Remember when I wrote about being scared to be fast? (It’s perfectly acceptable to think “uh… no” haha) At the end of that post I mentioned that I made a plan to get faster, to make myself feel uncomfortable, to become comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Since I was only/already 5 weeks into Marathon Training I didn’t want to change things up too much but I wanted to find a way to push myself a little bit. After a good deal of research, and talking with some folks knowledgeable in these things I decided to look into the FIRST Run Faster, Run Less Program. I downloaded the eBook and downloaded the app (there’s probably an iOS version too).
The jist of the program is 3 runs per week, one with some speed work, one as a tempo run, and one long run. Every workout has a set of prescribed paces that are based on your most recent 5k time.
I decided to do one week of it and see how I felt and then decide if I wanted to continue so I found the week that corresponded to how far I was away from my marathon. The long run distances and total weekly mileage matched up almost exactly to where I was in my training plan, and I was already incorporating speed work and race pace runs every week so I hoped it would be an easy transition.
I loved the first week. The constantly changing paces and workouts kept me really interested.
So I continued onto the next week, and after finishing up my tempo run yesterday (7 miles, 5 at pace!) I am hooked.
The paces prescribed for me for speed work and the “pace” part of the tempo runs are faster than I am used to, but totally completely doable. I finished yesterday thrilled that I was able to hold the prescribed pace for 5 miles straight!
In other training plans the word “tempo” would freak me out – I would mentally defeat myself before I even stepped out the door to run. But this time around I am loving them and loving the feeling of achievement I get afterwards. I’m betting that means the paces that I have to run are pretty much perfect – not too fast that it feels impossible, but still challenging.
I’m still trying to ease into this new plan but so far I am really enjoying it. Cutting down to 3 runs a week from 4 is actually really really refreshing. The one thing I struggle with is in the book they say to only do specific types of cross training – cycling, rowing and swimming. I am planning to take a spinning class at least once a week but also want to work in some weight lifting in the form of BodyPump. My plan for now is to listen to my body and if it feels like too much, I’ll have no issue cutting out a class. I also plan to lower my weights on the leg tracks.
So that’s where I’m at right now in my training. 🙂