoking?!
Apparently it’s crack that makes your legs miraculously recover for a race from the highest mileage week in the whole plan.
This is when I said, “this is some bullshit” and decided I was done with SmartCOACH. There is no way that is smart. If I was averaging 50 mpw, maybe 29 the week of the race would be OK.
Instead I did (am doing) this:
|Sunday||8 miles (whatever pace I want, was 8:51)|
|Monday||rest (actually, 4 mile hike/walk)|
|Tuesday||4 miles easy (9:14)|
|Wednesday||2 x 1600 @ 7:36 – 4 miles total (8:45)|
|Thursday||3 miles easy|
Total of 19 miles before the race.
And you know what? My legs are starting to feel not like hamburger meat. Go figure. Shocker, right?
Anyway, so I’ve tossed out my SmartCoach plan for Coronado 15K and Hobble Creek Half and am in the process of making my own plan which will be a combination of a bunch of plans picking whatever I feel like I need. I still think I will take my long runs (anything over 10 miles) slower than the 8:50 I was always doing before – I’ve learned that much. And I’ll probably try to reach 35-40 peak MPW.
I wonder if anyone out there has had success with this SmartCOACH. And if they have, was it their first or second race, how long the plan was, etc.