Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Run Less Run Faster"...I despise you.

So I promised more reviews for you all this time around. Might as well start with the book I just finished:

Run Less Run Faster

By Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss

What's it about? So the book lays out a training system for running marathons (or halfs, 10Ks, 5Ks or whatever) that is based on a method called "3Plus2", 3 days of running and 2 days of cross training. The theory goes by dropping your "junk miles" and running just 3 days of intensely focused training (a speed workout, a tempo workout, and a long run) you are allowing your body more time to recover and training with a purpose on the days you run. The cross training days help you maintain your fitness without continuing to stress the body in the same manner as running.

What I think about this theory? Love it. Actually, I kind of already abide by it through my own personal flex time running that has evolved into 3 days of focused running and one easy run. Although, I'll admit I've been lax in the past about the cross training (it was always at least ON my schedule dangit, that counts for something right?).

But besides the whole "3 Plus 2" at the core of this workout, one of the things I like best about the basis of their training program is that the long runs are run nearly at marathon pace. I LOVE THIS. Personally, I could not ever quite figure out how my body was suddenly supposed to run a minute or more per mile faster on race day as opposed to during training runs as a lot of other programs I found suggest. Now I get why those programs wouldn't want to run you that hard. You are after all running 5-6 days a week, but that's the beauty of this program. You get a chance to rest and recover, so you CAN run your long runs nearly at race pace, but still have enough time to recover and continue training without burnout or injury. (YAY)

What else is in this book? Charts, charts and more charts. Want to see how your 5K best time translates into a 1/2 marathon? Or how about what you marathon time would be if you were 10 years younger? Or what pace you need to run to run a sub 4 hour marathon? This book is loaded with charts, as well as complete training schedules for someone just getting into running, or aiming for a 5K, 10K, half, full marathon, or a Boston Qualifying time. There's also a no nonsense, I don't have a lot of time so just give me the meat and potatoes set of stretches and strength training exercises for runners and a section on performance factors that includes running injuries, nutrition, and weather.

What don't I like about this book? The training programs are based on scientific studies conducted at the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) which is FANTASTIC. (Actual progress scientifically charted, who'd have thunk it?) But personally, I'm not interested in the detailed explanations of scientific experiments. I get bored and antsy which leads to a strong urge to skip ahead and get to the training programs. That's just me though. I'm sure my husband LOVED those sections and I can definitely understand why those sections need to be in there. A lot of runners are hardcore about running lots of miles and so the authors have something to prove so to speak. But for me...blah. I'd rather watch the three episodes of Chugginton we've got taped for the nine millionth time.

So why is it that I despise this book? Because, for crying out loud, I already wrote my training program for the next 6 months and now I've been force to go back and redo it. Errrr...frustrating...but in the long run I think it will be worth it. Maybe I'll have to come back here in a couple months and update how it all went eh?

Final thought...I highly recommend checking this book out if you get a chance. I mean who doesn't want to run faster with less risk of burnout and injury right?

Another final thought...I am constantly referring to this book as Run Less Run More which I realize makes absolutely no sense, but somehow I can not seem to stop myself. If you hear me say that in public or if I type it in a future post by accident (b/c I surely will NOT catch it) whisper or email me ..."faster, Kelly, faster" so I know I've screwed it up and don't just keep talking about how you can run less and run more.

Really the last final thought I swear...This book got started with an article in Runner's World a few years ago. You'll have to forgive my delay on finding it. I don't think I read RW back then. Better late than never though right?

DISCLAIMER: Should you click the image of the book cover above, you will be taken to where you can purchase the book if you so choose. Should you go through with said purchase, as an Amazon Affiliate, they will give me a small reward in the form of moola for your referral. If you don't like me (or think you can get the book cheaper elsewhere, the library, whatever), then might I perhaps suggest you do not click the above link. On the other hand, if you happen to be a fan of my ramblings, or you just appreciate that I took the time to share with you a review, then feel free to click away. But remember, just because I liked it doesn't necessarily mean you will and I can not be held responsible for your less then amicable feelings about the above reviewed book. Thank-you and have a nice day :-)


Kelly's runner said...


I would have no problem at all clicking on the link to help you earn some moola. However I already own this book and have found it way to hard to be so disciplined to follow three days of targeting running. I prefer my run by feel rambo like training methods which usually land me in the injured reserved running limbo land.

I do like the idea to run less, thereby running more. Very catchy :)

Jen said...

Now you have sparked my interest.. did the charts and things distract from your reading?

TerryProf said...

I guess my problem with this is that I really LOVE to run. If it were my job and I would get a raise if I beat all the competion I guess I might consider it. But I like to run and enjoy my running, and have fun not always in competition with the clock. (Also, always running hard is a scary thought when it comes to my 50+ year old wheels.)

Staci Dombroski said...

Good review :-)

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

I wish I cared a little more about getting faster but I really just love to run... a lot. I should listen to what I know is true and run smarter BUT...

Great post.

RunMom said...

Jen, nope the charts didn't distract me from reading. They all fell in the right places. They did however weave a bunch of success/testimony letters throughout that in my opinion were slightly distracted. Could have put them all in one section. But now I'm just being SUPER picky :-)

RunMom said...

And hey, I love to run to all. Ideally outdoors on a mildly hilly course that winds through the woods a touch with moderate temps in the spring and/or fall...ahhh...just a moment I'm enjoying myself...did I say without a stroller? But since most of my runs are done in the confines of my basement while entertaining my almost 4 year old as my other girlie girl naps, I'll take the enjoyment of running progress as a somewhat suitable substitute for the joys of a casual run. Ok that and I do like to run fast from time to time. Once a sprinter always a sprinter perhaps?