The other week I embarked on a new running training program, the FIRST 3/2 program. It is an intensity based program focusing on speed and split times. A unique component to the plan is the 3 Key Runs – Track Repeats, Tempo Run, Long Run. That’s it.
Deceptively difficult. These key runs come with prescribed split times based on your current running ability… or desired race time (if your current ability supports it).
I’m training for a half marathon at the end of March, the Tomoka half. It’s 16 weeks from when I started the training… the length of the plan. My fastest half marathon is 1:46:45. I would really like to beat that time. By how much? I’m not real sure what is reasonable. I set my sights on 1:30, but the training runs for it were impossible for me. I’m just not that fast. Never have been. I adjusted to 1:36. Still too fast. I’m currently working off a target of 1:40… and I am still having to work my tail off to make the splits.
As I prepared for this training plan and in the first couple weeks of it I have come to a stark realization about myself as a runner. I’m a lazy runner. Don’t misunderstand me, I run far. I just don’t work very hard at my running. I run far… but not with much intensity or purpose. I’ve been what I would call a runner for 11 years now, and I ran my first tempo run last week. I impressed myself as I was able to keep a good tempo pace. This was partially due to me doing bad math and therefore I set my pace times faster than I intended.
What I’d like to do is share some of my thoughts each week on the training I experienced running. In addition to the 3 key runs, the plan calls for 2 cross-training days. Those days are either cycling, swimming or rowing. I am going to throw some strength training into the mix for good measure also.
My hope is that I will evolve as a runner and get better at it through this plan, as well improve my overall health. On Sunday, I began the nutritional component of BeachBody’s 21 Day Fix. I’ve begun to portion control and be purposeful and intentional with my eating habits. I will likely share my thoughts on this too. If I journal (Are dudes allowed to use that word in connection with ourselves?) through this experience I hope it will assist me in getting more out of the whole thing. I am not old and I am not unhealthy, but it’s not a bad idea to become more disciplined, purposeful and intentional about my health to minimize the potential health risks as I get older.
Here we go. The stage is set. I’m on this journey and I encourage you to follow along, cheer me on, join with me or watch and laugh at my pain and discomfort.