Friday, July 11, 2014

run less, run faster

When I decided to run my first marathon, I looked through a lot of training plans to find the best fit for me. Most plans have a person running 5-6 days a week, and I knew from experience that much running was hard on my legs. 

During training for my half marathon, I only ran two times a week, supplementing the other runs with the elliptical machine. However, I wasn’t sure I would be able to elliptical my way out of double digit running days.

Then I stumbled upon the book Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr and Ray Moss. The book features the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) program. The Amazon description reads:

Hailed by the Wall Street Journal and featured twice in six months in cover stories in Runner's World magazine, FIRST's unique training philosophy makes running easier and more accessible, limits overtraining and burnout, and substantially cuts the risk of injury, while producing faster race times.”

I knew immediately this is something I wanted to try. The program is based on a 3 x 2 model - 3 days of running and 2 days of cross training. 

The three days of running include one track interval run, one tempo run and one long run. The other two {or even three} days, you supplement with cross-training and strength exercises. You determine your paces for each run based on your last 5k race time. 

Since it’s been over a year since I’ve completed a race, I’m currently training for a 5k {on August 16} based on my average mile times. I’m over halfway through the program, and I’ve already seen a major improvement in my times. Once I finish the race {woo hoo Elvis 5k!} on August 16, I’ll use that time to start training for my marathon on December 6. 

Here’s what this next week looks like for me:

Sunday: Cross-Training on the bike - either on the road or on a machine - 10 min easy, 6 x (1 min hard, 4 min easy), 5 min easy. 
Strength Training: Legs

Monday: Cross-Training on the row machine - 5 min easy, 10 min tempo, 5 min easy, 10 min tempo, 5 min easy 
Strength Training: Shoulders, Chest, Triceps

Tuesday: Key Run #1: Track Repeats. 6 x 800 meters at a 2:00 min pace with 90 second rest intervals. {I usually do this on the treadmill.}

Wednesday: Cross-Training on the bike - either on the road or on a machine - 10 min easy, 10 min tempo, 10 min easy, 5 min hard, 5 min easy
Strength Training: Butt, Back, Biceps

Thursday: Key Run #2: Tempo Run. 2 miles at short tempo {8:44 pace} - 1 mile easy - 2 miles at short tempo {8:44 pace}

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday: Key Run #3: Long Run. 7 miles at long-tempo {9:06 pace}

Have you ever heard of this program? Did you like it? Do you have a training program you prefer?

P.S. I'm behind on my goal to raise $500 for St. Jude before my marathon in December. If you want to support a great organization, you can do so here.


Linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday.

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