Like many of you, I have searched for the perfect training plan to get the best possible times. The more that I run and talk to others, the more I have come to realize that there is no cookie cutter training plan out there. Each runner is different, so no single plan is better for someone since each runner has different goals.
Over the last 9 years since I ran my first marathon, I have tried various workout plans from the Runner’s World Smart Coach app, Hansons, a coach based plan, the FIRST Program, and making up my own. Recently, I have been running better and stronger than ever. I found a program that is a good base for my running that gets me on the higher mileage with longer intervals.
The base of my workouts comes from the Hansons Marathon Method, but I do modify some of the workouts to get more miles during the week. For me this works, other running friends cannot run as many miles because they feel their body breaks down and they cannot recover in time to get another quality workout in during the week after one hard workout.
For me one thing I did learn about my running was that any program that emphasized cross training days as much as recovery running days was not for me. Not until I committed to running everyday did I feel like I was becoming a better running. I feel that the only way to get better as a runner is to run more, but having a purpose to each run. It is unrealistic to make every run a hard run and expect to improve.
How did you find your training plan? Do you have cross training days or are you a run only marathoner? Do you follow your plan as written or modify it?