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RUNNERS WORLD RUN LESS RUN FASTER: Become a Faster, Stonger Runner with the Revolutionary First Training Program [Paperback]

Bill Pierce , Scott Murr , ray Moss
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Dec 2007 Runners World
Hailed by the "Wall Street Journal" and featured twice in six months in cover stories in "Runner's World" magazine, First's unique training philosophy makes running easier and more accessible, limits overtraining and burnout, and substantially I cuts the risk of injury-while producing faster race times.The key feature is the "3 plus 2" program, which each week consists of: quality runs, including track repeats, the tempo run, and the long run, which are designed to work together to improve endurance, lactate-threshold running pace, and leg speed; and aerobic cross-training workouts, such as swimming, rowing, or pedalling a stationary bike, which are designed to improve endurance while helping to avoid burnout.With detailed training plans for 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon, plus tips for goal-setting, rest, recovery, injury rehab and prevention, strength training, and nutrition, this program will change the way runners think about and train for competitive races.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books,US (5 Dec 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159486649X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594866494
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By D. Hull
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been running for over 40 years and have probably tried just about every variant you can think of in my pursuit of the perfect training schedule - though up until recently I've tended to favour higher mileage routines. As I get older, I've found that I break more easily and take longer to put myself back together. So anything promising less mileage while still producing good results was bound to grab my attention. This book is essentially about quality over quantity with a bit of cross-training thrown in. You basically do three quality sessions a week (one long run, one tempo and one interval session) - that's it running wise - no recovery or steady runs - nope, just three balls-out running sessions, interspersed with a couple of days cross-training (like cycling, swimming etc). The book gives a lot of theory as to why this works though most of it is anecdotal rather than hard scientific proof. They provide many case studies to support their claims. It's fascinating stuff and for some people it may be the answer but I'm not convinced it will work for everyone. I didn't make serious progress on this regime until I added some additional recovery mileage - an extra three days to be precise - but I must emphasise this was very slow running - real recovery stuff. I found this worked better for me than three days of rest. So I'm kinda following the regime in that I do the three hard sessions, plus the cross-training but have substituted three rest days with three recovery runs. Why I get much better results by simply adding three very easy runs - some would say junk mileage - I don't know - but I do know that it works for me, regardless of the science. What this book has done for me is to remind me that hard sessions should be really hard and easy sessions should be really easy - too much of my running was average pace, so in that respect it has earned it's price tag.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works for me 10 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I started off running every other day, instinctively having recovery days to avoid injury; then I started following training plans which involved a lot more running resulting in feeling burnt out, cruising close to an injury and not running any faster.

I'd read about this system early on and I thought that it was in sympathy with my natural instinct to run a bit harder when I ran and then recover and let my body adapt during the rest days. I bought this book and followed the 10k training plan. Result: 10k pb, no injuries and feeling better about training.

With this system, you don't do the same thing twice in a week, there are just three "quality" runs each of which have a different focus and real purpose, which helps me to keep the interest and enthusiasm for training. "Junk" running just for the sake of doing lots of miles is replaced with cross training e.g. cycling or swimming; I don't even do this as I have a very physical job which is cross training enough!

The charts on paces based on your latest race results are really good ensuring that, while pushing you, you don't train harder than you're currently capable of making it suitable for runners of all abilities. This also makes it really easy to follow the training plans.

I consider myself a beginner, running for just over a year with only four 10k races under my belt so I'm far from being very knowlegeable on the subject, but what I can say is that I'll be using this system from now on and would recommenend others to give it a go, especially if you have concerns about injury, time constraints or want to improve your perfomance.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A nice summary of an extremely popular concept; would any runner not want to run faster by running less?
The basic concept of training properly for 3 days per week and cross-training for a further 2 days, seems to be pretty sound. I've been following roughly this for many years.
The book explains this and provides some evidence to back it up, followed by training ideas and the specifics on what the running sessions should contain. I found these far too prescriptive, but for a novice they do provide an indication of what might be appropriate. Following such a strict regime has the danger of taking the fun out of running, and so ultimately failing in the long term.
I found the padding of 'case studies' and testimonials completely unnecessary and an irritating waste of paper.
If the book had been half the thickness and much more flexible with the suggested sessions, then I would have given it 5 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Although I haven't read this book I started a similar type of workout because I was suffering from an injury to my achilles. It seemed I was always getting injured and therefore would never make any real progress. I sat down & had a good old think about what I could do to improve my running. Then it dawned on me,run less. Simple really. I came up with a plan very similar to this '3 and 2' idea from this book. To reduse the impact from running I did all my training at the gym. I would do bike intervals(ints)& rowing monday, then hill ints on the treadmill tuesday, bike & rowing again on wed, again some hill ints on the treadmill thurs, friday was a day off then sat I would do weights & sunday normal ints on the teadmill. I did this for 4 weeks as I was training for a 10k race. Before I started my time was about 45 mins. After I not only broke the elusive 40min barrier but I improved by 7 mins with a time of 38mins. Funny thing is I twisted my ankle in the race so haven't been able to train since. But as soon as im better I'll carry on & know i'll continue to improve. So I definately vouch for this book. I was only running about 20km a week & able to run under 40mins. As I always say. Its the quality not the quantity that counts.I never ran for more than 40mins & was in & out of the gym in an hour
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Theory is spot on!
Make sense of training as you get older! This common sense approach is good- as are the age comparison tables.,
Published 17 months ago by mark thomas
2.0 out of 5 stars Runners World Run Less Run Faster
Bought as a present - went down very well as he is a runner who is always trying to do better.
Published 19 months ago by Margaret
5.0 out of 5 stars Worked for me
I used this book to train for a half marathon and also to improve my running speed. On the 3 runs a week plus some cross-training (although I could have been more consistent on... Read more
Published 20 months ago by K. Aziz
5.0 out of 5 stars Improvement in 5km pb and confident of more
This book has improved my training schedule making it more enjoyable and efficient. Very challenging runs with enough rest period to ensure injury prevention. Read more
Published on 11 May 2012 by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars Great advice
Bought this book to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I am only in the early weeks of using the recommended training schedule but feel that if I can maintain the progress I... Read more
Published on 18 April 2011 by Mr. Ivan Shannon
5.0 out of 5 stars New approach to training
having begun to pick up Achilles injuries whilst increasing my mileage for my next marathon, I stumbled on this book which promotes only running 3 times weekly. Read more
Published on 9 April 2011 by mjordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Interval training made fun!
Looking for a book with an easy-to-follow programme that produces results quickly? Sound too good to be true? Read more
Published on 12 Dec 2010 by S. M. Nottage
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to make the most of your running time, this is the book...
As a personal trainer I have clients that want to run a marathon. This is the book I recommend. Time is often at a premium for most people and this book helps you make the most... Read more
Published on 16 July 2010 by Tracy Austin
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Quite simply a brilliant read and program - well ok, it's a little too early to say if it's worked, but it definitely feels like it is. Read more
Published on 12 July 2010 by camping bell
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