Saturday, January 11, 2014

FIRST Training: No Junk Miles

No junk miles for me. Around Thanksgiving, I started to transition into using the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) plan. It calls for three runs per week with two days of cross-training. No "junk miles" in this program! With only three runs, each must have its purpose. One long run for endurance, one tempo run for stamina, one speed session (short repeats) for speed development and leg turn-over. The cross-training is a way to relieve pounding while still developing aerobic capacity. As an ultrarunner, this type of training is very different from my usual "run a lot and don't worry about speed" philosophy. This FIRST program is all about combining elements to ensure maximum speed and endurance with minimum miles. I've enjoyed it so far. The real test will be my first "fast race" attempt on April 26 (Illinois Marathon). Only 15 weeks to go, but I do have a few "test races" along the way to assess my progress:

Riddle-Like Run281/25/2014
KRR Fat Ass282/15/2014
Land Btwn Lakes26.23/8/2014
Clinton Lake303/29/2014
St Louis Marathon26.24/6/2014
Illinois Marathon26.24/26/2014

Here is my weekly schedule based on FIRST training principles and a goal of a 3:25 marathon:

Cross Training
45-60 minutes Intervals
400m @ 6:08
800m @ 6:16
1600m @ 6:31
Cross Training
45-75 minutes Tempo or Progression
3-mile @ 7:05
5-mile @ 7:18
8-mile @ 7:33
12-20 mile long run
at 7:49-8:49
30-60 minutes
Rest with
Rest with
Aerobic Recovery

I added the Sunday easy run so I'll have just one more day of running to prepare myself for ultramarathons. That extra run will be fairly short and at an easy effort. The biggest change is the Tuesday/Thursday faster running. I've never done that on a regular basis. Plus, most of my usual runs are on trails so I'll need to substitute some treadmill, track, and road workouts to keep the paces prescribed. Still, I'll do most of my long runs on trails...but push them a bit harder than usual.

If you'd like to check out the FIRST program, here are some resources:

FIRST web site
FIRST training pace calculators
"Run Less, Run Faster" book

The book describes the program in depth and provides Boston Qualifying training schedules for all of the goals you might have based on your BQ age and qualifying standard.


TCollins said...

If no Junk Miles and focus on Illinois Marathon, why do St. Louis 3 weeks before, it would be better for a 20 miler with last 10 at MPace...

Chris said...

Only reason I'm doing St Louis is my brother (from Seattle). He thinks it'll be his first and I'll pace him. If he comes to do it, we'll run about a 5-hour finish. Easy long run. If he doesn't do it, then I skip and simply do a good 15-18 miler.