Ch. 6: Self-Assessment

Considers 10 factors to assess runners before designing their training plan. From most to least important.

  1. Recent training (12 months, up to 2 year)
    • Enough distance?
    • Enough balance of types of training?
    • Enough race-specific work?
  2. Continuous running experience
    • 1-4 years: Focus on easy distance build, hills, shorter intervals, minimal race-specific
    • 5-7 years: Still more distance, threshold, harder longs, harder speeds, more race-specific
    • 8+ years: Max distance, very hard longs, harder, threshold, emphasis race-specific
  3. Age
    • 15-25 years old: more room for error, hard easy days not as damaging, not enough experience for the really hard workouts
    • 25-39 years old: easy easy days are necessary, can handle harder workouts
    • 40+ years old: easy days might be not useful any more (tear while not much benefit on your experience), instead cross train or strength work, focus your running on relevant workouts for your races
  4. Race performance history: find what training led to your good races
  5. Short-term goal: what time at what race? Try to set goal 12+ weeks in advance
  6. Injury history. Injury prone? Try hills for more strength. Be more careful with distance or intensity increase.
  7. Event-specific strength/weakness. Considers just two things: Speed and endurance. Would you be better at moving up (better endurance) or down (better speed) a distance? Fix the weaker one.
  8. Recovery profile. Tweak these variables to ensure enough recovery. Suggestion: start your plan in a way that you are sure you can handle for first 4-6 weeks, then increase and keep track how things feel.
    • Number of workouts per week
    • Distribution of workouts in week. His week spread: Hill sprints, hard (speed, specific, or threshold), easy, easy, hard, easy, long
    • Difficulty of workouts
    • Amount of easy running in-between
  9. Long-term goal
  10. Motivational profile. Prone to “beating” workouts? Lose focus without races?