Testing the Endomondo Training Plan – Part 2

Wow. The follow up to the previous post was put off for a long time. About 18 months actually.

I did keep up the training plan though, so for a recap on how I felt about using the Endomondo training plan:

After I finished my first 12-minute test, the estimated finish time for the marathon went down quite a bit. It seems the dynamic function is working well. I am guessing this is because I ran a bit longer and faster than was scheduled in the plan. The start of the plan felt too easy initially, so the adjustment was good. At the same time, all the following workouts got their pace and distance adjusted to better fit with my fitness level. The distances got adjusted to be longer and with higher pace. I would actually have wished for a sharper increase in difficulty, but that may have been because I was just getting back into shape again. Improving your maximum is a whole different thing than getting back to where you have once been, so for someone who starts off close to their peak this is likely a good thing.

The first month or so actually went very well and I was able to follow the plan. The schedule makes it easy to see how long you are expected to run, which makes planning a bit easier. The app can also remind you about your workouts in case you are forgetful. What I started struggling with after a while was the increasing frequency of the workouts. As you get further into the program the workouts increase to about 4-6 a week. I found it got increasingly harder to find time to get out running once a day. At about this time I also caught a cold (Easy in the Swedish winter) and had quite a bit to do at work. As a result I started missing a few workouts, which wasn’t nice to look at when I reviewed my schedule. There were a lot of red days, which kind of makes you feel like you are failing. I did try to catch up by not doing the actual workout of the day and instead doing the latest unfinished workout. This strategy was not very good and I don’t recommend it. It gets incredibly hard to catch up, given that there is already workouts scheduled for almost every day. You will also need those rest days to recover every once in awhile.

Overall I was quite satisfied with how the program adapted to my speed and progress, but it did tend to put the goals a little more on the easy side. I actually never had any problems reaching the distance or pace goals for scheduled trainings, even though I couldn’t do every workout. So a steeper increase in difficulty would have been nice according to me.

Summary

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • If you’ve been using Endomondo before, the statistics and numbers for the setup are already available to you.
  • Dynamic assessment of fitness level to adjust training plan
  • Integrates nicely with the mobile app. Just click the planned workout and go!
  • Possibility to export workout files for your Garmin GPS or similar, if you prefer that instead of the mobile app when you’re working out.

Cons

  • Requires the paid Premium subscription
  • Only one training plan at once. When you start a new training plan, the previous one is deleted. Your workouts are still kept in the workout history though.
  • Not possible to move planned workouts, though you can link other workouts within +/- 1 day
  • In a busy life, it is hard to put away up to 6 days a week for running. You probably won’t be able to also go to the gym during the program.

 

Finally, for those who wondered how my marathon went in the end… Unfortunately it didn’t. I got booked on a trip that same weekend and decided to go for that instead. From a training perspective it was of course a failure, since I did not complete what I started. Perhaps it was a good thing though, because rain was pouring down on the streets of Stockholm with a temperature of around 10 degrees centigrade.

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