In preparation for the North Face 1/2 trail marathon in September (and for ZOOMA in October), I chose to follow the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training, or FIRST training program outlined in Run Less Run Faster. This plan focuses on intensity over frequency. It incorporates three runs, each with a purpose and two days of cross training - which they call the 3plus2 plan.
The three key runs include track repeats, tempo runs and long runs. Instead of easy, "junk" miles, each run is to be completed at a specific pace that is custom to a recent race pace. The quality runs followed by quality cross training days provide for the rest and recovery time needed to prevent injuries. In addition there is a rest day and a rest/cross training day.
So far this plan has been working well for me. I like the flexibility - I can look at my week ahead and schedule my runs as they fit my schedule, as long as I have the rest or cross training in between my key runs.
Here's a look at my training from last week:
Sunday - rest day (Saturday we celebrated the summer solstice in Detroit camping out - not sleeping nearly enough so it was good to have this as a rest day:)
Monday - Key Run 1 - track repeats - since I have not raced a 5k recently, the first 2 track workouts were to prepare for this week's workout - 3 x 1600 (with 60 second rest intervals); with this time, I calculated my training pace for the remaining training weeks
Tuesday - cycling on the trainer - 10 min easy, 10 min tempo, 2 easy, 3 hard, 5 easy
Wednesday - Key Run 2 - tempo run (on the treadmill) - 1 mile easy, 6 miles at long tempo pace, 1 mile easy;
Thursday - rest day (good timing/planning - Wednesday, Kovas and I had a nice evening out:)
Friday - cycling on the trainer - 10 easy; 3x (1 hard, 3 easy); 5 easy
Saturday - 11 mile run at half marathon + 30 second pace (Tazer cycled along with me, as a traveling aid station, carrying water and some chomps - much appreciated company:)
So I'm sticking with the plan - it's challenging, but so far it's working for me!
Like Women's Endurance Gear on Facebook