Building skill & fitness simultaneously with a near "one-size-fits-all" training solution
Does a "one-size-fits-all" training plan work for runners?
Well, let's take a look.
If you are slaving away trying to customize a training plan to meet your exact training needs...
...and you are stuck in a never-ending rut of experimentation with painful trial & error...
...but you are too stubborn to shell out the cash for a proper running coach that will customize your plan to meet your needs (or you are tormenting your coach with endless questions)...
I imagine you are staring at your ceiling every night in despair waiting for a magic plan to be bestowed on you.
There is no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" training plan that is 100% perfect for you out of the box.
Nearly all plans can help you build fitness, but most are hard pressed to offer you the skill-building workouts you need to complete to accomplish your unique goals.
Fortunately, there is something that can get you close to that fantasy.
A running power-based training plan
Here is why...
Most running power plans are based on two things: power & duration.
An example long run may say to: run for one hour at 65% of your Critical Power.
Or, a speed workout may say to: complete 12x 30-second repeats at 120% of your Critical Power.
You are afforded a lot of flexibility when your workout is based purely on power & duration.
You can choose to build your fitness & your skill simultaneously.
If you are preparing for a hilly race, you could decide to complete your workout on hilly terrain. You could run at your power target over the hills until you reach the prescribed duration.
This is not possible with other plans based on metrics such as distance or pace since the pace targets stop working when you run on the hills and the distance targets aren't friendly if you are trying to do a lot of hill running since you will be exhausted doing miles and miles of hills.
Since running power factors in many of the important external conditions that would typically slow you down like hills, wind, and fatigue, you can confidently complete planned & structured training in the difficult conditions you expect to see on race day.
If you are too stubborn to get a coach (or if you want to make your current coach's life a lot easier), power makes the training process a lot easier since you can incorporate "one-size-fits-all" concepts into your plan to simultaneously build fitness & skills.
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