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Why Customize Your Training?

Why NOT just a "Training Schedule"?

PuzzleChoosing one of a number of ready-made, cookie-cutter, goal-oriented (i.e. to finish or 'target time') running schedules to guide your training is certainly better than not using a plan at all. These programs are easily available in running books, at races, on the Internet, and/or as part of many basic running clinics. MDI has created a range of these schedules for 10K, Half Marathon and Full Marathons too. However...

From years of coaching experience and clinic instruction, we believe that:
- if you have run a specific race distance before,
- and/or if you've run shorter distance races and are keen to pursue time goals at longer distances, greater success will be achieved by using a training plan created for YOU, than using a 'stock' training schedule.

The Premise

The premise that a fixed training regimen (# of weeks, # of runs per week, distance per week, distance per run(s), pace per run, etc.) will yield a given race time for all runners who choose to use it (i.e. "the" 4hr Marathon plan, or a 1hr45min Half plan) is inherently flawed. There is simply too much variance in past experience, current aerobic fitness, injury predisposition, age, weight, physiological abilities and limitations, life circumstance, and personal motivation of one runner compared to the next for this to be valid. There are runners who will run a 3hr marathon on only 55 km per week, and there are runners who will never break 2½ hrs for the half marathon, even if they train 100km per week. One schedule cannot work for an unlimited number of runners.

What is MDI's Customized Training Plan all about?

We've spent over 15 years designing, developing and refining a software system that allows us to create intensely personalized training plans, by taking into account the key variables that define a runner. It helps us determine the potential improvement a runner can hope to achieve within a given time period and to predict, with surprising accuracy, the race times he/she will run on race day. This powerful program allows us to distill the time-tested philosophies and beliefs of many of the gurus of distance running-including Jack Daniels, Jeff Galloway, Peter Coe, Owen Anderson and Joe Henderson-into a very personally relevant, time-sensitive, schedule-optimized, periodized plan (three training phases) for each runner we work with. Of the 2500 plans we've produced over the years, no two have ever been the same. Why? Because we take into account:

  1. Goal Event Distance & Timeline
  2. Past Race Experience & Performance (# of races, distances, times)
  3. Current Basic Running Speed (by way of initial testing)
  4. Past & Current Mileage Levels
  5. Age, Body Weight & tested Maximum HR (if using a heart rate monitor)
  6. Calculated "Speed vs Endurance" Bias, if any
  7. Experience & Preference of Aerobic Cross Training
  8. Historical Injury Predisposition
  9. even "Character" of goal race (i.e. hilly/flat)

The result: a day-by-day, week-by-week, phase-by-phase, complete training plan, arranged to suit your busy lifestyle. It provides optimal frequency, distance (in your choice of miles or kms), pace and total time, plus intensities (and HRs if applicable), of all your runs. It clearly defines the parameters of your aerobic crosstraining and even creates a "personal currency" with which to establish the equivalent value of that crosstraining.



How do I get started?  

Click here,  complete the Training Plan Interview online and join us at one of our regular coaching group locations (see attached Personal Coaching info for details) to complete a supervised 1-mile trial (ideal).

Can't attend one of our group sessions for your 1 mile trial? Then click here for detailed "self test" instructions.  Once you've completed your test/trial email us with all the juicy details so we can get your plan rolling.

Cost?  $80 + GST
Includes initial  testing, 3-phase training plan design, support materials and initial email follow-up.


Training Plan Text Support

Click here to view/print the Table of Contents for MDI Customized Training Plan Text Support

Click here to view/print the MDI Text Support itself.

MDI Runners Rave...

"I've wanted to qualify for Boston for years and never thought it was possible. MDI created the perfect plan for me, and pushed me out of my comfort zone.  I exceeded my goals and finally qualified!"

MDI runner Nancy Lennon ran 3:38 at the Mississauga Marathon to improve her PB by an incredible 40 minutes!


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