Run less, run faster ? Indeed.
As I’ve casually mentioned here and there, I recently started following the FIRST running program prescribed in the appropriately named book Run Less, Run Faster. To say I’m happy with the results is a major understatement. I absolutely love this program, so much so that I’ve actually considered doing something I’ve never done before: write a review. Crazy, I know.
The thing is, I’m lazy when it comes to writing reviews, or anything even slightly “opinionated” for that matter. So I never got around to it. Then I stumbled upon a fellow blogger who wants to run faster. I recommended the FIRST program and then felt compelled to write a short story about it. Wait. What ?? Yea.
So I showed Geoffrey my novella and asked him if he wanted to add anything since he’s been really happy with the program as well. I also mentioned we should write a review. And then he said “looks like you already did.”
Well, yea. I guess I did.
So I modified my comment to sound more like a review and here it is, cut and slightly biased.
I ran track in school. The workouts were short, fast and focused strictly on competition. My manic efforts to become a long distance runner started after college and were met with injury after injury after injury. Forget speed, I could barely run for months at a time. Then I met my wonderful boyfriend. He wasn’t a runner but wanted to try it. Running with him was just the therapy I needed. Coaching him helped me build an injury-free base and then go from there. After finally completing my first marathon this year, I decided it was time for speed work and started using the FIRST program. I couldn’t be happier with the results.
The book had me at “run less” because I am very prone to injuries and cannot run more than 3 times a week. That, I was already doing. What I love most about the FIRST program is that EVERY run counts. It focuses on quality, not quantity. You’ll feel the difference as quickly as your first run.
With that said, it does require a high level of commitment because you can’t just skip a run whenever you feel like it. The good news is that you won’t want to ! The program will make you feel so good about yourself and your running that you will actually look forward to running. This was huge for me because even though I absolutely love running, I started to feel a bit bored with it all. I was in a rut. My runs didn’t have a goal or purpose and I had no way of gauging if I was improving.
Sure, increasing your mileage will help you get faster, eventually. At the end of the day being “faster” translates to being “more efficient” and you can certainly achieve that with longer runs. However, the FIRST Program will help tap your true potential as a runner which you can’t really achieve by running longer distances at the same pace indefinitely and it will do so in a shorter time frame to boot !
A tip: The book is divided into 4 major running programs: 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon. Even the 5k training plan is a bit intense for anyone who doesn’t have a good solid base or experience with the FIRST program. For that reason, I opted to use the Intermediate 5k training plan to start with. This is a good introduction to the program which will help you decide if it’ll work for you.
I am confident that this program will work for anyone who puts in the time and effort.