Marathon Training Preview–Run Less, Run Faster

Choosing a training plan for the Marine Corps Marathon this October took me some time. I used a Higdon plan for my last (first) marathon and I liked it but was curious and decided to explore what else was out there. I kept hearing a lot about Run Less, Run Faster.

10436682_712169895513981_9220745449183860913_n
So I bought the book to see what it was all about and much of it intrigued me. Enough to use it as my plan? At first no, but after thinking long and hard, and researching other plans, I have decided to try RLRF out. Here’s my Pro/Con list that I made in coming to this decision.

PRO
* 3/2 system. The plan has you only running three days which is definitely an appeal to me since I’ll be returning to work in the fall.

CON
*However, the plan insists on 2 cross training days so it’s really not like you’re only running 3 days and then doing nothing the rest of the week. I’ll still be very busy 5 out of 7 days (as I would be with any plan).

PRO
*It’s very structured. This is a plus for me because I like being told what to do when it comes to plans–if a plan says I need to do it then I just do it. The three days of running are structured so that you run one tempo run, one speed work day, and one long run each with specific paces (that vary each week).

CON
*It’s very structured. I’m worried this might take some fun out of running. There will be no “easy” days (a major goal of this system is to eliminate “junk” miles) so each run will be very intense.

PRO
*It’s very tailored to your goal time. I’m not a big numbers girl so this took me a while to “get” but the way you figure out what paces to run your 3 days is by determining your 5k time. That time lays out the foundation for what will ultimately become the plan for your marathon goal. (I did not choose my 5k PR time because that would result in a ridiculously, unrealistic marathon goal.)

CON
*I’m worried that because the plan is very goal oriented, I’ll become super disappointed if I’m not able to maintain the paces needed in training to reach my goal.

PRO
*When I reached out to running friends who had tried RLRF, all of them had good things to say about it.

CON
*When I googled RLRF Reviews, yeah, not so much lol!

OTHER NOTES:
*As I compared this plan to others I’d reviewed, I noted that the total mileage was very close to the total mileage of other plans. So even though I would be running “less”, it’s less in the sense of days per week.

*It’s a 16 week plan. Higdon’s is 18 and I believe Hanson’s is 18 as well. RLRF would have me starting two weeks from today but I’ve decided to add a two week ease-into-training period testing out the paces.

*They have two marathon plans–one for novices and one for experienced runners. I’m going with the former as it has one 20 mile long run. The latter has 3 (no, thank you).

*The book has a section for post workout stretches that I really like. I”m looking forward to incorporating them in my training.

Ultimately, I’m very curious to see how this plan works for me. I’m always up for trying something new and different and at the same time, if I’m not feeling it, I’m totally okay with re-evaluating the game plan.

We’ll see how it goes! Cheers to the beginning of marathon training!! 😀

–Have you heard of/tried Run Less, Run Faster?

–Do you put a lot of time in to creating a training plan? (Was my pro/con list overkill? lol!)

–What are important factors for you in choosing a training plan?