Week 1 of Run Less, Run Faster

The first week of marathon training was June 15th! According to the Run Less, Run Faster training program, there are three key runs (speed work, temp, and long run) and there are suggested cross-training activities. How did I do?

Tuesday: Key Run #1 Track Repeats (3 x 1600 @7:08)

I had good intentions to do this, but Ben and I were vacationing in the Poconos last week. The entire area where we were staying is VERY hilly. It’s impossible for me to run anything close to a 7+ min mile when there are steep climbs. The descents didn’t help much because some of them were so steep that I was actually breaking with each step. I decided to do hill intervals instead, where I sprint up the hills as fast as I can and then slowly jog down. On Tuesday I ran 4 miles.

Wednesday: Additional training run (hill intervals)

Because I felt that Tuesday’s session of hill intervals was not as intense of a workout as the scheduled one, I decided to try to make up for it a bit with volume by doing another two miles of hill intervals on Wednesday. I didn’t want to go far, so I did a rolling hill simulation by arbitrarily picking a landmark and sprinting toward it and walking down to recover.

Thursday: Key Run #2 Tempo Run (2 miles easy, 2 miles @ 7:41, 2 miles easy)

I nailed the easy. I did the tempo run at 8:40 pace, a min slower than planned, but I don’t think RLRF was written with hilly roads and 88% humidity in mind. Despite not hitting the scheduled pace, I am still happy with the training run.

Saturday: Additional Run (5K race)

Thtre O’burg 5K Mine Run!

Sunday: Key Run #3 – Long Run (13 miles @9:02)

I did this on the McDade Recreational Trail at the Delaware Water Gap. I really like this trail. I started at the Dingmans Ferry General Store and headed north toward Milford. I went 6.5 miles north and headed back. This section of the train is nice packed gravel, which is my favorite surface to run on. A well-packed gravel surface is still a pretty fast surface, but much softer than concrete. I ran through a mix of meadows and forests. The trail was quite empty. I saw a few cyclists and a couple of hikers during the two hours that I was out.

I started off well. The first 7 miles, I was hitting the pace nicely. Then I really slowed down and fell apart a bit. I wish I had brought something to eat because I was feeling run down. I steadily ran the best I can and finally at 12.5, I stopped. I didn’t have it in me to finish the last half mile. I was stumbling and running/walking even more slowly, so I decided to end the torture. I finished the 12.5 mile run at a 10:00 pace. Although the day was humid, it wasn’t so bad because the sky was overcast and for a part of the trail, I ran through forests. The cool/scary part of the run was when I saw a little baby black bear lumber across the trail. Where there’s baby, there’s mama. I stopped and waited to see if the mama bear would appear. After a few minutes, I didn’t hear or see anything, so I figured it was safe to continue running.

Waterfall at PEEC

Waterfall at PEEC

As for cross-training, Ben and I went on a couple of short hikes. The trails around the Poconos Environmental Education Center are great. The trails are very pretty, with a nice mix of doable hills and flat ground, and beautiful waterfall. Plus it’s dog friendly. Bandit had a blast on the trails. Definitely recommend going there if you’re in the area.

Pretty good effort for the first week of marathon training. Fifteen more weeks left to go!

11 thoughts on “Week 1 of Run Less, Run Faster

  1. You were in the Poconos! That’s by me. And yes, it’s hilly as anything there! Nice job modifying your plan and attacking the hills! Great job this week. Summer running is TOUGH and you nailed it!

  2. Yikes bears. They freak me out so much when I run outside in the woods. Really enjoy hearing about your training and plan. I look forward to hearing what you think of it as you progress. 🙂

  3. I’m so excited for you. I hope you have a great training season and great first marathon. I suspect you’ll crush it. This was also a great reminder to me about Run Less, Run Faster. I followed one of their plans and the book in my 2012 season, when I set my half AND marathon PRs. Since then I’ve tried a few different plans, but without the same results. That’s it! I’m going back to FIRST! Thanks for the reminder!

    • Yay! More RLRF fans!

      I hope that I learn to like the long runs better. It’s not so much that I fear the mileage, but more that I never particularly cared that much about running long. Give me good speed work any day!

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