3 Runs Per Week Schedule


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17/01/2009 at 14:13
Disaster today- 'sposed to be 27km long slow ru, but feel like s**t this morinig, AND my feet are sore - so bailed out after an hour. Bleurgh...........
17/01/2009 at 14:17

Better to do that than carry on tricialitt.  you'll be fine next week.  take care.

17/01/2009 at 17:53

Well done Minni.  I did the 15 miler yesterday and like you was slower than the target pace.  I felt much better this week than last week though.  I'm just happy to get the miles in just now as I feel if I went any faster I wouldn't complete the distance. 

 You'd mentioned before that you are slower on your long runs in training but it comes together for you on the day.  How much slower do you normally do your training runs compared to race day?  On previous marathons I've gone for about a minute per mile slower on the long runs but I always worry I won't pick it up on race day.  The FIRST schedule is obviously faster than that.  I usually do my last long run a bit nearer target race pace.  I have had a couple of injuries over the last year and a bit and I feel so much slower now!

Tricialitt - we've all had days like that and I'm sure you will be back to normal on your next run.   

18/01/2009 at 19:03

Tricialitt - well done. Sometimes the hardest thing is to know when to stop and yes it is very hard (but we are training for a marathon and consistency is better viewed over 16 weeks of training not 1 day....I bet you'll very quickly be back on track whereas if you had carried on....

Lou7 - I agree I worry that training is slower PLUS for the marathon you never run greater than the race distance like other shorter eveents - I guess we have to hang tough and beleive in the science behind the schedules.

I had to hold back today on my long run- unlike last week when I ran too fast and was veeery tired early week.

The blogs today seem to be telling me - look at the bigger picture and follow the schedule.....

19/01/2009 at 21:42

The first schedule seemed like a really good idea at the time! 

 I managed my long run at the required pace for 14 miles last Sunday which felt good at the time.  The following day I ended up with an ache on the inside of my leg right at the top (not sure what muscle it is!) which left me with a dodgy tempo run on Tuesday.  Then came down with my son's cough and cold so missed Friday's session.  Thought I'd go out for a long one yesterday as hubbie was going away and it was my last chance to get out of the house but even at 3 miles I was well off the pace required and felt pants so came home for 5 (I did get a few dodgy looks with my coughing fits!).  Ironically, even after yesterday's 'non-run' the ache in my leg is back and has now spread round to the outside of my hip  .. I think I'll have to give up now!!!!!

 Lou, I've always done my long runs at least a minute slower than race pace and maybe I've already come a cropper by trying to do the 'required' pace this time round ... only time will tell.

20/01/2009 at 08:30

The rest at the weekend seems to have helped- came close to nailing the 3x1600 intervals this morning- feel OK, too- feet still slightly tender, but rolling soles on a small hard golf ball sized roll after seemed to loosen them up- feeling a bit more positive today.

20/01/2009 at 11:54

I think you have to start off slow and controlled and gradually build up the pace. At this stage, I really wouldn't  worry about pace on the long runs, possibly the slower the better. Let your body adjust then when you are comfortably going longer and recovering well, start to think about time. Last year I did all mine between 7.45 and 8mm and one or two faster 15 miles runs and a few progressive 20 mile runs. I did 7.15 pace in the marathon. After my long runs though I initially had 2 and sometimes 3 days off running. Only ran when my body felt up to it again. Listening to your body has to paramount.

Lou7 - I too always find it amazing how everything come together on race day. You somehow seem to be able to run faster with less effort. Probably due to rest, adrenalin and there seems to be something magical about running with hundreds of people.

The other thing I've picked up on is to refuel as soon as you finish your long run. This is really  helping me with recovering.

I did 18 at 8mm at the weekend, which is a minute slower than planned marathon pace. Once I get a 20 under my belt, I plan to start picking up the pace a bit.

Forever Hopeful - I hope the hip sorts itself out. Don't get too despondent, you could try taking a few days off or even a week and still be ok. Maybe replace your training with swimming for a week. Remember to stretch and perhaps, if you don't already, take some cod liver oil and glucosamide for your joints. Unfortunately, managing injuries seems to play a big role in marathon training for most people, myself included.

20/01/2009 at 18:10

Thanks for everyone's comments.  I have to agree that at this moment in time completing the long runs is far more important than worrying about pace.  But you kinda want it all at once don't you?!

Astride, you are making me laugh.  Your "slower" training pace is faster than what my intended marathon pace will be!  I'm aiming for sub 4 hours, so much slower than you.  My long runs at the moment are around 9.30 pace but I am hoping to pick this up once I have got my first 20 miler out the way.  I can only dream of your kind of pace - well done!

Forever Hopeful - I know how you feel - i've had a couple of injuries over the last year or so and it is so frustrating but I'm sure you will be back on track soon.  Good advice from Astride - good luck (and don't give up!).

20/01/2009 at 21:58

Tricialitt - what a difference 3 days make!!  good to hear your latest run was on par - keep going.

Forever Hopeful - Becareful - like Astride I suggest you keep off running for a few days.  I also notice you only allow 1 day from long run to tempo - these 2 sessions are the most critical and hardest on your body - looking at the First book, I suggest you put in a day of cross training in addtion to the days rest or move the tempo until later in the week and replace with a recover run.  Keep relaxed there are still 13.5 weeks to go.  For example: I completed a 16 miler (1:50) on Sunday, Monday 54 lengths swimming and today 5 miles recovery run so my body is fully recovered(ish) ready for the next key session of 5x1000m tomorrow.  If I'd ran a tempo today I'd not have achieved the pace and would probably be fostering an injury too.

I agree with Astride on the glucosamine - I take a 1500mg tablet every day - very cheap off the internet.

21/01/2009 at 15:57
Thanks for the advice all.  Quickerstepper, my mistake, time was obviously passing slowly it was Sunday I attempted the long run I'd it just seemed like days had passed
21/01/2009 at 16:29
Quickstepper - I agree, at least 2 days rest after long run. I only had one last week and intervals really suffered. I should have to my body more but then I knew I also had to fit themin when I could. I usually do LSR, 2 days off, intervals, 1 day off, threshhold. Although intervals toughest, I can cope with those better than threshhold after LSR.
23/01/2009 at 11:48

I am a Marathon virgin - and was looking for some advice from some of the veterans on this blog - and those doing the Firman plan.  I ran a couple of half marathons Oct / Nov last year and was in the range of 1.31-1.33.

 I am now 4 weeks into training  - and am trying to set a realistic goal for myself - and am torn between 3.15 or 3.30 - Not sure why it has to be a round number, but anyway....

I am following (religously) the Firman 3 days a week plan - but have decided that I need to do one extra run a week at Marathon pace.  Thus this week has been:

Sunday - 16 miles at 8.11; Monday - Rest; Tuesday - 9 x Yasso 800s at 3.15; Wednesday - Cross train - Boot camp; Thursday - 7 miles - 2 miles easy, 5 miles at 7.15; Today - 8 miles at 7.26 ; Tomorrow - Rest, Sunday - 18 miles at 8.11

Ahead of last week - I had never run past 13 miles - the 16 miles was not fun (mentally tough 10-14 miles) but felt a million bucks at the end.

My key question is - is 3.15 attainable for me (injury and doing the training permitting)?  Will the 3 days a week (plus my one extra) get me there - Or I am just going to set myself up for disappointment?  Would I be better targetting 3.30 or 3.25 and then looking to outperform this time?

Any thoughts/ help much appreciated. 

23/01/2009 at 19:55

Hi The Rat!  I'm maybe not the best person to give advice as my times are quite a bit slower than yours and I have only just started following the Furman schedule over the last couple of weeks.

 But for what it's worth, according to the Runners World calculators on this site your half marathon time would be equal to a marathon time of  3 hours 11 mins.  Obviously this is just a rough guide and also depends on whether your endurance or speed is your strong point.  I find the double your half marathon time and add 20 mins seems quite accurate.  Again this is only a guide.  If I had your speed I would probably aim for 3.15-3.20 but probably best to see what the other runners on this forum think.  Good luck and let us know how your training is going.

 Well, 17 miles for me tonight.  A wee bit faster than my last couple of long runs and I actually finished quite strong and felt good at the end.  So I feel like I am progressing slowly but surely!  How's everyone else getting on?

23/01/2009 at 21:15
Just to add - I'm looking at the Run Less Run Faster book just now.  For the 3:15 schedule it says you should be able to run a half in 1.33.30 so if I were you I would go for it!  Well done with your training by the way.
24/01/2009 at 16:11

Just back from my LSR- 'sposed to be 29km at 10.2 kph, but bailed out at 21.5 km due to lightheadedness and spots before the eyes!!- just a lack of fuel- I had this problem  getting past 18km when traing for my last marathon- it takes a few long runs for my metabolism to realise that I need to switch to long run mode.............Oh, and the 1/2 bottle of wine and large whisky last night didn't help!

A lot happier than last week, though, and this has been a relatively big week for me, mileage-wise, so onwards and upwards.

24/01/2009 at 21:08

The Rat - What mileage have you been doing per week up to now over the last 3 months?  The Furman schedule is best entered into with at least 20 miles per week of good quality running - ie tempos, intervals and long runs (your max of 13 is ok so long as it wasn't a one off and outside the last month).

 However, don't fret - your time of 1:30ish is good particularly considering your training to achieve it must have been sub-optimal (normally your longest run would be the race distance plus 20% EXCEPT for the marathon) - so clearly you have natural talent and endurance which can only be a good thing for the marathon.

What worries me most is your enthusiasm!!!!  Excessive training, considerably higher then normal workload with greater speed leads unfortunately to injury (unless you are very well biomechanically structured).

I suggest you for now at least stick to the Furman schedule and ditch your additional weekly session.  Give yourself 4 weeks and if you don't develop any persistent or growing pain then add in the additional session and monitor carefully.  BUT you don't need the additional sessions if the 3 key sessions are performed as directed and the 2 cross training is tiring but not killing with 1 recovery (slow and easy 4-5 miles)

I suggest you set an A, B and C objective (A dream time, B strong target, C good time)  For you I suggest a 3:10, 3:15 & 3:30.  Which are all very respectilble times and you might just be surprised if your training sticks to schedule and you don't get injured.

I pass on this advice based on 5 years running for which I have continuously and steadily improved based on an interval, tempo and long run principle just like the Furman schedules.

My targets are sub 2:45, sub 3:00 and sub 3:15 - which are targets that are achieveable based on form, worthy and good for age (so I can try again next year without the ballot to reach my potential!).  This is my 2nd marathon and I have alot prove - the last was in 1996, when I popped at 21 miles and finished in 3:35 - in those days I was more a footballer than runner and my compromised training was my undoing.

 Look forward to your response.....

25/01/2009 at 08:03

Morning everyone...what a great feeling...rest day!!, after the 17 miler on the schedule I did yesterday. I am following this programme for the first time as I have had probs with knees and ankles with 6 runs per week programmes in the past. Despite the intensity of this programme and the fact that every run is very demanding, I am actually enjoying it????  I do find some of the speed work horribly quick however?? Whats everyone else think?

25/01/2009 at 14:28

Yep - the speed work is quick.

 I have 2 coping strategies for this:

1) What are the most important key sessions for a marathon?  Answer: Long run and tempos

2) If you are aging like me then speed is the first thing to go in comparison to stamina - look at the age formulas for distance 5k to marathon in the Run Less RunFaster book.

so do your best push yourself on the speed sessions and get as near to the target times, consistently over the session as possible.

 What else can you do?

25/01/2009 at 14:33

Thanks everyone for the responses.

Lou7 - thanks, agree with what the books say, my worry is that by setting such a tough time target of 3.15 I may be setting myself up for disappointment

 Quickstepper - thanks as well, I trained on 3/4 runs a week for the 3 months into mid-November.  As you forecast my runs were focused much shorter, usually 12 miles max, mainly 10 miles.  Had to take dec off, mixture of tendon problem in my ankle (now sorted), and too many Christmas parties!!  Have been back into since 27th Dec pretty full on.   I know you are sooo right and I should stick to 3 runs a week schedule, and not try to sneak one in, as I am sure it will lead to aches and pains and ultimately injury.

 Am feeling great today - had an 18 miles at 8.11 scheduled and was dreading it - and when alarm went at 6 and I heard the rain I nearly postponed till tomorrow - as it was I went out and felt great, got to 18 miles on target and close to home there is a 2.5 mile circuit so I added this on - and finished 20.5 miles.  First time ever close to this distance - and I feel mentally a weight off my shoulders.

Thanks to all for responses - forums like this are so helpful for me, as (a) I prefer to run and train on my own, and (b) my wife thinks I am mad or stupid - so it is good to test thoughts with others.  

25/01/2009 at 20:35

Well done with your run today - you are well ahead of schedule!  I like Quickstepper's suggestion of an A, B, and C objective on targets.  You can always adjust your target nearer the time depending on how the training is going.  I've got my realistic (sub 4) target and dream (3.45) target for the marathon which I'm hoping to achieve over my next 2 marathons. 

My non running friends/family also think I am mad or stupid, so these forums are great for sharing thoughts and ideas.

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