My marathon training is now in its second week and I here is a quick update and guide on the Garmin training plan I chose. Being an owner of a Garmin Fenix 3 I have access to curated customisable training plans created by Full Potential UK.
The training plans are available through the Garmin Connect app for cyclists and runners from beginner to advanced. My reasons for choosing the heart rate based training plan are two-fold. Primarily because of the need to maximise training the cardiovascular system. Secondly to keep an eye on symptoms of overtraining. Cape Town can get very windy and trying to maintain a set pace can be tricky when the South Easter is howling. With th heart rate based training plan effort is better manageable through changing conditions
Before starting with the plan I had managed to build up my weekly mileage to 50 kilometers a week using the Maximum Aerobic Function Heart rate by Dr Phil Maffetone. Prior to that some two months of training on an indoor cycle roughly 6 hours per week. I am in week 2 of the level 3 half marathon training plan I have averaged 55 kilometers per week and about 6 hours per week I expect this to increase as fitness improves. The training plan is also time based and does not have fixed weekly mileage, some days have two activities. Below are my fitness stats on day one and beside that Week 2 Day 6. Below is my Vo2 max progression chart and race predictor calculated by the Garmin Fenix 3.
These metrics are supplied by First Beat who are pioneering analysis metrics for athletes. The time I have decided to trust the metrics, we will see how it goes on race day. The displayed 5k time is 10 seconds faster than my current PR and the 10k time is 10 seconds slower, my half marathon PR is too far to compare but my goal this year is 1h40. The times closely match the Jack Daniels VDOT numbers according to this calculator.
I have also been paying attention to the recovery advisor and stress score features also supplied by First Beat. The Recovery advisor is getting more relevant, the hard workouts in the training plan complement this. I use the stress score every morning before I train and the highest I have trained since the start of the plan was 44. Generally the closer to zero the better I am mostly hovering in the 15 to 20s. I have been ill twice during the festive season due to allergies and food poisoning and both those times the stress score was up is the 60s and 80s and I could feel it.
The half marathon is in three months at which point I will switch to the full marathon training plan for my first marathon in September. The next milestone is the 10k race on February 23. I hope this gave you an insight on how the Garmin system works from wearable to mobile to web. If you have any questions please leave comments below or contact me in any of the social media channels on the top right of your screen. You can also follow my progress on Strava.