3 Runs Per Week Schedule

Successful?

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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! 

29/10/2012 at 20:50
FH - Great run at Preston. Is that a PB? Will it also give you a champs start at VLM? Am now upto 11 miles for my long run & also managing the other 2 kw pain free. Plan is to keep building gradually in time to start VLM training at the end of December.

Overthinking - Your copy of the book sounds just like mine! That 3x1600 with 1 min recovery is certainly a tough workout isn't it.
30/10/2012 at 09:05

Yes it was a PB and qualifying time.  I'm trying to resist the urge to enter though as I put added pressure on myself at VLM and if I have a bad day at the office it feels really oppressive.  That said I don't have to make a decision until Jan so never say never!  My next target is the sub 40 10k which is the only distance I still haven't nailed as far as my expectations go.  Ultimately, I think I'm going to try and work on speed to the half marathon distance and see if I can get a time close to predicting a marathon at the 3 hour mark and then go for it again.  Well done on your sensible approach - it takes a lot of discipline not to do too much too soon and it definitely helps with a London goal!

30/10/2012 at 22:39

I have read through the book a couple of times now, and have read back through the forum posts on this thread. Injuries on this thread seem fairly low compared to a few other threads so I am taking that as a good sign.

There are a couple of issues I am looking at before I make what seems like a leap of faith. Any comments appreciated.

Firstly from the very beginning of this thread  there are a lot of runners struggling to hit the Interval Times. I looked at my times based on the closest I have to a 5k time  (the first 3.1 miles of a half marathon that I went off much too quickly) and I think I would really struggle on those times. The tempo and LR times look fine for me, but the interval could be a big struggle. I am more used to the Mcmillan type cruise intervals which are a bit more 'relaxed'. I know this should be an intense plan, but not hitting times week after week could be soul destroying,

How do people manage this, The book recommends you only step up the pacing after all 3 key runs are being comfortably hit. I can see me plateuing

The other bit is that there is very little testimonial in the book from Sub3 runners. I scraped a sub3 in October based on 50 - 60miles pw. Injury was the main issue for me in doing this. The book does note that 2:40 runners and up  have had success. Anyone got any examples or know runners who have used the plan successfully on say sub2:50 to sub 3hr?

I will either plumb for this or a modified P&D plan to introduce a bit more X/Training. I would prefer a published plan though than tinkering with something and possible unbalancing the training week.

 

31/10/2012 at 09:37

In my opinion, a couple of seconds off the interval pace will not mean that you can't get the time you are going for.  It needs to be a fast, well paced session.  You will find as you progress that you get closer to the times anyway because the intensity doesn't increase through the schedule.  Log your workouts and look at your progression rather than what you're missing.  I reckon that as long as you can do three tough sessions a week without breaking down you are ready to start.  Definitely gage fitness from current race times rather than those interval times and work out your target from there.

There are people on here that have done sub 3 on this schedule.  I don't cross train properly and tend to do classes which probably doesn't give my body the chance to recover as it's still high impact and body pump is a tough one too!  Don't know about you, but over the winter months I find it harder to get out of the door so really you've got nothing to lose by giving it a shot this winter! 

 

31/10/2012 at 14:45

I'd echo what FH says, when I did the plan previously I struggled with the interval paces for the first few weeks. They did their job though as my speed really improved over the weeks and by the halfway point I was hitting them. I also got 5K and 10K PBs into the bargain.

Having said that when you see them on paper they are daunting. Fortunately I am just base building so am only doing LSR and Tempo most of the time. I am comfortably knocking out the Kms required in any week of the plan, but the intensity is significantly lower.

31/10/2012 at 20:14
Also-ran - The interval times are tough, there's no denying it. When I first started following the plan in 2008 I had no recent 5k time so used my recent half marathon time & tracked that back to the equivalent 5k. The intervals eventually became achievable. Remember that there is always at least 1 none running day in between each KW. I followed the schedule to the letter with plenty of cycling & hill walking as cross training. 3 min marathon PB + 1st time I'd been injury free in a marathon build up.
Ktrier on this forum has run 2:44 marathon following the plan & Quickstepper has also run sub 3.
The 2nd edition of the book published earlier this year has quite a few testimonials from sub 3 & sub 2:50 runners.
31/10/2012 at 20:59

Thanks Guys. I will probably try out  one or two weeks of the plan as a trial later this month  for KW1 and KW2 before starting for real on whatever I go with. I'll see where I am with the intervals.

12/11/2012 at 16:05

What a **** week, I have gone from three good 'base' runs a week to one plodding amble a week. All courtesy of a trip away for work and a cold from Wednesday onwards.

All I managed was 30 mins at approx. MP +2 minutes yesterday lunchtime (I didn't have the heart to actually work out my pace). Having moaned all of that, I did genuinely feel better once I got back from the gym, although I did some weights as well and I'm feeling it in my glutes (clearly not of steel!).

I hope the rest of you guys are getting some bettter quality in, though by the sounds of our office there are plenty of bugs going round for us all to get some!

Matt   

13/11/2012 at 21:35
OT - Hope your cold is improving. At least its not arrived half way through the marathon build up!

My calf is now completely better so Im doing 3 furman workouts from the 10k schedule in prep for a boxing day 10k.

Did anyone hear our very own Ben Wickham on last weeks marathon talk? Fame at last!
18/11/2012 at 22:50

For the first time in a long while I'm looking forward to starting the training for VLM. A really good week with training week 4 style total distance and a great run tonight over a 'quarter' marathon.

It seems like the long, slow, build-up runs are now starting to pay off, as I was fairly bouncing along tonight, setting a recent best into the bargain. The course I run is a really useful one as it has more height gain in 10.75 km than VLM does in the entire distance. In fairness it's pretty tough up here in the pennines to find a course of 10 km plus that doesn't, something I'm hoping will stand me in good stead come April!

How are you guys shaping up during the phoney war? I never know how hard to go at this time of year, especially as there are so many distractions and other things going on. I swear our office has chocolates or cakes every day from the first of December onwards.

19/11/2012 at 13:03

Well, that's me back and seriously into trying to get a base fitness to start the official training plan. I've done a lot more investigation into this now, have the run plan organised, target times noted etc. I must say though that although I wont start the training until end December, I did try a couple of runs with the recommended paces and I also struggled greatly so comforted by the other comments on here that others are feeling the same!

I did wimp out of the LSR this weekend, but wont be able to allow myself that luxury soon. Like you Overthinking, this is the time of year when there is constantly a massive tin of Roses or something in the office and  I'm actually trying to lose a few pounds again before the training starts!  

I would like to ask though, how intense should the cross training be, it's not something I've ever done "properly" before. Should it be a nice steady cycle / elliptical for 45 minutes or should there be intervals / different levels of intensity thrown in. Are there recommendations for this? Any advice appreciated....

 

19/11/2012 at 14:39

Hi there Miggito, I'm not worrying about the odd missed session at this point, my weeks have been very up and down in terms of mileage, but I figure that intensity is not yet required.

When I did the plan in 2010, my cross training was done at a mix of relatively high intensity and longer steady work. The high intensity was spin/ergo work and enough to really get the breathing going, probably equivalent to the tempo run. For steady stuff I did some 2-4 hour MTB rides, some hard sections but easier overall. I figure the 3 runs plan is to get you off your feet (preventing the injuries), but to build a really good aerobic base with the cross training. I did more of the higher intensity spinning/ergo, but sometimes I just fancied something different, another advantage of 3 runs a week.

 

19/11/2012 at 14:53

I'm still coming back from injury so haven't had opportunity to try out some of the Key Run sessions yet. On the other hand, I have been able to focus on some slow running, combined with some more intense cross training.

Miggito The authors have suggested some cross training intensities for swim,cycle & rowing , and yes  they do have some intense sessions. Rowing is my favoured cross trainer. The training sessions suggested mix up easy ,tempo and hard rowing within a session.

If you take the book as gospel, then Eliptical trainers are weight bearing are aren't one of the recommendations.

I've done a couple of rowing sessions recently that completely smashed me and I'm sure would affect my chances of completing the key runs. It's a good time for me to get the cross training sorted out before marathon training begins.

 

19/11/2012 at 20:48
OT - I know what you mean about a phoney war! That's 1 reason I've entered a 10k, to give me a bit of motivation to stick to a schedule, but without burning myself out.

Miggito - As Also Ran & OT Suggest, mixing quality with quantity in X training is very beneficial. During the dark winter months I pound out sessions on my turbo, mainly quality. In the spring & summer I bike in the open air for longer sessions 2-4 hours. The new edition of RLRF has 16 week X training schedules to use alongside the running key workouts. These are all quality based & good for motivation on dark nights.
20/11/2012 at 13:05

Thanks for all the responses everyone. I too have been plagued by injuries, hence the reason this plan caught my eye. I still suffer from Sesamoiditis almost a year after I fractured the bone but have accepted the fact that it will most likely now be with me for good, unless I try surgery, which I'm not prepared to do! So, I can run, but some days are more painful than others.

the point re the Elliptical is a valid one Also-ran so may need to rethink that. I have a rower/bike and elliptical for xtraining but have never been able to row for more than 15 mintues as I find it very tedious but might need to get over that asap!

Although I've done countless halfs and 10ks this will only be my second Marathon (maybe last depending on my foot) but as I was lucky enough to get into VLM last year and deferred, I really don't want to miss the opportunity as it could be a long time before I get to do it again!

Will read with interst how everyone gets on with their training! Thanks again!

 

 

27/11/2012 at 16:35

I'm almost 100% recovered now and have stepped up the cross training and running gradually. As I haven't used a FIRST schedule I am trying out one or two sessions. Today I picked out a reasonably light VO2 session from the taper end of the plan - 6 x 400, 400RI.

I suspected I was going to be way off the schedules paces, and its one of the things that put me off committing to FIRST schedules. Anyway, I ran them in not ideal conditions, and they averaged 1:26, against the schedule time of 1:19.  Given I haven't done any speed work in 10 weeks, I've been hobbling about, and one of the reps took 10s longer due to a massive gust of wind, maybe I was worrying over nothing. I'm feeling a little more encouraged now.

Decision time on using 3+2, or P&D plan is starting to get close now as I will need to build in some extra weeks due to other commitments

28/11/2012 at 09:25

Also-ran, I've been doing the same kind of thing, picking out key sessions (generally the scary ones to be honest) and seeing how close I am to hitting the required times. I have been thereabouts for tempo runs and intervals, although the mile intervals finished me for a couple of days!

I have concentrated on getting three runs, of some description, in each week. Some weeks have been close to required mileage (why do we say that when I measure everything in kilometres) some have been alot lighter, but overall I am much more confident than I was a month or two ago. I am definitely committed to the 3+2 now as I have signed up for a triathlon in May and the cross training will be perfect prep for that.

Monarch airlines are doing their best to derail my plans, with their 10 Kg hand baggage allowance. Apparently this can be made up of up to two bags so you don't need to choose between your bag and your laptop, clearly they haven't wieghed my laptop. I am wearing my running shoes for the trip and have packed only my thinnest socks! Still it will be worth it to run somewhere slightly warmer than the Northwest of England.

29/11/2012 at 11:45

I went for a run today and incorporated some of the Tempo paces within my run. It was an 11 mile run, the schedule pacing was 1 easy, 5 Long Tempo, 1 Easy.  At the moment I am finding the biggest challenge is going out the door with the goal pacing in mind. Its easy to switch off and slip into the habit of running long but easy runs. I may need to get the garmin to start giving me a prod when the pace drops.

I was fairly close on the Long Tempo miles, and after that ran a few miles of easy pace running.

I found that a medium long midweek run helped on the endurance side of things. If I go with FIRST, I will probably incorporate this onto the end of the tempo session, similar to what I did today

29/11/2012 at 20:44
Also Ran- great news on the injury front. Your track rep & tempo times must also be encouraging for you. I sometimes tag a few extra really easy paced miles to kw1, so 3 easy warm up then kw1 then 3 easy miles. Makes a total of 9-10. I've also pondered doing the same with the kw2 as you've just demonstrated.

OT - Hope your trip goes well despite your luggage restrictions. Enjoy training in warmer climes!

I'm gradually building to week 2 of the marathon plan. Should be there by next week. Then small taper to boxing day 10k which will just before week 1 of the 16 week plan.
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