Recently I signed up with the Active Advantage program from Active.com. I wanted to review the program, let you know what it’s all about and if it is worth the money. Here is my first look at one of their training programs.
Active Advantage offers free access to training programs
I’ve been running for about 10 years and running 5Ks for a few years. I thought the Intermediate 5K training plan would be a good place to start. I’ve never used a training program before and wasn’t sure what to expect.
Each week of the plan has three running days and two cross-training days. I started my program last Sunday, November 11. It was a “cross-training” day and the schedule said 30 minutes. I had a bunch of yard work to do before the ground freezes so I logged 3 hours of yard work instead of riding a stationary bike. I think the digging, raking and carrying heavy stuff more than covered what the plan called for.
Monday I ran 4 miles on the treadmill at a 10:00 min. pace in 40 minutes. The plan called for 30 minutes at an easy pace. I felt I needed the treadmill to keep me at my easy pace.
Tuesday night I ran 6.12 miles at a 9:26 pace in 57:47 minutes. The plan called for an easy run. 9:26 is closer to my marathon pace, but at 6 miles it is still an easy run for me.
Wednesday the plan called for a 40 minute long run, I went to the gym and did stretching and some weight training.
Thursday I ran 7 miles at work at a 8:23 pace in 59 minutes. The plan called for cross-training, but I did my long run.
I’m not good at following directions, and I’m already off track!
I’m on a 5 day a week plan, so I have Friday and Saturday off. Tomorrow calls for a 30 minute run and then 4×100 meter strides. I need to find out what “strides” are. I plan on running 8 miles at an 9 minute pace.
First Week Review
I did run three days this week which is my commitment for 2013. If I can establish this habit now I’ll be in good shape to maintain this routine in 2013. I have never done much cross-training and I need to work on that. I think strength training and stretching count, at least it will for me.
The plan did not ask me how far I run or how fast I ran my last 5K. Other programs ask how fast your last race was or your goal for your next race, how many miles your run per week and things like that.
This plan does not start with speeds and distances, it just tells me how long to run and at what intensity. It is up to me to decide what is an easy run for me. There are advantages to this type of program. An intense run can be different day-to-day. A run that was easy on Monday could be a challenge on Wednesday even at a slower pace.
A lot of things can affect how a race feels. What you ate, the last time you ate, hydration, sleep and other physical activity can all impact how you feel during a run.
A training program that dictates specific distances at specific paces could be difficult for some people and even discouraging. I know some people need that type of plan because it gives them specific goals they need to reach.
Other people need more flexibility. The Active Advantage plan has you run an easy pace for 30 minutes. Each of us would end up running a different distance depending on our ability and how we feel that day. I think this is good.
I peeked ahead on the calendar and as the plan goes on the run durations do increase up to an hour on some days. They also incorporate hill running and track work. Much like cross-training, I haven’t done much track running and the bad weather is just arriving here in the Northeast. Yeah.
After one week I’ve managed to cover the plan, just not on their schedule. Part of any training plan is to have built-in flexibility. If you are using a plan with specific paces and distances on specific days you have to let your self miss a day. Running plan days on different days to fit your schedule is also acceptable.
Life gets in the way. That’s just the way it is. I’m beginning to appreciate the flexibility of the Active Advantage Intermediate 5K program.
- Have you ever used a training plan before?
- How did it work out for you?
- What did you like and dislike?
- Did you pay for the plan and would you pay for it again?
Thanks for stopping by!