3 Runs Per Week Schedule



  • What is the actual title of this book - my search results on Amazon have not come up with anything close ... one of them was decidedly seedy and nothing to do with running at all.image
  • The book is called "Run Less, Run Faster".

    Google "Furman FIRST" if you want to read some background on the plan from the college where it was devised.

    Incidentally, I emailed them the other day to ask for clarification on something, and had a helpful reply back within 20 minutes from the prof who wrote the book. Very impressed with that.

  • Thanks RC, my christmas present sorted ... just in time for the flm training!  My best is 3.37 on 4 sessions a week (no specific schedule) so it'll be interesting to see if I can better this on less!

  • I've had a look at the first schedule on their website...I'm too slow for it.

     The timings table only goes up to 30 minutes for a 5K, and I'm 38 minutes (I know - crawling not running)

  • Have you looked at this page?


     It seems to me that according to your 5k tim your 10 k time would be 79:13 (using the RW calculator here: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/news/article.asp?UAN=1681)

     which means that your mile pace is: 13:12...so to this you add the increments on the 3 times/week page above 

     ie your long run pace would be 14:12 - 14:30 per mile...

     unless i've completely forgotten how to do math...

     so i think that you can still do it, just adjust the pacing to fit your running times! maybe the book would be better for this as I know there is beginners programme as well in the book. I intend to look at it over christmas - I'll post when I know more!

    oh and we all eventually feel like we're crawling who cares - you're out there RUNNING a marathon - and that gets big props!

     Merry Christmas everyone. 

  • No, you're not too slow for it! You've misunderstood -- you just have to extrapolate.

    I'm slow too -- pretty much at the slowest edge of the tables they provide. But they have to stop somewhere. They are not saying that if you're slower than the examples, then you can't follow the schedule. Mostly the runs are based on your 5 or 10K time, and the key runs are along the lines of "your 10K time + 20 seconds", or "your marathon pace + 30 seconds", so you have to work out what times to go for.

    Essentially, the plan is 3 key runs per week i.e. an interval session, a tempo run and a long run. Plus 2 or 3 cross training sessions. That's it. Regardless of your time.
  • Hi All

    This is a interesting thread with some great advice.I will give this training plan a go for flm 09.I done london this year in 4hrs 09 mins on 4runs aweek with some of them being just recovery runs.I only did 3x 20 mile +runs which is clearly not enough.

    By following the furman first i would hope to crack london in under 4 hours and the hopefully edinburgh in under 4 as well    

  • I'm doing lochaber in April - trained for edinburgh and lochness last year with an incomplete version of FIRST plan- incomplete 'cos I'd wrecked myself on a 5-day a week schedule BOTH times (how stupid can you be..) did the first timer plan for edin, came in at 4:18 then the "first to the finish"  for loch ness- 4:13, but I'd was  injured during the race 'cos of the hills.

    Gonna try the first to the finish plan again this time, I have found conflicting info about paces in various websites, but think I've got it sorted now......... buying the book, too.

    I'm aiming for 4hrs at lochaber- picked as it's the flattest course I could find in scotland.

    RR- you're brave going for 2 so close together- I couldn't run for a whole month after both my previous 2 attempts, due to niggles picked up on race day.

  • Just ordered the book of amazon will be here just in time to start my training, sub 4 hrs here we come (hopefully).

    Tricialitt - I am a bit  worried about the lack of time between london and edinburgh but i didn't think i would get in london next year and i had already signed up for Edinburgh because 3 of my mates are doing it. Just have to hope the legs will hold up and stay clear of injuries.Felt ok after Snowdon marathon this year and that was a tough one, so my recovery seems to be getting better after each marathon so hopefully i will be OK.   

  • I'm going to chip in and have a go at this. Downloaded the program, ran an all out 5k, so now have my training paces sorted. Had to look up what PMP meant though. But I think this looks good but quite challenging.

    Hope we all do well

  • I've only ever done the LSR part of the FIRST plan religiously and did a 4 10 on my first marathon. It works for me and for Paris in April I plan on sticking precisiely to the plan and see what hapens.
  • Hoping for a GFA at FLM next year, so will try and stick to the plan, plus a bit of biking and swimming to keep the hand in for an olympic and HIM triathlon next year too.
  • I'm struggling to establish my paces as I have never run a 5k and if I try to go for it on the treadmill I find it takes me 10 - 20 minutes to warm up and my times are much slower than the race predictor would suggest. Hence, I've based by paces on my hoped for (with a capital H!) Marathon time and worked back from that. My previous PB is 3.41 and I'm hoping for sub 3.30, so a big ask! I'm still recovering from injury, so Ive pasted the kitchen wall with the RW 3 day a week schedule, the begeinners marathon schedule and the improvers marathon schedule and my plan is to hop between the 3 schedules depending on how many twinges I have.

  • I did my 5k on a dreaddy yesterday and thought I could manage a 20 min 5k, and I did, but I think I could have gone harder, but that time puts me on target for a 3.15 according to the McMillan running calculator and the MP column of the plan.

    So hopefully with the cross training and correct pace (and the small matter of everything going well) We will see if I can hit my target.

  • You guys are a good bit faster than me. I'm starting the FIRST "first to the finish " schedule next week, I did a wee practice tempo run at ST pace today (which for me is 12kph on tready)- 6k felt fine, but the starting distance is 9km image- dunno if I'll manage that at that pace- nowhere near as worrying as the intervalss, though.....I've almost never got through a full set, but I reckon I miscalculated the paces last time- it had me going at 14.5 kph , which for a 50 minutes 10k- er is just TOO fast!- I reckon 13.5 kph is actually my fastest interval speed, which should be do-able. I may need to reserve the right to drop back to the "first timers" schedule.
  • God! I know I'm still under par due to injury, but I'm now up to 45 minutes on the tready and although I feel comfortable at my MP (12.1kph) If I knock it up to 13.1 I struggle to manage 10 minutes! My short tempo pace is 13.52, so I'm getting a tad worried re the new year when training starts in earnest!

    I know each run on this schedule is supposed to make you work, but how many of us are in danger of skidding off the rear of the tready and crashing to the floor in a rather ungracefull heap?!

  • I find 13.5 kph is really fast on a treddy and it makes me nervous to do it for any length of time.

    Did m long run on week 1 of the schedule today. Not figured out the right pace yet but did 10.37 miles in 1.42

  • Just to scare the sh*t out of you..........I'm a doctor, and had a patient last year who had a near fatal head injury from a treadmill fall! - the speed intervals are a definite reason to use the safety switch- not that any of the ones at my gym are in decent working order!

    So -week one starts for me next week!

  • Now have my copy of the book and my training starts next week as well.Done a 13 miler yesterday just to get my self ready for 16 weeks of pain.

    Just wondered what cross training people are going to do on this training plan.I was thinking of buying a exercise bike,dont want to spend a fortune but want  something that will do the job,any suggestions would be appreciated.   

  • I'm not a fast runner anyway, but I find trying to up the pace on a treadmill really tough. Not sure why -- perhaps because there's the extra anxiety of having to keep a precise cadence (compared with running outside when we naturally vary our pace slightly from one moment to the next).

    As for x-training, I'm lucky -- I have a small local gym where I have a range of c/v equipment available. I tend to use the elliptical, static bike, stepper and rowing machine. I tend to do 3 out of the 4 in any one session, about 15 mins on each, plus a bit of weights (nothing too strenuous). I don't go near the treadmill. The book recommends not to use the elliptical, but I do. I emailed the authors first, and they basically said do what you feel comfortable with as long as it's not putting too much strain on your legs.
  • Triciallit - yup! I'm now scared sh*tless. I find it really hard to run on the treadmill and I'm sure RC is right re natural cadence.

    I'm just planning on cycling or spinning as my x-training.

    Just one question chaps, why is everyone starting their schedules next week? Isn't week 16 w/c 5th jan, or are you starting at week 18 or are you doing other marathons than the FLM? Or have I miscalculated (again)?

  • I'm doing Boston which is a week before FLM.

    There are 2 versions of the Furman marathon plan: 18 and 16 weeks. The 18 week plan started this week just gone. The 16 week plan starts Mon 29 Dec. I'm sort of doing both.

    FLM 18 weeker starts Monday 22 Dec.

  • Elliptical trainer isn't appropriate for cross-training under the FIRST programme, as it's weight-bearing.
  • Last year I started on a 3 times a week plan for my first marathon- due to lifestyle priorities. I was a little dubious, however a mate said she had managed it so etc etc.

    During February I suffered a calf strain - coach at club felt I had tried to cram the increasing mileage into too few runs so recommended spreading mileage over at least 4 runs a week, even if the 4th was only a couple of miles.

    I managed to get round my marathon - but did not meet under 5 hours, which was one of my goals. Only missed it by 12 mins, but still disappointed.

    This year I am starting with 3 for 6 wks or so, then upping to 4  wks.

  • I'm doing Lochaber, not FLM, it's 19th april, but I've a skiing holiday to factor in, so starting early.

    Crosstraining= spinning, swimming,- elliptical is mainly for any spells where injury niggles stop me from actually running (had to do about a month of mainly elliptical stuff during my first attempt at a marathon) it's better than nothing if you can't run, but possibly too close to running to be a good recovery excercise on the days between

  • I am doing this plan for London marathon next year.I thought I would give it a go as I do triathlons.working some of the paces looks bit awkward and the speed of the long run seems quite quick especially if you are doing 16 miles plus
  • "Elliptical trainer isn't appropriate for cross-training under the FIRST programme, as it's weight-bearing."

    Interesting and confusing subject.

    They are ambivalent on this point. In the book they say it's weight bearing, so isn't recommended. However in the website FAQ, they say “We recommend aerobic cross-training to supplement your running and to augment your aerobic fitness level. This includes stationary biking, rowing, elliptical, etc. workouts that are performed for the same amount of time as your typical running workout and at a similar intensity” 

    I mailed them to ask for clarification and they replied:

    As for cross training, ellipticals qualify as supplementary aerobic training. Because it is a weight-bearing exercise, it does not provide the same recovery from running as rowing, swimming or biking, which we prefer and recommend. That does not preclude you from doing elliptical if you wish. We provide advice and recommendations but ultimately it is up to you to decide what you want to do...... it is very difficult to have a generic program that fits the training, experience, age and goals of every runner.

    Still a bit confusing, but I include elliptical along with stationary biking and rowing, and will continue to do so. Yes it's weight-bearing but it's effectively non-impact, and has none of the joint thumping that running amounts to. I also sometimes use the stepper which is in the same category. Just my view, but I don't regard biking as hugely different from the elliptical. After 15 minutes, both make me feel that my legs have had a good workout. I'd have thought that the weight-bearing element of the elliptical isn't that different from the pressure we exert on the pedals in the cycling.

  • Mozzy- You are quite right it is me who can not count.I will start my training w/c 5th jan,Although i haven't really stopped running since Snowdon marathon which was end of oct,been going twice a week since then but the serious stuff will start on the 5th.

    Interesting subject this cross training, still think i will purchase a exercise bike and will have to uncover my rowing machine as it seems to be buried in clothes and my kids toys.Just wish i lived a bit nearer a swimming pool, i only live a mile away from the north sea but it is just a tad to cold at the moment     

  • Nah, slap on a bit of grease and I'm sure you'll be fine! image
  • Have considered this but what put me off before was rthe sudden start - first week LSR = 8 miles!!

    Also the cross training specified looks intensive and so the 3 days/week is misleading. Should be 5 or 6 days/wk with 3 running.

    I accept that many people improve their time with FIRST but it doesn't seem to be an easier plan.

    Your comments before I plunge into the Runners world 5 day week scheme?

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