Between levels on 5k plans?

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  • #18098
    ryanoelke
    Participant

    Hi, I’ll be doing my half-marathon this weekend, then after a week off I’m going to focus on 5k races, but feel in between levels 0 and 1, or maybe I’m ready for level 1. I bought both on Training Peaks and loaded them up for comparison.

    I have been doing the HM level 0 plan, but modified (shaved a few weeks off, made my Sunday runs longer, eliminated Saturday runs), and my biggest week was 4 hours, and many weeks were around 3-3.5 hrs/week.

    The 5k level 0 feels a little too light/easy at 2-3.5 hrs per week, but slightly cautious that level 1 might be too much at 3-5 hours. I know the average is about 3.5/week, so maybe I’d be ready to just jump into level 1. Or maybe I go with level 0 and make longer runs longer.

    Any thoughts would be helpful πŸ™‚
    Thanks!
    -Ryan

    #18101
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Ryan, if on the fence between two levels, always best to go with the lower level. You’ll do better adhering to a lower plan and increasing volume later than picking up too much at once.

    Or, consider the Level 0 plan plus a strength, core, or mobility plan. It’s still low enough for you to keep to the plan, flexible enough for you to manage, and you could improve in some new areas.

    David

    #18104
    ryanoelke
    Participant

    Thanks, David! I’m leaning towards what you’re suggesting, and hadn’t realized you all had mobility plans, which I definitely need. One question about volume: It seems like increasing volume in a graduated way isn’t possible through the 80/20 plans themselves, more something we would do on our own, or do you all suggest that after a person does say a Level 0 plan (once, twice, etc), then they can jump straight to Level 1?

    #18124
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    “It seems like increasing volume in a graduated way isn’t possible through the 80/20 plans themselves, more something we would do on our own…”

    I think I’m misunderstanding this. All our plans gradually increase in volume over the course of the plan, even the Level 0. Can you re-phrase the question?

    David

    #18128
    ryanoelke
    Participant

    Hey David πŸ™‚ Apologies for my confusion here! I think I was mixing some things in my end, but think I’m clearer on it now. Let me just recap what I understand:

    The 80/20 plans increase in volume over the course of the plan, and if a person completes a level 0 plan, theoretically, they are set to start level 1 after that.

    And with my HM level 0, that theoretically set me up volume wise to jump into 5k level 1, but because I was saying I personally felt on the fence, you suggest sticking with level 0.

    If that’s all accurate, think I’m good to go! I’m actually looking into a custom plan now πŸ™‚

    #18140
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Ryan,

    I don’t want to overcomplicate this, but the questions deserves a deeper dive. For example, a HM Level 0 is arguably harder than a 5K Level 1 (see https://www.8020endurance.com/run-level-comparison/) The progression between levels really only counts within the same distance. You can’t count on a Level 2 always being harder than a Level 1, except when comparing the Level 1 and 2 for the same distance (Marathon HM…) You should look at that comparison chart to help you decide.

    Therefore, I would not always recommend that someone should go from Level 0 in Distance A to Level 1 in Distance B.

    In your case, your decision making seemed to be primarily on average hours per week, but the Level 0 and 1 have many other differences, the main being frequency (runs per week). Also, a HM plan is 15 weeks compared to 9 weeks of the 5K, which makes any given HM “harder” than a 5K plan.

    My original recommendation still stands: if you are unsure, go with the lower plan first. However, the 5K level 1 plan is such a low risk plan, you’re really in a no-lose situation. Sort of like saying, “should I choose between the $9 sandwich or the $10 sandwich?” The risk is low.

    David

    #18141
    ryanoelke
    Participant

    Hey David πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for the deeper dive! Super helpful for going forward and understanding the plans and levels, especially going between distances.

    I think had I not missed the peak duration week in the HM 0 plan, and really most of the week before it, it would have been a no-brainer to go with 5k level 1. And really, even without that, having finished 13.1, still not crazy. In the end, decided to do the custom plan and Leyla’s whipping that up for me, very excited for that!

    But again, this is super helpful since I will likely be focused on 5ks, then sprint triathlons, and then a half-marathon next year, so I’ll need to navigate plans and figure out what level is best.

    Thanks so much!
    -Ryan

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