User story

User story

Arne Huysman

Arne Huysman

Arne opted for Trenara to prepare for his first marathon and loved it so much, he still on our side after all these years!

Arne opted for Trenara to prepare for his first marathon and loved it so much, he still on our side after all these years!

Loves customization

Marathon runner




I've been running for several years. During the pandemic, I managed to significantly increase my running volume. During that time, I found myself saying "I really want to run a marathon" more and more often. When talking with a friend while on vacation about running a marathon, we decided to register for our first marathon that same day! In this case, it was Amsterdam.

After a few weeks of training based on principles I picked up from various blog posts and specialized literature, I felt that I wasn't making the desired progress. Making a marathon schedule based on combined sources isn't the best idea, I realized afterwards. This is because you often mix different training principles...

I realized that my self-made schedule wasn't varied enough, but I didn't know how to optimize it without contacting coaches and spending money. That's when I heard about Trenara from running friends. I immediately created an account to check out the suggested schedules and was amazed by the nice structure and variety in the schedules. I felt like this could work for me. And so it did!

What I like about the app is the fact that it's easy to use and clear. It's always pleasant when an app works intuitively, and Trenara clearly has that nailed down! Additionally, the personal coach feature is very motivating. I don't like to miss a training session, and if I'm reminded that I'm about to miss one, I quickly put on my running shoes. The virtual coach is a great added value to the app for me. Additionally, the app - to my knowledge - is quite unique. I haven't found a virtual coach like this anywhere else.

That doesn't mean I didn't have doubts, of course. I wondered about the principles and algorithms behind the proposed training schedules. For example, I found that the volume increased very quickly towards the marathon. Granted, starting a schedule 6 weeks before a first marathon inevitably raises questions – so that was partly on me.

Fortunately, Christophe is very accessible via Instagram or through the community on Facebook. He was able to address my doubts, and I increasingly saw the value in the workouts (and the associated volume in this case) suggested by the app.

If I may give some advice, here's a potential improvement: more feedback from the virtual coach on the 'why' of certain workouts. Two examples to illustrate my point:

  1. When starting the schedule, my training volume increased from 60km per week to over 80km (see above). If the virtual Christophe had explained the importance of this volume, I probably would have had fewer questions.

  2. After the marathon, I wanted to train for a fast 10k, but the recovery schedule resulted in the predicted time for my fastest possible 10k in 3 months being quite high – I could definitely go faster. Christophe contextualized this based on the physiological principles of acute training load and chronic training load (I had just run a marathon and needed to rest primarily). If the virtual Christophe had communicated this to me, I probably wouldn't have contacted the real Christophe.

Admittedly, much of this information is available on the Trenara website! But it's still an app...

Trenara helped me the most in training in a structured and varied way for that first marathon. Thanks to the app, I really surpassed myself. 6 weeks before the Amsterdam marathon, I was already running about 60 km per week. However, I was afraid I wouldn't achieve my goal of 3h52. I felt like I was falling short during my faster workouts. I'm convinced that because of the variation in Trenara's schedules (especially the interval and tempo workouts), I was able to push myself beyond my limits. In the end, I finished the marathon in 3h43. Much better than initially hoped!

It's no surprise that I'm a Peak Pro subscriber. The Garmin export is really fantastic: put on your running shoes, go out the door, and 'start'! I also really like that you can adjust training days. This allows you to maximize your running schedule according to your work/private life.

In short, this whole package has kept Trenara on my smartphone, and I will continue to use the app. Thanks to Trenara, I successfully completed my first marathon. 3h43 for a first marathon, I'm happy with that! The structure that Trenara provides has motivated me to continue training for a fast 10k. Before I used Trenara, I often found myself just 'doing whatever'. Now I feel much more structured in training towards my goals, and that feels good!