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RE: Jack Daniels 2Q is insane
I have based my training plans for my 5 marathon cycles on Daniels Training Plan A. Of course I make modifications based on my racing schedule, weather, travel plans, how I am feeling on a given day, injuries, etc. But I would say that 3 of the 5 marathon cycles were pretty close to the base plan. The 4th cycle was adjusted a bit more because of the vagaries of where I was in training. The 5th cycle, my current cycle, was adjusted even more since I am a masters runner training in Florida and needed more recovery time as a result.
So does that mean that I am no longer following or never followed a Daniels plan since I never did only the specific prescribed workouts at specific prescribed paces? Of course not. A plan is just that - a plan, and not a mandate. A plan is a starting point, it is not the end point. Taking a plan out of the back of a book and doggedly following it within listening to your body isn't going to work, and it isn't what Daniels or any other coach has in mind when they draft those plans. So to suggest that making some modifications to a plan is evidence that the plan itself is garbage, or too hard, or too complicated or cannot be followed really isn't accurate since that is both true and expected of all plans.
The purpose of a well developed plan is to identify and employ specific principles, to lay out a guideline for what someone would do during a training cycle if everything went perfectly, and to arm the athlete with the necessary tools to make adjustments as they proceed through the cycle and things are imperfect, as they inevitably will be.
So yes, I have modified Daniels' Training Plan A in each of my training cycles, and yes, I still train under a Daniels approach to training, and still train under Training Plan A (employing the core principles of an early-cycle vo2max phase, a main phase of 2 quality days per week with the first quality day being a cruise intervals session with a 5:1 work to rest ratio and the second being a long run (with tempo work mixed at the beginning and end in for about 1 out of every 3 long runs, a marathon paced session for about 1 out of every 3 long runs, and a straight long run at easy distance pace for about 1 out of every 3 long runs, having an inverted relationship between my intensity and volume each week)).
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