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Hansons Method

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9 WicksSmith


    Hi all. Week 1 finished off yesterday for the Advanced HMP. Actually week 2 as week 1 was all easy running and I felt I had enough of a base to go straight into Week 2.

    Went well, found the speed session the easiest strangely enough. The Tempo was tough but I didn't pace it very well, went far to fast the last mile of 3. Something I'll need to work on.

    For my easy runs I've decided to forget about pace and just stay in zone 2. Actually one of the easy runs last week was spot on average pace wise with the slow easy aerobic A run paces given in the book so all good there.

    A question though that's bothering me a bit. For the Long run pace, the 'moderate pace' long run not the easy pace long run. What should my pace be?

    I'm going for a 1:38 half. When I look at table 3.5 it says 8:29/mile but in the column beside that it gives the tempo pace as 7:49/mile. A 1:38 half is 7:29/mile?? So if I go HMP+40 seconds like I've seen a few mention here then should my moderate long run pace not be then 8:09/mile? The table is really confusing.

    Still using the digital version as I actually ordered the physical copy of the Marathon plan rather than the Half.



  • Registered Users Posts: 725 ✭✭✭Sandwell


    Judging by the Luke Humphrey calculator 1:38 would be 7:29 for the tempos, as you say, and the steady long runs would be done at 8:20-8:30 pace. It's MP + 40-50 secs, not HMP.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9 WicksSmith


    Thanks Sandwell. I'm thinking at this stage I'm probably better off using that calculator for my paces.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,190 ✭✭✭PaulieC


    Hi Folks,

    I've been following this thread with interest for the last few weeks as I have decided, five years after buying the book, to take the plunge and train for Boston marathon using this plan. Background: for the last two years, I have been running 6/7 days a week, topping out at around 115k for the heaviest marathon training week, so I have no worries about the number of days training in the plan. My PB is 3:15 from a number of year back, but more recently, I did 3:16 in DCM 22 to qualify for Boston and paced 3:30 in DCM 23. I am being perhaps a tad ambitious in setting a 3:10 target for myself. Looking at the plan, I guess the thing that causes most anxiety is the Thursday tempos at MP, with maybe the long runs being next on the list.

    If you hae one tip for someone starting in to this plan, what would it be ?



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,412 ✭✭✭Lazare


    Exciting stuff.

    My one tip would be to zone in on the importance of Wednesday.

    Get into the mindset that the week begins on Thursdays and ends on Tuesdays. You'll smash each of those tempo sessions if you rest and recover well on Wed.

    Get to bed early on both Tue and Wed.

    I found the Tue sessions pretty tough going, because they were at the end of a tough week, but I always felt fresh and good to go on Thursdays.

    The very best of luck with it.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 228 ✭✭TheRef


    Avoid my mistakes 😂

    I didn't practice my fueling near enough in training as the longest run isn't "that long". I could get away with 2 gels for the 16m when I should have gone with 4-5 just to get my body used to taking them again. I don't think I took any "during" Thursdays tempo run.

    Be careful of the taper. 10 days was not enough for me.

    Follow the paces listed in the book as they are described - particularly Easy Aerobic A & B.

    Even though you may be be quite fatigued, I guess especially with Boston, don't avoid the hills.

    Also agree with Lazare - my approach to sleep has completely changed since I started Hanson.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,432 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    This. The plan starts on a Thursday after three days rest for a reason. It's amazing how many people don't notice the significance of that.

    Hi P (we met at the expo) - if you can pace 3:30 in Dublin with the usual buffer you can race it far faster than 3:16, as I suspect you know. For you (like everyone), it will be all about computing the right training paces based off an honest appraisal of recent racing history. Get that right and the Hanson approach will pay off - as will any reasonably scientific approach, to be honest.

    I don't think any well trained runner should fear a marathon paced session, and certainly not a long 'fast easy' run - expect it to be tough, yes, in the context of everything else you are doing, but anything under LT effort should always feel achievable if you've got the paces right. If you're training even a second per mile too fast, it's a different story of course.

    Good luck!



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,190 ✭✭✭PaulieC


    Starts on Thursday after three day's rest? According to the book, there's a speed/strength session on Tuesday and never less than 10 easy kms on Mondays.

    Hi Murph!! Pacing wise, I was a last minute jump up from 3:40 to 3:30 so it wasn't as comfortable as I would have liked :-)

    Regarding paces, I think I have them correct, based on the tables in the book (paces in KM):




  • Registered Users Posts: 4,412 ✭✭✭Lazare


    Your strength paces are off. Should be around 4:20.


    I targeted 3:10 too, here's my own paces.

    Easy and recovery I went by HR and were generally slower than yours, averaging about 5:40 for easy, and 6:00 for recovery. 5:08 seems too hot I think.

    Long was 4:55 - 5:00

    Tempo - 4:30

    Strength - 4:20

    Speed - 4:00 - 4:05 (I went closer to 10k pace with these rather than 5k)



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,190 ✭✭✭PaulieC


    Cool, thanks for pointing that out. I must have read from the wrong line in the table. I would tend to agree also on the easy and very easy paces. 5:08 seems a bit fast to be easy.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,190 ✭✭✭PaulieC


    Cool, thanks for pointing that out. I must have read from the wrong line in the table. I would tend to agree also on the easy and very easy paces. 5:08 seems a bit fast to be easy.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,432 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    My own version of the book starts on the Thursday of week 1. Maybe other or later versions have changed that (and probably some of the online only versions). But I always thought the Thursday start was a deliberate prod towards thinking of the plan starting every week on the Thurs after the rest day, a point I was chatting to @Lazare about just the other day.



  • Registered Users Posts: 694 ✭✭✭MisterJinx


    Interesting. I have been wondering how I can fit a bit more mileage into my week generally. One of the options is to up my easy pace a tad and therefore get a k or so more in for each run as I am maxed out for time and I'm going to dedicate a day to go to the gym from the new year.

    I had always though I took my easy days on the slow side of easy and I had the scope to up it a bit. Similar to you I would be somewhere around 5.40 for easy in Z2. I was thinking, based on HR that I could probably go to 5.15/20 looking at the stats but since you are faster than me and you are still working off 5.40 it's made me think a bit.

    The calculators all tend to give quite a wide range, strava for example says I can be just sub 5 min/k for easy....... If I keep to effort like I do then there is the wriggle room..



  • Registered Users Posts: 531 ✭✭✭overthebridge


    Just on the rest day. I sometimes move that day around to suit work/homelife in any given week. I find as long as I stick to at least one day gap between SOS days and run the easy days easy then it's not a bother. I usually do the speed SOS on Mondays and my Long run on Saturdays, this means I can pick Wed or Thur for the Tempo SOS and it still gives loads of flexibility around the 3 easy days. My rest day then can be slotted in to suit the kids schedules each week.

    Another thing I do is start the plan a week early and plan to do one of the later weeks twice. This gives me great flexibility around injuries/niggles/sickness or it might allow me a few easy days either side of a race that I have incorporated.

    It's a fantastic plan though. I've had 2 good goes off it so far and I've Pb'd on both blocks of training. I started another block last week aiming for an early April marathon.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,653 ✭✭✭dirkmeister


    I used Hanson for my first attempt at a marathon (Waterford) in June.

    I thought training had gone well but in reality a newborn had put enough of a dent in the plan.

    I made a complete hames of my pacing in the hot weather, cramped up on mile 18 and hobbled home in 4hr 05mins.

    I decided to take a few weeks off to recharge the batteries during the summer.

    I got some good consistency going at the end of August and decided to give the Waterford AC half marathon a shot with a target of somewhere around 1hr 43mins based on a 10 mile race I finished in 1hr 18mins in September.

    I used week 6-10 of the beginner programme and finished off with the taper week.

    The main thing I tried to focus on was keeping my long runs slow. As a complete novice, the penny finally dropped that I was going too fast on my long runs.

    It felt great arriving at the start line feeling fresh and strong.

    I managed to get home in 1hr 38mins. Absolutely delighted with that.

    The plan did require a lot of discipline, lots of early morning starts which free up the evenings for baby stuff.

    I’ve entered the Edinburgh marathon next May and hopefully I can go into a decent 3hr something.



  • Registered Users Posts: 975 ✭✭✭pc11


    Does Hanson say anything about weight training? I'm having a think about my plans for next year.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,432 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    From the book:

    There are many options for adding strength training to a running program. Our basic philosophy involves three main ideas: (1) It should complement the running regimen; strength work should never replace running. (2) It should improve weaknesses, muscle imbalances, and running form; in essence, strength training should help to improve running performance. (3) It should be short and simple.

    Humphrey, Luke. Hansons Marathon Method: Run Your Fastest Marathon the Hansons Way (p. 213). VeloPress. Kindle Edition.

    The book doesn't prescribe any particular strength training regime, although there are specific dynamic warmup and stretching exercises.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,190 ✭✭✭PaulieC


    Little update:

    I am just starting week 6 of 18, yesterday was 20k long run which averaged at 4:53 (targeting 4:55) and it felt great. HR average was 154 and no issues at all.

    I've done 3x10k tempos and they were all pretty successful, couple of seconds under target for each one. I did feel quite tired goi g into last Thursday session and absolutely wrecked on Friday for easy 11k but Saturday and Sunday were fine.

    Up to the 1200 reps tomorrow in the speed session


    All in all, I am happy so far, kinda waiting for the wheels to fall off, but at the moment I feel fit and strong, hope it continues



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,432 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    Sounds like a good execution so far. 👍



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,412 ✭✭✭Lazare


    Fair play, how did the 4x 1200s go for you?

    I'm a week ahead, did the ladder session earlier today. Was great craic haha.

    I missed that session the last time so was great to get it done.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,190 ✭✭✭PaulieC


    They were OK. 4:04 average pace, felt like puking at the end. Looking forward to a day off



  • Registered Users Posts: 178 ✭✭thehairygrape


    Lurking around here for a while. Working out a plan for an August/September marathon and late May half.

    On the Advanced program marathon plan. Apologies if these have been asked and answered before.

    Easy run A vs Easy run B. I presume an easy run is anywhere within that range? The plan doesn’t specify which one is which.

    Looking a long way ahead, the taper.

    Just wondering the experiences of runners here on that. The 10 miles tempo with 10 days to go in particular. I suppose I’m not used to that amount of running in the last two weeks. Now, that could be a good thing.

    Many thanks for all the input from everyone. I’ll put up my progress as I go along.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,190 ✭✭✭PaulieC


    Periodic update:

    Training for Boston, goal time is 3:10 with a B goal of under 3:15. PB is 3:15:00 from Dublin 2015

    Into Week 12 of 18. Finished Tuesday speed sessions two weeks ago, hitting pace targets for 3x1600. Started strength sessions last week with 6 X 1600 at 4:20 (was closer to 4:16 avg) and today was 4 X 2500, also avg at 4:15. The long runs have been great, the last two 25/27k coming in around 4:45 avg, including a few laps of Booterstown/Mount Merrion Avenues Sunday just gone for hill practice). Hardest sessions continue to be the Thursday MP tempos. The pace and energy seem to be OK, but the tiredness really kicks in and calves/hamstrings have been very tight for these runs the for last four weeks, to the extent that I had to stop to stretch calves on a few occasions. Seeing physio tomorrow for a loosen out (also had one 4 weeks ago and have some scheduled for before the big day).

    Overall, I would say it's going well. The major tiredness is starting to ease a bit, or maybe I am just used to my legs being mashed all the time.

    I am still a touch anxious about not doing a "long" run before the end. I might stretch the last 27k run to 30 just to ease that anxiety, but I don't want to deviate from the plan too much.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,190 ✭✭✭PaulieC


    Looking for some advice and reassurance :-)

    So, four weeks out today and I have only one scheduled "long" run left, which is next Sunday. I am still feeling a bit of range anxiety, particularly as I had a little tendon issue last weekend and missed out on two easy and one strength session.

    Couple of questions:

    I missed last week's strength session, which was the 2 X 5k. This week is 3 X 3.2k, which I did a couple of weeks ago - should I replace tomorrow's 3.3.2k with a 2x 5k ?

    Also, I am thinking of extending the long run this weekend out to 30k, anyone have any strong opinions on why I should not do this ? It's purely for mental benefit. Might also do a longer easy run next Sunday too



  • Registered Users Posts: 725 ✭✭✭Sandwell


    Regards the strength session, it doesn't matter. Do whichever one most appeals to you.

    As for extending the runs, you should just trust the plan. If you're going to do so I'd say extend the easy long run rather than the steady one. Sixteen miles at that effort is more than enough and of you're managing niggles as it is then it doesn't make sense to push your luck.



  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭MrMacPhisto


    You missed some training because of a tendon issue. Do you think it would be sensible to do extra training to make up for this??

    The plan has you skirting the edges of red lines. The tendon issue is probably a sign of this, so listen to the body and trust the plan. My opinion would be to do less rather than more at this point. So as printed, 3x3200 and 27k or so LR.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,190 ✭✭✭PaulieC


    That makes absolute sense, but I don't think the problem is too bad. Saw physio last Tuesday and she said it was fine, just a bit of stress caused probably by doing a couple of the Thursday sessions on predominantly downhill routes. I was able to do last week's Thursday session but did it about 10s per k slower and did 16/18 on Saturday and Sunday with no real reaction.

    I think my real issue is probably lack of trust in the plan and the thought of hitting mile 20 on the day and running out of gas.



  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭MrMacPhisto


    I assume you have ran a few marathons before?

    Trust the plan. The first time I did the plan, the 20 mile mark came and went with me accelerating from that point onwards ;) Of course you will be tired but there will be gas if you have trained and ran the race sensibly. If you follow the plan and run out of gas at 20 miles, then I suggest you have probably ran the first 25kms of the race too fast.

    I can't emphasise enough, trust the plan :D



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,190 ✭✭✭PaulieC


    Yes, plenty of them but this is the first with this plan. Logically I know the plan works, but irrationally I am still sceptical. Maybe my one time running boston was not the best time to change plans, but maybe it was the best time. I'll know for sure this time four weeks



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  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭MrMacPhisto


    You'll be fine. Lucky you, doing Boston. Maybe hold off the sprint finish until after Heartbreak Hill :D

    Having done plenty of marathons and I assume plenty of longer "long runs" in your previous training you know how the body feels at 20 miles and beyond. The body doesn't forget this training so that will be no issue. Maybe mentally you will just have to wait until you get there.

    I have never felt fully tapered or prepared to race until the very moment I toed the line at my marathons. So don't worry too much about fatigue and mental doubts during the taper either. You just gotta make sure you make the line, so don't overdo or overthink things.

    Best of luck in Boston!

    Post edited by MrMacPhisto on


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