I don't know much about Furman but I would strongly advise working from a plan based on high volume mileage as a priority, with quality sessions as icing on the cake, especially if you might be prone to calf/shin troubles from faster training. You've definitely got the potential for a reasonably quick marathon inside you but there's no subsitute for getting the miles in, and you're better off running 5x/wk than relying on 3x + cross-training. There's still room for some x-training, e.g. active recovery the day after a long run.
P+D get a good rep and their plans are well used by a few on the sub-3 thread that I know of. I used Hal Higdon's Intermediate II plan for my debut, and tweaked it with a bit of tempo running. Other than preparatory races didn't do any training faster than tempo pace.
There's possibly more than one way to skin a cat but IMO a good training plan for you ought to include the following:
- weekly long run, build up to at least 3, pref 4/5 over 20 miles- mid-week longish run, build up to 12-14 miles- faster runs concentrating on the range from marathon pace to tempo/lactate threshold continuous run, maybe some longer intervals, e.g. 1k / mile intervals. Possibly include race pace in either your mid-week long run or in your LRs towards the end of the schedule- everything else easy/recovery miles
I think it's OK to substitute for some quality sessions with stuff like hills or fartlek, so you might see this in some plans, but I don't think they're entirely necessary, especially as the race you're training for is flat. Good for variety though.
And yeah - pop in to the sub-3 and 3:15 threads. It can be difficult to slavishly follow a schedule, but a lot easier to have your efforts validated by the activities of like-minded training obsessives.
David I've used the P&D plans with good effect. Depends on what time you want to achieve to how much mileage/runs per week you need but as stated with a 1:31 HM then 3-3:15 is achievable.Whereabouts in Devon are you? I'm in Paignton, lots of good clubs around not just round me but see lots of the others all turn out for local races. I would imagine that most clubs will have people marathon training soon for spring marathons.I have one in 16 days then aother Dec 18th.
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