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FAQ & Coach Support
I’m here for all your questions about running training
There are currently 180 training plans available in beginner, intermediate, and advanced versions (in miles and km).
The 3 determinants are you training level, your race distance, and how many weeks you have available until race day.
The more time you have, the more thorough is the build-up to your key race. On the other hand, plans with fewer weeks get you race-ready faster.
If you race frequently, short buildups help you to stay flexible. In that case, I recommend you have a look at Unlimited Plans.
How you monitor your running intensity is entirely up to you. You can’t, however, use all methods at once.
I recommend you use pace to monitor your workouts (all my training plans are pace-based) and keep an eye on your heart rate when the terrain is hilly, or it is unusually hot.
Pace works great if you know one of your current race times (or time trial performances) and train predominantly on flat terrain with predictable weather.
Use “Endure Strong” in the FinalSurge App to set your training paces. Since my training plans are structured by pace, this updates all your workouts automatically.
How to do that you will find in the next section titled: “How do I determine my training intensities.”
Heart rate is useful for all runs up to lactate threshold pace, especially if the terrain is hilly and/or weather conditions are not ideal, such as on hot summer days or headwind.
Add your lactate threshold heart rate in beats per minute (bpm) into FinalSurge.
My plans are not structured by heart rate, but you should monitor your heart rate on your watch in addition to pace.
Power is yet another option to monitor intensity. The functionality in the FinalSurge app is there if you own a STRYD power meter. Add your rFTPw value in watts into FinalSurge.
My plans don’t support power as structured workouts, but you can follow the intensity description.
Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) is only recommended for experienced runners who can feel the right pace across all intensities.
My plans make use of the following 10 training zones:
Zone 1 | Easy
Zone 2 | Moderate
Zone 3 | Marathon Pace
Zone 4 | 30K Pace
Zone 5 | HM Pace
Zone 6 | 15K Pace
Zone 7 | 10K Pace
Zone 8 | 5K Pace
Zone 9 | 3K Pace
Zone 10 | 1500m Pace
Strength training is optional but I recommend a basic routine twice a week of core strength in particular, and to a lesser extend upper-body and lower-body exercises. I suggest to keep the overall number of sets low to avoid nervous system fatigue which can interfere with your quality running workouts such as VO2max intervals.
Cross-training is optional, too. Especially beginners benefit from it on 2 or 3 of their non-running days as they are on a 4-day running week and more running at this stage can lead to injury. Intermediate and advanced runner’s benefit less fro CT as their already high fitness levels typically only improve further with specific work (running). Also, their schedules feature already 5 – 7 running days. Of course, there is always the option to replace an easy run with cross training or train twice a day on some days of the week.
Although running is an individual sport, group sessions are fun and it’s a great way to meet other runners to “share the pain” on the track or break the boredom on long runs.
The caveat: Another runner’s optimal pace is not your optimal pace. Easy runs have a wide range so that’s less of an issue but during intervals stay true to the pace that is assigned for you as much as possible.
Absolutely. Here are some guidelines:
5Ks can be raced weekly. 3 easy days after races are recommended.
10Ks can be raced bi-weekly. 5 easy days after races are recommended.
Half marathons can be raced once a month. 10 easy days after races are recommended.
Marathons can be raced once every 3 months. 3 easy weeks after races are recommended.
However, typically training is centered around 2 – 3 key races per season (year) to achive a peak performance with tune-up races of lesser importance scheduled along the way.
Although my plans are available in miles or km, make sure you still set the FinalSurge App to your preferred unit of length. You can also set the start of your week to either Sunday or Monday.
I recommend using a computer or laptop for the initial setup. But of course you can also use the app from your tablet or smartphone.
A Garmin or Polar watch is ideal as you can sync your structured workouts to these devices.
If you don’t possess a Garmin or Polar running watch, you can use Strava to sync workouts to your Final Surge training log calendar.
Here’s a guide on how to connect your apps and devices: finalsurge.com/connected-apps
Yes. You can move workouts freely in the FinalSurge App to have them fit your work/life schedule.
However, I do not recommend to perform quality sessions (long runs, tempo runs, speed intervals) back-to-back.
In that case, it is better a skip a run if necessary than trying to catch up on missed workouts.
By default my plans assume the race is on a Sunday. Should your race fall on a Saturday, then remove Wednesday’s easy run and bring the workouts that follow 1 day forward.
Absolutely. You can re-use any plan as often as you like.
However, I recommend switching between different race distances throughout the season. That way new training stimuli will lead to further improvements. For example, a 10K runner can focus on a 5K temporarily to improve her speed or a half marathon to improve her endurance.
Of course, you can also move up to a higher training level over time or execute an off-season plan.
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