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Runner's World Run Less, Run Faster: Become a Faster, Stronger Runner with the Revolutionary FIRST Training Program Paperback – May 15, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

BILL PIERCE, a collegiate half-miler and experienced marathoner, is professor and chair of Furman's Health and Exercise Science Department.

SCOTT MURR, an experienced marathoner and 10-time Ironman Triathlon finisher, is director of Furman's Fitness Center and a lecturer in the Health and Exercise Science Department at Furman.

RAY MOSS, who designed the FIRST laboratory physiological testing protocol, is professor of health and exercise science and director of the Molnar Human Performance Laboratory at Furman.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 1 edition (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159486649X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594866494
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Friend on May 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like the content and idea of the book, but I bought the Kindle Edition and all the critically important training charts are unreadable on the Kindle. I try to "zoom" the charts so I can see them and they only get about 10% larger. Without the training charts, the Kindle edition is pretty worthless. You can get the general idea of the book, but can't get any specifics about training programs for you. If these charts aren't going to be readable on the Kindle, then this should be disclosed before you buy and they should be available online (for free if you bought the book). As it is, I feel like I got ripped off.

If I'm missing some other way to read all these charts on the Kindle (or online), I'd be happy to know how to do it.

Edit: I have discovered that you can download the Kindle reader for the PC, download your digital copy of this book to that and you can read the charts on the PC. It still seems like the Kindle itself ought to be able to present these charts in a zoomed/scrollable format that is readable on the Kindle.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just bought this book a couple of weeks ago and was very intrigued and motivated about starting an actual training routine. However I was very dissapointed with the book in many aspects that should be weighted before buying the book.

Positive things first:
-the methodology and routines described in this book are great and pretty much proven scientifically which is rare in this kind of books
-a bunch of tables, statistics, etc.
-different programs for 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon
-lots of letters from runners and answers to their questions makes this more human and you feel less like a guinea pig for an experiment
-stretching diagrams are very detailed and well explained

Negative aspects:
-almost all the tables and programs are available for free from the FIRST web site: [...] so is it really necessary to write a book this extensive to repeat the information?
-I absolutely HATED that they use english system and then metric system at will.... I was completely lost at some points regarding the distance I was expected to run or my tempo... again, this is solved in the website where you will find the same information in metric units or english units but not mixed together
-first chapters are terribly repetitive, the insist on how less is better and it avoids injuries but is it necessary to repeat it over 50 pages?
-The book seems completely oriented towards qualifying for the Boston marathons... which is fine by me but not every reader cares about a marathon that is mentioned every 2 pages as reference against which all times are measured. I dont see why you cant focus only on 5K or 10K training and enjoy the same method created by FIRST. Yes those 2 programs are available but only about 5% of the book is dedicated to them.
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Format: Paperback
This book provides with very specific paces, for three specific workouts. If you stick to the plan, I believe it works and it did, in fact, work well for me. However, every run has a pace and a purpose and unless your buddy is doing the exact same program, at the exact same pace, you're doing every single run alone over those 12 weeks.

My problem with this book is not with the training plan, though. My problem is that it is VERY SHORT on information other than the training plan. Instead it is filled with "hey, it worked for me letters." Yawn.

I had many questions which were never addressed in any way. The paces are all challenging, I was surprised they didn't address how to cope with the pain mentally. For me, I could hit all my paces, except the short tempo pace. I didn't know if I should change all my paces or just that one, or if I should run at that pace until I had to stop. In fact, the basic question of what to do when you weren't running at the desired pace was never addressed, other than to say that it should average out to the specific pace. Well, when you're having an off day the averages don't always work in your favor...It was difficult to find a cross training activity that left my legs alone so that they would be able to perform at their peak for my next run. Running a hilly course is never addressed; my paces were completely off when I had to run any hills at all. I've got a long list of issues that they apparently never thought of.

I found myself seeking out flat runs where I could maintain the challenging paces, and that in itself also got boring.

Ultimately, I felt like the authors took the easy way out in not addressing many of these issues. It's easy to say "go do this.
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2 Comments 64 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I've studied numerous training programs and methodologies (Daniels, Pfitzinegr, Higdon, others) and the FIRST program beats them all, hands down! I can't say enough about the 3-day/week training programs that have come from Bill Pierce and the folks at FIRST. I began using their marathon program 2 years ago to train for the Atlanta Marathon. In my previous marathon training, I was constantly dealing with nagging injuries from too much running, and trying to balance the demands of 50+ miles/week with family and career. Utilizing their method, I dropped my PR from 3:10 to 2:59 (set at Boston), and I stayed healthy and injury free in the process, while never running more than 35 miles in a week. I've since used their programs to train for 1/2 marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks, all with the same results - improved health, performance, and new PRs. If you're trying to juggle a busy life (work, family, running), or a multi-sport athlete balancing the training needs for 3 sports, then this is the perfect book for you. The addition of their insights on nutrition, strength training, and injury rehab/prevention, make this book an invaluable resource that goes much deeper that the articles that have appeared in Runner's World. Break away from the traditional 7-day/week, massive mileage programs, and take up the FIRST program. Your running times, and your health, will benefit.
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