The Running Algorithm – A Case Study

By The Running Algorithm

The Running Algorithm in some form or another has existed for 6 weeks now, a small group of runners tested the original training plans built by TRA and our CEO, Tom, caught up with one today to find out how it was going. The runner who is following this plan is currently in week 6 of 10, at the start was running 3 times per week, roughly 30km per week although this was inconsistent and had a 5km personal best of 26:50. This runner had never trained on a structured plan before but most weeks followed the pattern of one long run, one speed session and some other run which varied week on week.

Here’s how the chat went…

Firstly, Tom asked what the plan actually entailed. The version of TRA that this athlete is training from is no longer the one we use, it required the athletes to run five times per week (now they can select the number of weekly runs). The first week consisted of a long run, a medium run, two short recovery runs and a tempo run with a warm up, two times 2k tempo reps and a cool down. The athlete was concerned about the increase of frequency but since the overall volume increased very steadily and it was distributed evenly they found the increased frequency ok in the end.

Tom also asked how this athlete has maintained their motivation throughout the plan. We know that following a training plan can become difficult, sometimes you have to run on tired legs and sometimes sessions are tough. The athlete told us laying out their kit the night before and listening to music on the run helped a lot! We find that having a plan to which you are accountable also helps.

This athlete’s favourite thing about running with the TRA was the structure it gave their training. On the call the athlete said “My Strava graph looks so good!”, they felt their fitness had plateaued before and they’re really enjoying the progress that they’re seeing.

The Results: We know this is what you’re really interested in! When reading this section it’s worth keeping in mind that the athlete is only 60% of the way through the training plan and is yet to do a ‘race style effort’ based off the training. Since beginning the plan this athlete has seen…

  • A personal best in training, an accidental 5k PB during a tempo run improving on their old time by over a minute.
  • Close to their highest ever weekly mileage, but hitting this volume week on week!
  • 100% session completion, a true hallmark of quality on a training plan.
  • Increased pace with a lower heart rate on long runs. The athlete found they’re running faster in training for less effort.

Finally, Tom asked what this athlete has in store next and they said they’ll be signing straight back up to TRA (after a short break of course) for a marathon plan in order to help them train for an Ironman!

If you’d like to give us some specific feedback from your training then email as well as answering these questions:

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