Why Run Less, Run Faster

RLRFI’ll be running my first marathon, Wineglass, this October.

I decided a couple of years ago that 2015 would be a good year to do a marathon because I would have had three years of solid running experience and at the time I thought I would have more time. Back then, I didn’t know that I was going to get married, move, and do house renovation. Once I realized that I had too much going on in the spring and elected to postpone it til fall, I chose Wineglass because I did the half a couple of years ago and loved it. It’s a gentle net downhill point to point course during one of the nicest times of the year. In terms of time, I know that there’s never a good time for any big decision. Just times that are less bad. If I didn’t do it this year, I would still have other things going on next year that could potentially interfere. So, I’m just going to go ahead and bite the bullet.

In the past, I’ve always created my own on-the-fly training program for the various races that I did. I was improving. I got faster. New PRs were created. I saw no reason to do anything different as long as I was happy with the progress that I was making. Last winter/spring, I tried to complete a training program for the first time. I picked MyAsics for a spring half marathon because I like their philosophy (tempo run based) and I saw it as a way of getting me to increase my mileage without running every day and without running too much (it peaked at 30 miles/week). Unfortunately I had to abandon the plan and training due to the lack of time. While I really wish I could have finished out the training plan so that I could have seen how well I would have done, I had a sneaking suspicion that the lack of speed work was affecting me (specifically that despite the increase in mileage, I was getting slower).

When I made my own training plans, speed work was my foundation, which is a very different training philosophy from the standard view. Most of my training runs were various different kinds of speed work, a few tempo runs, and a couple long runs for the half marathons. I know that I need to do more long runs for a marathon and I figure a training program created by people who actually know marathons would probably be better than what I’d do left to my own devices. After much thought, I decided the Run Less, Run Faster, best suited my own preferences for training.

I strongly wish to only run 3 times a week. I know RLRF thinks I should cycle, row, or swim for cross-training, but I won’t. I’ll be doing more weightlifting and yoga as cross-training. I’m eager to get back into speed work. I’ve missed it. I tried to do mile intervals yesterday on the treadmill. Oof! I need to get my speed back!

20 thoughts on “Why Run Less, Run Faster

  1. Good luck with your training. I’m curious to find out how it worked. I am in week two of the Hanson program which is basically the opposite of yours (run six days a week with no leeway).

    Belated congratulations on the nuptials, by the way. You looked stunning!

    • I think these two training programs/philosophies are the two extreme polar opposite of each other. I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other, but that they appeal to different people.


  2. Good luck! There’s so many plans out there, it’s hard to decide. I’m currently choosing for Chicago. I wasn’t able to book Wineglass this year – but a TON of my run club friends are going. Look for the WRRC shirt and say HI!!!

  3. Speed work is so important! My last run clinic instructor had us do speed work in the middle of our long runs every other week or every two weeks. I think it helped me get faster (or maybe just training consistently did lol;). Good luck on your training! Looking forward to hearing how this plan works for you.

  4. Longtime reader, never commented though! I’m excited to hear that you’ve taken the plunge to do a full marathon. I’m running my first half, also at Wineglass, and I’m nervous about training because I don’t have a lot of time. I might have to look into this plan.

    Good luck with your training!

    • Howdy! And thanks for your good wishes.

      I think Wineglass will be an excellent race for your first half. They have pacers, which help make the experience go more smoothly. And I just love the town of Corning. It’s a charming little town and the glass museum is phenomenal!

  5. It’s interesting to me that you like speed work to be the foundation of your training plan. I don’t usually spend any time doing speed work but in the rare instance that I have, I am always amazed at the time I was able to shave off my long runs. I should do more speed work, I just don’t. I’m going to start training for the Miami Marathon soon and I will ave to adopt your philosophy! Best of luck with your marathon training!

    • I have a hard time getting myself to do longer runs and can come up with a million excuses to not do it. The speed work takes much less time and I can always find time to do it. Since I don’t run every day, I have plenty of recovery time and low mileage, i don’t get injured.

  6. Hello, just wanted to sat thank you for passing by and leaving me a wee positive note, because it’s led me to your blog which is absolutely lovely! I’m already looking forward immensely to your Wineglass report – I hope you have an amazing first marathon. Enjoy these last few weeks!

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