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half marathon training program. Is this legit. Only 3 days a week? (Read 2467 times)

dallasboycows


    Is this a program to actually be competitive or just complete a half? It only have 3 days per week.  interesting approach and it says that sub 3 hour marathoners have used this exact same training.  any comments.

     

    http://www2.furman.edu/sites/first/Documents/Half%20Marathon%20Training%20Program%20-%20metric.pdf


    Fat butt on couch

      Here we go again....

       

      No, if you want progress and be competitive, that plan is not serious.  It's for people who don't want to run much.

       

      MTA:  That's a swipe at the program...one of the more regular comet topics, not you dallas.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

       

        Is this a program to actually be competitive or just complete a half? It only have 3 days per week.  interesting approach and it says that sub 3 hour marathoners have used this exact same training.  any comments.

         

        http://www2.furman.edu/sites/first/Documents/Half%20Marathon%20Training%20Program%20-%20metric.pdf

         

        "Training" program.

        It should be mathematical, but it's not.

          While I agree, I'll mention that I have a friend in his late 40s who got himself down to a 3:10 using the FIRST program.  (And two years later, he's down to a 2:55 using a conventional training approach.)

          “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

          dallasboycows


            ok, that's what i figured.  I just saw the claims of sub 3 hour marathoners.  Guessing these were sub 3 hour marathoners b4 the program began. 

             

            I'm just trying to figure out how to train.  I have until the end of march so that's a long time.  I have already quit my speedwork for a month and can feel that I'm losing some on that end.  Do I need to be doing some speedwork the whole time even though it's almost 5 months out.  Or do I start 3 months out.  I had reverted to just basework of long mileage, with some shorter mid tempo runs and hill-work, weight training.  I definately don't want to lose my speed though.

            dallasboycows


              While I agree, I'll mention that I have a friend in his late 40s who got himself down to a 3:10 using the FIRST program.  (And two years later, he's down to a 2:55 using a conventional training approach.)

               

               

              a 3:10 from a ? I could definately see this as maintaining what you already have just didnt' know if it would give vast improvements.

               

              and what is MTA:

               

              I used urban dictionary to look it up and well I don't think it's what you meant.

                The program says that those are the 3 key workouts and "runners are encouraged to cross train or complete easy runs the other days of the week". I don't see much wrong with that.
                dallasboycows


                  The program says that those are the 3 key workouts and "runners are encouraged to cross train or complete easy runs the other days of the week". I don't see much wrong with that.

                   

                   

                  I was thinking the same thing.  I had an achilles problem back in june.  Now i'm not talking for super runners like spaniel.  but I was in my not so good shape times.  I cut my 5k time from 20:00 to 19:00 with absolutely no running except for maybe one week.  I swam and biked for a month straight and then ran for about two weeks and saw tremendous improvement.  So everyone's notion that ONLY running improves running doesn't convince me.  Maybe on a competitive level but to someone that is just starting out,etc it not only improved my times but helped my injury heal.

                    10/2008 -- 3:26 (FIRST)

                    5/2009 -- 3:19 (FIRST)

                    10/2009 -- 3:10 (FIRST)

                    4/2010 -- 3:16 (Pfitzinger and whatnot) (bad race)

                    10/2010 -- 3:09 (Pfitzinger and whatnot) (hot day, probably in ~3:03 shape)

                    10/2011 -- 2:55 (Pfitzinger and whatnot)

                    Courses and weather were pretty equivalent, except as noted.

                     

                    He biked and ellipticalled the crap out of it the other days of the week, btw.

                     

                    And MTA = modified to add.

                    “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                    tnorris


                      I thought I'd add my own experience with FIRST.   My previous marathon PR was 3:13, and was run 7 years ago.   I am now 45 and ran 3:02 in 2010, and a 2:59 in 2011, following the First program.  FIRST is definitely unconventional when compared to traditional high-mileage plans, but is very challenging as well because of the high volume of interval and tempo work.  I would not recommend FIRST if you are looking for an "easier" marathon plan.

                       

                      That being said, I may follow a more conventional plan for my next marathon because I believe additional aerobic base (mileage) will help to reach my potential.

                       

                       

                      CliveF, what Pfitz program did you follow in your recent marathons?  (55/70/85?)

                        Is this a program to actually be competitive or just complete a half? It only have 3 days per week.  interesting approach and it says that sub 3 hour marathoners have used this exact same training.  any comments.

                         

                        http://www2.furman.edu/sites/first/Documents/Half%20Marathon%20Training%20Program%20-%20metric.pdf

                         

                        I wonder if Furman University actually uses the FIRST program on their men's and womans' XC teams. If they do, how well do they compete, and how much do their athletes improve over the course of 4 or 5 years.  If they don't use it, it should tell you something. 

                         

                        I know a lady that used the first program to "train" for the 2010 chicago marathon, which would be her first marathon. I'm actually the one that pointed her in the direction of this FIRST program.   Before you call me names, you have to consider this woman was the mgr and lead fitness instructor at the wellness center at my company. So, the woman worked out nearly 3 to 5 hours/day 5 days/week. She lead and participated in nearly all the exercise classes. She was/is in very good physical shape. She told me she didn't have the time or extra energy to run every day, given her job was physically demanding.  When I showed her the first program, she said, "I can do that."  So, how did it go?

                         

                        Well, she was on pace for 3:30, her goal, until about mile 26.  At about mile 26, she nearly collapsed mainly because of the heat, and she was forced to get an IV. Surprisingly, they let her complete (I presume she walked)  the last bit of the race and she finished in just over 4 hours.  

                         

                        Frankly, I think this woman has some untapped running talent. I'd love to see what she could do on a real training program. 

                          I thought I'd add my own experience with FIRST.   My previous marathon PR was 3:13, and was run 7 years ago.   I am now 45 and ran 3:02 in 2010, and a 2:59 in 2011, following the First program.  FIRST is definitely unconventional when compared to traditional high-mileage plans, but is very challenging as well because of the high volume of interval and tempo work.  I would not recommend FIRST if you are looking for an "easier" marathon plan.

                           

                          That being said, I may follow a more conventional plan for my next marathon because I believe additional aerobic base (mileage) will help to reach my potential.

                           

                           

                          CliveF, what Pfitz program did you follow in your recent marathons?  (55/70/85?)

                           

                          I agree with that, but I'd add the paces are very tough too.  When I look at the suggested paces I'd have to hit for my intervals and tempo runs, for my current fitness level, I have serious doubts I could do it. I don't think I would be looking forward to my workouts.  

                            I wonder if Furman University actually uses the FIRST program on their men's and womans' XC teams. If they do, how well do they compete, and how much do their athletes improve over the course of 4 or 5 years.  If they don't use it, it should tell you something. 

                             

                            I know a lady that used the first program to "train" for the 2010 chicago marathon, which would be her first marathon. I'm actually the one that pointed her in the direction of this FIRST program.   Before you call me names, you have to consider this woman was the mgr and lead fitness instructor at the wellness center at my company. So, the woman worked out nearly 3 to 5 hours/day 5 days/week. She lead and participated in nearly all the exercise classes. She was/is in very good physical shape. She told me she didn't have the time or extra energy to run every day, given her job was physically demanding.  When I showed her the first program, she said, "I can do that."  So, how did it go?

                             

                            Well, she was on pace for 3:30, her goal, until about mile 26.  At about mile 26, she nearly collapsed mainly because of the heat, and she was forced to get an IV. Surprisingly, they let her complete (I presume she walked)  the last bit of the race and she finished in just over 4 hours.  

                             

                            Frankly, I think this woman has some untapped running talent. I'd love to see what she could do on a real training program. 

                            Interesting point and interesting story, Tom.

                             

                            In a rather similar situation ("I don't have time..."), I had given 3~4 days a week training to my wife for her first marathon.  I think I had shared this story several times here at RA.  She ran 3:54.  So I'm not totally against the idea.  Some people are in that position and what do you do?  Tell them to give it up?  However, I think the problems are;

                             

                            1) FIRST seems to emphasize too much on quality (except for long run but...).  The training MUST be balanced.  I'm curious to know where she got the idea that she could run 3:30 marathon (from the air?) but, chances are, given good speed development, she might have had the illusion that she could run faster than she was actually capable of.  I'd pick FIRST program first to do that to you.  It's probably a decent program for triathletes which, my understanding, this program was developed for in the first place.  This program is NOT supposed to be a cutting-corner approach for runners.

                             

                            2) I am totally against this notion of; "I'm working out hours in the gym so my running potential should be good to begin with..."  While developing this VO2Max Interview, I had realize that the length of workout in the gym has ALMOST NOTHING to do with running potential.  If anything, I can't remember the exact number but, it's equivalent of something like; "If you workout in the gym, whatever you do, for an hour, that's equivalent of running 10-minutes a day."  I know; some people would argue with this but, seriously, if we plugged in this formula, it worked most practically.  Even if this woman "works out" for 4 or 5 hours a day in the gym, I will bet she's not CONSTANTLY moving about for 4~5 hours.  Plus, in running, you work out against gravity, lifting out your ENTIRE body weight in the airborne--this does not happen in cross country skiing stationary biking, elliptical exercise, swimming or weight lifting.  Unless you're doing full squat X2 your body weight and, furthermore, you're actually jumping in the air (remember, it's not just upward movement but, in running, landing takes a whole hell of a lot of eccentric exercise as well to each of your ONE leg), you just cannot equate your gym exercise to running.

                             

                            3) Kind of related to (2) but, with running, it's the ability to take poundings.  No matter how much you exercise, on floor or in water, it you hadn't practice pounding-taking exercise, you'll be in trouble in marathoning.  You may be able to get away in 5k or 10k.  I'd say anything upward from half marathon on, your quads will be the first to give in and it's got nothing to do with your easily you're breathing or how fresh and strong you'd feel in your arms.

                             

                            Untapped potential means NOTHING if she doesn't train properly.  I know you're not advocating this, Tom, but just wanted to share my view.

                            JML


                              I thought I'd add my own experience with FIRST.   My previous marathon PR was 3:13, and was run 7 years ago.   I am now 45 and ran 3:02 in 2010, and a 2:59 in 2011, following the First program.  FIRST is definitely unconventional when compared to traditional high-mileage plans, but is very challenging as well because of the high volume of interval and tempo work.  I would not recommend FIRST if you are looking for an "easier" marathon plan.

                               

                              That being said, I may follow a more conventional plan for my next marathon because I believe additional aerobic base (mileage) will help to reach my potential.

                               

                               

                              CliveF, what Pfitz program did you follow in your recent marathons?  (55/70/85?)

                               

                              I also used to use FIRST and had some good success with it at shorter distances (5k - 1/2M).  I shaved 2+ minutes off my 5K in 6 months and 8+ minutes off my half marathon time.  I used it for one marathon in 2010 and felt that it was not a great way to train.  I did the XT religiously and ran all the workouts as specified but ended up with ITB issues at mile 23 that derailed a good race.  Perhaps the ITB issues were due to my legs being underprepared for the pounding of running a marathon?

                               

                              More recently, I have been using a more conventional volume based approach and think that it is better preparation from both an aerobic and leg strength standpoint.  I also find that I like to run and look forward to just being able to run some base / easy miles.  Under FIRST, every workout is a war.

                               2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...

                                If you can run a really good Half Marathon on 3 days per week, maybe you ought to cut on back to 2 days a week and REALLY run a GREAT race.......

                                Champions are made when no one is watching

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