Sunday, October 15, 2017

3 + 3 + 0 Run Program

I have a new running program! Yep, another new one. This training program is based on two books: Run Less, Run Faster and the new book by same authors, Train Smart, Run Forever. I like both books. They essentially cover the same training regime, but with a different perspective and emphasis. The later is targeted more for "aging runners" who want to keep training, racing, and running. The masters, or older, runner and racer. I'm 51, so this new book resonated well with me. Both books call for a 3+2 training plan: 3 hard runs (long, tempo, speed) with 2 serious cross training sessions each week. The newer book also incorporates stretching and weights into a total 7-hour workout week. Authors provide guidance on running paces and perceived effort too. The first book even has Boston Marathon qualifying training plans for each standard. Both books stress quality over quantity. Recovery over junk miles. And the runs are pretty hard. The cross training is not easy either--it's meant to improve aerobic capacity without adding pounding to the legs. Both books want you to train and race well, but stay injury-free. Good stuff. (NOTE: I followed the first book's ideas and did get injured--I think the paces were too fast for my abilities--I reached too far and broke). 

I have changed the plans slightly to accommodate my personal style. I call it my 3+3+0 plan. Three hard runs (long, tempo, fast), plus three days of fairly easy aerobic cross training with light core work and stretching. One day completely off from any training. Mon-Wed-Fri are cross training (elliptical, cycle, uphill walking on treadmill, rowing, etc), Tu-Th are faster runs (tempo and speed) and either Sat or Sun is the long run with the other day as rest. The big changes for me are the three high quality runs at faster paces than I've been doing, no easy/junk miles, and regular cross training. One week down and I'm loving the plan. We'll see if 4 weeks of this new plan help for my next half-marathon race in early November. The proof will be in the finish time!

Why do I think this will work for me? Less running means I'm eager to "get out there" and perform when I do run. Less chance of burn-out and injury. The cross training gives me active recovery, works different muscles, and keeps my aerobic fitness at a high level. One day off is good for family time. One weekend day is always zero training so more time with my lady. Happy wife, happy life!

Warning to readers--the three runs are definitely high quality. No messing around. These are at a high effort. Even the long runs are more steady-paced and uptempo than this guy ("slow ultrarunner") was used to doing. No more Maffetone for Chris.

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