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Marathon Training Plan Generation

Posted Nov 30 2008 12:15pm

We have finally made public one of the features we’re most excited about: training plan generation.  Based on scientific data and their own training experience, Ryan and John supplied me with tons of information pertaining to how people run, what their capacities are, and how to train differently given various constraints.  I automated their logic and today we have launched the first release of the marathon training plan generator.  Here’s how it works:

You start off by telling Athlo everything you know about your current fitness level.  If you don’t know anything, no worries, Athlo will make a good guess.  For the marathon training plan, you provide your known times for shorter distances, like a 5K or 10K.  Using data like this, Athlo will immediately generate a semi-generic training plan that you’re free to customize by providing additional input.

Marathon Training Plan

For example, Athlo will likely assume a 20-week plan for a marathon, but maybe you don’t have that long or would like to take longer.  Just change the dates and Athlo will adjust your schedule.  The same is true for you start/end fitness level.  If you know your body better than Athlo, simply override the assumptions it’s made and continue.

You finish up the process by telling Athlo what days of the week you can/can’t work out.  By doing this, Athlo will schedule your workouts on days that work for you.  Moreover, given your goal, Athlo will make a recommendation for how many days a week you should train.  Again, if your thoughts vary from Athlo’s, so be it.  Our simple drag-drop interface will let you make changes in seconds.

Lastly, you have the option to print your training plan or save it to your profile.  We recommend the latter simply because you can then track your performance on Athlo and better assess whether or not your goal is realistic.  If it’s not, update it and keep training!

In developing this feature we tried to make a complex process simple.  Compare our generator to others on the net and we think you’ll quickly see the difference.  Others force you into a X-week schedule, require too many inputs, and give you a plan that you can’t tweak once you’ve generated it.  We think we’ve raised the bar with ours.  Of course with any new feature there are bound to be bugs and interfaces that need tweaking.  Please help Athlo get better by providing your input in the comments.  Your comments will help ensure that as we update this feature and roll out new distances and sports, we best meet your needs.  Enjoy!

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