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Improved support plans for 5 and 10k

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

As promised in our previous post, my next focus would be improving the support plans. As a refresher: support plans are the plans that are generated before the start of your specific goal plan – the latter usually starts 10 to 12 weeks before your goal. Support plan therefore support that specific build-up. But it wasn’t perfect until now.

_ How it went

Support plans lasted 7 weeks and were applied to each goal distance. Did you choose a marathon or a 5k? Well, you got the same support plan. Support plans were a ‘one size fits all’, only your performance level determined which support plan you received. So in those 7 weeks you got all different types of training there are available in our training library. It was a nice mix but not so well structured. Because we had to have something in store for every goal. Truth be told: that’s not ideal of course, but technically we couldn’t design it otherwise. Those who raced shorter distances were given longer runs than necessary. And those raced longer distances saw little volume in that support plan.

In retrospect, those 7 weeks were simply too short. But when we launched the app, there weren’t even any support plan available in the app. We only added them on May 22, 2019 – 4 months after our launch.
Why ‘only’ 7 weeks? Because Gert and I as runners didn’t plan our goals that far into the future. And no one in our immediate vicinity did, actually. But thanks to the app, we learned that we are not the ‘norm’. Many users plan their goal 6 months in advance, or even longer. And I was stuck with our 7 weeks support plans…
7 weeks is too short to build up in a well-structured way, and that turned out to be what you girls and boys wanted. In addition, a 7-week schedule is also too short to continue training during the off-season. Training cycles are repetitive, but last longer than 7 weeks.

_ how it goes

So I’m very happy that I now can fully tweak the support plans to my liking (as a coach)! 😉
From now on, there are new support plans available in the app for 5k and 10k goals, because that’s where we could improve them the most. Instead of weeks, these plans now last 13 weeks. This means that we can guarantee a continuous, structured and gradual build-up. Both in volume and in intensity. In other words: these new plans are being really ‘supportive’ towards your specific goal plan.

And thus our plans are now even more tailor-made. Just set a (far) goal and you’ll see it right away!
But there’s an added benefit as well: this 3-month plan is perfect during your off-season, when you don’t want to set a specific (short-term) goal. After all, these support plan build up, but do not peak. Especially if you link 2 in a row, you will see beautiful wave movements without too large peaks. Read: without risk of overload or loss of condition. We didn’t have that ‘feature’ in the app yet. Don’t have a specific goal in mind? Then just schedule one for within 6 months.

_ What about the support plans for the other distances?

Good question, easy answer: they are coming. This week the support plans for the 10 miles & half marathon will follow, possibly also for the marathon.
And I expect that the next few days there will be a technical update that enables me to design recovery plans. Another thing to look forward to.

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