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Hansons Method



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,983 ✭✭✭Duanington

    You chose the plan for a reason, that logical reason still exists and it sounds like you're still onboard with it.

    In my experience, people who deviate from this particular plan tend to struggle a little on race day and then blame the plan that they didn't stick to !

    I wouldn't go over on the steady long run, that's a tough, tough run at the end of a tough week, as someone else has pointed out, these weeks have you right on the edge for a sustained period of time, there's nothing to be gained from extending right into the red. You can take great confidence from hitting those sessions week after week, we tend to obsess too much about hitting magical\mystical numbers on the long run, its amazing really when you think about it.

    I think someone mentioned it on this thread before but if your focus is on the length of the long run then you're possibly missing the point of the structure of the plan, not only do you not need 30k, its counter productive given the nature of that structure

    Stick to it, trust your training

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,193 ✭✭✭PaulieC

    I've been thinking about it and I think the reason for the anxiety is possibly because I don't feel as tired as I think I should or thought I would. The first 10-12 weeks I felt constantly tired and that felt like the way it was supposed to with this plan and the focus on cumulative fatigue. However, the past couple of weeks I feel a lot less tired. However, with a 3x2m last night and a 16k tempo tomorrow and 27k steady on Sunday, I will revisit and see if I still feel like this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 232 ✭✭TheRef

    I've only done Hanson once, and that was on my third marathon (last year). Looking back, regardless of what I think of the long run tapping out at 27k, I'd be of the mind that you've followed the plan so far and you shouldn't start messing with it 4 weeks out.

    The only advice I would offer at this stage is see the plan out but be careful of the 10 day taper. I read loads that suggested my legs would feel fine on the day, but they didn't. I think that's ultimately what got me, not the lack of distance in my long runs. Hopefully it won't be an issue for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,449 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Echoing the others' comments - no need to pimp the plan. If anything it's about protecting the niggle you've identified, close to race day.

    The long runs are plenty long enough in my experience. They certainly did not contribute to any failure on my part to hit marathon goals. Getting the paces right for all the various types of runs - including the long runs - is a far more more important factor.

    Good luck!

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,193 ✭✭✭PaulieC

    Regarding paces, I am pretty crap at those. I tend to bank pace, so my tempo runs, which were supposed to be at 4:30 were pretty uniformly 4:27, the 4:55 long runs were between 4:45 and 4:50 and the strength runs were 4:15 instead of 4:20.

    Of those, the hardest runs I found were the tempos

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,193 ✭✭✭PaulieC

    The last full week before the "taper" starts went off without a hitch. Easy Monday, strength Tuesday (3 x 3.2k, 4:15 pace), some physio Wednesday, tempo Thursday (16k, 4:28 pace), easy Friday, easy Saturday with some returning niggles and 28k long run on Sunday (4:42 with last 5k closer to MP).

    Was pretty tired on Saturday, but chilled out all day and pretty ready for Sunday. That run was comparatively easy, I kept having to pull back and even at that I was over 10 seconds per km too fast. Icing the ankle after every run and back on anti inflammatories for a couple of days to try to resolve the ankle muscle issue, but feeling good overall. I am starting to think I can do this and that thought has me more worried than ever :-). Taper madness here we come, this time 3 weeks I'll be at the start line, I can't wait.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,449 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Boston is a tough course, and one of the things about it is the deceptively easy downhill start, gentle drop for six miles as far as I remember it. So it's easy to get carried away - super important to have a conservative start on that course. A brilliant race and experience, enjoy the taper and the pre-race.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,416 ✭✭✭Lazare

    You seem like you've put in a really cracking block. You also seem to have the all important confidence and belief.

    You'll smash it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,193 ✭✭✭PaulieC

    last 16k tempo before boston done today. I really hope the next ten days sees an amazing recovery 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,449 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,193 ✭✭✭PaulieC

    that's a hard no from me on the hansons method. Waited and waited for the legs to come good during the taper but they just felt dead the whole time. I knew from the first km today that it was going to be a struggle and it was. Legs had nothing from the start and got worse from there on. Trained for a 3:10, finished 3:37. Luckily it was a great day and the experience was fantastic, but HMM will be not considered again for future events.

  • Registered Users Posts: 232 ✭✭TheRef

    That was my exact experience as well. Legs never recovered and I knew on the start line I wasn't in great shape. However, I managed to maintain the pace I trained for until about 32km, but knew I was on borrowed time from very early on.

    Did you manage to get into the pace you trained for and faded or could you just not get up to speed?

    What about the heat that seemed to be an issue - that play a part?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,416 ✭✭✭Lazare

    Gutted to read that. Really thought you were going to smash it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 735 ✭✭✭Sandwell

    Sorry to hear that. You'd clearly put in the work and it's frustrating not to get the reward.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,193 ✭✭✭PaulieC

    looking back over the splits, I had two KMs that were on PMP and they were both in the first 5k. After 3k I knew I wasn't going to get anywhere near the goal so resigned myself to that and decided to just enjoy the run, but legs felt so tired I didn't even enjoy that. I did, however, enjoy the occasion, it was amazing from the time we got here. The heat was a possible factor but mainly the issue was the legs.

    We live to fight another day. With a different plan 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,449 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Hmm, it sounds remarkably like my own Boston experience in 2016 which was similar weather wise. I’d used a P&D approach, and in retrospect had overtrained. Sorry it didn’t go well.

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 35,067 Mod ✭✭✭✭AlmightyCushion

    That sucks. Do ye think it was the taper not being easy enough that your legs just didn't recover fully or was it the overall plan? At least your fitness should have improved by doing this plan so for your next race you should be in a better position. So, long term it should still be a positive even if it screwed you in the short term.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,193 ✭✭✭PaulieC

    It's hard to know to be honest. The last time I felt fresh and strong was the last long run. Felt great that day like I could run all day but since that my legs have been just sore and heavy and tired. The last week of taper was a real chore, easy runs felt hard. From here and other forums, I was kind of expecting that, but then also expecting the seemingly mythical bounce back 2-3 days before, but that never materialised.
    Funny thing was, I was enjoying the training. Felt good for most of it, including the tiredness. I'm sure the only thing damaged here is a bruised ego. Looking forward to getting back to it, after a wee break of course

  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭MrMacPhisto

    Sorry to hear that Paulie.

    As I said before, the taper on the Hanson Plan is short and not very refreshing. I have never got to the line thinking "I'm fresh". I normally reduce the last 10 mile tempo to a 10k tempo as I feel I would be better off with a little less fatigue and more recovery than any potential benefit of the few extra km.

    Before completely blaming the taper and the plan, I think you should just bear in mind the conditions. Of all the people I followed on the day (from elites to 5hr runners), and reports that I have read about subsqeuently, not one had a good experience in terms of goal pace or negative splits etc. 20 degree heat and direct overhead sunshine is definitely not something I have experienced during my running in Ireland in the last 3 months. I would say I have ran 3 times without a base layer and gloves (2 of the times were races, and I still wore the gloves and a buff :D). If you trained here, I can safely assume you were not acclimatised to such conditions as you experienced in Boston.

    You alone can decide if it is for you or not. But you have serious training banked, it's just a pity the race didn't work out. If I were you, I'd look for a half marathon within the next 4-6 weeks to see if you can bank a performance that you have earned.

    Kudos for grinding it out on the day, the race looked fantastic on tv.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,193 ✭✭✭PaulieC

    I was perhaps a tad hasty in my initial post race assessment 😂. There were, of course, mitigating circumstances, weather being one of them. However, the weather doesn't explain the lethargic feel of my legs in the first 3k. If the wheels fell off at the halfway point, then maybe. There was the travel, excessive walking on Saturday and Sunday and even before the start I had clocked up almost 10k steps.

    I'll take stock and see what happens. I have got the major bug now so going to plan for Chicago in 2025. I enjoyed the HMM training sessions so might jump back in when the time comes. It's definitely easier to understand than the Daniels formula. Also might look at going down the paid coaching road, a number in the club are having significant success with that.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,657 ✭✭✭dirkmeister

    Less than 3 weeks out from Edinburgh now and I had my last 16 mile run yesterday morning.

    Starting to feel very confident now, I’ve been hitting my targets in the tempo runs pretty comfortably. I find the hardest part is not getting carried away near the end of the run to push things harder.

    My first marathon last year came in at 4:05 after the wheels came off in spectacular fashion after 18 miles.

    I followed this up with a 1:38 in the Waterford half last December which gave my confidence a huge boost.

    If things go well I am hopeful of 3:45.

    Edit: My tempo runs are being run at 5:00 per km and I’m hitting them all along with strength runs but I think I’m still a bit nervous after the last marathon that it could all go belly up.

    I think I said it on this thread before but one thing I have noticed with this block in contrast to my last marathon effort is I am running my easy runs much slower than I did last year and I find it definitely helps me to hit the strength/ tempo work hard.

    As it turned out I was in Limerick over the weekend for a family event so ended up doing my run around the city.

    Well done to all who raced in that heat. It looked to have caught out quite a few.

    Post edited by dirkmeister on

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,449 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    All the best. Why 5:00/k tempo though? These are supposed to be at marathon pace.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,657 ✭✭✭dirkmeister

    Thanks, Murph. I think 3:30 is doable but I’d need a lot to go right. That’s why I’ve been using that pace.

    For example on my first 16k tempo last week my 2k splits were 5:03,4:59,4:56,5:00,4:59,5:04,4:58 and 4:55.

    I felt great after it.

    3:45 could be ridiculously conservative. It could just be the fear of blowing up again.

    In all honesty, training has gone great. I have only missed 5km from one 13km run over the whole block whereas last year we had a newborn to contend with and training suffered near the end.

    Writing this post, I think the biggest obstacle to contend could be my head.

    Post edited by dirkmeister on

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,449 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Well I suppose the crucial question is whether 3:30 marathon pace is sustainable, and your recent HM time suggests it is, so it was a well chosen and slightly conservative training pace. All the best in Edinburgh.

  • Registered Users Posts: 233 ✭✭Outside

    I'm a long time lurker, first time poster on this thread but I had to pop in to report another Hanson success story at the Limerick Marathon this weekend. My last couple of marathons didn't go great, just dying a death in the second half. Last year's Dublin marathon bonk was probably my own nutrition mistakes rather than the plan I was following. But for the Limerick block this year, inspired by this thread I said I might as well give it a go. I ended up following the last 12 weeks of the Advanced Marathon plan without any modifications or issues luckily. Goal was 2:59. Went through first half in 1:28:45 (54th place) and went on to finish 2:57:56 (38th place). Absolutely delighted. A slight positive split but I'll take that considering the 2nd half this year. Every hill I felt like I was backing off pace and taking it easy but still found myself going faster than others beside me. I always felt I had an extra gear. A very stage experience. The plan works for sure. Even though I had my doubts, I stuck to the 16 mile long run and 10 day easy run taper. Thanks to all the all the regular posters here, this thread is a nice Hanson faq trove of information.

  • Registered Users Posts: 972 ✭✭✭MooShop

    Out of interest what sort of weekly mileage were you doing before starting the advanced plan? Well done on your time, a great achievement, ran Limerick as well on Sunday, found the second half quite tough, especially the last 5 miles but I came away with an 11 min PB to dip under 3:14, targeting 3:15!

  • Registered Users Posts: 735 ✭✭✭Sandwell

    Currently mulling over plans for the Frankfurt marathon this autumn and wondering whether following Hanson for a third year in a row is a good idea or not. I've had great success with it but I'm a bit concerned that three times in a row might lead to a lack of motivation, particularly given the repetitive nature of the plan. It does suit my schedule particularly well, however, so switching to something like Pfitz or JD might be counter-productive.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,329 ✭✭✭chabsey

    To me that's a no-brainer. Proven track record of it working for you? Fits your routine well? I'd be doing a third Hansons no question. Maybe if you're running Frankfurt without a time in mind then I'd mix it up, but if you're aiming for a time then why mess with the winning formula?

  • Registered Users Posts: 233 ✭✭Outside

    Hey MooShop, well done on the PB! They were hard earned on Sunday for sure! Especially an 11 min one!

    I didn't do a whole pile after Dublin marathon 2023 (3:05:19). I ended up spraining my ankle the start of November so took a few weeks to get back again but then it was winter/holiday season so backed off anyway.

    I wanted to start into again in January but ended up getting COVID then the middle of January so weeks were as follows:

    Week 6 05.02 - 11.02 6x 85,8 km

    Week 5 29.01 - 04.02 5x 45,7 km

    Week 4 22.01 - 28.01 2x 14,0 km

    Week 3 15.01 - 21.01 2x 20,9 km

    Week 2 08.01 - 14.01 4x 50,1 km

    Week 1 01.01 - 07.01 5x 64,2 km

    Week 6 was the start of the 12 week Hanson block so I had to ramp it up a little fast. Ideally I would have gradually built it up from 18 weeks out for sure, especially the Thursday’s. The first few weeks of the Thursday tempo runs were very difficult.

    What I really liked about the Thursday tempo was you had a good weekly pace/heart rate/effort level to gauge how things were progressing. It takes a few weeks but you can really see it improving after 6/7 weeks of those sessions. That was the only session I wore a HR monitor for. Easy was always easy and never pushed a pace for these. They ended up being anything from 5:00/km to 5:45/km. I felt that was very important to make sure I was getting full active recovery to be ready for the next session. I see too many people with “Easy” pace being 30/40s/km slower than their planned MP which makes no sense to me.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 972 ✭✭✭MooShop

    Thanks for the great reply - I've read half of the Hanson's book before, must start reading it again. I currently have a coach and it's working well for me but would like to try Hanson's at some stage in the future.