If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact

Hansons Method



  • Registered Users Posts: 850 ✭✭✭Unthought Known

    Maybe aim a bit higher, but as you said don't push it too far. I ran 1:31 in the half last year while training for 3:20. Thought I was being conservative so ran the first half of DCM in 1:38 then blew up at mile 21 to finish in 3:27, 5 minutes off my PB. Then again I ran a 1:34 half in March and followed that up with 3:19 in London when not going out too fast. Remember that Dublin is a tough course and it can ruin you, most likely around Clonskeagh, if you don't respect the first 7 miles.

    If you are going to adjust your target (around 3:20 might be more realistic than 3:14) I would do it now so you can get your remaining strength and tempo runs in at the adjusted pace.....and only go with it if you're hitting those paces consistently.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,414 ✭✭✭Lazare

    I'd echo everything UK said above. I think 3:20 should be a realistic goal.

    The great thing about Hanson is you've loads of feedback each week, specifically on Thurs as to whether it's right .

    Try out that pace this Thurs and see how it feels. How has 3:30 pace felt so far on them?

  • Registered Users Posts: 927 ✭✭✭Unknownability

    😂😂, that may be a small bit ambitious but don't leave anything out there, trust the plan.

    What paces are you doing the Thursday sessions and the "fast" long run at?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,438 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Well to run a 3:02 marathon off a recent 1:33 half sounds like the half was not raced.

    1:33 to 3:20 would be in line with my own experience so it’s definitely a legitimate target, depending on your marathon experience.

  • Registered Users Posts: 700 ✭✭✭MisterJinx

    From my, admittingly, limited experience a 1.33 would seem to line up more with a 3.20 than a 3.02.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 994 ✭✭✭Mitch Buchannon

    Back in May I approached Luke Humphrey to do a plan for me for Dublin. I subsequently bought the book. I should have just bought the book first and worked off that but I can’t go back now.

    Anyway the plan was “custom” made for my marathon goal of 3:30 and based on my 2022 PB’s (5k 20:00 / 10k 45:34 / ½ 1:38.23).

    I have since PB’d in the 10K (42:40) and ½ Mara (1:33:17) this year. I really believe that it’s the work I have put into this block so far that has driven those new times.

    My 3:30 paces from the plan are below in min/km.

    Easy. 5:34 – 6:31

    Long Run. 5:19 – 5:34

    Strength. 4:49 – 4:54

    Marathon Pace. 4:55-5:01

    10K Speed. 4:21-4:29

    I have put 3:20:00 into his pace calculator and this is what comes up.

    3:20:00 adjusted paces (Min/mi in brackets)

    Easy. 5:40-6:17 (9:08-10:08)

    Long Run. 5:03 – 5:58 (8:08-9:38)

    Strength. 4:38 (7:28)

    Marathon Pace. 4:44 (7:38)

    @Lazare – I will try the 3:20 pace on Thursday and see how I get on. The 3:30 paces have felt good so far and not that uncomfortable to run at.

    @Unknownability - My Thursday marathon pace sessions are at 4:55-5:01. eg: this Thursday I have 3k WU – 2 X 8k @ 4:55-5:01 w/1.6k recovery – 3k CD.

    The following Thursday (05Oct) is 3k WU – 16K @ MP – 3k CD.

    @ Murph_D – My experience so far is 8 marathons which include 3 50ks.

    I am encouraged by all your feedback. I never would have thought that 3:20 was a possibility this year. I knew that it would be a goal at some stage in the future. I will adjust for this week and see how I get on. I will keep you posted as I think having some other opinions will help me. Id love to get out on some of the long runs in the park if some are happening before the big day and my work roster allows it.

    Thanks again, I really appreciate you guys taking the time to reply and offer advice.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,321 ✭✭✭chabsey

    My fastest marathon so far is a 3:15, I ran the half a few weeks before that and did it in 1:38 so in my opinion you should be more than capable of 3:20 or faster.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,227 ✭✭✭Wottle

    Similar to others, last year I went from 1'33 to 3'18, so you're in that ball park. I was quite pleased with my finishing time but it took me several attempts to figure it out.

    If your target is sub 3:30 and you're still relatively new to the event, I wouldn't stray to far from original target, hopefully finishing with a PB and enjoying every step.

    Get to 32k and see where you're at.

    Well done on all the hard work so far.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,438 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    When was your last marathon and what was the result?

    Those 5k / 10k / HM times (very similar to mine) line up with a 3:20 alright. But if you’ve been training at 3:30 pace it might be a bit late now to change tack for this year. 3:20 can be a tough milestone, it might take you a few attempts. I’d tend to stick with 3:30 at this stage and you’ll probably find yourself feeling very strong in the second half, then see what you can do over the last quarter of the race. Your call of course!

  • Registered Users Posts: 994 ✭✭✭Mitch Buchannon

    Thanks lads.

    @Murph_D My last proper Marathon was Dublin 2022. That was 3:48 but I was on for mid to high 3:30's . My legs, esp my right quad started cramping at 37k and i lost a tonne of time. I was disappointed with my result at the time as I knew I was capable of better.

    I ran Donadea again in February. I don't race it, I just like the craic of the event. Its great fun and I really enjoy it.

    I also did Boston in April. I was at the back in a yellow bib. The start of the yellow wave is slow and very busy. Lots of people at slower paces. There were a lot of walkers etc. My first 10k was 57.03. I went to Boston having no expectation of doing a "good" time at it so I just ran for the fun of it. I smiled and High5'd the whole way. I even stopped for photos with some of my American relatives who came down to Boston to catch up and watch me run. I finished the marathon in 3:49 and ran with a 2:40 neg split. I never paid attention to my time while running. Had I known how close I was to my Dublin time I think I would have made more of an effort.

    To be honest, I am enjoying the training so far and 3:30 feels very achievable. Maybe near the end of the marathon and if i have it in me I can just kick on and see how i go.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 579 ✭✭✭FinnC

    I'm curious for those who have done Hanson's, how many of you actually stick to the no longer than 16miles long run?

    Reason I ask is whenever I ask someone from the club or see other threads in various other forums about those doing Hanson's, nearly always there are people who say they are following the plan but also then admit to having done something like 2 X 18 mile runs plus 2 or 3 X 20 mile runs etc etc.

    As I say I'm just curious more than anything else, and are you really actually doing Hanson if you are running more than the 16 miles. I am aware of course the Elite plan has long runs more than 16 miles but as far as I'm aware there are no elites on here!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,321 ✭✭✭chabsey

    Second time doing Hanson's, always stuck to the 16 mile limit.

  • Registered Users Posts: 731 ✭✭✭Sandwell

    I stuck to it exactly this time around, didn't go above the 16. Last year was my first time using the plan and I did 'cheat' and run a couple of twenty milers at easy pace. In both cases, I hit my goal time with no significant fade or slow down.

    The only way I deviated from the plan this year was by running a few miles recovery on the rest day and adding an extra mile or two to some of the easy runs. This is in line with what they suggest in the book if you want to add some extra mileage and it brought me above 70 mpw at the peak of the plan.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,438 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Never above 16 for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,414 ✭✭✭Lazare

    Did the last of my 16 milers on Sunday and haven't gone beyond that.

    I've total faith in the method and feel I've gotten a good understanding of why it's constructed the way it is.

    People seem to zone in on that 16m long run and fail to consider the full picture, that you're running it after doing some pretty heavy work on the previous Thurs, and run a demanding strength session two days later. With mileage all of the days between.

    I really enjoyed the Sunday longs, but for me the key workout of this plan by far is the Thurs tempo. Whenever Hansons is discussed, that should be the centre of the conversation. I've never felt more confident of a race target than I do right now because of that weekly feedback.

    You don't need to run 20 milers if your week is structured as good as a Hanson week is.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,016 ✭✭✭Itziger

    I more or less stuck to the 16 mile limit. On a couple of them I jogged 2k to meet a friend and 2k home, so 30k total. Plan says, if you're going to add miles, keep it to the warm up and cool down, iirc.

    One thing I didn't like was the Wed. rest. That means two quality sessions with only rest between. So I usually did a short very easy run on Wednesday.

  • Registered Users Posts: 228 ✭✭TheRef

    I bloody well love Hanson. Just done the max 16k tempo session for the first time today in pretty breezy conditions and felt so strong.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,414 ✭✭✭Lazare


    Just about to head out on my last one now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 994 ✭✭✭Mitch Buchannon

    Hansons is the king ! All hail Hansons !!!

    Dublin City Marathon 2023 - Well what a day.

    I went into this marathon block with a PB of 3:48 from Dublin last year. As I mentioned earlier in the thread I knew I was capable of better that day only for some leg cramping late in the race.

    I had read a lot about Hansons and the other plans out there. My last few marathons and two 50k runs have all been done using Hal Higdon. I felt that I needed a change.

    As mentioned before I reached out to Luke Humphrey to do a plan for me for Dublin with a goal of 3:29.

    I can safely say I completed about 90% of the plan while also having a job that has shift work, 3 kids and a wife who was also training for the marathon. The training was tough at times but I got through it most of it with a smile on my face.

    I did the Dublin 1/2 in September and ran a time of 1:33. I asked you guys if I should revisit my goal time for something a little more ambitious. However the takeaway from it was I should stick to my plan and maybe push on late in the race and see how I go.

    Day of the race.

    I got up at 5:15 and had my usual porridge and coffee. I got the bus into town with my wife and friend at 6:45. I was in wave 1 and they were both running in wave 3.

    My fuelling for the marathon was going to be using Precision Hydration gels. I have used Maurten for the last few but I fancied a change this time round. The PH gels give 30g of carbs for each 51g gel. I was also going to take a salt capsule at 10k,20k & 30k. I wasn't taking any chances with cramp this time round.

    30min before the start I took 2 of the PH chews. These two chews give 30g of carb. 15min before I took a gel. So that was 60g in total before the gun went off. I had decided to take a gel every 5k and I rotated between regular and caffeine. My last gel was taken at 35k. Something else I did differently this marathon was I took a bottle from nearly every water station. I continuously sipped the water and carried it until close to the next station threw it and repeated. So essentially I had a bottle in my had until I went over the dual carriageway and I then had my hands free for the finish.

    My plan was to go out at the back of wave 1. Let the 3:20 guys go on and I'll have a clear road. I didn't want to get caught up in the hype and go out too fast. So what happened I hear you say.... Well I got caught up in the hype and went out too fast. I knew it and I tried to hold off but I was just being pulled along. I thought that my bad discipline would catch up with me but I had settled into a nice steady pace before I hit the park.

    The weather didn't bother me. I could have done without the rain but the temperature was great.

    Most of the run went by well. I got chatting to a few people along the way. It felt good being able to have a conversation while I was running at pace. Never at any stage did I feel uncomfortable and in fact it felt quite good.

    I kept it steady and kicked on with about 1k to go. I passed a good few in the last bit. The atmosphere was electric, I had my head held high as I ran for the finish.

    Arms up, smiling from ear to ear.... I crossed the line in 3:22:01. This is a 26min PB.

    I met up with a few boards members in McGrattans after. Great to see you. I missed a few also. Maybe we will see each other in th future .

    I am over the moon with my result. I can say hand on heart that it was the Hansons Marathon Method that got me into this shape. The consistency of the running. The focus on running at marathon pace.

    I haven't signed up for next year yet. I going to have a think for a day or so and then decide.

    Thanks to everyone on this thread and this running forum for all the encouragement and advice. We are very lucky to have one another.


  • Registered Users Posts: 850 ✭✭✭Unthought Known

    Well done, that's an amazing result. Fully deserved after hitting 90% of the plan. Not an easy thing to to!

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 4,414 ✭✭✭Lazare

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,438 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Yes, brilliant stuff, congrats again!

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,414 ✭✭✭Lazare

    My Hanson review.

    I had a mixture of success and failure. Success in the sense that I managed a nice 11 min PB, 'failure' in the sense that I fell short of my goal.

    Target was 3:10 from week 7/8, adjusted from 3:05 at the beginning and I came home in 3:15 (Amsterdam Oct 15th).

    Success also in the fact that I felt incredible aerobic fitness throughout the race, have recovered well and felt very little post marathon soreness compared to previous. Just felt very well conditioned.

    Reflecting on what went 'wrong' for me, not hitting the 3:10 (I cramped and felt forced to dial it back) I think I simply missed too much of the program.

    I missed 8 out of the 38 SOS sessions due to, I won't say injury, but bad niggles. I missed from the middle of week 5 until the end of week 7 with Gluteal tendinopathy and missed the penultimate 10 mile tempo with what I think was an achillies issue. Missed that ladder speed session which I was a little gutted about.

    I think for Hanson to be a success you've got to complete at a minimum 85 - 90% of it, I completed 79%.

    I absolutely loved how the week was structured, the Thurs tempo being the standout session of the week. Loved those so much and nailed goal pace on every one of them. Struggled to hit goal paces on the Tuesdays but didn't really mind that, always felt the effort was right and the fact that they sat at the end of a tough week made me content enough. Wednesdays made me really appreciate the importance of recovery, they were so welcome but I treated them as just as important as any SOS. It was stuff like this that made me feel I was really growing as a runner in terms of understanding training.

    I'm totally on board and converted to the idea of maxing out at 16m, once the build up to that long run is structured as well as a Hanson week is.

    A pre-requisite for success with Hanson I feel is understanding, respecting and following the structure of the week. I felt that every single step and stride I made had purpose, and the book was so good at explaining that purpose.

    It's a tough and relentless plan, but it's simple at the same time. You always knew what you had to do, you just had to go out and do it.

    I've a Spring mara coming up and I'll be using it again. I'll be using it for every marathon from here on in.

    Just have to hit 90%+ of it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 228 ✭✭TheRef

    Hanson Advanced Review: Not a success for me.

    Disclaimer: I am only running 2 years, approaching 50, and have previously followed 2 plans (Boards Marathon Novice & Pfitz half). 

    I finished the Pfitz (76k) plan 4 weeks before starting Hanson, 2 of those were 50k weeks while on holidays. Due to timing and base, I jumped straight into Week 4. The speed/strength/tempo runs all had a 3.5km w/u & c/d tagged on. COVID struck at the end of week 8, which resulted in missing 3 SOS days, but I actually only took 3 days off with otherwise very easy running. I also took part in a few organised races, racing the Dublin Half but just running others, meaning there were slight tweaks. Overall though, I completed most of the 14 weeks as laid out in the plan.

    I started with a goal time down of 3:45 but start training to 3:40 probably with 7 weeks to go as I was finding the SOS sessions easy enough. Raceday goal remained 3:45 with a conservative start. I only failed at one SOS session, a tempo day in week 11 which I put down to extreme heat and humidity. 

    I absolutely loved the program. Everything run made sense and I didn’t question the max run of “just” 16 miles, or the long run every other week. I felt quite fatigued on and off, but at no time did I get injured. I felt myself getting much stronger. I also got a 5min PB in the Dublin Half which I was ecstatic about. The Frank Duffy which was ran just less than race pace felt pretty easy.

    Where I think it went wrong for me is the 10 day taper. Even though I ran the taper runs very easy, I didn't feel I recovered or got a spring back in my step by race day. Just felt flat.

    That led to a very hard day and major hamstring problems. During the run though I did feel I was in better shape and fitter than last year, but honestly, at no point was I confident I would get the time I trained for.

    Overall, even though I absolutely loved the plan. Regardless of my performance on the day, I believe it has made me a much much better runner and I will reap big rewards from it in the years to come. 

    Maybe it would be better on the 3rd or 4th marathon with more experience, knowledge, and miles in the legs. Maybe I trusted the plan too much and should have eased off more towards the end. Who knows... Maybe I was just unlucky. Next time I'll probably use P&D but I hope to come back to Hanson at some stage in the future.


    The book is excellent with loads of great info. 

    Plan is very simple to follow.

    Running at faster paces instils a lot of confidence during training.

    6 days a week running is great if you like being out there.

    No injuries (except some aches leading to taper week).


    Midweek SOS sessions took me 2 hours of running. That’s a lot of time to find.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 WicksSmith

    Hi all.

    I'm very keen to give this method a try for a Half next year.

    I've bought the book(Half Marathon digital version) and I've started to read back through this thread.

    The plan is supposed to be starting for me this Monday but I've done a few test runs at the prescribed paces to get a feel for what's ahead.

    I've a few questions if that's ok, apologies if they have already been asked or if the answer is in the book. With the digital version that I'm reading off my phone it's not as user friendly as a normal book but I've the physical book ordered off Amazon.

    So the questions I have are.

    Firstly. The faster easy run and long runs paces in particular are sending my heart rate over Zone 2. I've always tried to keep my easy runs in zone 2 and during long runs i start in zone 2 and let HR drift out of it near the end. The long run pace is seeing my HR leave zone 2 quite early in the run. I ran a 5km race a few weeks ago so I'm that's what I'm using to get the paces from the book.

    Second question. If training for a hilly race how do you incorporate hills into the program? Is it best to do them on the race pace tempo days or the long run days?

    Third question. For the Speed and strength sessions it recommends a rest period of between 50%-100% of workout time. Depending on the length of workout rep this can be a big enough range of time, what length rest are most doing on here?

    I probably have way more questions and maybe some of the above will be answered for me once I get the actual physical copy of the book! But hopefully some of you might be able answer some of them for me.

    Post edited by WicksSmith on

  • Registered Users Posts: 731 ✭✭✭Sandwell

    Best of luck with the training. I first used Hanson when training for a half and have since followed the marathon plan twice with good success.

    Regarding the HR on easy runs I'd stick to whatever pace feels easy/keeps you in zone 2. There's nothing to be gained from running these too fast. Every second weekend Hanson has a long run that's done at steady pace. These are a key session and should be run to the specified pace. I'd forget about HR for these workouts.

    For the hills, if you could incorporate them into your tempo route and adjust the goal pace accordingly that should work well. It's a good idea to use the same loop each week for the Thursday tempo as it makes it easier to assess your progress. Adding hills to the steady long run route would be a good option too.

    Regarding the recovery time for the interval sessions, I'd always opt for a more generous rest. The plans are tough enough as it is without making them harder!

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 WicksSmith

    Thanks Sandwell.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,438 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    How are you measuring your heart rate? I'm surprised that the prescribed paces, based on your 5k time, would take you to that level - having used the plan myself I always found the easy pace to be well within the zone 2 range.

    I'd make sure you (1) have an accurate view of your max and resting HR; (2) are calculating the zones correctly. and (3) are using a heart rate monitor strap to measure your HR and not your watch's optical sensor, which is iffy for many runners.

    I think it's a good idea to use hills in your training routes and try to simulate the race environment as best you can. Be careful though if you are estimating a goal time based on racing on the flat. So your 5k might indicate a certain HM target but it won't be realistic if you don't already have good endurance over the HM distance, and it will be a bit more off too if you are aiming for a race on an unusually hilly course (most Irish HM's are on fairly undulating courses).

    Rest period - whatever it takes to make you feel rested - if you are using HR, try to get back down into zone 1 during the recovery for instance. Personally I've always leaned towards the longer end of the recovery range.

    Best of luck and pepper the thread with questions, that's what it's for.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 WicksSmith

    I always use a Polar H10 HR strap. Zones based off HRR method, fairly confident my zones are correct from my Max and Resting HR that the HRR method uses.

    I just discovered the Luke Humphreys calculator which has slightly slower paces than the book. Which do most use here for paces the book or Luke's calculator?

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 731 ✭✭✭Sandwell

    Out of curiosity, I'm just after glancing at the table in the marathon book and the Easy A and Easy B paces do both seem a little on the fast side. For me it would be between 7:30 and 6:58 pace. In reality I'd be running my easy miles at around 8:00 pace or above.

    I don't think it's a particularly good idea to be chasing a goal pace for easy runs. An experienced runner should know what is easy for them on a given day whether that's based on RPE or HR.