Which Online RunClub/Training Group did I Choose?

I have been researching, sampling, reading philosophies (books) and watching numerous videos lately to help me decide where I am going to pay to be a member of an online running club or training group. This decision isn’t something that I am taking lightly, doing to be cool or anything like that.

Why Now?

Looking back, I haven’t done too well with my training. The number of injuries, lack of proper preparation or fitness for particular races, and zero accountability to make sure that I did the training consistently made me one of those boom then busted runners too many times. 
Then the training blocks were a haphazard mess, they didn’t build off the previous blocks and while I may have thought they made sense at the time, my training was a mess. While my training is better now than it has been in a long time, but I know it is not where it needs to be.
Quite honestly, I need to make changes in how I train.

Which one

I was torn between three different ones and finally got it down to two. 
  • Luke Humphrey, Running — Hansons
  • Runners Connect — Gaudet
I could see myself using either one, but both have their pros and cons from where I sit.
I have used the Hanson’s training plans in the past, have the books, and did the two-week free trial back in early November of his RunClub. However, the RunClub didn’t seem quite what I was looking for, it was still a new to the coach, and he was figuring out how/where it fit into his coaching services when I did the free trial. The plans are outstanding one in particular really interested me, the connection through Final Surge worked flawlessly, but the other runner participation was rather quiet on the site, but the Facebook group was very active. Coach Humphrey and his philosophies seemed to be a great fit for how I run, but the RunClub feature wasn’t quite at the level I wanted.
Runners Connect seemed a bit more developed regarding how and what they delivered for online services. I liked that instead of you picking a plan, that you picked a goal race/date, and they developed/provided the plan. I am sure it is a fairly standard plan for the distances, but one of their coaches provides it to you, and you can fine tune it further with them if you have to. However, there was no free trial period to try it out and everything was behind a paywall, so I wasn’t sure about how it actually looked.
Many of the features of both online training groups seemed similar, except that Runners Connect seemed to keep things within their website and Luke Humphrey Running used Final Surge.
It came down to me reading their books and attempting to figure which one philosophically was closer to how I view my running. 

The Choice

In the end, I chose the Runners Connect plan. 
More because I haven’t used Jeff Gaudette’s philosophical view of training previously than because one is better than the other. 
I could have easily chosen the Hanson’s training plans. I am familiar with the philosophy and training methods — it would have been easier in many respects. I know that the Hanson’s method work and while they work, there has always been something about their plans that I never am able to finish it healthy. Most likely because I set my goals and target times unrealistically. Although that training plan I started during the preview almost made me stay with them, I am pretty sure it would have worked this time. 
With Runners Connect, the program appears to have a slightly different perspective on training than I have used in the past. I am hoping that it is what I need and then will need to work on trusting the plan given to me by their coaching staff — is appropriate for an older runner, who is injury-prone and a bit mule headed at times. 
An old guy, who forgets that he is a an older runner. 
I need to make these changes so I can focus more on doing the work necessary to get better. Instead of always trying to find the 1% improvement and work on the big stuff that will make me a better runner. That training consistently thing.
I am looking forward to seeing what the training plan will actually be like and how it might be different from a simple generic plan. Update I saw it the other day and while I can foresee a few tweaks, it looks very challenging, but doable and the community seems to be very active behind the paywall. Something, that I didn’t realize is that just having someone else put a plan together, provides a level of accountability that I didn’t have in other training plans. Simply knowing that someone else will be comparing what they provided for training, to what I am doing is a game changer for me.
Let’s see how this feels in a week.

Come with me now — the best is yet to be.

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