Half in 3 sessions a week?

I'm currently doing just over 42 mins for a 10k, and around 20 mins for a 5k.

I've got the GNR and the GSR lined up... and whilst im running the GNR slowly with my mum... I plan to try and beat 70 minutes for the GSR. 

 I've been steadily increasing mileage... but when I hit 22 miles a week, my knees start rebelling.

 Anyone have any thoughts on the efficacy of a 3 x a week programme? I found on one the FIRST website. 


  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭


    22 mpw is low for knee problems to kick in, and suggests that either (a) the steady increase is too fast and you need to build up more gradually or (b) something is not right biomechanically, e.g. your shoes are not the right type for you, or are too old.  Or it could be that although 22mpw is ok for you, you're trying to do too much quality work or just generally pushing too much in training. 

    There's certainly no harm in reducing your training to 3 sessions pw and say doing some cross-training (I'm currently rehabing an injury and doing something similar, although I'm gradually increasing the mileage and number of sessions running per week: cross-training can only do so much for you as a runner and certainly does very little for my sanity!) but I'd try and get to the bottom of what's causing the problem rather than simply adjusting the training and hoping it never recurs.  A specialist running shop is a good place to start and if they can't resolve your problem with new footwear, a physio should probably be your next port of call.

    The other difficulty is that, for a 3 session pw programme to work (i.e. deliver improved times, rather than simply get you to finish), the sessions have to be quite intensive (intervals, tempo runs, race-pace efforts, etc.) which in itself invites injury if your problem is biomechanical.

  • Well I already wear support shoes... they're Nike ones... but they aren't the most supportive Nike's available from that range. I know that i definitely overpronate... so that plays into it.

     I've had a go at changing my running style to more match the POSE style of running too... 

  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    I'd say that 3 times week is most do-able.

    I ran 38min for 10k and 64min (at GSR) on 2 or 3 runs/week with the longest run at 7M. And then did a 1/2 in 1:26 4 weeks after GSR (in 2006).

    Your knees are probably aching from the increase in the miles - just take it staedy and they will adapt. I went from my 2 or 3 runs/week to 5 or 6 runs/week and over 60M/week for FLM this year. But went form 2, to 3, to 4 runs/week etc.

    Also swimming and pedalling will help your fitness. I'd also say that you should run with whatever technique that Mother Nature gave you.

    It's not rocket science, consistency will make you improve.
  • I just don't want consistent knee pain, that's all!

     I'll go with the FIRST half-marathon plan.... 3 days a week is probably ideal for me anyway with a somewhat erratic schedule (full-time university education, 28 hours a week part time work, family commitments).

     I'm not saying that I don't run naturally now... just that my feet were landing a little far in front of my body... my posture was a little too upright.. rather than with the slight forward lean i probably should have had. 

  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭

    Hmm, afraid I agree with TR on this one.  It's best to try and avoid huge adjustments to your running style unless advocated by a properly trained coach.  After all, no-one would advise allowing your head to bounce around like Radcliffe's does, but she has set some fairly respectable times on the road and track ;¬)

  • Paul, You run similar times to me and looks like you train for roughly the same distances. For the final Quarter of last year I had knee problems too (when I tried adding long runs for the first time) - saw a physio and the resultant strengthening exercises (squats mainly) and stretches did the trick, but only after a few weeks of dogged effort. Knee held up fine for my first half marathon in March. So my adivice is see a physio and do what they tell you to do!

  • Paul,

    I did a 1/2 on 3 sessions a week, but slower than you.  I also protonate and was running in stability shoes (Saucony Hurricane) which a running shop had recommended after gait analysis. I had knee pain throughout training and was limping round most days.  For my next shoes I went to adifferent shop who showed me how ineffective the stability shoes were, and sold me some motion control shoes.  Best shoes I've ever had, absolutely brilliant,  now running further and more often and no knee pain at all. I'd recommend a second opinion on your shoes.  Also try different brands of shoe.  I tried 4 or 5 motion control shoes in the shop and none helped my overpronation, but the assistant persisted and the pronation just disappeared when I tried Asics Foundation.

  • Ah right. I'll go back and mention that name when I get my next pair... only about a month away from needing some new ones anyway.

      Cheers for the advice all. 

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