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    First, thank you very much for making the maintenance plan free.

    I have imported it into TrainingPeaks and my first impression is that it seems a bit light on the mileage compared to what I’m used to. I tend to run one or two marathons per year and a few halves and I normally have a long run on a Sunday even when I’m not formally training.

    Is the plan your recommendation for someone like me or is it open to adaptation?

    Many thanks.

    David Warden

    Dean, for sure, unlike our other plans that have Level 0-3, the Maintenance plan is a one-size-fits-all plan. It’s created with the “typical” runner in mind.

    However, don’t let the low mileage fool you. The beauty of switching to a low mileage Maintenance plan for a couple of months is that you can absolutely increase your base speed due to the accelerated ability to ability to recover. Sure, you’re running less than 30 miles a week, but if you focus on those 150 second RAn intervals and longer RCI intervals, you’ll come out of those two months with your best mile and 5K times.

    For example, you could choose to run the RAn workouts in the middle of Zone 4, which is where most athletes can perform them when training with heavier legs as part of a 50+ mile-per-week plan. Or, performing them at the very top of Zone 4 with fresher legs will increase your VO2max more effectively.

    Alternatively, you could choose to add 5, 10, 15 miles per week of Zone 2 running. That will help maintain your endurance, but at a trade off for the opportunity for base speed.

    I’m personally taking this COVID-19 crisis and using it to build base speed, under the assumption that my next event is at least 2 months away. I get to go to the local track, and there is no one else there (if you are lucky enough to not be in a shelter in place state. We love you California!). I can bust out these high intensity intervals 2-3 times a week and once I know when my next actual event will be, I can switch to the specific race demands of that distance, which will certainly be a plan with longer mileage.



    Hi David,

    Brilliant. Just the response I needed! Thank you.

    We’re not in lockdown in the UK yet, but it may yet come. I have a treadmill being delivered on Tuesday.


    You have me thinking more about this now during this corona virus times.

    I too thought the maintenance a little light coming from the HM level 2 plan but now i see it might be good for me. I dropped to HM level 1 for a small break to finish on 4 July because i was considering may be a virtual run because surely the US would have one for that day if we are still on lock down by then in NZ. It gave me a target but,

    Now I’m thinking something else. I can do a HM in 95min. I want to drop it to 90min. Do you think the maintenance plan is the best option then to improve my VO2 to try and nail that 90 min half marathon.


    David Warden


    I want to re-affirm your findings of the Maintenance plan so far: the best way to attack the Maintenance plan is to perform the intervals at the very top of the range, which you have more ability to do because of the lower volume.

    The Maintenance plan will absolutely improve VO2 if you have been on a HM, Marathon, 70.3 or IM plan (there is an inevitable loss of VO2 from switching to endurance training). But, VO2 is just one component of HM success. You also need distance-specific muscular endurance, which the Maintenance plan won’t provide for HM.

    The best way to get <90 min for a HM is to use a HM plan, the Level 2 or 3. But, the Maintenance plan for 8 weeks + the HM L2 or L3 plan for 8 weeks will almost certainly get most athletes <40 years old to a <90-minute HM.



    Thanks David,

    Then I’m doing alright since I’m 56 years old.

    As I said I was doing the HM level 2 but race postponed during my last 3 weeks of it. I took a week off and dropped onto the level 1 HM plan.

    So I think best for me then is the maintenance for the full duration and hit the level 2 again when we all know when we can race again.

    Might change to the pace opion as it suits the repeats better and I do get
    tired of being naged by my Garmin because I’ve not reached my heart rate intensity.

    Thanks again.

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