3 Runs Per Week Schedule



  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    My xtraining will be cyclings, and slow easy runs or long walk with the dog.  Usually walk or run about 5 miles a day with her so I think this should do.

    Astride - I have to bring hubby and kids to London for the weekend of the marathon as a bribe!  When they complain I just say 'well do you want a weekend in London or not?' !!!!

  • Minni - I live in London so not quite the same appeal. They did come and watch last year though and got soaked in the rain - they weren't really that impressed.
  • Thanks Astride, I think I'll be listening to my body and and just doing what I can with xtraining. I get fed up if I'm just running all the time so hoping this schedule will keep me motivated.

    My OH likes the peace, for a few hours on a sunday he can watch star trek without me pottering about!

  • Happy New Year everyone.  I'm not a regular poster but I do drop in every now and again and I do like this thread in particular.  I bought the FIRST book in December, figured out my paces over Xmas and had my first training day today (intervals).  I nearly died.  Crikey, but this is tough. 

    I have no access to a track but there's a park near my workplace with a near oval footpath that's almost exactly 800m for 1 lap and it's also pretty flat.  So I use that as my "sort-of-track"

    Now, I do hate mile repeats because they are just too long and I am not very good at speed.  400m, 800m and even 1000m (albeit at a stretch), are manageable but miles are goddamn bloody awful.

    From the three repeats I managed just the first one, which of course, was too fast because I'm a bit rubbish at pacing myself. The second one was 10 secs slower, the third one another 15 secs slower than number 2.  Eeeek!  On top of that I couldn't cope with just a 1 min recovery between reps, so I took a generous 2mins and something.  Mind you, it was freezing out there and I had trouble breathing but that's still no excuse for a crappy performanceimage

    I'm just very relieved to read that a few people are struggling with the pace so I don't feel a total failure.

    I'm sorely tempted to try my next speed session on the treadmill instead (at 1% incline) - interval training feels somewhat easier there because it takes the guesswork out of pacing and once the belt starts moving you just have to stick with it and just trying hard not to fall off.

    Curious to hear if anyone has used the FIRST programme successfully before and done their speed sessions on the treadmill.  There seem to be a lot of people that tell you only road miles are good miles and treadmill workouts don't give you the same benefit, so it would be interesting to hear if anyone has proven the road mile brigade wrong.

  • I have just done my first dreadmill interval session today. It was challenging to say the least. I intend to do most of my interval and tempo training on the treddie, as my trusty garmin 101 is broken now and I am awful at judging my pace.

  • I managed to strain a calf muscle the week before the 16 weeks was due to start -- largely I think because I overdid the effort in the speed sessions in the preliminary 'practice' weeks. Admittedly, that's from a background of no speedwork at all, so I was probably asking for trouble. I've just been out for my first 3.5 mile jog in 11 days. The calf survived, though I didn't dare do anything like the intensity that my Tuesday run is supposed to be, and I'm not sure that I'll be doing too much for a while.

    My conclusion is that the book, and the FIRST plan, sets out the ideal plan for the ideal runner in the ideal circumstances. I'm thoroughly in favour of the plan but I think we have to make adjustments at the margin where necessary. If doing some of the intervals and tempo runs are genuinely causing you distress then maybe your body is telling you something. Doesn't mean a choice between strict FIRST intervals, or no intervals at all, but I think we need to give ourselves permission to make changes. I'll be picking up the plan again but toning it down just a little.

  • RC - I completely agree. I think you have to go lightly into the intervals and gradually build up. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, just try to complete the session. So long as you are going faster than your planned marathon pace then you will be doing some good.

    The times expected are pretty fast and as I already said in a previous post, I started to get close to them towards the end of the 16 weeks as I got fitter but still never reached them based on my 5k time. I real run with feel and I run outside. I think I am pretty good at pacing myself possibly because I don't run on a treadmill and I don't use a garmin. I go completely on perceived effort and a stop watch.

    My rest times are almost always at least 2 mins aswell. I wait until I have fully recovered. It all worked for me last year. Dreading starting 16 interval sessions again this friday.

  • SchmidtinatorIn 2004, I did all my training on a treadmill (3 runs a week: 1 interval, 1 tempo and 1 long run) and managed 3 hrs 29 mins for my first FLM.In 2006, I followed the FIRST plan and did all my interval and tempo sessions on a treadmill (in fact the only outdoor running I did was 3 x 20 miles). I completed the FLM in 3 hrs 11 mins. In 2007, I tried a different approach -- much higher mileage based on 6 runs a week , mostly outdoors and ran 3 hrs 8 mins (it was much hotter in 2007 and I think the heat probably cost me a few minutes.)Based on my experience you can get great results with the FIRST plan, and a treadmill is a reaonable alternative to outdoors for the faster stuff. BUT, the FIRST plan can be a tough plan to follow because every run is challenging. Towards the end of the plan I was dreading the sessions and so it may be a good idea to take in an easier week (e.g. only 1 speed session) every block of 4-6 weeks.Good luckITFAC
  • Minni, I'll be aiming for 3:30 again. Managed 3:29 in Berlin 07, but have never gone under 3:35 in London on 8 attempts!

    I do all my speed sessions on the treadmill. I did my 4x800's today. First speed session for a while, and not very quick image

  • Wow, ITFAC and Always Aching - those are some seriously impressive times.  So hop onto the treadmill I will.  That's great stuff, thanks a lot.

    You guys are seriously fast - I can only dream of those times.  My aim for 2009 is to achieve a GFA (3:45 in my case) in Hamburg on April 26 because again I didn't get into London and I so wanted to... 

    I went from 4:07 in April 2008 to 3:54 in September 2008.  Did no speed training at all for the first mara but started experimenting with interval and tempo runs for the second and I am now quite keen to try the scientific Furman approach and hopefully reach my ultimate goal of a GFA.

    Good luck with the intervals, everyone. 

  • Sorry for the dumb question but how do you do intervals on a treadmill? Do you program it all in first including recovery intervals, or do you keep adjusting the speed or distance as you run?

     I'm just thinking that for someone (like me) who's a little nervous about too much intensity post-injury, a treadmill might be a good option as it's so much kinder on the body.

  • itfac - I've just been reading through an old thread of yours on the same subject and think you make some very interesting points. I have been wondering the same as you, whether you can go sub 3 on three runs a week, I've done 3:09. Most people in the Run Less Run Faster book are running about 3:30, noone seems to report running sub 3.

    I agree completely that the schedule is tough and I am starting to dread the interval sessions already but having said that, it is over pretty quickly. I have started to think that maybe I'll just do the intervals every other week and replace it with a mid lingth MP run instead or just do what I feel like doing or do something I haven't done for a while. I think there are many ways to crack an egg and we all have our own natural level of ability that we reach with relative ease. Going beyond that then becomes tough.

    I think if I manage three runs a week and stay injury free for 16 weeks, lose some weight and pay a bit more attention to diet and rest then I can still get more from the Furman schedule but there must be a limit and I'm not sure that I am willing or able to then start running 50 plus miles a week to go beyond that limit.

    Where are you now with your running? Have you gone sub 3? Have you found the perfect schedule?

  • Oh my god!  I've just done my first ever Furman speed session!  It was tough.  I was nowhere near the times for each 1 mile rep but that doesn't worry me too much just yet as I haven't done any speed work in ages and have also lost alot of speed/fitness recently due to injury and laziness!  I did work really hard in each rep, didn't think I'd make the 2nd and 3rd rep after the first but i did and managed to run them all at a fairly even pace.  I came back absolutely buzzing from it though and can totally understand now why tomorrow is a rest or cross training day!

     Interesting to hear everyone's comments on the treadmill.  I find it quite boring for steady runs but do enjoy doing intervals on it for the fact that you can set your pace exactly and just go.  Running Commentary - I don't set any programs, just adjust the speed for each rep and keep an eye on the time.

     Good luck everyone.  I'm finding this forum really helpful and motivating to hear how everyone's training is going.  Here's to another 15 and a bit weeks!

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    That's my first session out the way too.

    6.5 miles in total.  Warm-up followed by a harder warm-up with shuttle running and lots of little drills and sprints.  Then 2 x 1.1miles (1770m).  I did the second one 10 seconds faster than the first so thats ok. 

    I'm pleased with that start.  

    Treadmill - I have one in the garage but hardly ever use it.  I could never train for a marathon on it - that is what I call focused!  I've used it sometimes if I've been out for a run with others and don't feel as if I've worked hard enough.  I've enjoyed the run then gone home and done a couple of hard miles on the treadmill to finish off.  (Actually this has not happened very often, but the option if there!)

    Great start everyone!

  • It's great to hear so many other Treadmill users- I am ashamed to say that I did almost all my training for the 2 marathons so far on the tready- I seem to suffer more foot niggles if I run outside too much, but obviously did too little before loch ness, as I injured my foot during the race- I just need to toughen up with out damaging myself.

    Will probably do most of my long runs, and certainly all my intervals on tready at 1degree incline, and do the tempo runs outside, plus a handful of the long runs/ races in the build up.

    I never managed to complete a full interval session last time around, but think I'm closer to it this time, but then I haven't adjusted the speeds upwards after my last PB at 10k! image

  • Hi everyone Hope you are all enjoying week 1 or perhaps week 3 in some cases.

    I don't know if i am doing my midweek runs right, but there is not a running track anywhere near me and i don't get on very well with treadmills.So with my target marathon pace being 8.45mm, monday i did a 5 mile run with a average pace of 8.25mm(1st mile slower then building speed up) , and wednesday a 6 miler with average pace 8.30mm,and for saturday i am planning a 13 mile run at about 9.00 mm.

    Any feedback or sugestions would be good. 

  • Hi Reydon Rover,

    I'm too much of a newbie to be of much use but thought you calculated your interval & tempo paces by taking a recent 5k result.  I've never run a 5k race, so I just measured a route on mapmyrun.com, ran that at full pelt in 23:09 and took that as the basis to figure out my pacing.  Not sure if things can be calculated based on target MP, so I defer to more experienced runners on this forum.

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    My second key run hasn't happened today.  set my alarm for 6.45 instead of 5.45 so missed my window.  got a 20 mile bike ride planned for the morning and long run on Sunday.  Trying to decide whether to fit my run in tomorrow night or Saturday morning.  Good start eh?!

  • I've never run a 5k either, but used the macmillan tables to get an equivalent 5k speed based on a recent 10k race. I guess you could always put in you planned marathon pace, calculate your expected 5k pace, and then do the maths from there........dunno if it would work, though.

    Managed most of yesterday's interval session, but heart rate went through the roof after 4 of the 6 intervals, and feeling faint, so stopped early.

    Minni- don't beat yourself up over a single missed session- it pales into insignificance over the long haul, and it's more important at this stage not to injure yourself by trying to cram the runs in on consecutive days.

  • Has anyone tried the strengthening exercises metioned in the Run Less Run Faster book?  They are VILE  image

    I made a total fool of myself in the gym today having a go at those pushups on the stability ball.  I kept falling flat on my face with the ball bouncing away from me and across the gym. This happened 3 times.  Then I got the bugger wedged inbetween some mats but sadly realized that I have zero strength in my arms coz I couldn't manage a single push up.  It just wasn't happening ...  Oh, whatever - Gotta cut my losses and go back to girlie pushups.

    At least I made a lot of people laugh this morning image

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    How has the first week been folks?

    I did 13.25 miles this morning - not even close to MP+30secs but done all the same.  Its the longest I've ran for ages so just pleased I've done it.

  • Am coping OK with long runs- I'm into my 3rd week, 'cos Lochaber marathon is one week before London, plus I started early to allow for ski trip. The long runs so far have gone 17km at 10.5kph, 21km at 10.2 kph, 24km at 10.2 kph- I'm definitely feeling the benefit already- no way I could have handled 24 km 3 weeks ago.

    Having some trouble with the midweek tempo runs- I'm used to running 5km in the mornings beforer work, and only ever have a glass of juice beforehand, but I just seem to run out of glucose altogether at 6km, wheras at the weekend, I have breakfast before my LSR and seem OK for 8km, then start on the Gels. I don't realy have time to eat, and digest it before runnin during the week, and would probably throw up if I run straight away, but don't really want to resort to the Gels on short runs (trying to train my body to metabolise fat???)

    As for the interval sessions- well........I'm getting closer to managing them than before, but they're a struggle.

    This is my 3rd marathon on the FURST schedule- 2nd on the "first to he finish" plan- I got nowhere near doing the whole plan last time, so I reckon even if you manage 3/4 of it, you'll be OK.

  • Dear Minni

    I've glanced at your profile -

     this is only an idea - ( i am NOT trying to be patronising ) i would have thought that if you cannot get in the mileage now and have to work on 3 runs a week - that in those runs you'd concentrate not so much the physical side of things  - but more on the mind relaxing and physcological side of it

    my training runs are nothing to what they used to be - YES, i have huge stores of physical enegry from years of running- BUT my biggest asset is my Mental strength and phscycology

    without that i'd not get very far

    i do wish you well

    Mick of Mick n Phil


  • Hi Minni. 

    I did the 13 miles on Friday.  I too was nowhere near the pace I was meant to be at but also was pleased to get the run in and complete the distance as I haven't been doing much in the way of long runs recently.  I found the run really tough and slowed quite a bit over the last couple of miles.  I was very sore yesterday but feel great today.  Not looking forward to 15 miles next week at all!  I think I will be following the plan as closely as I can in terms of the workouts but as long as I feel I am pushing outwith my comfort zone and working hard I'm not going to get to stressed about hitting the target times suggested for now.  What does everyone else think?

  • what do we think

    brilliant you got out and did 13 miles on your todd

    i think your attitude is brilliant as well - i don't read anything in the negative zone in your post-

    only possibly - have'nt been doing much in the way of long runs recently- but only you know the reason for that - but surely little runs are better than nout

    wishing u well LOU 

  • Cheers for that - I have to admit I wasn't on my todd though, I had some help which I was in need of.  My friend was meant to be running with me but she was loaded with cold, so instead of leaving me on my own, sent her husband to run with me (who is very fast but under strict instructions to stay at my pace!).  I think the few extra Christmas pounds I am carrying aren't helping either - but it was good at the time!
  • Once again LOU - it's good as all positive ahh

    you see i don't have to worry much about all these things

    as i in my own weay -

    live running 24- 7 - pure and simple - no my training my not be what it was - but my energy stores and phsycological stamina - i can just pick and choose form the diary and go run them

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    this is only an idea - ( i am NOT trying to be patronising ) i would have thought that if you cannot get in the mileage now and have to work on 3 runs a week - that in those runs you'd concentrate not so much the physical side of things  - but more on the mind relaxing and physcological side of it

    Hi Mikenphil - glad your both ok.  Can you elaborate on your comment?  I'm not sure where you're coming from. My schedule said 13 miles and that was what I did.   If you mean slacking for missing Thursday, I run at 6am 2 mornings per week and it was just typical I slept in on this particular day on the first week of my schudule!

    My usual running week goes something like this: Monday and Thursday 6am runs of around 5 miles; Tuesday night, club night, usually tots up to about 6 miles in total, with a mixture of interval sessions; Friday an off road run of around 2 hours (but never measured in distance - we are talking hills here!); then recently a run at the weekend of about 8 miles. 

    What I am now trying to do is concentrate on three key sessions, ie Intervals, tempo and long run (which is my weekend run that went up to 9.5m last weekend, then 13.25m this weekend).  Everything else whether it be running or cycling I'm classing as cross training so I dont get too stressed if I dont do the mileage or I miss one.

     Are you thinking this is not the correct attitude and I should just pack it in?   Sorry, I'm just not sure which you think I'm failing on? I don't think you're being patronising but I'm not sure how to respond! This will be my 5th marathon (pb 3:31) and have also done 2 mountain marathons.

    Lou - Great!  the sub 3:30 schedule that I usually follow, only required a 10 mile run this weekend so I see 13 as fantastic.  In the past my long runs have never been as fast as everyone else's but on the day it comes right.    Next weekend's run is only 2 miles further than today.  We will have recovered and be fine!  Well done!

  • Minni

    hi - i'll have to read back -

    but if i've offend or upset you i publicly aoplogise - it was never intended

    i'll have a look back

  • Minni

    u have me thinking now

    Have i put the wrong name down - if so sorry

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