After graduating from Penn State in 1996, I moved out to California to train with the Nike Farm Team. This was an Olympic Development group based at Stanford and coached by Jeff Johnson (Nike's first employee). In spite of his amazing credentials, my teammates and I were initially skeptical of Jeff's 'conservative' training. After all what does a shoe mogul with a couple of New Hampshire State Championships know about high performance running and why would you train at current fitness level to race at peak performance?
For almost two years, we added workouts, ran faster than assigned and saw only moderate improvements until the pact was made.
Three of our fearless leaders, Ray, Gary, and Steve decided that we should actually listen to our coach and follow his assignments in distance and speed to the letter.
Every single one of us began to set new PRs in a variety of distances. In one year I went from 14:23-14:06/5K and 1:09-1:06/half marathon. We were all racing better and in agreement that the training "wasn't hard". So how could this be = less intense training and better results?
That was my 'aha' moment and I've been working ever since to make these proven training methodologies more widely available.
In 2002, the same Gary referenced earlier helped create an awesome pace tracking and schedule tool that I used to coach any recreational runner willing to listen to me. Then in 2008 I convinced one of our runners, Renga, to spend a year in my garage reviewing physiological literature and excel documents to come up with an algorithm to help people train at current fitness level and race at peak performance. We nearly etched holes in the white board but the end result has proven effective.
Today, our algorithm takes personal inputs such as running background, goal race, current fitness level and availability to generate a customized plan. The methodology is based on the aforementioned "train at current fitness level to race at peak performance" approach that Jeff suggested years ago. Best of all, as you record your training and race results, our system automatically updates to keep you training at the right level.
The runcoach™ training technology is the only adjustable, algorithmically fueled training resource for runners on the web and we've guided thousands of runners to date. In layman's terms: we're a bunch of running nerds that are obsessed with helping people run more and better.
So take the free trial, send us an email, connect with one of our coaches on live chat and let's make you a runner for life.