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Hansons Method

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  • Well, enough of this fence sitting. I've decided to give this a go and the first session of substance is tomorrow (!!) The cumulative fatigue seems to have kicked in early though; bloody exhausted this morning on an easy 10k.

    I'll have plenty of questions as things get going (like, would it be cheating to start off with 8k rather than 10k for the first MP session next Thursday?) Agree with Singer on the LR pace straight out the door. I'll be doing a 1k min warm up as the old body is creaky for a bit.

    A bit worried about the short gaps between the Sun/Tues/Thurs sessions. Time will tell if I can handle it.




  • Itziger wrote: »
    Well, enough of this fence sitting. I've decided to give this a go and the first session of substance is tomorrow (!!) The cumulative fatigue seems to have kicked in early though; bloody exhausted this morning on an easy 10k.

    I'll have plenty of questions as things get going (like, would it be cheating to start off with 8k rather than 10k for the first MP session next Thursday?) Agree with Singer on the LR pace straight out the door. I'll be doing a 1k min warm up as the old body is creaky for a bit.

    A bit worried about the short gaps between the Sun/Tues/Thurs sessions. Time will tell if I can handle it.

    I find the recovery between the speed and tempo takes longer than between the tempo and long run but it could be just me.
    Why do u think you can’t do 6 miles at MP? Probably not a big deal overall to do just 5 or you could do the six but just 10 sec slower.




  • Today is the pyramid speed session. Are we supposed to do each distance at the same pace? I don’t recall seeing it mentioned in the book.

    Just doesn’t seem right to be running 400m at the same pace as 1600m!!




  • digiman wrote: »
    Today is the pyramid speed session. Are we supposed to do each distance at the same pace? I don’t recall seeing it mentioned in the book.

    Just doesn’t seem right to be running 400m at the same pace as 1600m!!

    same pace




  • First session done!! 12x400s. Happy enough. All at about 85/86 seconds.


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  • Itziger wrote: »
    First session done!! 12x400s. Happy enough. All at about 85/86 seconds.

    Nice! Once you've nailed the first session hitting your target is guaranteed :pac:




  • That pyramid run yesterday was very hard - legs felt really tired from the go - funnily enough they feel fine this morning :rolleyes:




  • That pyramid run yesterday was very hard - legs felt really tired from the go - funnily enough they feel fine this morning :rolleyes:


    Tough one alright. Also the pacing flip flops through the pyramid if you follow the book which was hard to dial into. Made it tough on myself by doing a hilly 10km on Sunday too.




  • I'm in Week 2 of the plan but as I indicated, I don't fancy the Thursday structure of the first few weeks. 0,0,10,10,10 (kms at M) sounds off to me. I decided to chuck in 6k at MP today and maybe do 8,10,10 the coming weeks. I like the idea of building up. I'll try not to make too many other adjustments..............




  • For want of a bit of structure, I'm actually following this plan also, but am currently in week 11, with 7 more full weeks to go until Berlin marathon. My experience may be a little different to most, as I'm using the plan to re-introduce structured training after a long spell of non-running injury, and I have run marathons significantly faster than the pace I'm training for at the moment. So I'm finding the weekly tempo runs pretty comfortable (I'm up to 8 miles), while the speed sessions were a lot more challenging. I've just moved from 'speed' to 'strength', and being closer to marathon pace, I found the first session pretty handy.

    I'm finding the idea of not doing long runs difficult to fully commit to. It really is a leap of faith, coming from a background of 25+ mile runs. But, I'm hoping to run the remaining 'long runs' at a faster clip, so I hope to at least feel like progress is being made (the mental aspects of feeling ready for me are just as important as the physical ones!). It'll be hard not to sneak in an easy 20 on the off weeks though! Generally speaking, I'm enjoying the plan (without sticking very rigidly to the day to day schedules), so hopefully it'll get me to the start line in reasonable, if not ideal shape.


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  • $hit just got serious!! Yeah, for you KC, it's a bit different alright. Didn't know you were doing this or a version of it. Interesting next couple of months....




  • For want of a bit of structure, I'm actually following this plan also, but am currently in week 11, with 7 more full weeks to go until Berlin marathon. My experience may be a little different to most, as I'm using the plan to re-introduce structured training after a long spell of non-running injury, and I have run marathons significantly faster than the pace I'm training for at the moment. So I'm finding the weekly tempo runs pretty comfortable (I'm up to 8 miles), while the speed sessions were a lot more challenging. I've just moved from 'speed' to 'strength', and being closer to marathon pace, I found the first session pretty handy.

    I'm finding the idea of not doing long runs difficult to fully commit to. It really is a leap of faith, coming from a background of 25+ mile runs. But, I'm hoping to run the remaining 'long runs' at a faster clip, so I hope to at least feel like progress is being made (the mental aspects of feeling ready for me are just as important as the physical ones!). It'll be hard not to sneak in an easy 20 on the off weeks though! Generally speaking, I'm enjoying the plan (without sticking very rigidly to the day to day schedules), so hopefully it'll get me to the start line in reasonable, if not ideal shape.

    Welcome welcome KC! Im certain that any kind of structure and consistency will get you the start line fit (niggles and injury withstanding)! Interesting that you are using this method. Why did you choose it? Simplicity? Just 6 runs? Sneaking in a 20 miler on off weeks would have the likes of Murph D, Swashbuckler et al throwing darts at this thread or the log entry but your history has to be taken to context :D Brill that 1) you are back 2) you are back here and 3) you are on this plan :eek: Let us know how it goes for you!




  • Why did you choose it? Simplicity? Just 6 runs? Sneaking in a 20 miler on off weeks would have the likes of Murph D, Swashbuckler et al throwing darts at this thread or the log entry but your history has to be taken to context :D Brill that 1) you are back 2) you are back here and 3) you are on this plan :eek: Let us know how it goes for you!
    I guess I'm borrowing the structure, without following the plan to the letter of the law. So for example, while I'm doing all of the sessions exactly as laid out (albeit on a treadmill for self-preservation), I don't do the 'just 6 runs' and am back to largely not taking any days off (except where work/travel dictate). But as you said, my high mileage history should be taken into account.

    One of my big challenges of returning to marathon running after (largely) an 18 month layoff, is setting appropriate expectations. Left to my own devices and nature, I'd be trying to jump in exactly where I left off and that would end in disaster (I've had to reset my brain several times already). The sessions in this plan are highly structured and rigid, so there's less opportunity for me to get carried away and start doing excessive self-damage. The mileage is appropriate for where I'm at, though I don't absolutely stick to that part of the plan either. I used to race really well after base-training, and the structure of this plan is a lot like that base training (steady tempo + progressive intervals). My final reason is that other runners on this forum (from times gone by), have had some success in prolonging their marathon careers by switching to the Hanson plan, so why not give it a try? I'm not trying to run any PBs - I just want to make the start line and have a sense of satisfaction at the finish line. I'm tired of paying money to the Berlin marathon organizers and not making the start line. :)




  • The book says this in the "Increasing Weekly Milage" section (I am pretty familiar with this section :D )
    We don't recommend throwing in a 20-22 miler, but we do occasionally recommend increasing the "shorter" long runs. So instead of doing a long run every other week, run one weekly. This will quickly add milage over the course of training. Even so, Kevin and Keith warn to stay away from the 20 mile long run unless you're approaching 90-100 miles per week.

    I was thinking of adding on a few miles to the Sunday easy run a bit later in the plan, a weekend without a longish run doesn't seem like a weekend :)




  • Singer wrote: »
    I was thinking of adding on a few miles to the Sunday easy run a bit later in the plan, a weekend without a longish run doesn't seem like a weekend :)
    Yeah, exactly. Our brains are our biggest enemies! I think if the quality of the long run is good (6:30/mile for my upcoming target (couldn't even manage it the week before last)), then that will help to keep the crazy at bay, but I don't think I'll be able to 'idle' on the upcoming weeks which feature just 10 milers. I don't need to do 20 mile runs (I notched up quite a few in the early weeks of the plan ;)), but I need to do 'something'.




  • Sneaking in a 20 miler on off weeks would have the likes of Murph D, Swashbuckler et al throwing darts at this thread or the log entry but your history has to be taken to context :D...

    Darts, who, me? ;)

    I’ve never even done a full Hanson marathon plan - but I can speak from experience of benefitting from a fairly letter-of-the-law approach to the HM version followed by a loose enough implementation of the second half of the M version (if I remember correctly).

    I wouldn’t quibble at all with any reasoned deviation that stays true to the basic principles. A spirit-of-the-law approach, I suppose. I just think it’s harder (for low-to-average mileage midpack runners like myself) to justify same without applying the basic version first - especially for those of us not particularly versed in its fairly unique combination of ‘SOS’ components - all of which are fairly innocuous on their own, but gain something in the way they’re structured by the Hanson/Humphreys team.

    Quality ingredients + expert method = great cake.




  • The pyramid session I did on Wednesday as took Tuesday off, it was incredibly tough, managed to get all of them in under 4:10min/km which I was delighted with.

    Yesterday I done an easy run which was fine but then today I tried the 7mile tempo, had to stop it after 3.5km as my legs just didn’t have it and turned the session into an easy run. The plan has been a huge step change on my previous marathon trainings, over double the mileage I would say and it’s really starting to take its toll.

    I know it’s just after one bad day but I’ll probably have to adjust the plan by dropping a day. I don’t want to drop any of the SOS sessions so thinking to maybe take a rest day on a Saturday as well or just do a very short run like 5km or something.

    Between working very long late hours at work, up early every morning with a young baby and trying to get in the runs I’m shattered but obviously want to keep up the training but I think some tweaks need to be made, hoping work will ease off a bit in coming weeks but wouldn’t count on it.

    Advice please!!




  • digiman wrote: »
    The pyramid session I did on Wednesday as took Tuesday off, it was incredibly tough, managed to get all of them in under 4:10min/km which I was delighted with.

    Yesterday I done an easy run which was fine but then today I tried the 7mile tempo, had to stop it after 3.5km as my legs just didn’t have it and turned the session into an easy run. The plan has been a huge step change on my previous marathon trainings, over double the mileage I would say and it’s really starting to take its toll.

    I know it’s just after one bad day but I’ll probably have to adjust the plan by dropping a day. I don’t want to drop any of the SOS sessions so thinking to maybe take a rest day on a Saturday as well or just do a very short run like 5km or something.

    Between working very long late hours at work, up early every morning with a young baby and trying to get in the runs I’m shattered but obviously want to keep up the training but I think some tweaks need to be made, hoping work will ease off a bit in coming weeks but wouldn’t count on it.

    Advice please!!

    Judging on what you've posted before I'd say your mileage coming into the plan is too low for the Advanced version. Why not drop down to an easier version?




  • digiman wrote: »
    The pyramid session I did on Wednesday as took Tuesday off, it was incredibly tough, managed to get all of them in under 4:10min/km which I was delighted with.

    Yesterday I done an easy run which was fine but then today I tried the 7mile tempo, had to stop it after 3.5km as my legs just didn’t have it and turned the session into an easy run. The plan has been a huge step change on my previous marathon trainings, over double the mileage I would say and it’s really starting to take its toll.

    I know it’s just after one bad day but I’ll probably have to adjust the plan by dropping a day. I don’t want to drop any of the SOS sessions so thinking to maybe take a rest day on a Saturday as well or just do a very short run like 5km or something.

    Between working very long late hours at work, up early every morning with a young baby and trying to get in the runs I’m shattered but obviously want to keep up the training but I think some tweaks need to be made, hoping work will ease off a bit in coming weeks but wouldn’t count on it.

    Advice please!!


    I would take off an easy run if you were looking to drop one but maybe not the Sat one as I think that is there to compound how hard the Sunday one is. Now in saying that I might be forced to miss tomorrows and it will be the first one I miss which will be a pity especially before the first 14miler.


    Just a thought, maybe your target goal needs reducing also if you are struggling for the MP?




  • digiman wrote: »
    The pyramid session I did on Wednesday as took Tuesday off, it was incredibly tough, managed to get all of them in under 4:10min/km which I was delighted with.

    Yesterday I done an easy run which was fine but then today I tried the 7mile tempo, had to stop it after 3.5km as my legs just didn’t have it and turned the session into an easy run. The plan has been a huge step change on my previous marathon trainings, over double the mileage I would say and it’s really starting to take its toll.

    I know it’s just after one bad day but I’ll probably have to adjust the plan by dropping a day. I don’t want to drop any of the SOS sessions so thinking to maybe take a rest day on a Saturday as well or just do a very short run like 5km or something.

    Between working very long late hours at work, up early every morning with a young baby and trying to get in the runs I’m shattered but obviously want to keep up the training but I think some tweaks need to be made, hoping work will ease off a bit in coming weeks but wouldn’t count on it.

    Advice please!!

    As you said it’s only one session. I’ve pulled up on tempos due to fatigue form the speed sessions. That was and is the hardest speed session. I wouldn’t drop a day, the beginner plan also has 6 days running so I think that’s important.

    Things you could try rather than drop a day.

    Reduce intensity- replace speed session with an easy run for a week or two, or take some of the intensity out of it by reducing pace or just do 2 x 1600m next week rather than 3. you should then be fresher for the tempo.

    Do the speed on tues and the tempo on Friday giving a bit of extra recovery between the sessions. You also mentioned you ran easy yesterday which isn’t usually in the plan. Normally you should be resting between those sessions. So you completed the toughest speed session and then ran the following day, not that surprising there wasn’t much in the legs today.

    If you keep on missing target paces over a few weeks then maybe adjust target time. Forget about paces for sat and Sunday and just get the miles done.


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  • Today was by far the 'easiest' of the MP tempos. Nearly all in zone 3 HR and barely broke a sweat (although that was more due to the cool breeze). Leaves me ready to move up to 8 miles.

    Found a lovely feature on the Garmin, the workout set to distance and time. Keep within 1 or 2 seconds behind or ahead. Stops me staring at the pace on the watch too much. Helps to dial into the pace better, I think.

    I incorporated the RnR half into my long run on Sunday. There were many benefits like getting to run on a hilly course, water stations, practising disciplined pacing against spurty runners, practising moving around people efficiently etc. but the logistics of it were annoying.




  • Thanks for all the comments after my last post (failed tempo run). After which I done my Saturday easy and Sunday long run. Didn't push it on the long run and done it at 5:26min/km.

    Done an easy recovery on the Monday, took the Tuesday off and then felt like I smashed the 3*1600m at 4:05min/km and felt good. Took Thursday off and then done the tempo yesterday. Felt much much better than the previous attempt and done it yesterday at 4:56min/km so feel like I am back on track again.




  • First real week of this done so a mini report. It's definitely a challenging plan i reckon. That mixture of Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday..... no joke. The 8x600s were ok, the [email protected] M was doable and this morning I think the legs thought it was another 10k effort! Went off too fast and sure enough the second half I was feeling it. Pace was supposed to be 4.26km average and it came in at 4.24. Will try to start a bit slower next time. Must also work on evening out the M pace. So far they've been 1k too fast, next one too slow, 3rd too fast...... Hopefully that'll sort itself over the coming weeks.




  • 3 weeks of 12 done. I'm finding the MP stuff tough, but the faster/shorter long run pretty good. My paces are a little faster than they need to be, maybe I should pull back the tempo to actual target pace. The next two weeks have a bit more chopping and changing of the schedule to fit around life, but then will be on the straight and narrow.




  • Singer wrote: »
    3 weeks of 12 done. I'm finding the MP stuff tough, but the faster/shorter long run pretty good. My paces are a little faster than they need to be, maybe I should pull back the tempo to actual target pace. The next two weeks have a bit more chopping and changing of the schedule to fit around life, but then will be on the straight and narrow.
    Tempo pace in this case is supposed to be marathon pace, so it's really all about dialing in race pace, so running faster may not serve you too well (unless you're running a few seconds quicker to accommodate GPS inaccuracy). I'll be heading for my second 9 miler next week (week 13), and they do seem to get a little easier.




  • Singer wrote: »
    3 weeks of 12 done. I'm finding the MP stuff tough, but the faster/shorter long run pretty good. My paces are a little faster than they need to be, maybe I should pull back the tempo to actual target pace. The next two weeks have a bit more chopping and changing of the schedule to fit around life, but then will be on the straight and narrow.
    Tempo pace in this case is supposed to be marathon pace, so it's really all about dialing in race pace, so running faster may not serve you too well (unless you're running a few seconds quicker to accommodate GPS inaccuracy). I'll be heading for my second 9 miler next week (week 13), and they do seem to get a little easier.
    I've been wondering a little about that. I mean, if you hit the paces early on, when tbh they're not really current marathon ability pace, then maybe as you get fitter as the plan proceeds these paces become more achievable. That's what I'm hoping anyway!




  • Itziger wrote: »
    I've been wondering a little about that. I mean, if you hit the paces early on, when tbh they're not really current marathon ability pace, then maybe as you get fitter as the plan proceeds these paces become more achievable. That's what I'm hoping anyway!

    Why not? They are reasonably short to begin with so should be fairly doable early on, if the target has been chosen wisely (and the base is there).




  • Tempo pace in this case is supposed to be marathon pace, so it's really all about dialing in race pace, so running faster may not serve you too well (unless you're running a few seconds quicker to accommodate GPS inaccuracy). I'll be heading for my second 9 miler next week (week 13), and they do seem to get a little easier.

    A few reasons for going a little faster (I've been running 6:40-6:46/mile so far, targeting 6:52 for some reason :) )

    - I've been doing these on a pretty flat loop
    - Slim chance of following the race line exactly, i.e. not wanting to run a GPS sub-3
    - years of people saying "train for 2:55 to run sub-3" on the sub-3 support thread :)
    - For an optimal running of Dublin, you're going to spend half of the marathon running faster than target pace, as there are enough hills and bumps that are worth slowing down for. I'll need to run very optimally to meet my target, and so want to be pretty comfortable running at faster than 6:52 for all but one or two miles after mile 10 or so.




  • Singer wrote: »
    A few reasons for going a little faster (I've been running 6:40-6:46/mile so far, targeting 6:52 for some reason :) )

    - I've been doing these on a pretty flat loop
    - Slim chance of following the race line exactly, i.e. not wanting to run a GPS sub-3
    - years of people saying "train for 2:55 to run sub-3" on the sub-3 support thread :)
    - For an optimal running of Dublin, you're going to spend half of the marathon running faster than target pace, as there are enough hills and bumps that are worth slowing down for. I'll need to run very optimally to meet my target, and so want to be pretty comfortable running at faster than 6:52 for all but one or two miles after mile 10 or so.

    For Limerick I generally did Tempos around 6:46-6:50. Basically because I found it easier to focus on a round number aka 6:50 and the effort to do so generally brought me in slightly under. (it was 6:49 on the day)

    One thing to remember Singer is that you are doing these MP miles on tired legs. You still have the week's speed reps in the legs etc on top of the cumulative fatigue. I often questioned if I was really doing MP as it often felt harder, however the heart rate generally corresponded to target effort.

    Thing about the Hansons plan is that it doesn't deliver magic, it delivers an execution of what you trained for, all else going as per the happy path. So If you trained to 6:52 you would be skirting fairly close to a 6:52 average. I get why you are aiming at 6:40-6:46 but its just a little on the hot side if not actually targetting 2:55. As long as you walk the right side of that fatigue vs overreaching line, you are good :)


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  • Does any kind soul have the Garmin course for the marathon route last year? I can only find 2013 in Google.

    Failing that, Ill take strava or map my run.


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