Tag Archives: FIRST Training

Ultra Marathon Training Day 1, 2, and 3

The Program

When I first looked at the training plan for the ultra marathon I’m going to run in November I knew it was different compared to training for a 5K, half or full marathon. Some would surmise that the plan would  be exactly like a marathon training program only the long runs would be longer.

The two biggest differences in this training program are the lack of speed work and the focus on specificity in trail running. While the book does say you can put in interval training or other types of speed work it also says don’t worry if you don’t or would rather not.  Total volume of miles is the key along with “time on feet”. I like the specificity training. I’ve done some trail running the last couple weeks and have not only enjoyed the scenery, but also have loved the softness of the ground compared to running on pavement or concrete.

Day 1

Seeing how this program is a little different it is only fitting that my first workout for the ultra training program was a weights workout at noon on Monday. I hit full body alternating between upper and lower and taking it easy on the legs since I have three runs on consecutive days and two days with double runs.

Day 2

Tuesday morning I ran a 10K at the gym and I ran just under 4 miles at lunch.  The 10K felt great and I kept the speed down to around a 10min/mile pace. I could definitely feel the walking lunges from Monday’s workout.  On occasion I forget how much walking lunges help me run. If you are a runner and want to run faster or with better form then just add walking lunges to your workout once or twice a week. The 4 miler was an easy jaunt down the Monon Trail and back. On the way back I ran in the soft gravel on the side of the trail to mimic a trail as much as possible.

Day 3

Wednesday morning (today) I did an easy 4 miler at the gym with a little incline. The schedule called for 3 miles, but I wanted to make up a little mileage where ever I can since I’ll not be going long on Saturday morning as I normally would.

Friday is Fun Day

Even though it’s my first week of ultra training I am hitting the local festivities for Carb Day this coming Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which means I won’t feel like running 10+ miles on Saturday morning.  This is also why I’m putting in a few extra miles on Tuesday and Thursday at lunch! I’ve said it countless times before. Plan those celebrations into your training so you don’t feel like your training is making you miss out on life.


I’m almost 100% on my training diet again making healthier choices and opting for smaller more frequent portions.  I’ve been adamant about the whey protein post workout so far and I’ve upped my water intake considerably.  I’ve also went to cutting out artificial sweetener in my morning coffee so I’m less apt to crave the sweeter foods. Every little “trick” helps.  Things are paying off as I’m down to 176lbs.  My goal is to weigh 160lbs by November as carrying an extra 16-20 pounds for 50 miles will make the task a bit more difficult.  🙂

Happy Training!


Keep at It!

I’ve been training non-stop since December 2009 for some running event or another…there have been one or two…  Across these last 20 months I’ve improved my fitness level from running nearly a 3 hour half-marathon to a ~2 hour half-marathon and ran my first full-marathon eight months ago.  All great accomplishments. My whole focus besides proving I could do it was to just “get in shape” and lose some weight with an emphasis on weight loss early on. I quit weighing myself as often a few weeks ago and checked in again yesterday afternoon with my friend “The Scales”.

I’ve realized that sometimes you have to just “Keep at It” regardless of what the scales say because your body is going to adapt the way it needs to not necessarily the way you want it to in the end.  You may care about the beach, but your body doesn’t. I had been weighing in consistently for several months at around 180lbs up until yesterday…

On Thursday I weighed 174lbs!  I’m getting so close to my goal weight of 160-165 that I can’t wait, but honestly at this point I’m more interested in my fitness level, body fat percentage and the way I feel more than the actual number on the tell tale scale.

I was beginning to wonder if I’d lost some more because my interval runs and tempo runs had been getting easier for the program I’m on at present (FIRST Program). I kept being able to push it a bit more than what was prescribed.  Then my trainer saw me Thursday morning and asked if I’d lost some more weight.  I actually said, “No”. That I was just looking different because of the weight lifting I’d been implementing twice a week…I’m happy to admit that I was wrong!  Never been so happy to be wrong!

So the message of the week is to keep at it even if the scale isn’t moving for several months.  You have to send your body enough messages telling it that you’d like a change.  Mine has quite a learning curve and seems to be using two tin cans and a string for communication so the message is slower….  🙂

So take a look at your exercise routine, diet, calorie consumption and calorie expenditure.  Are you sending consistent messages or mixed messages? Just something to ponder.

My next run, a full marathon, is 92 days away.  I’m looking forward to running it at 174 pounds or less!

Happy Training!


Monumentally Goofy Training Program

Happy July 4th to my US readers/runners and happy Monday to all the rest! Wow, has it really been mid-June since my last blog?!?!  Yikes! See, that’s what happens when you have a full-time job. It gets in the way of all the important things in life.  ;-D

Over the last few weeks I have made myself NOT RUN! I know, crazy right? I took this time to do the following:

  1. Rest & Recover from the last 20 months of training
  2. Cross Train & lift weights a bit
  3. Get a business trip out of the way
So now that I am all rested I am ready to start my new training program for the remainder of the summer. And speaking of new training programs, a few weeks ago I posted the basic Goofy Training Program (From Memory). Jeff Galloway and runDisney have the complete plan up again now so everyone can choose whether or not they want to use Jeff’s run-walk-run method since he includes all the details on the runDisney website.  Many people have a lot of great things to say about his run/walk plan and many more have cut there half and full marathon times by implementing his training methodology. Last January I even did a little of the run-walk-run during my 1st marathon at Walt Disney World.
2011 WDW Radio Running Team before the Marathon

I ran most of the race and even did a few miles with my fellow teammates from the WDW Radio Running Team. However, since it was my first full-marathon I decided to enjoy it and walk a few steps to get needed rest so I’d have something left in the fuel tank for walking around the park on Monday!

Like I said in January if you want to run with a great group of people then look up Lou Mongello and the WDW Radio Running Team on Facebook. We raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation.  Our numbers have really grown since last January!  I believe we are up to 47 members on the team running a variety of races at Disney throughout the year. Running with this group makes a great event even more special since you help fulfill the wish of a terminally ill child. The team raised enough to do just that going into January and it was a fantastic feeling!

But I digress, so I had planned to tackle the Goofy next January, but as always nothing is simple. I went to a race expo in May before the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon and saw a flyer for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.  Wanting to be prepared to “Go Goofy” I decided a pre-Goofy test was in order and signed up for the Indianapolis full-marathon which takes place November 5th, 2011. So now the dilemma. How to train for both the Monumental full-marathon AND the Goofy Challenge?  Thrown into the mix was the fact that I have implemented the FIRST Training Program (mentioned this in a previous post).  The answer is simple.  Use the blender method!  Throw it all together and hit puree! After a good blending what do you get? A Monumentally Goofy Training Program!

It’s not really all that bad, but I’m going to be working hard most days of the week. Glad I “rested” for 2 weeks!

Monday: Lift weights & Spin (Cross Training Workout #1 for FIRST)

Tuesday: FIRST Key Running Workout #1 (Intervals)

Wednesday: Lift Weights and Spin/Row (Cross Training Workout #2 for FIRST)

Thursday: FIRST Key Running Workout #2 (Tempo Run)

Friday: Lift Weights Only (Go Light)

Saturday: Long Run – The Goofy Training calls for some weekends of a long walk followed by a long run the next day

Sunday: Rest or Long Run on “Goofy” weekends

So that’s my training plan for the rest of the year. Seems pretty basic until you go back and look at what the FIRST Training plan entails (see previous posts). That regimen is rather intense! I’ll be on this plan for 8 weeks and then I’m taking a week off to go to Hawaii for vacation!  🙂 I’ll have a couple workouts there, but nothing serious since I’m on vacation! After Hawaii I’ll be back on my program for another 9 weeks until the Monumental Marathon on November 5th. After the Monumental it’ll be just 9 more weeks until The Goofy Challenge!

I’m so excited to get started!  Training begins tomorrow morning!

Happy Training!


New Training Regimine

I get bored easily with training programs. It’s a curse. Perhaps I watched too many action flicks as a kid where the hero was shown doing all the cool “training to fight” scenes or maybe I just like variety on the run, but I change training plans after every major training initiative it seems. I’m always trying to find a better way! I was a devout Hal Higdon follower when I started this whole weight loss/running phenomena and then I converted to the wise musings of Saint Galloway toward the end of last year. I’ve even dabbled in the teachings of the Wizard Yasso. I guess I take the approach that if I can take a little bit from each program and add in some common sense then I’ll eventually come up with a kick-butt training program to last me for a while.

So here I go!  I’m in the process of reading the book Run Less Run Faster which covers the FIRST (Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training) Program. Oddly enough, I found that after reading a bit of the book that I had inadvertently adapted my current training program to be almost like the FIRST Program. I had everything except the intensity at which the program trains for its three weekly runs.

The program focuses on quality workouts rather than a quantity of runs 5-7 days a week as many runners (including me) have done for training in the past. So I thought I’d give it a try since the creators of the program have years of research supporting how well the training works along with a plethora or runners heaping accolades on how they’ve cut 20-30 minutes off their marathon times. Testimonials are great, but they don’t hold water for me unless I see hard data to back up the claims. The FIRST Program has both.

The program works around a “3plus2” philosophy. That’s three runs a week and two cross training workouts a week. For the three runs they have specific goals in mind and really ramp up the intensity. This week so far I’ve completed two of the cross training workouts (also intense) and  Key Training Run #1. I won’t go into too much detail as you should really go buy the book (see picture) if you’re interested. Plus, you’ll need the pacing charts in the book to really get anything out of the program’s weekly plan.

That being said, I’ve been training weekly 5-6 days a week to train for multiple half-marathons and other races over the past 18 months so I feel I’m pretty well “fit”. After three days on this program I’m happy to say that my butt is dragging! Due to the intensity of the runs and cross training I’ll say that I realize why there are only three quality runs a week. Before I was just putting in the mileage apparently. Now, I feel like I’m putting in quality miles and really need the rest/recovery before my next run!  It’s awesome!

Best of all is with three runs a week (plus the occasional Goofy Challenge weekend double workout!) I can look forward to less worry as my schedule gets hectic this coming fall when I’m still working full-time, finishing up wedding plans, traveling, taking 6 credits toward my PhD and still finding time to enjoy family and friends. Heck, I might even be able to sleep at some point!  🙂

And here’s a bonus for all of you who are chasing a BQ time. This program is designed to get you there regardless of age. The book has a couple chapters devoted to that end.

I’ll blog further updates on my FIRST experience as I train this year. If you want to follow my training more closely then feel free to join me on the Daily Mile.

Happy Training!