Couldn't agree more. I think most readers would fall way short of even achieving the worst category of "fair". Most de-motivating!
Also, the figures in the "endurance" table are clearly all wrong. Women have to be able to run further in 30 minutes to achieve the same "status" as men. It looks like they have transposed the figures for males and females. On the plus-side for me, this does mean I can attain the status of "greatness" rather than merely being "good".
Must admit I couldn't bring myself to read the rest of the article. It may well be one of the greatest collection of words ever written on the subject of fitness measurement. Or it could just have been absolute garbage .
Frankly, if RW were going to copy and paste a mish mash of tests off the web, I'd have expected them to read them first!!!
Why would the target race time vary with your existing mileage?
Smartcoach takes both your current mileage and recent race time into account when predicting your race time.
If you'd achieved your 1:56 HM time off less than 10 miles per week, it's saying you'd make similar progress to someone who'd achieved a similar race time off 60 miles per week. Your weekly mileages would both increase by the same percentage, only yours off a lower base. Your natural talent over the runner who also did 1:56 in your HM (off 60 MPW training) means you'd expect a similar 5k time of 23:59, despite your lower mileage.
I would be tempted to stick with the paces advised by Smartcoach, at least for the first few weeks after you run your 5k. If you select a 15 week schedule, I'd recommend selecting the "how hard do you want to train?" option to "moderate" as mileage increases by 10% per week, which is considered a safe rate to minimize the risk of injury.
As you progress through your 15 week plan, your prescribed paces will quicken every few weeks. If you feel that you are being held back by the pacing, how about doing another 5k race and re-inputting the result into Smartcoach to update your plan? You could maybe do this after 5 weeks and 10 weeks. Maybe have a look at the Parkun website and see if there are any near you.
If you would prefer heart rate training, Smartcoach probably isn't ideal as it deals in minutes per mile and not BPM. Having said that, in any given week there are only two paces to run at (the easy/long run pace and the tempo/speedwork pace). If you know your max and resting heart rates, you could run the easy runs and long runs at, eg, 70% of you maximum working heart rate. You'd then just need to work out your heart rate targets for the tempo runs and speedwork.