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Kevin Hacker


I saw your blog entry about 800 Yasso repeats. Have you heard of the FIRST program, which has been featured in Runner's World.? I forget what FIRST stands for -- it's an acronym for something. The basic premise is that you can run faster by running less frequently per week by doing more focused intense workouts. The studies the authors have done show that most people improve their race times with fewer incidences of injury. There are 3 key running workouts per week and 2 cross training (optional but recommended). The tempo run, track repeats, and long run. None of these running workouts should be done on consecutive days. I bought their book ("Run Less Run Faster") on the program (Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss). It includes the pace tables that show the recommended pace to maintain for each of these workouts based on your current fitness level (past race results) rather than an arbitrary finish goal time. I've been following the basics of the program during this marathon training season and have noticed big improvements in my time, and the way I feel during and after each workout. On the surface it seems like less training but each workout is pretty intense with a particular focus. Based on my last half marathon time, I'm doing tempos between 6:48 and 7:16 pace and 800 repeats at 3 minutes. They recommend doing the long runs (there are 5 20 milers - but I'm only doing 3 with CARA) very close to marathon goal pace. I'm also shooting for 3:20, but their tables show that my fitness level could support a 3:16 finish. It's an interesting read. I'm doing 2 cross training workouts on the stationary bike (these are also intense). I can't quite let myself cut back to 3 running days, but I've reduced from 6 to 4. I think having the recovery day in between has made a big difference for me. And I hope it reduces my chance of injury. It's probably too late for you to switch programs, but you might keep it in the back of your mind for later.


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