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Adjusted marathon plans

24 August 2021
Christophe Roosen is the co-founder and coach of Trenara. Runs a marathon in 2:31:34. Follow him on IG @chroosen.

Not a new version of the app this time, but still a big update: we’ve launched improved our marathon plan and also added new ones. What are those adjustments/improvements and how do you activate them? Read all about it in this blog.

_ Some minor adjustments

Typing and language errors have been corrected, as has the in-app display of some workouts. The famous pyramid training sessions that we received so many questions about via mail, pm’s and in our FB community are finally displayed correctly 😅.

In addition, the famous long runs were also adjusted a bit. Depending on your fitness level, they were sometimes a bit too long. The impact on fatigue, and linked to it the quality of your next training, was too negative. That balance has now been restored, so that you can ‘trust the process’ even more.
This is a small adjustment, but an essential one.

_ Some major adjustments

I already mentioned in the previous post that thanks to the last update I have more flexibility when it comes to writing training plans. I have eagerly made use of that flexibility.

Recap: Until now there were 5 training plans per typical race distance (+ intermediate distances (from half to full marathon) and ultra distances (currently 45k to 60k)), which were based on your fitness level. Within those 5 plans, the hyperpersonalization took place to your specific pace zones.
The basic schedule was based on 4 training sessions per week, where 1 was added (2 for the marathon) or 1 was removed. Those who opted for 3 training sessions therefore received the first 3 priorities of that basic schedule of 4 training sessions. Albeit there’s nothing wrong with that, I wanted it to be improved.

From now on there is no limit anymore: we can upload separate plans based on the number of training days and not just based on the target distance. For those who train less than 4x and more than 5x, that is a blessing.

Plans for 3 days
I have now created specific marathon plans for 3 training days, not purely based on the first 3 priorities of our basic schedule. This means that there is more variety in the training sessions (no longer the fixed pattern of tempo runs, intervals & LSD), and thanks to that variation, also a better ratio between load capacity and training load. That’s important for the marathon because now we focus (even) more on aerobic work. And let that of course also be the zone you need the most during your marathon.

Plans for 6 or 7 days
In addition, there are now also marathon plans for those who want to train 7/7. From 6(+) training days a week you will also be presented a completely new training plus. No longer the 4 + 2 from the past.
Here I have applied my learning from the classes that I took from the last few months. For example, the recovery sessions became shorter and are therefore real recovery runs again: slow and short(er). The basic schedule also includes a part of the weekly volume in that session – you have to get it somewhere, don’t you? If you train 6 or 7 times per week, you will get that volume from other sessions.
You will also see new training forms appear in those plans and we have added an extra performance category. Until now, we didn’t have an ideal solution for the fast runners (2h45 and faster).
About those training forms: we have reduced the anaerobic work a bit more and exchanged it for e.g. intervals where you start quickly (an immediate ‘rise’ in your energy system) and then slow down to a basic pace but still be in the higher energy system than when you were running a flat, but faster, basic pace. I also brought more variety to the tempo runs, with even more variety in blocks and pace. Because variety is what you like, so that’s what we work on. Later we may also apply these new training forms to the plans with fewer training days.

_ How to activate?

The changes are so big that we couldn’t just overwrite the current plans. Are you now in your marathon prep – specifically less than 12 weeks ahead of your goal? Then I advise you to create a new plan.

_ The other distances

In the coming weeks we will tackle the other distances in the same way. It was logic to me that the marathon had priority: marathon preparations are in full force. Since yesterday, we’re able to adjust the support plans as well. That will be my next priority, because that’s where the biggest improvements can take place. But you will read about that in a next blog post!

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