Disclaimer: I received coaching from Endure Strong as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews.
Lord knows, I could use some guidance. Left to my own devices I might just sleep all day and eat pizza. Which is counter productive to that lovely goal of breaking 2:00 in the half. That one I set ummmm, 5 years ago? However I’ve done nothing but get slower in the last 4 years.
Boo. Training plans and I don’t often get along. I’ve looked into online coaching but could never seem to take the plunge. So when the opportunity arose with Endure Strong through BibRave, I was more than a little intrigued. Throw in actual conversation with Jared Ward and I was in.
It all started with an email from Andrew- the main guy with Endure Strong– in which I was welcomed to the team and asked to create a Final Surge profile. Final Surge is the platform that Endure Strong uses to pick training plans, schedule runs, have group chats and reach out to the coaches.
Plans were organized by race distance, weekly miles and skill level. Being that I knew I was out of shape and carrying an extra 40 pounds (more on that sometime) I chose a beginner 16 week plan with a peak of 25 miles per week. Doesn’t sound like much but it was more than I was running. Plus the idea of 6 days a week kind of scared me. So much so that I kind of freaked out and emailed Andrew in a panic. I had just transferred into my position and had no idea how that transition was going to go.
The way my plan laid out, the days didn’t work me. It started with Mondays as a rest day and then 6 days of running- I needed it shifted up a day. Yes, Final Surge has a drag and drop capability but that would be tedious moving every single workout for 16 weeks. Andrew was able to make that happen and I calmed down a little. Whew.
Then it came time to run. It broke down with 3 easy, short runs, 2 speed work outs and a long run. Simple enough, right?
I was putting in the miles- mostly- and hitting the paces- mostly. Denial is a wonderful place. I was attending the bi-weekly training calls with Jared and the team and I was getting those green boxes in Final Surge.
Then the rosy glow faded a bit and I slammed into a wall of reality. Your workouts are set to specific zones. The zones are set in the account setup according to your goal race.. I picked a race time of 2:12 for Oaktown Half. See a problem?
That’s 20 minutes faster than my recent times. Over reaching much? I was paying for it- I was exhausted, hurting and flaming out in most runs. The good thing is you can adjust your zones. So I went in and reigned it in. Notice I am saying I.
Here’s where I was feeling dissatisfied. Yes, I reached out on the social wall and would get feed back from the other members and the coach but I was feeling a lack of direct feedback. I feel like a little more one on one would have been beneficial. The opening intro is all self driven- some interactions with someone smarter than me might have seen that I was over reaching. An occasional email or direct message from the coach checking in would have been appreciated.
I learned a few things while training with Endure Strong. I need some one on one time with coaching and it can’t all be me reaching out. To some extent I need a drill sergeant. I need someone to keep me accountable otherwise I either push to hard or not enough. I didn’t necessarily feel that here.
Now- I fully admit that is partly on me. I could have reached out directly more often. While the interaction of the social wall was great, I knew I needed more and I could have tried harder. It just felt a little one sided.
However, I did like the plan itself. Except for the 6 day part- my body and my brain can’t handle 6 days a week. At least not now. #goals The amount of easy running and structured running was a good mix- I am not great at that by myself. If you are looking for a little direction and a great plan, under $40 a month is a steal. There are also the biweekly calls with Jared and you can send your questions in advance or ask them while the call is taking place.
Final Surge has a few quirks but that’s on the Final Surge end. I loved the morning texts and emails with my run for the day- I never had to memorize anything too far ahead.
Endure Strong is a great option for those with a little more self motivation then myself. However I am glad that I had the opportunity to learn this about myself. I also believe that I finally built a decent base- not the goal of my plan but still a good thing. If the bones are good, I can continue to build on that. My race is still 9 days away so I have another few weeks of the training plan to go- wish me luck!
How do you choose a coach or plan?
*Want to more than just my thoughts?-