Run Fast… or Faster

When I started this blog, the named came pretty easily for me. I have always liked to run fast, and if not fast, faster. Slow runs were not my forte – I got bored, I sped up, I didn’t enjoy them. Basically 13 year old me and (now) 29 year old me aren’t any different. 

When I started training for longer races, including my first half marathon, I thrived on workouts that let me use my speed. Recovery runs, though important, didn’t really exist. My second half marathon (my PR) training involved plenty of speed and recovery was done by tossing in spinning classes. It wasn’t really a planned effort, but more just because I loved it. Granted, I ended the race with an injury, but I don’t think for one second there was a direct correlation between my training and injury; my form paired with weak glutes was the driving force. 
Since then, I’ve become a more educated runner. I have tried to do the “typical” training plan. I’ve tried to increase my mileage and consistency. I’ve paid a coach to write my training plan. I’ve hated it. 

I’ve taken a good four months off from structured running — much like I did last year. I’ve started to get the itch to race again, but not so much for the full blown running schedule of 5-6 days a week.  So the past few times I’ve gone running, I’ve made it a workout; obviously I haven’t been out there back to back days killing intervals. After realizing I really loved it — I’ve always been a girl who loved running intervals on the track, or hitting tempo miles, etc. — I figured maybe I need to figure out how to approach this for training. Could I do it?

I remembered hearing about the FIRST method (The Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training) which is captured in the book “Run Less, Run Faster”. A quick Google told me it might be exactly what I was looking for in a plan and at something like $10 on Amazon, I was buying it. 

Here I am, a week after starting the plan, and I’m pretty happy about it. I won’t lie, I’m following a loose interpretation of it right now. I’m not using it to PR, but I need something to follow to get me back into where I want to be.  I know if I jump back into a plan, specially this one with the level of speed required of me, I might end up injured. Also, CrossFit is not one of the recommended crosstraining activities — but that’s OK. I know my body enough to know when and what to modify, if I need to, plus we have cardio equipment I can use before/after workouts or during open gym. Plus, one of our friends has a rower in his basement that I could use. 

Running with D is still a thing!
So basically right now, I’ve done all 3ish workouts this week. One I did on my own before realizing I was starting this plan — it was about 50% of the actual workout but it was better than nothing. Plus I haven’t been running much lately besides my dog’s pace, so I’m fine with cutting these workouts short to start. Second workout was supposed to be a 3 mile tempo (not including warmup and cooldown). I didn’t adjust for the high 80s temperature with humidity, or the fact that I haven’t run this speed in 4 months and turned it into 2 mile repeats with a breather in between. And my five mile run was actually just three, and I’m okay with that, too. 

My “goal” race is the Turkey Trot 8k on Thanksgiving, with a goal of feeling strong throughout.  So really, following the plan right down to every rep and pace isn’t going to make or break it. Next week I’m going to start to add CrossFit back in — I’ve had a little shoulder ouchie lately that keeps going away and then I test it out, and go right back to square one. So I decided to take a full two weeks off, get a massage, and see how that feels. 

It feels good to be back, but I did not miss the amount of dedication my legs require from the foam roller. 

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Brittany

Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

8 thoughts on “Run Fast… or Faster”

  1. Your post is exactly how I have felt in the past. I’m in the middle of using FIRST for Richmond Marathon training as we speak. I love the quality miles, as opposed to the high volumes of other training plans. I do miss the social aspect of recovery runs so I treat myself to them once in a while.

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    1. You talking about this on twitter is exactly what made me think about FIRST. I forget who you responded to but it was about no recovery runs and I remember being like “…. this sounds amazing.” I typically don’t run with others, but I don’t think I’d pass up the chance cuz the plan says not to do it. Perks of being a hobby jogger hahaha. I’m glad to hear you’re liking it , though. I’m hoping to keep it up through an actual half marathon race after base building now and seeing what happens.

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  2. I bought this book before I tried Hanson’s (talk about opposite ends of the spectrum, I know!) I wasn’t able to truly give it a shot then, but I’ve considered returning to it as I’ve been liking intervals a lot more than I used to. I never liked running fast, but as I’ve gotten “faster,” I’ve actually actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Looking forward to following your training!

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  3. To each their own is the best part- because everyone is so different..NEEDS and WANTS different things. What I love is that you have tried lots of different methods, give them a shot and see if it works or doesn’t and aren’t afraid to chuck it out the window if it doesn’t. You found crossfit works for you and it helps, and know that you can modify it based on what works for you. Some people are so afraid to try different things, or won’t give them a fair shot. Proud of you!

    Also, I find it interesting that the book doesn’t recommend crossfit as crosstraining since most of the people that I know that use the run less run faster method are cross fitters! it seems like the two would go together well to me, especially with people like you who have made a point to learn about what you personally need or can handle

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