Jay Silvio mentioned an internet training planner program called smartcoachin one of his blog entries (Jay’s Week That Was: Baltimore 1 of 16). One of the things I've been troubled by is the lack of goal or target times for the various runs in my marathon training plan. Since I'm working towards the Baltimore marathon as my 5th marathon, I'm no longer just interesting in finishing (though that's always the fallback goal, should the event go badly). I want to improve my times. I ran the B&A in March in 4:35, so I would like to break 4:30 in Baltimore, assuming it's not too hot or humid or... And that seems like a reasonable goal.
The training plan I put together (based on Moores Marines plan), has lots of speedwork and distance running, but the thing that eludes me is something of a target pace for each run. I know the distance runs should be slower, but how slow, if I want to hit a specific target for the marathon? And really, it's too hot and humid now to run that fast (for me, anyway). And as for speedwork, I have no idea how fast I shoud be running intervals. I have some mileage goals but no target paces.
Smartcoach gives me that. I don't know if they are too aggressive or too easy, but at least I don't feel like I'm floundering anymore. As I look at the plan, it seems like the target paces are slower than 've been pursuing, but I've had trouble maintaining my paces, so that's probably a good thing. So I'm going to try it out, for a few weeks anyway, and see if it feels right.