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Bill Pierce and Scott Murr with Runner's World Live​ Panel at the Boston Marathon.  ​

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Photo credit: Brita Outzen for Runner's World
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Photo credit: Brita Outzen for Runner's World


The Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) Running Retreat is designed for runners wishing to optimize their training, maximize their running performance, and minimize injuries.

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Best seller Run Less Run Faster presents the
FIRST® iPhone Companion app




"The Furman FIRST® training programs are the most detailed, well-organized, and scientific training programs for runners that I have ever seen.  For many runners, especially those hard-pressed to find time for their workouts, the Furman FIRST® programs will also be the best."
 --Amby Burfoot, Executive Editor, Runner's World Magazine,
1968 Boston Marathon Winner


About FIRST®


The Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST®) seeks to promote running as a healthy physical activity by providing training based on scientific principles. The FIRST® provides scientific and time-proven information on all aspects of becoming a better runner and wishes to assist runners of all ages and abilities in the Greater Greenville area achieve their goals and potential by developing individually tailored training programs. We provide testing for the average to elite runner, believing that increased knowledge of personal fitness parameters facilitates precise development of personal training programs.


By Runners for Runners

As experienced runners and exercise physiologists, the FIRST® staff understands the special needs of runners. The FIRST® staff will work with runners to design an individualized program to improve running mechanics as well as maximize running performance. The training programs will be developed from scientific laboratory and field tests.

Runners will learn to:  

  • Maximize potential
  • Train efficiently
  • Avoid injury
  • Set realistic goals
  • Avoid over-training
  • Improve the three primary determinants of performance
  • Follow sound nutritional principles
  • Develop a racing strategy
  • Make each workout have a purpose
  • Enjoy training and racing

FIRST® Services, Programs and Fees

Laboratory assessments include:
  • Maximal oxygen consumption
  • Lactate Profile
  • Running Economy
  • Body composition

FIRST® Lab is a comprehensive battery of assessments that provides vital information about a runner. The battery of assessments includes Maximal Oxygen Consumption (VO2 MAX), Lactate Threshold, Running Economy, and Body Composition. The four lab tests are completed in three sessions. A description of each of the four tests is available.


Connect with Admission

Furman is one of the nation's premier liberal arts and sciences universities. We offer our students The Furman Advantage—an over-arching approach to education that promises every student a four-year personalized pathway, a team of advisors and mentors, and the opportunity for an engaged learning experience that is tracked and integrated with the students' academic and professional goals.

Want more information about the admission process at Furman?

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