1. Chapter 4: Training Runs and Intensities
  2. Chapter 7: Fitness training
    1. Gold Elite Plan
  3. Chapter 10: 1500 to 2 mile training
  4. Chapter 11: 5k to 10k training
  5. Chapter 13: Half-Marathon Training
  6. ARTC Review

My notes are about the third version of the book.

Chapter 4: Training Runs and Intensities

This chapter describes the different types of runs he considers and their point. “What is the point of this workout?” is something he likes to repeat.

  • Easy. 59-74% of VO2max. 65-78% of maximum heart rate. Go slower or faster depending on how you feel. Build up injury resistance. Building base. Developing heart muscle. Increase in vascularisation. Develop the leg muscles. At least 30 minutes. At most 150 minutes. E is good to fill up your distance for the week.
  • Long. Also at E pace. If running <64km: max 30% of distance. If running more, maximum the min(25%, 150 minutes). Increasing E run duration is a confidence boost.
  • Marathon-pace. 75-84% of VO2max. (No heart rate estimate?) Use his tables to know the pace. “3 min/10k slower than 10k race pace”. Keep it shorter than min(110 minutes, 29km). For a single session, shorter than min(20% week distance, 29km). Mostly there for confidence and practising water drinking. Obvious for marathon trainers, but also still useful for the rest with same idea. Physiologically same effect as E.
  • Threshold. 86-88% of VO2max. 88-90% of maximum heart rate. Peaked and rested you can race this for 1 hour. Manageable to run, comfortably hard, but you look forward to the end. Get better at managing and clearing blood lactate. Improve speed you can keep up for a long time. Two types, both at T pace:
    • Tempo runs: One steady block at the pace. Good for confidence. He usually limits these to 20 minutes.
    • Cruise intervals: Short rests between blocks of T pace. Can get more T running into the body. (Feels too easy? Shorten the rest). He uses 1 or 2 mile intervals (1.6k and 3.2k) with 1 and 2 minutes of rest respectively. Work to recovery ratio is about 5 to 1.

    Single workout no more than 10% of weekly distance. If you can do steady 20 min, then do at least 30 min if doing cruise intervals. Only count the T parts here of course, not the E that is warmup, cooldown, …

  • Interval. Purpose: maximize aerobic power (VO2max). To improve it, need intensity close to or at that. Takes 90-120s to work up to VO2max. Maximum you can run at it is 11 minutes. Training between 3-5 minutes, rest half the time of the rep. If you keep recovery short, you can make each interval shorter still. Longer than 5 is too demanding. Shorter still works since the short recovery time enables reaching VO2max more quickly in the next interval. From resting, it takes ~2 minutes to reach VO2max. Don’t go beyond your VO2max pace: no extra benefit, just extra useless stress, and your next intervals might be too slow rendering them useless. His I workouts are based on distance in a certain time. Maximum for single session: min(10k, 8% * weekly distance).
  • (Hard). Like I, but based on time. Pace is by feel of 10-12 min racing. For calculation, assume 5 min =~ 1600m. H is handy at altitude, hitting paces is difficult there.
  • Repetition. Purpose: improve anaerobic power, speed, running economy. Form very important. Hard:recovery ratio of 1:2 or 1:3 (based on time). Other suggestion: 400m hard, 400m jog with possible walk the last 10-20 meter. Maximum in a single training session: min(8k, 5% * weekly distance). Single interval should not exceed ~2 minutes.

Chapter 7: Fitness training

The colour plans are given in time, but he still gives a reference distance for each.

Gold Elite Plan

Distance of 100 km or more per week. Six or seven days of running per week. If you do a race: 2-3 E days before the race, 1 E day per 3k of racing. His suggestion for last quality pre-race (so before the E days): 3×5 minutes T, 2 minutes rest between.

Four phases of four weeks each, so 16 total. The weeks of one phase all look the same. Remember that H and I are similar, so I assume you can change the Hard parts with Intervals if you prefer the structure.

  1. Tuesday R. Friday T. Sunday L. Strides on Wed, Thu, and Fri (warmup and cooldown).
  2. Tuesday H. Friday R. Sunday L. Strides on Wed, Thu, and Fri (warmup).
  3. Tuesday H. Friday T. Sunday L. Strides on Tue (warmup) and Friday.
  4. Tuesday H and R. Friday T. Sunday L. Strides on Friday (cooldown).
phase Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1   R Strides Strides T and strides wu/cd   L
2   H Strides Strides R and strides wu   L
3   H and strides wu     T and strides   L
4   H and R     T and strides cd   L

Easier days you can also split up the run into two shorter ones if you prefer. They are there to fill up the weekly distance without killing you for the workouts.

Chapter 10: 1500 to 2 mile training

The 1500 is done at 10-12% higher than VO2max. The 3000 right at VO2max, so about the pace during I work. (Will depend on how fast you are, evidently)

  • Phase I: Skip if you’re already good to go. Just E runs, strides, maybe some light strength work. The higher distance per week plans have some easy R work in the latter 3 weeks too.
  • Phase II: One L and two R per week. R pace based on conservative mile race estimate.
  • Phase III: I and T work. Speed up R pace by 1s per 200m. If feeling good, do again in the latter 3 weeks. Can start doing some races.
  • Phase IV: Try racing a bunch of shorter ones as free speed work. Update R pace with recent race or speed up by 1s per 400m. Mostly R and T work.

Chapter 11: 5k to 10k training

Addition to R section: mile pace? He mentions it in PII of his 5k plan. Of course with other races can just use his VDOT tables.

Primarily aerobic events. 5k performed at 95-98% of VO2max. 10k performed at 90-94% of VO2max. Maximize aerobic power, move economy, lactate threshold through mix of R, I, and T. Which to focus depends on runner. Can only find out by doing a lot of it.

  • Phase I: Basebuilding if you come off a break of running. Skip otherwise. Types of run: E, light uphill, strides several times a week. Add L as you get further. Some supplemental training can help injury prevention later on.
  • Phase II: Focus is on R. For his low plan (64-80k/w): W1 has R, R, L. W2 has R, R+T, L. W3 has R, I, M. Repeat for another 3 weeks to make 6. For his high plan (97-112k/w): W1 has R, R+T+R, L. W2 has R, R+T, L. W3 has R, I, M. Also repeat.
  • Phase III: Focus shifts to I. Low and high plan: Alternating L and M. Other two Q are back to back (wed-thu): I followed by T or T+R. If you have a race on Sat (what about Sun?), then move the Q-Q up a day or drop the first and move the second to Tue.
  • Phase IV: Focus T with some R and I here and there. Racing 5ks is good now, do not forget the 2-3 days E before and after. Low plan: L on Sundays. Assumes races on Sat. T on Tue. If no race, Fri becomes an I. If race on Sunday, move Tue before it to Wed. If race, cut the L the day after to 90m. High plan: Same except H instead of I on Fri.

Chapter 13: Half-Marathon Training

Pace of a half marathon is close to T (if you are fast enough…). Should not need energy intake to get through it. Fluid intake may be necessary depending on the weather. Every phase in his plan is six weeks long.

  • Phase I: If you have not been running recently. Has E, strides, L. Increase distance as you go through it.
  • Phase II: Focus on R. Also T since it is so similar to half pace. Rest 1 minute for every 5-6 T. Throw in E days to fill up. Have an L run per week, sometimes an M. Could make it shorter or longer than 6 weeks, but try to keep minimum 4.
  • Phase III: Toughest. Focus is on I or H. Wed and Thu are Quality days. Wed is I or H, alternates per week. Thu is T, sometimes with some R thrown after the T parts. Keep at least 4 weeks of this phase. If you have a race in one of the weeks, drop the I and move the T to 3-4 days out.
  • Phase IV: Focus is on T. Only one Quality session besides the L: variations of T workouts on Thu. For a race week: “half your number of 1 mile T sets, maximum 3-4 of them”. 2-3 days E before the race, 1 E day per 3k raced after the race. Again keep minimum 4 weeks of this phase.

ARTC Review

The ARTC community on reddit reviewed this book through means of a few threads. Here are some links, I believe I got all of them.

  1. Understanding Daniels’ Running Formula
  2. Physiology of Training Intensities
  3. Training Intensities
  4. Fitness Benchmarks
  5. The Season Plan
  6. All About That Base