For every runner, there is a training program that is perfect for them. Some find it right away, and others (like me) struggle to find the fit for them.
I've tried a bunch of different plans (Hal Higdon, Smart Coach, Run Less, Run Faster, custom built...) and I always struggle to stick to it.
Maybe it's a lack of motivation, a lack of desire or a lack of drive. Or, maybe it's the fact that I have four kids and it's hard to schedule hours a day for workouts ;)
So I continue to search for that perfect training plan. One that has me running almost every day (because if mama ain't running, mama ain't happy) but not killing myself with the number of miles I HAVE to run.
A few months ago, I stumbled upon Run The Edge. And I started reading about their Level Up plans. Hmm... This sounded intriguing. There are 6 workouts a week and you can run them in any order you want, as long as you're not running the key workouts (usually 2 a week) back to back. And, the workouts are based mostly on time. So when it's 90* and 100% humidity, I can still feel like I accomplished what the plan called for without killing myself trying to hit the miles =)
So I went ahead and ordered their 13.1 Ultimate plan. And now, months later I finally have the goal race and the motivation to start a new training plan =)
So far, I'm loving it. Each workout has a set number of points. Earn enough points, and you get to level up. Not enough, and you stay on that level until you're ready to progress. For me, it's perfect. There's a bit of competition with each workout without being stressed about if I can complete it or not (because it's time based, not mileage based).
This is what the first 3 levels of the 13.1 Ultimate plan looks like.
At the end of each week, you tally up your points. If you have enough to level up, you're told to visit the Virtual Coach. Then, through a series of questions that ask how you feel (aches, pain...) and how the workouts felt (too hard, energizing...) you can decided if you're ready for the next level.
If you don't have enough points, you repeat the level =)
The points are set you that you have to run both key workouts each week to get enough points.
This is my first week on the plan.
Since most of my runs are longer than what this week called for, I did run longer on a couple of days =)
At the end of the week, I felt pretty good. I wasn't completely drained even though a couple of the workouts challenged me to run faster than what I have been- it's been a long time since I've seen a 7 in front of my mile splits!
I'm going to continue on with this plan with my goal race being the River Valley Half in November.
These opinions are completely my own. I was not compensated in any way to write this review.