Last year I bought the annual subscription plan for McMillan Running. I was training for my very first marathon back then and decided it is worth to check it out. Greg McMillan is the founder of the McMillan Running website. Greg McMillan is a runner, exercise scientist and coach – He has coached anything in between beginners and Olympians and I figured I can learn a lot through his website (which I did). Anyway, since I signed up for the website quite a few things have changed and more tools and information has been made available and so I think a follow-up to my original McMillan Review is warranted.
More video training has been added to McMillan Pro since my last review. The last time the first set of core training videos was new, but since then a second set of core training videos has been added. Many runners do not know, but having a strong core is very important when it comes to running long distances. Greg McMillan knows this and re-emphasizes the need to implement training sessions that work the core and back of a runner.
Another new section which did not exist before is the Boston Qualifier Analysis. You enter your age and based on your current race times and your age the analysis comes back telling you what it takes to qualify for Boston. Pretty neat. For me – I would have to run a marathon with an average of 7 minutes and 49 seconds to qualify and I am about a minute too slow at the moment. So, I would have to improve my running (average pace) by about 11.49 percent or 23 minutes and 33 seconds. I doubt this will happen anytime soon, but at least I can dream about it.
A brand-new feature is the “Run Local” section. This tool is powered by “localeikki” and it allows you to connect with other athletes or fitness enthusiasts in your local area. It is helpful as it allows you to discover local trails for running. I checked it out for my neighborhood, but most suggestions were a bit away from where I live. I assume that this service provider is depending on the users to record more runs and save them to the database. There are apps for iPhones and Android phones and I assume that the inventory will grow over time when more users discover the app. This is not McMillan specific as he just the middleman in this case. The tool also allows you to hook up with runner groups in your area, but I did not get good results back at this time. The closest option was over 30 miles away. I do see the benefit in having this tool, on the other side with limited inventory available it is not necessarily useful. One can only hope that it improves over time.
One of the main sections that I briefly highlighted last time is the “Recommended Workouts” section. The content is not static and updates based on your entries on the Pro Calculator. I had not expected that this adjusts and so this is something that I consider as pretty cool and very helpful.
An additional feature I want to highlight in this McMillan Pro review is the nutrition calculator. If you are planning to run a race then your racing weight is important. After all, each pound of excess body weight that you lose will make you faster. With the nutrition calculator you can figure out how many calories you need to consume to still feed your body correctly based on your physical activity, but want to lose weight at the same time. This is quite important to know as you could sabotage your own training efforts by not consuming enough calories.
I think what would help is the opportunity to chat with the coaches either being it a webinar or through a discussion forum, but I understand that a forum might be too time consuming for the McMillan Team.
The training videos are very helpful and they overlap with exercises I am doing as part of my daily Kosama workouts. While I already knew that my Kosama Bootcamp workouts are helping me to be a better runner, it is good to get “confirmation” from one of the best running coaches out there. The videos are supplemental for me, but for anyone who does not the same type of cross-training that I do these videos are definitely a must.
The McMillan Pro package is very affordable and you get a lot of value out of it. I would recommend McMillan Running Pro to be most valuable for Beginners all the way up to an advanced runner level. There might not be enough “beef” for the expert runners, however if you are an expert runner and your race times are stagnating it might be worth it a lot because your current approach to training for a marathon race could be flawed without you knowing. The content that McMillan Pro provides is very good – there is no time wasted on fluff or shallow information. The navigation is easy and efficient. As mentioned, an option to chat or talk to the coaches would be great to have, but I would assume this would also drive up the price for the service.