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5ksandcabernets: 3:25 marathon running 3 days a week?

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

3:25 marathon running 3 days a week?

I've got a friend named Roberto. He is one of the faster runners during our Tuesday and Thursday morning training runs. And when I say fast, I mean his warm-up mile is 7:30.
 
So Thursday morning, after we complete our 5.8-mile hill course around TCU, I overhear Roberto talking to another runner who is having some apprehension about running a marathon. Roberto tells him, correctly, that if he'd just run slower, he'd be able to make the distance.
 
Then, he goes on to say that what he did to run a 3:25 marathon last year. I butt in _ politely _ to tell the other guy that if he'd increase his mileage, he'd also be on his way. Then I turn to Roberto and say, "Wow, 3:25. How many miles a week did you have to do to pull that off."
 
With a straight face, Roberto says, "I only ran three times a week. Tuesday (fast), Thursday (hills), and Saturday (long)."
 
Me: "Are you kidding? That's impossible"
 
Roberto: "Nahh, man. I'm not kidding. I guess I was always fresh for each run and never had to worry about injuries."
 
I guess some people are born runners.
 
Still, I love running wayyyy too much to only three days a week. Besides, I'm afraid if ran that little, what little speed and endurance I've put together would just wither away. No, I'm sure I'll need every mile and every VO2max training run to squeeze out what I hope can be a 3:30 marathon.

7 Comments:

Blogger Phil said...

Kevin - It's very possible. In 2005, I was 37 and somewhat new to marathon running. Had to drive my kids to school Mon,Wed, and Fridays. Ran Tues, Thur, and Saturday. No hills, no speed workouts, I just ran everything at marathon pace (7 1/2 to 8 min/miles). Chicago Marathon - I had a 3:30 goal and finished in 3:18! I'm not gifted - I'm asthmatic and uncoordinated, I was always picked last in gym class.

Following year, I added an early morning 30 minute speed workout and finished Chicago in 3:13 and BQ'd.

I didn't do anything special or work that hard. I think anyone can do it if they put their mind to it.

September 25, 2008 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger Derek said...

I would have to say that anybody that runs a 3:18 on three days running is a GIFTED runner! When I was younger I did all the running I could. Long runs, track workouts, Hills, intervals, etc.. and the best I could do was 3:40. I just never could keep up the speed for a full marathon. Some people are just born runners and the rest of us have to work hard and put in the miles!! Good luck because I know you can do it!!

September 25, 2008 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Ewen said...

Kevin, I'm with you. I look forward to my daily run too much.

Also, that program comes with some inbuilt pressure to do every session well. The 'smell the roses' easy runs that are missed are often the most pleasurable.

September 29, 2008 at 4:49 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

There is a training methodology called "FIRST" that focused on the 3 run per week philosophy you described (it also incorporates two cross-trainings - hence the title "3+2"). Look up the book on Amazon.

I tried it out early in this cycle and I found that I missed the endurance that my mid-week "med-long" runs. Plus you really need to NAIL some intense speed workouts - it basically focuses on running HARDER - less often.

It is possible to PR using it, however - but it depends on the natural strengths you have as a runner. If you are naturally gifted and prone to injury, it's a great plan.

Good luck in Dallas

September 29, 2008 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I run once a week. I am not very smart :)

September 30, 2008 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Just_because_today said...

I wouldn't want to take the chance. I am not gifted. I have to work hard at it. I follow a training program each time.

September 30, 2008 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Just12Finish said...

Yeah, but what was his marathon time BEFORE he started doing only 3 days a week running?

October 9, 2008 at 9:28 PM  

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