Marathon on 3 runs per week.

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04/01/2006 at 08:37

Does anyone have their magazine to hand and could post the web address for the institute (FIRST I think) that has produced and researched upon a marathon training schedule on 3 runs per week?

Thanks, Amanda
04/01/2006 at 08:41
The Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training. I've no idea how it works correctly as it seems a hotchpotch.

The Joe Beer Tri based plan is more interesting imho.
04/01/2006 at 09:17
Thanks Gumps. Tell me more about the Joe Beer one please. Basically I've become v injury prone and need to find something that will get me marathon fit on less miles...

04/01/2006 at 09:57
Amanda, they have only introduced the people and the intended structure of the training in this months magazine.

Thinking about it more, the Joe Beer one may have similiarities in that is probably has the 3 runs a week plus swimming and biking.

It's perfectly possible to get marathon fit by IM training - at least two people PB'd at teh marathon in the build up to IM Switz last year including one who was probably in around 3hr shape if he had raced it rather than running a controlled pace.

Good luck!
04/01/2006 at 11:29
Thanks Gumps. Checked out the web site and downloaded the plan and it looks ok and makes sense. Just don't think my leg will take the mileage I used to do and I guess traditonally expect to have to do to reach maximum marathon performance. 3 days a week of quality running and plenty of swimming and biking sounds like my future and not a bad way to get IM fit...

Do you think it's feasible to utilise the 18 week running plan for IM Germany and hence not run a marathon in the build up?

04/01/2006 at 15:26
Hi Amanda, I'll be interested to see how the FIRST/RW one pans out, as I'm the RW guinea-pig this spring. It's based on a simple enough theory - that if you swap the recovery runs for rest or cross-training, you'll do just as well.

My guess (or is that my hope ;-) is that it will work. If the cross-training sessions are harder than recovery sessions, as FIRST suggests, then you'll be doing more overall quality work than you would be in a normal marathon schedule.

Obviously in your case if you have Ironman aspirations, then a triathlon schedule like Joe's makes better sense.
04/01/2006 at 15:32
Hi Sean. It will be very interesting to hear how it works out for you and I'm def going to use it as the running training element for my IM. I already work pretty hard in the pool and on the bike so my only concern would be that almost every session I do will be a quality/tough one and although the swim and bike ones are less physically "damaging" I just wonder how mentally fatigued I'll become.

I guess I still see myself as a runner rather than a triathlete so pure running plans appeal rather than tri specific ones.

So have you commenced week 1??

04/01/2006 at 15:41
Oh yes, three miles at 10K pace this very lunchtime, I assumed with a mile either end. Thinking of 10K pace, one thing I'll miss is build-up races; the schedule doesn't have any, but I feel I ought to stick to it for the sake of science.
04/01/2006 at 15:43
So it's not really a 3 runs a week plan, more a 3 key (hard) sessions a week plan?
04/01/2006 at 15:45
Agree - if you're doing it then it's gotta be 100% to really test the theory. Could you do some of the long runs at races though? Say something like the Folkesworth 15 and Stamford 30k? As long as the pace is as set in the schedule?
04/01/2006 at 15:51
Gumps, it's only three runs a week, plus two cross-training sessions.

But you're right, it is the three key runs
04/01/2006 at 15:53
Flicks open mag.....

Run 3 times per week and do 2 hard x-training sessions (I assume on non-running days). So train 5 days per week.

Doesn't sound like the pushed for time kind of plan to me. Although with maybe the exception of Thursdays run onweek 8 you could fit it in at luchtime, if you have a track near by for Tuesdays seesions.

Obviously this plan will get you around a marathon but I wouldn't hold out for a pb. As I've never trained properly for a marathon then getting a pb on this type of training was simple enough although I was x-training a damn site more than twice a week and running long every week (16+).
04/01/2006 at 15:56
Hi Sean,

I'm probably just being pedantic, but the First to the finsih training programme I have found states "Runners are encouraged to either cross-train or complete easy runs on other days of the week."

I guess you are doing the cross training rather than hte running?

I'm really interested to see how you get on.

Good luck.
04/01/2006 at 16:16
Count - not sure it's a pushed for time plan rather than a try not to get injured one...or at least that's the appeal for me and my dodgy old leg !!

Interesting stuff for sure...
04/01/2006 at 16:19
Sean - I am trying the FIRST philosophy for FLM (unless I chicken out and use Shades's programme plus two days x-training).
But what do they mean by x-training? Does it include weights? If so, does that mean circuit-training style? Or the sort of stuff where you do three sets of 10, 12 or 15 reps etc? Or is it just biking, rowing, and stairmaster stuff?
04/01/2006 at 16:26
Cheers Gumps. Did you find your schedule on the web? I think that in its first year, FIRST allowed runners to do as much or as little extra running as they wanted, but from 2004 they were strict about the three days. The RW article takes this line.

Count, I agree, it's probably best for people who don't want to face the injury risk or boredom factor of running 5 or more times a week. Though by the sound of it last year's FIRST runners were pretty feeble about their corss-training and still got a decent cluster of PBs.

Amanda, good idea about using the races as training, especially if the training is to be quite strictly paced. I shall have a rummage in the race diary.
04/01/2006 at 16:29
04/01/2006 at 16:30
Interested to read this.

A V40 friend of mine dropped his running from 6 runs a week to 4 runs plus two gym sessions. His mara pb went from 3.10 to 2.49....
04/01/2006 at 16:45
The secret is being properly rested for you key sessions. I think this is where the tri guys have once again been ahead of athletics and swimming. Where it's better to drop a session when tired etc than just bash out the hours / miles because you think you need to.

The problem with hal-higdon and other beginner programs as they don't often stress the need for recovery. IMHO a 30 min recovery run is a waste of time, sure you can brag about logging an extra 25 miles a week but be too tired to do your KEY sessions properly. Obviously if you've built up to accept this type of milege then fine.

Just my 2p's worth...but bottom line is if you want to be a better runner then you'd be better of running, it's a case of listening to your body and being flexible with your training rather than ridgidly following a plan just because it's written down.

now that I think about it, shame you didn;t have a test case where a runner is properly coached to see what results came out of it.
04/01/2006 at 20:08
Snapstinget, the article says 'cross training, such as cycling, strength training, rowing or elliptical training'. I'll be aiming for cycling and rowing, maybe with a bit of weight training.

I guess that high-impact activities with rapid changes of direction, such as squash, might not be a great idea as the emphasis is on reducing injury risk; and minimal-activity classes like yoga might not have much effect on your marathon time (except by reducing injury, perhaps) - but I don't get the impression that there are hard and fast rules beyond common sense like this.
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