Run SMART Project VDOT O2 App Training Recap: Two Weeks Down and a Marathon to Go!

Almost three weeks ago I started using The Run SMART Project’s VDOT O2 Application as a beta user after learning about The Run SMART Project from @Raina_runs on Twitter.

I decided to sign up for a June Marathon and let The Run SMART Project take a shot at getting me into shape.

The training plan I selected to use with the VDOT O2 App is the Jack Daniels 15-Week Marathon Plan, which coincided perfectly with the ½ Sauer ½ Kraut Marathon here in Philadelphia on June 14th.

I’ve referred to the Daniels Running Formula book for years, but it’s a completely different experience to have a training plan that was designed by Dr. Jack Daniels and custom-tailored for me by the coaches at The Run SMART Project.  I don’t have to be the expert.  My entire Jack Daniels 15-Week Marathon training schedule, including my goal race, is loaded right into the VDOT O2 App.

I log in and get my workout every day.  Then after I complete the workout, I enter the actual data into the VDOT O2 App.  I’ve done four quality workouts so far:

  • 6×400 meters with warm up and cool down.
  • 2×2 miles at threshold pace with warm up and cool down, and a set of striders.
  • 12×200 meters in two sets with an easy mile in between, plus warm up and cool down.
  • A 12-mile long run (yesterday).

All these workouts have a specific training purpose.  The other days are easy pace running or rest.  I have not done 200s or 400s in years, and would not have been doing anything like this on my own.  And it’s working.

Until yesterday, I could not see myself running a full marathon.  I’ve run five marathons, but the last one was ten years ago.  Yesterday I felt like I took a quantum leap in fitness.  I ran my entire twelve miles at an average of 9:10 per mile, slightly faster than my target pace of 9:14.  I had to keep myself from going too fast.  I didn’t stagger in on dead legs a few minutes per mile slower than when I started as I had done on my last few long runs, which were at least a mile shorter than this one.  Yesterday I could finally see myself running a full marathon.

The screenshots below show the VDOT O2 user interface.  The gray shaded days are completed workouts; the blue shaded days are workouts to be completed.  My VDOT value is shown in the gray circle, and that determines my training paces.  It will be adjusted based on race times as I progress.  My goal race is shown in red along with my projected finish time.

I’ve added the red circle to show the detailed page that comes up when I double-click on a specific day.  That’s where the workout details are contained and where I enter my data when I complete a workout.

17 MAR RSP The VDOT O2 App is very easy to use and it is a great motivator to have your plan pre-loaded to allow daily progress tracking.  VDOT O2 is also very flexible.  I’ve adjusted it twice so far:

First, I had to switch one quality workout from Wednesday 3/12 to Thursday 3/13 due to travel for work.  All I had to do was click and drag from one day to the next.

Then I registered for the Back on My Feet 5-Miler in Philadelphia on 3/29.  I sent an email to The Run SMART Project Coach asking if the race could replace the 5×1 mile threshold workout that was scheduled for the day after the race.  I received an immediate response from Brian Rosetti, the founder of The Run SMART Project, letting me know that the change was OK from a training perspective, and had already been made in the VDOT O2 App.

So far so good.  I’m looking forward to that marathon!

The Running Jones

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