I am a Hudsonite through and through. His book was the first training book that I read that I could relate to from the very first chapters (see below). I think that he has something for every runner ranging from the veteran who is pushing for a lifetime PR at 10k, or the aspiring marathon runner. Personally I use Hudson-style training and Daniels VDot-based paces and I can very rarely complain about my training – however the application of that training is a lot different.
I spent most of last year running, training, and racing simply to be social, which was a blessing and a curse. I had a great time last year helping many of my friends reach new peaks, but, I finished the year tired and failed at my goal race. All-in-all, I won't complain because I now have a group of friends that are as close to me as family. My LRS has been there and has grown me as a runner. In the end, that is significantly more important than a PR.
But, PR's I do have. Hell, I've set PRs at all of the major distances over the last two weeks and an expected PR coming in a few more days. Right now I feel that I can run a number of distance races up to the Half Marathon and PR. While I may have not produced really awesome races, I certainly trained well.
That brings us to the point of this post. Brad Hudson’s book Run Faster from the 5k to the Marathon: How to Be Your Own Best Coach (no I am not reviewing this for money or anything of the sort). If you are a stickler for plans, he’s got them. He provides three plans for each of the major distance. If you like to “wing it”; he teaches you how to “wing it” with purpose. He doesn’t get a lot of attention around here I’m not sure why. He is usually one of the first coaches that I recommend to people, and I’ve noticed that he is gaining more mentions now, than three years ago. I wonder how many people that ask about training have ever heard of Hudson? How many of the “wing it” crew have cracked his book? He’s not super-technical, and actually writes his book to us: the recreational runner.
He has two rules of running and four principles:
-Understand how the human body adapts to different types of training, and train accordingly.
-Learn how your individual body adapts to various types of training, and train accordingly.
The goal of training is to stimulate the precise set of physiological adaptations that are needed to achieve maximum performance in a peak race.
Training programs must be adapted to the individual strengths, weaknesses, needs, and goals of each runner.
Individualized training schedules must be adapted daily, based on the runner’s response to recent training and any other factors that may affect the runner’s readiness for planned training.
The runner must adapt his or her training from season to season, year to year, in response to the effects of the most recently completed training cycle, to stimulate further positive adaptations.
Every elite running coach has a training philosophy. Mine is called adaptive running. It is based on my belief that a responsive, evolving, creative approach to training is better than an approach that is too structured and formulaic. Simply put, there is no single training formula that works perfectly for every runner. Nor is it possible to predict exactly how a runner will respond to any particular training formula. What’s more, even when a certain formula works well for a runner, he or she changes as a result of using it, so the formula must also change to produce further improvement. For these reasons, a rigid, one-size-fits-all training program will never allow you to realize your full potential as a runner. It may get you started, but it will only take you so far. Adaptive running becomes the natural way to train when you recognize that training must be customized to you individually and adapted every day based on your response to recent training.
imagine another spectrum that ranges from strict adherence to planned training at one end to total spontaneity at the other end. The typical competitive runner trains in fairly strict adherence to the plan, and with fairly little spontaneity. If the training plan calls for 12 quarter-mile repeats in 80 seconds apiece on Thursday, then by God, he’s going to run 12 quarter-mile repeats in 80 seconds apiece on Thursday, even if he feels awful from the very first step of the workout. My approach to training encourages far more spontaneity—not arbitrary changes to the plan, but informed changes based on how the runner has responded to recent training. Naturally, there isn’t a runner on earth who is completely unwilling to deviate from planned workouts. I don’t advocate a make-it-up-as-you-go approach, but I do put far more emphasis on reaction and less emphasis on planning than the typical competitive runner does.
Fitzgerald, Matt; Hudson, Brad (2008-07-29). Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to Be Your Own Best Coach (Kindle Locations 196-203). Broadway. Kindle Edition.