Hansruedi Nyffenegger
Total Running 20'364 km
Member since over 8 years
Post #388 of 406

Dear Alberto

Thanks for your answer. It was longer than mine - a rather rare thing :-)  I think, you still miss a few things.

  • First of all, I'm wondering how much better you got in three competitions with your other plan. For me it took 2 years and 4 efforts to improve 15 Min and reach my "almost PB". I don't know about your age, your history etc. but: if your other plan was better: why should you use RC? O:-) Cramps of GI problems are not a problem of any plan.
  • With RC you get 3 time 1h45' / 2h / 2h20 / 2h40 / 3 h and 2 weeks pre-run/tapering. No ultras needed. For most runners 3 h is enough for the long run. But RC will add kilometers by slowly increasing the pace and extending the duration of your other runs. With four sessios/week (I'd say this is the minimum for marathon) you'll end up with maybe 65k in the longest weeks. 
  • Most plans I know, start with the ability to run for 2 or 3 hours in a pace that is slower  (e.g. 6:39)  than your marathon pace (6:09). Stamina. Plus they give you one hard/fast session per week to improve your speed and the tolerance to lactate. This means interval trainings (12 x 480 m in eg. 5:09/km) or 3 x 20' in +/- 6:09. These faster runs increase in intensity from month to month. Bit longer, bit faster. Only in the last month before the competition they give fast AND long runs ( 90' in Marathonpace and 2 x 25' - you will enjoy that).  
  • If you set RC to say 3:30 it would not warn you. Why should it? If you enter Berlin with 3:31, RC would suggest 3:30. It can only work with the data you enter. But it would probably, after a few sessions, suggest to lower the pace: either your heartrate would be to high - or your pace at the correct heartrate would be too slow. If one of these triggers occur (or a few others, like competitions with Prio II), RC would suggest a new settings. So yes: if your heartrate is lower than RC plans, if your pace is faster, the plan will ask more of you. I can not guarantee, that RC fits to every person. But I know, that it adjusts when you improve due training.  
  • RC always start with what you can do today and not with expectations. It's bitter, but true: After my first marathon I dreamed of sub 4:00, 3:45 and then 3:30... Unfortunately I am not a sub 3.45 runner, although I trained really hard for years. Never will be probably, too old ;-) ,...
  • I also tried two other plans. One was too hard - I could do the longruns more or less, but the fast sessions were overpaced. The other - a 5 month free gift with personal trainer! - did not work with me. My second marathon in Berlin was 14 Min. slower. OK, I was slightly injured (why...?), but the problem was not my sore knee: I was already tired at the start. The last weeks were simply too much, too fast, too little tapering... I reduced my pace from the targetted 5:25 to 5:45 (against the opinion of the trainer!), but I could not even keep that after 30k and endet with 5:57/km) although I had followed the plan 100%.
  • RC DID give you a feasible goal: 4:19. If you run 10 k in under 50:00 with would suggest 4 hours als feasible.But RC doesn't know wheter your settings are correct or not. It can not know wheter you ran 4:20 in Berlin as a pacemaker for your slower collegue or with cramps and GI-problems or if you had the run of your life in perfect conditions. For this you need a professional human trainer. And a professional lactate level test.  

Anyway. My impression is, that your mind is made up, before you have tried RC. Wish you anyway all the best and good runs!



Massimo Mognato
Total Running 3'739 km
Member since over 1 year
Post #6 of 6

Hi, I’ve been using RC for at least 1 year and I’m getting along well.
I advise you to follow the track that gives you but to customize the training rhythms according to your feelings and expectations.
Example : if he shows me the slow at 6 per km I usually run it at 5.30 and I do it at 5.30.
Sometimes he shows me the repeated too slow and I do a little faster without egarerare though.
Ultimately try to use it as a track and then you put some of your own.
However apart from this to me the race forecasts so far has always guessed !

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Total Running 0 km
Member since 7 months
Post #2 of 2

Thanks Hansruedi for the quick and honest reply. I'm still not convinced though.

It was my 3rd marathon, the first two ended OK but with a lot of struggles due to cramps (the first marathon I drank very little and it was very hot) and GI issues (the second marathon I drank too much). I could have run the 3rd for a 6'/km but decided to stay slightly lower... once you get to the 30km mark, speeding up will not make a big impact on your PR if not risking it all.

For my 3rd marathon the preparation was a plan that started with improving my MAS, then slowing down my long runs and inserting marathon pace tempo slots. Now, if I wouldn't challenge my body with speed work to gain on MAS, or if I instead would run tempo's with a comfy pace that I know I can keep for hours, how am I supposed to get better? Your points are valid for basic endurance and long runs, where your body feels more and more comfortable with the effort the more you run at slow speed, and your heart gets used to, but not for marathon pace work and speed work.

Clearly, if I would want to start a plan to run a marathon in 3h30 right now, that would be crazy and the software should warn me about it, telling me that I could... if I would start training for it 2 years in advance. A lot of people have improved given time, effort, and challenges that were not excessive but instrumental to a purpose.

That's what a custom plan should do IMO. To give you a measure of what is feasible (if I ask the plan to prepare me for a 4h10 from my 4h20 in 16 weeks, is that possible or am I risking injuries?) and then to push you with specific and effective training to close that gap (do I miss speed? endurance? do I run my easy runs too fast? is my speed work done wrong?). How can the training be tailored to my improvement needs, if it doesn't even take into account what my objective is?

Unfortunately I have the feeling Running Coach uses only a pace calculator to create the 'customized' workouts... In facts, if I use the pace calculator provided, I end up with the same results! So I could run today the 4h19' marathon of Tokyo without even training! Great.

Or is Running Coach asking me to run faster or longer than the plan provided, so that it can re-adjust? That would mean I would make my own plan to prove the system wrong? Definitely I would be risking injuries here.

Also, the training Running Coach has put together for me asks for a long run of 2h20 on week 2 out of 16, and of 2h40 on week 3, and of 3h on week 5. What am I going to do in week 12 to peak my training, a Ultra? Thanks but I achieved my modest 4h20 with much less effort, I don't think I need all this to get to 4h19. And when in the past I've run for 3h, it took such a toll on my body that it jeopardized the next training week. Considering also I would like to run a 10k in 4 weeks (as indicated in the settings page) and the 42k in 16 weeks, shouldn't my first part of the training based on speed work instead?

And yes, I'm free to not to use RunningCoach, and I will not and I'll stop here. I was just extremely surprised how this one goes against everything I have experienced so far on my skin, I thought I was missing something on how to use it...

Hansruedi Nyffenegger
Total Running 20'364 km
Member since over 8 years
Post #387 of 406

Good morning Alberto

The most important point for me is: when you train with RC, you reduce the risk of getting an injury. No plan can guarantee that you will improve your time by say 20 minutes. The plan is the way to train your body for a better performance. What this will be - run and see. RC is not as hard as other plans. But having tried two other plans, I got injurys withing a few weeks. So I quickly restartet RC. 

RC might be a bit conservative. Other plans promise big improvements in your fitness. But this is not a question of plans but of training. And this is a matter of your age, your fittnes etc. 10 k in 51 Min. is OK, 4:20 not bad for a beginner and fits to 51' Would it make you happy if RC promises 4:07, you start like that and hit the wall after 32k, to end with 4:24? Or you start for 4:19 and you finish 4:15 and say "Take that, RC..".

  • January is in the middle of the training towards Tokyo. I wouldn't expect really fast runs then. This is the time when you work on your stamina.  
  • Prio 1 is meant to be "just for the fun of it."  Feel free to set it to prio II. And if you feel like, you can accelerate after 6k to see if you can beat RCs prediction.  
  • Your Tokyo 4:19 a suggestion, based on you actuall data. If you run a really fast 10 k in January, this will improve.  
  • Why do you think, that you have been too conservative in Berlin? Why didn't you try to run 4:15 then? 
  • Was Berlin your first Marathon or did you run one in Spring 2023? In my opinion, the second Marathon is  usually harder than the premiere.

I can tell you: I beat last year my PB in Berlin (2019) by just a few seconds. Even though I was 3 years older, the conditions were different... Of course I could have trained without a plan - I'm running for years now. Or I could have taken just one out of the internet, you find 4:00 plans easily. But would that make me faster, if I run in every training 20 seconds/km faster than what I atually can? Maybe. Or maybe I will hit the wall earlier, ending at 4:07. RC always starts from what you can, and it does all the calculations for every training, considering your holidays, your prio I and II competitions,... Or course: you can do this by hand. Or just fake your data until it fits your expectations. 


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Total Running 0 km
Member since 7 months
Post #1 of 2

So, explain please to me why I should pay to train with RunningCoach:
January 2023 I run a 10K in 51'. In September 2023 I run the Berlin marathon in 4h20' and actually realized I was too conservative throughout the race, still I'm sure I couldn't run it below 4h yet.

Today I ask RunningCoach to prepare me for a 10k in January 2024 (lowest priority) and for the Tokyo marathon beginning of March 2024 (highest priority).

The forecasts are the following:
- 10k in January: 58'

- 42k in March: 4h19'

So thanks to your software I'll get worse for the 10k and 1' faster for 42k. I so totally need this plan.

Screenshot 2023 11 12 at 22.55.00