Wednesday, May 24, 2006

FIRST Plan Reflection

Some of the NC Pacers have been using the FIRST Plan for our training guide. As written about previously, it has the three basic components of any good plan: a pace/speed workout, a tempo run, and a long distance run. It is recommended that on at least two other days some cross training is done. This cross training can be anything from biking to walking to swimming. It just can't be running. The week schedules out at Tuesday (pace/speed work), Thursday (tempo run), and for the Pacers we have been running our distance on Sunday.
The one problem with the distance on Sunday is that you only get one day of recovery before the pace/speed workout on Tuesday. The official FIRST Plan calls for the distance run on Saturday to provide a two day recovery.
Why do we do Sundays?
It is more convenient to schedule. More of the runners have their kids activities on Saturday where they don't have that commitment on Sunday morning.
There have been a few times where due to holidays or other special events, we have shifted our distance from Sunday to Saturday. When we did so, those weeks were easier. I could feel the difference in my legs. Case in point is this week. We shifted from Sunday to Saturday as we worked the HMEA 5K Race. Pacers were spread out helping to set up, running the registration table, distributing the numbers, packets, etc. And then for race time, manning the water stops, cross roads, and the mile and two mile clocks to provide splits to the runners.
On the track last night for pace work, we did a small step ladder. 200-300-400-300-200, walk/jogging the same distance as a recovery before getting not the next step, with a full lap recovery at the end of the set before repeating the ladder. We did an easy mile to warm up and an easy half mile to warm down for about 5 miles total.
My legs felt really good. I think I need to run my distance on Saturday more often.
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