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What's the best marathon training program?

posted almost 2 years ago | Report

I am training for my first full marathon, its in the last week of September. I am currently on week 8/18 using Furmans first plan. First only requires you to run 3 days a week - Speed, Tempo and Long run.

I like the low maintenance of the plan however I feel like my mileage is not up enough. its usually average at 22-26 a week and Im getting concerned I'm not running enough to be able to run a full in 10 weeks. (I've run 5 1/2's so far)

thoughts? should I switch to another plan or stick with it? what plans are people using to train?
also, send FR if you'd like :)

  • In the end, the best training program is one that works for you, but you do need to ask what you want out of it. Are you looking to just finish? Make some sort of time goal?

    Honestly, I wouldn't feel comfortable only running 3x a week. Most plans I'm familar with include at least 4 for a novice, and 5-6 for those with a larger running base. The speed, tempo, long run formula also sounds like a recipe for injury to me. That's 3 hard workouts a week, with no easy runs to let your body actively recover. If you're concerned about mileage, I'd switch out the speed work day for an easy 3-4 and add another easy 3-4 day during the week.

    But this is just my opinion - You know your body and goals and what you can handle. Good luck on you race!

    posted over 1 year ago

  • Thank you! Im adding an extra run day for now. easy 4-5 miles. Hopefully that ups my mileage and prevents injury. thanks for the advice!

    posted over 1 year ago

  • The FIRST Plan also requires a couple of days of cross training. This helps build you endurance/stamina without running. Are you doing cross training?

    posted over 1 year ago

  • in reply to what Ralph C. said:The FIRST Plan also requires a couple of days of cross training. This helps build you endurance/stamina without running. Are you doing cross training?

    Yea, Im cross training as well. i just feel like my running miles arent enough though

    posted over 1 year ago

  • I used the FIRST plan last year and was very happy with it. In your situation, I would suggest forget about speed and tempo runs and put your energy into extra mileage.
    Mike Fitzgerald (in "Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon") says, you need to exercise 6 days a week to stay in shape...why not run.
    Christopher McDougall (in "Born to Run") keeps saying, "If it feels like work you're running to fast" (it was his first 50 mile run, but I've been applying the advice to all my runs and it is AWESOME advice)

    (I would suggest using as many "recovery runs" as necessary (even a long-run at a recovery pace if you don't feel fully recovered from your last "hard" run)

    Jeff Galloway says that walk breaks on weekday runs can speed recovery. One very nice idea from Galloway's plans is that you start increasing your walk breaks the instant you start feeling tired, and continue adjusting them as needed. I almost always find that there's a certain point where I am feeling stronger as I'm going along. (I would avoid the short intervals like 2m/1m or 1m/1m unless you've done long training runs doing those intervals... 8m/1m or 10m/1m would feel closer to "familiar")

    (I've finished my "first" 6-day week with 45 miles and feel great)

    P.S. Don't go by the pace calculators in the book! Not unless you've done a full season of training based on those paces. Last year I increased my speed with FIRST dramatically, started off at 10:30 (based on the pace tables) adjusted my pace whenever I couldn't keep up, adjusted it again, and again, until gave up and walked from mile 16... I would have PR'ed if I'd started off at 13:00 pace and slowly increased my speed)

    Hope this helps...(I don't know what an FR is...I would more than welcome one)

    Good luck with your training!!

    posted over 1 year ago

  • in reply to what Bryan P. said:I used the FIRST plan last year and was very happy with it. In your situation, I would suggest forget about speed and tempo runs and put your energy into extra mileage. Mike Fitzgerald (in "Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon") says,... read more

    Thank you so much Bryan! I needed to read this.
    I was initially running 4-5 times a week but decided to stick to first but I added a day last week and will add 2 this week to be up to 5 run days!

    FR = Friend Request....Ill add you!

    posted over 1 year ago

  • in reply to what Liz G. said:In the end, the best training program is one that works for you, but you do need to ask what you want out of it. Are you looking to just finish? Make some sort of time goal? Honestly, I wouldn't feel comfortable only running 3x a week. Mo... read more

    Liz got it right. Speed work is the icing on the cake. You need to build cake first- by running consistently, daily and mostly easy. speed work leads to injury. Instead, build your mileage.

    It's funny. One really hard 3mi run will leave me fatigued for 3 days. But I can run 7 mi/day every day if I run easy.

    here's the marathon mantra: "mostly easy, sometimes hard". Only 10% of your mileage should be hard. The rest should be easy, and you want to ramp up to over 40mi/week, then taper for a few weeks prior to race day.

    have fun and good luck.

    posted over 1 year ago

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