3 Runs Per Week Schedule


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26/05/2012 at 08:16
The book is great! You need to get your own copy!

New Forest mara sounds very picturesque, particularly when compared with Wolverhampton!

Staveley trail race today, which is about 10.8 miles. I'm doing at as a long run & tagging on 6.5 miles at the end to run home. I'll have to be disciplined with my pace as my 2 sons are also running, which means racing! I know that they wont accept my excuse that I'm only out for a training run.
26/05/2012 at 16:09

hope you put the junior iFishes in their place!  I have got my own copy, but I like to spread the RLRF word so occasionally lend it out.  I'm just having withdrawals

13/09/2012 at 20:57

so iFish, how did it go this time?  My long run pace has definitely suffered as I have incorporated different activities into my training.  Will be interested to see if I manage a reasonable effort a week Sunday!

07/10/2012 at 21:28
Thanks for asking FH. Had bad summer of injury which followed 10 days of perfect training in gran canaria. Obviously did too much & on return to uk managed to tear left calf! Just about mended now & did 8 this morning without any pain, but thats longest run since august. So no racing & gradual build up in hope that can start training for vlm in december.
How was NFM?
10/10/2012 at 19:23
a question. and apologies if it's a dumb one. But is it better to base all the paces on what you currently can achieve (ie most recent race time) or what you want to achieve (ie your target race time)?
10/10/2012 at 19:27
Current is best.
11/10/2012 at 16:20

Also, be careful with this. Two problems I've had with it:

- if you're not sure or think you might have a bias to shorter distances, because for example you haven't spent lots of time already doing long runs then err on the side of caution on choosing your pace. Maybe add 30s or more to your 5k time over what you know you can do.

- think about the conditions in which your 5k pace was set: is it likely the conditions during training will be more or less favourable than this?

So, in the first instance I just didn't have the endurance to do the long training runs consistently enough at the pace asked for to warrant the implied target HM race pace from my 5k pace. On the second one I set a 5k PB on a cool May day and the got blattered by the humid weather during August in the run up to my target HM which doubly gummed up my long run plans...


Edited: 11/10/2012 at 16:24
11/10/2012 at 16:35

Hi Guys, I will be trying this for VLM once I have my autumn marathon out the way. As was said, the book recommends basing your paces on your current 5k time, and if you don't have one, they give you a track workout and formula to use based on 3 x 1600m off 1 min recoveries. 

If you can achieve all 3 key runs easily, then it recommends moving down the pace table - but not until then.

Looking forward to trying this. I'm all endurance and no speed so I'm not sure how it will suit. I will be using indoor rowing for my cross training.


Will be back in a week or two

12/10/2012 at 09:09
Good to see this thread getting a bit busier - it deserves too!

Johnny - Always best to follow the advice in the book and use your current race times (rather than training times) as the basis for your training schedule. Some of the paces, in particular the track repeats, are very tough and it's better to be able to meet all the paces in all 3 key workouts. This gives a much more balanced approach.

Also ran - I've had great success with the Furman plan since 2008, including half and full mara pbs. It's a great plan if you enjoy mixing your running with other sports/outdoor pursuits!

Hopefully a few of the old regulars will start posting, now that everyone's heard whether they're in VLM or not.
12/10/2012 at 10:44

I've also been looking into this program(due to injuries/time/commitments etc) so glad to see this thread, I'm currently deliberating on whether to try this program for VLM so have a few questions I need answered, without having to try and trawl through all the previous pages....

Will also be back in a week as I am off my hols now.....Legoland beckons


14/10/2012 at 15:49

So, maybe I should urge less caution on paces...today I ran the Great Eastern HM in Peterborough in 1:44:13: the expected HM race pace off a schedule based on 22:30 5k time I used (from the latest edition of the book) is 1:44:17(!!) so there you go.... My 5k PB was actually ~22:15 though...

Still, when I actually finished the regime for the Great Scottish Run on 2-Sep I blew up in the race and crawled home in 1:55 after walking 3 times.

Amazing what difference 6 weeks, a cooler less humid day, slightly less inclines and a few more long training runs can make!

Edited: 14/10/2012 at 17:16
16/10/2012 at 10:37

Aha! Hello folks, long time no post, I stopped getting updates again - email spam filter or summat - but good to see this really useful thread is alive and well. Hiya FH and iFish!

Pleased to report, I'm back to road marathoning with a new PB at Brussels of 3:02:11 (target was 3:05). 

I'm not a strict Furman follower any more, as I've found I don't need the faster training paces if I've upped the aerobic cross-training significantly - which is cycling for me, maybe 200-300 miles per month, so still not a huge amount. But I do only run 3-4 days a week, 40 mpw tops, None of my long runs were fast, I kept forgetting to run any tempo runs, and no track work was faster than 10k pace, but I did run a few more MP sessions than previously, and six 20 milers in all, including a long Alpine run with 6,000 foot of ascent and descent which gave me worse DOMS than the marathon! 

Currently in rehab before the Beachy Head marathon in two weeks - just for fun! Then the target is inevitably to dip under 3 next year - whether spring or autumn I can't decide yet. Too late for GFA at London, and the summer's the best time for me to train as I don't like cycling in the cold or the dark. But ... Paris? 

16/10/2012 at 14:05
Sheeyut - Nice half marathon time; and spot on with your training times - well done!

LunaMan - Good to hear from you sporting a new marathon PB. It sounds to me that you are still more of a Furman trainer than not; what with all your cycling. Excellent time for your Brussels marathon, 3:02 means a sub 3 mara is well worth trying.

I'm using my GFA for VLM as my main Spring mara, but have also entered Edinburgh with my eldest son, who has decided that 24 is the perfect age to run his first marathon! Edinburgh and VLM are quite close together, but I've run them together before, with pretty consistent results.
17/10/2012 at 16:41

Hi all - found this thread and have been reading through and have ended up ordering the book! I am thinking of using the FIRST schedule for VLM next spring.

I recently got a sub 3 at Chester marathon, and for that I followed the P&D 50 to 70 mile schedule.

For VLM I will have less time due to winter day light hours (I run on trails mainly), and also over the summer I had six weeks with no family at home so could run in my spare time when I wanted.

The First schedule still looks pretty tough - so it's a bit of an experiment really, but on the P&D schedule I was exhausted and aching most of the time due to all the mileage and am hoping the First one doesn't leave me quite so knackered in general.

For the interval sessions I'm not sure what to do - I work very near a cheap gym which I am a member of so can easily use their treadmills, but obviously a track would be better. Any thoughts on this?

Any other advice would be much appreciated.

18/10/2012 at 12:17
Welcome 15west. Well done on your sub 3 and it's clear that you've put a lot of effort and time into achieving your marathon goal. The 1st schedule is tough, because the training times are much quicker than other in other schedules. If you've read back then you'll know that it can also be successful for a range of marathon times.
You'll need to put in a lot of cross training to make up for the difference in mileage between P&D and First, so your local gym should be very handy for that. I've always done the KW1 track repeats on the treadmill at the gym I go to. You still work as hard to get the times, but achieve them much more consistently than on the track. It's also much more pleasant during the winter months. The KW2 tempo and KW3 long run are best done outdoors to replicate the marathon running experience!
18/10/2012 at 13:47

cheers iFish  - once I've read through the book I'll make a final decision - although will probably try this as good to try something new I reckon. Meanwhile I'm just going to plod about building up a base until the new year when proper training will start. Agree about treadmill for intervals, I have mostly done these sort've sessions on a treadmill in the past...and always end up very sweaty!

24/10/2012 at 08:23

Hi All - It's taken a while, but I have read my way to the current posts on this thread. It's been a real insight into the Furman/3-a-week plan from a number of different points of view and there have been some great journeys to share.

I have run 2 marathons in the past, both at Edinburgh, and have got a place in VLM 2013. It is deferred from 2012 due to various knee and calf injuries which left me unable to train. When I ran the second Edinburgh I used the Furman plan with a target time of 4 hours and came in at 4:09, which was a PB. My issue in that race was a lack of long runs, I only did one run over 16 miles (a 19.5), due to my daughter being born on 21st February. As a result of the missing long runs my legs broke down and I posted a 12 min positive split.

I am a fan of the plan though, over the short distances I was flying and set my 5K PB in the middle of my highest mileage (kilometreage for me to be honest!) week.

Obviously this year my target is 3:59:59! At the minute I'm base building, lot's of LSRs with the occasional speed or tempo session.



24/10/2012 at 20:57
15 west - good idea building a base before you start the really fast sessions

Over thinking - glad you found us! We're only a small thread, but usually get busier as spring marathons get nearer. Again, definitely worth using the next few weeks for building a good solid base. Out of interest, have you bought the book? It's well worth it. Many sceptics of the furman plan are actually referring to the 3 run plan on the RW website.

LunaMan - How's your taper for beachy head going?
25/10/2012 at 08:27

iFish - I have not seen the 3 runs programme on the website, my plan is all from the book (now much dog-eared and with post-its sticking out of about a dozen pages!).

It's pretty sad, or certainly some of my colleagues think so, but I have my training plan on my wall at work, all coded with sessions and paces. I am already slightly nervous as the first session is 3 x1600 (my least favourite) on New Year's Eve!

I am not planning any deivation from the plan if it can be avoided, except to maybe lengthen one of the 20s to a 22. Looking back through the thread a number of people seemd to find that useful, mentally if nothing else. I am spinning and cycling for cross training.


29/10/2012 at 17:05

Only just noticed some activity here!!  Sorry to hear about your injury iFish - hope you're well on the way to recovery - a painfree 8 miles seems like a good place to be! 

I had a nightmare at New Forest in the end.  The weather was horrendous and my first few miles were just way too quick.  I was dying by 14 miles and hung in there.  Still managed a sub 3.30 which I thought was respectable - I just don't talk about the splits.  I obviously did the obligatory 'never again' mutterings from mile 14 to the finish and then my mind turned to finding another one to do in the near future so entered Preston and managed a 3.14 so am very pleased with that - the weather was pants again!!

For the benefit of those new to the thread (and welcome to you all!!) - as I increased my other activities this time round the pace of my long runs slowed a bit but I do taper religiously as per the book (my last week is really all about rest) and finally got my target.  I do however think that if you are on target with the times in the book, the post marathon recovery is better.  I am very sore today!  I do race quite a bit though so my tempo times are generally faster than those in the book and my interval times are slightly slower.  The idea of targeting every run appealed to me and the thought of really high mileage just scared me - this was an easy decision for me - with just 3 runs a week if you missed one night it was easy to make it up again.

luna man, congratulations on your PB and good luck with that sub 3! 

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