Posts

My easy days were too easy

I recently made a comment on my Strava log that I was making a conscious effort to make my easy days a little bit faster. This prompted a question from one of my followers who essentially asked what the benefits of running faster on their easy days would be. So… it depends, right? That’s the answer to a lot of these type of questions. Not every run should be your fastest, and as a coach, the problem is that if I give a range then the fast end of the is usually what is adhered too. So, to combat that a little bit, I want the focus to be on the easier side of things, knowing that the pace will creep up a bit. There are scenarios where we should go beyond the LSD style of running and that is what I want to explore today.

As we dive in I want to begin with adding more context to what I wrote in my log. If you have been reading my posts or listening to my podcasts, you know that I have been “treading water” as it comes to my training and fitness in 2020. As the year has wound down and I see some really great performances, not to mention the redefinition of age and performance, I have rekindled motivation for the next few years. I started looking back and reflecting on my training the last year, or so. It helps to really take an honest assessment of where you are coming from in order to determine the path forward. Prior to 2020, the vast majority of my easy runs were under 7:00 per mile. Most of this year, that number fell off substantially. I would say that the average pace of my easy runs was more like 7:15 pace. Now, to keep that in perspective, even if I ran 6:40 pace, that would still be a good 60-90 seconds slower per mile than my goal marathon pace. I am not making a set of rules for me and a set of rules for you! But, this was not a lack of ability, rather, a lack of just making the conscious effort.

So, looking at my goals, I realize that not everything can, or should, look the way it did when I was 25, or even 30 years old. There might be weeks where I need more recovery, but looking at this made me think about the cascading effects of “slacking” on my easy days. I don’t have any scientific backing on this, but to me, this was a cascading effect on the rest of my workouts. I was running significantly slower on my easy paces. When I went to do workouts, they just seemed so much faster than what they really should have been. Were they beyond my capability? Probably not, but mentally I couldn’t cross that bridge. Also, I have been using the word “averaged” a lot in this post and that’s important. Trust me, when there’s a run the day following a harder workout, I am going to go slower. At the very least, the first few miles I’ll let myself ease into it. I am talking about trends overall. If I have 4 easy days in a week, then the average might include 1-2 runs closer to 7 minute pace (+/-) while 1-3 will probably be a touch faster to 6:30 pace. So, don’t get it twisted that every single run is faster.

With a little bit of context now, when should you let it rip and when should you crank it up and when should you slow your roll?

Crank it up

  1. When you take more easy days between SOS days. For instance, if you use a 9 day cycle or the alternator set up.
  2. If you have gotten faster in races but your easy paces have stayed the same throughout.
  3. If you are forcing yourself to slow down to be in the range and it’s causing gait change. Focus on running with a natural stride and increasing general endurance.

Slow it down

  1. Don’t force the faster easy paces if you are trying to make a big jump in a race goal. Let effort dictate the pace.
  2. You’ve tried increasing the average paces, but now workouts are suffering.

How I would start introducing more moderate paced runs, based on classic HMM plan:

  • Monday: Easy/Recovery- just coming off bigger weekend mileage that was more effort. Day before the SOS
  • Tuesday: SOS
  • Wednesday: OFF
  • Thursday: SOS
  • Friday: Recovery/Easy
  • Saturday: Easy/Moderate
  • Sunday: Moderate/Long

Over time, you might find that natural pace just becomes faster. Sometimes, we just have to convince ourselves first and then the body takes over. If so, let it roll. Just monitor effort and if you are whooped after a workout, don’t be afraid to take it easy. For me, it was a matter of convincing myself that I could still train pretty close to what I had in the past. For you, it might be convincing yourself that you are ready to take the next step. Either way, it can lead to big breakthroughs, given that you monitor data and physiological feedback. It also adds a little variety if you find yourself bored on easy days. Sprinkle ‘em in. See if anything happens!

Workout Variables: Strength Recovery Jogs

Last week we discussed recovery repeats for speed workouts. If you missed that post, you can see HERE. This week I want to discuss the next group of repeats in the marathon training- the strength repeats. Traditionally, these are done at 10 seconds faster marathon pace per mile. You will see this written as MP-10. If you are familiar with HMM, you’ll recognize that the workouts are 6×1 mile, 4×1.5 miles, 3×2 miles, and 2×3 miles. The 6×1 has a ¼ mile jog recovery, while the 4×1.5 and 3×2 have a half mile jog recovery. The 2×3 has the most recovery, which is a mile jog recovery.

So if we are looking at the recovery from a ratio standpoint, the amount of recovery we are getting from a repeat is minimal compared to the amount of work we are doing. However, the intensity of the repeat is far lower. The other aspect to consider is the ability of the runner.

The faster the runner, the closer they get to the lactate threshold.

For instance, when I was at my peak, I’d train for 5:00-5:05 pace for the marathon, which would make my strength repeat at 4:50-4:55. My half marathon PR was at 4:52 per mile pace. So, with me, it all tied in nicely. However, I fully recognize that if your goal marathon pace is, say 10:00 min/mile, then there is not a huge difference there. Many of you may be averaging close to 9:50 pace for your marathon tempos!

I think that before we get into adjusting the recovery on these, we have to consider what we are trying to get out of these. For faster runners, it is accumulating volume at just under your LT. By faster, I’d say anything faster than 3:30, or so. For these people, it’d really be in the danger zone of your marathon pacing. You go out at this pace and sustain it, then it’s probably not going to end well. You aren’t at LT, but you are at a point that’s not sustainable. You’ll still be producing a lot of lactic byproduct and burning through carbohydrates.

For runners below that 3:30 range, really the closer you get to 4:00 and beyond, you aren’t producing big amounts of byproduct. We are really stressing the aerobic threshold, which is the point where we start seeing an inflection of lactic byproducts. It is often considered the crossover point of utilizing more carbohydrate than fat as fuel. With these folks, we aren’t working on improving the LT as we would be with the faster runners, but rather, trying to boost fuel efficiency and accumulating harder miles closer to goal MP.

As for recovery, you now see the trend- the faster the repeat will result in shorter repeats with a higher ratio of rest to work.

As you creep down to LT range, repeats lengthen out, volume increases, and rest to work ratio decreases. Once you get close to MP, the work to rest ratio will be the lowest. When I would do a workout like the 3×2 miles, they would be done in about 10:00 per repeat. A half mile jog recovery would be 3:45-4:00, usually. This would be a .4/1 ratio (about)- or 40%. I do see faster runners do similar workouts with 3:00 jog recovery, but I will say this, they usually aren’t training for a marathon. They are usually training for half marathons and under. Let’s say you are doing the same workout at about 20:00 per repeat. A half mile jog might be closer to 6:00-7:00, so we are still pretty close to that 40% range.

So… should we adjust?

When just looking at it by a numbers standpoint, I’d lean towards the idea of shortening these up. However, I keep coming back to the intensity of these, the volume, and the timing of these workouts. I also think about who is doing these workouts. First off, I’d say that if you are new to the philosophy, then don’t make this harder than they are. Now, if you are feeling super comfortable, or your paces are getting way too fast without any effort, then maybe consider it. If we were in that 40% range for recovery, maybe try decreasing recovery to 30% of the time doing the work. Or, even easier, back the 6×1 to a 200 meter jog, the 4×1.5 and 3×2 to a ¼ mile, and the 2×3 to a half mile jog and see how that goes.

I would be open to experimentation if you have been through the programs a few times and you know how you feel when you get to the strength block of the training. In essence, I want to be cautious. My other worry is the timing of the workouts. You’ll be in the peak volume of the training. You’ll be tired and you’ll be fatigued from the training. So, from that standpoint, just because you can, does it mean you should? That’s a decision that’s gotta be thought out. If you try it and fade off or you start flirting with injury, then stop it. There is no need to be a workout hero and not even make it to the starting line.

Going through this, I realize I am more vague on this, but I do think it’s something to explore in the right situations.

I think it’s something where keeping really good track of your previous data is a must.

Knowing how you handled previous segments should guide this decision. I don’t want you to take this as a free pass to just push the pace and take less recovery. I want you to focus more on controlling the pace and recognizing the effort. Then see if you can maintain that pace with less recovery. If inclined, give it a go. Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

Hanson Marathon Method: Choosing the right plan.

Being in the right plan can make all the difference in the world. If you are familiar with the plans in the books, then you know that there can be a big difference between what others use as a beginner plan and what the HMM beginner plan looks like. These differences has led to the creation of a number of different plans based on the original Beginner and Advanced plans. These plans have helped filled the gaps to meet more people where they are at in their marathon experience. All of these plans have led to a common question, “How do I know what plan I should be in?” I explore those plans in this podcast. I have also attached a presentation so you can have a visual.

Google Slides 

 

Luke Humphrey Running Books!

Glass City Recap

I ran CIM in the beginning of December and then took some time off. I was going through a lot of life changes so for the first time in a long time, running took a backseat on the priority list. I’ll have to admit, I didn’t really miss the training aspect. I still enjoyed the daily routine, but not the regimented routine I have been undertaking for the last 25 years!

As life began to sort itself out, I began to be accustomed to my routine. For a long time I had to be selfish with running (or at least I thought) and that left a lot of daily tasks to my wife. That always made me feel guilty and over time I think it was things like this that really affected our feelings towards each other. I always was an early riser, but it was usually to scramble to get around to meet the guys for an early morning run. Now I was getting up at the same time, but getting a couple hours of productivity done, school lunches packed, kid fed and dressed, and making sure bags were packed. Even after all that, I was out the door running by 9 am.

I started getting the desire to train again, but knew I had to change the approach a little bit. Not the philosophy, but just how this segment was to be approached. I had done two marathon segments in 2018 and ran two in 2017! I hadn’t even thought about that until writing this.

I had played around with more recovery and less mileage because I thought my body couldn’t handle what I used to do.

The truth is, it can’t, but it could handle a lot more than what I was doing. That’s a little off topic, as I still needed to change this segment. I had a ton of marathon work in my system, so I wanted to work on just being able to run faster. I hadn’t done much of anything under 5 minute pace (per mile) in a very long time and I want to get back to where that feels comfortable. However, this winter was pretty rough and I did a lot of simulated efforts on the treadmill. When I got outside, I tried to run faster. During the the last 6 weeks, I was able to get in the staple workouts of a Simulator and a 2×6 miles. I was pretty confident, at least in my ability to run respectable, but honestly, I knew it was going to be a little bit of a crapshoot.

Overall, from the first week of February until the week before the race, I averaged about 105 miles per week.

Not bad by any means, but a little less than what I averaged before CIM and about the same as what I averaged before Bayshore in May. I felt good physically. My back was in decent shape and my head was clear. My stress levels had decreased significantly. So, heading into the Glass City Marathon, I had two goals- 1) Was to compete for the win and 2) Run under 2:20.

RACE WEEKEND

The nice thing about this race was that it was close- about an hour away from home. Nikki and I still got a hotel room in Toledo, but just for convenience. Given the fact that our hotel for Boston two weeks earlier was in the 4 figures, this was nothing! We checked in and then headed over to the expo to pick our race packet up. Part of my elite entry included helping out for a couple hours at the expo, so I fulfilled that duty. Talking to the elite athlete coordinators gave me a lot of info and I knew the competition I was going to be racing against the next morning.

As expected, the weather deteriorated over the evening and into the night, but all reports said the rain was going to be gone, which was my biggest concern.

There is nothing worse than a cold rain. The morning was cold.

About 36 degrees, but the rain had stopped. However, the wind was steady at 10-15 mph and gusts up to 20+ mph. Woof! Oh well, I was honestly just glad it wasn’t 75 degrees! It did warm up a bit- I think starting temp was 39 or 40 degrees, but the wind was still there.

As I stood on the starting line I was pretty calm, but anxious to get going. I wanted to see how this thing was going to unfold. The half marathon and the full marathon run together for the first 9-10 miles, so I knew there’d be a good range of paces at the start. The race started and of course all the local hero’s went blowing by for their few minutes of fame. I was glancing around at bibs to see who was full and who was half marathoners. There was a couple guys that were on there own and then everyone else seemed to just kind of pack up. We started looping around the outside of the U of T campus and I tried to tuck in away from the wind. It was funny because there was so much back and forth with the pacing, so I just tried to stay calm. All was pretty well through the first 5-6 miles. I just ran my pace and let those young guys throw the sneaky punches. Looking at my splits, I was pretty steady at 5:18 ish pace. Miles 5 and 6 were 5:12 range, but I think we were with the wind.

However, by 6 miles, they must have tuckered themselves out and all of a sudden I was in front. Knowing the field, I knew that I had to set myself up for the best chance to win, so I stayed on the pace. I never pushed the gas to the floor, but I stayed honest at 5:18-19 pace. It was cold, and it was windy, so the field started falling apart. Pretty soon it was just myself and the eventual winner. From miles 7-15 we worked through a nice neighborhood and then into a big metropark and were on a bike path. We ran side by side all the way through 15 miles. I never felt like I was over the edge, but I felt like that was as fast as I could go without getting over the edge.

As we exited the park at 15, we made a right hand turn and this guy just blasted it. I ran 5:15 for that mile and he just dropped my like I had made a pit stop, or something.

To make matters worse, we were dead nuts straight into a headwind, too.

So, there was the break and he spent the next two miles putting a big distance on me. At that point, it was a matter of holding on. It just stunk because he was too far ahead to be in contact and I was all alone with third being a couple minutes back. No man’s land is incredibly lonely.

I am proud that the gap didn’t get any worse. At mile 20, or so, the biker next to me told me the gap was about 50 seconds and that’s where it stayed. As we headed back to campus, my calves were starting to cramp and my quads were fried. I was just spent and managing myself.

The wind definitely played a role with me. I looked at a couple calculators and a 10 mile head wind can add 10-20 seconds per mile, pretty easily. I would say that you throw in the factors of dehydration, being tired already, and then running completely alone for 10 miles and there’s a lot going on there. All in all, it was 2:22 and second place. I competed for the win for a long time and was on sub 2:20 pace for 20+ miles, but it ended rough.

Post Race

Now’s the time for too much information. I didn’t pee for almost two hours after the race. When I did, it was so brown I thought it was blood. I am telling you this because it’s important. I dehydrated myself really bad and that also had an effect. The thing is, I was really good with gels. I took 5 Isagenix Fuels. One right before and four during the race. However, it was so cold I couldn’t grab water.

I would be surprised if I took in 10 oz of water during the whole run.

That’s such a bummer, too. That’s a rookie mistake and it’s frustrating for myself. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and you always have to remember the basics!

The next couple days were brutal! I could barely walk. However, by Saturday, I felt good and went for a 3 mile jog. It was slow, but spring had finally come and I wanted to get some sun in! I ran the next week until mothers day. My hip was a little sore, but now it’s all good. I even started doing strides this week!

Moving Forward

I feel like I have one or two more chances at a Trials qualifier.

Right now, I need to step back from the marathon. I want to race some shorter races and get to where I can handle some things I haven’t done in a long time. My plan is to build up with a 5k and a 10k in June and July. Then run the Crim 10 Miler in August. From there I’ll transition right into marathon training for Indy on November 9th. I think there will be quite a few guys going after sub 2:19 and it’s a great course and race. It should be fun! I also want to get back to more strength. I keep saying it, but it’s my downfall!

At the end of the day, training for Glass City helped me transition to a new chapter of my life. I didn’t win, but I raced hard. I learned how to train without the reliance of a team. And I feel good with a lot of things in my life and my family! So, here’s to the rest of 2019.

 

My easy days were too easy

I recently made a comment on my Strava log that I was making a conscious effort to make my easy days a little bit faster. This prompted a question from one of my followers who essentially asked what the benefits of running faster on their easy days would be. So… it depends, right? That’s the answer to a lot of these type of questions. Not every run should be your fastest, and as a coach, the problem is that if I give a range then the fast end of the is usually what is adhered too. So, to combat that a little bit, I want the focus to be on the easier side of things, knowing that the pace will creep up a bit. There are scenarios where we should go beyond the LSD style of running and that is what I want to explore today.

As we dive in I want to begin with adding more context to what I wrote in my log. If you have been reading my posts or listening to my podcasts, you know that I have been “treading water” as it comes to my training and fitness in 2020. As the year has wound down and I see some really great performances, not to mention the redefinition of age and performance, I have rekindled motivation for the next few years. I started looking back and reflecting on my training the last year, or so. It helps to really take an honest assessment of where you are coming from in order to determine the path forward. Prior to 2020, the vast majority of my easy runs were under 7:00 per mile. Most of this year, that number fell off substantially. I would say that the average pace of my easy runs was more like 7:15 pace. Now, to keep that in perspective, even if I ran 6:40 pace, that would still be a good 60-90 seconds slower per mile than my goal marathon pace. I am not making a set of rules for me and a set of rules for you! But, this was not a lack of ability, rather, a lack of just making the conscious effort.

So, looking at my goals, I realize that not everything can, or should, look the way it did when I was 25, or even 30 years old. There might be weeks where I need more recovery, but looking at this made me think about the cascading effects of “slacking” on my easy days. I don’t have any scientific backing on this, but to me, this was a cascading effect on the rest of my workouts. I was running significantly slower on my easy paces. When I went to do workouts, they just seemed so much faster than what they really should have been. Were they beyond my capability? Probably not, but mentally I couldn’t cross that bridge. Also, I have been using the word “averaged” a lot in this post and that’s important. Trust me, when there’s a run the day following a harder workout, I am going to go slower. At the very least, the first few miles I’ll let myself ease into it. I am talking about trends overall. If I have 4 easy days in a week, then the average might include 1-2 runs closer to 7 minute pace (+/-) while 1-3 will probably be a touch faster to 6:30 pace. So, don’t get it twisted that every single run is faster.

With a little bit of context now, when should you let it rip and when should you crank it up and when should you slow your roll?

Crank it up

  1. When you take more easy days between SOS days. For instance, if you use a 9 day cycle or the alternator set up.
  2. If you have gotten faster in races but your easy paces have stayed the same throughout.
  3. If you are forcing yourself to slow down to be in the range and it’s causing gait change. Focus on running with a natural stride and increasing general endurance.

Slow it down

  1. Don’t force the faster easy paces if you are trying to make a big jump in a race goal. Let effort dictate the pace.
  2. You’ve tried increasing the average paces, but now workouts are suffering.

How I would start introducing more moderate paced runs, based on classic HMM plan:

  • Monday: Easy/Recovery- just coming off bigger weekend mileage that was more effort. Day before the SOS
  • Tuesday: SOS
  • Wednesday: OFF
  • Thursday: SOS
  • Friday: Recovery/Easy
  • Saturday: Easy/Moderate
  • Sunday: Moderate/Long

Over time, you might find that natural pace just becomes faster. Sometimes, we just have to convince ourselves first and then the body takes over. If so, let it roll. Just monitor effort and if you are whooped after a workout, don’t be afraid to take it easy. For me, it was a matter of convincing myself that I could still train pretty close to what I had in the past. For you, it might be convincing yourself that you are ready to take the next step. Either way, it can lead to big breakthroughs, given that you monitor data and physiological feedback. It also adds a little variety if you find yourself bored on easy days. Sprinkle ‘em in. See if anything happens!

Workout Variables: Strength Recovery Jogs

Last week we discussed recovery repeats for speed workouts. If you missed that post, you can see HERE. This week I want to discuss the next group of repeats in the marathon training- the strength repeats. Traditionally, these are done at 10 seconds faster marathon pace per mile. You will see this written as MP-10. If you are familiar with HMM, you’ll recognize that the workouts are 6×1 mile, 4×1.5 miles, 3×2 miles, and 2×3 miles. The 6×1 has a ¼ mile jog recovery, while the 4×1.5 and 3×2 have a half mile jog recovery. The 2×3 has the most recovery, which is a mile jog recovery.

So if we are looking at the recovery from a ratio standpoint, the amount of recovery we are getting from a repeat is minimal compared to the amount of work we are doing. However, the intensity of the repeat is far lower. The other aspect to consider is the ability of the runner.

The faster the runner, the closer they get to the lactate threshold.

For instance, when I was at my peak, I’d train for 5:00-5:05 pace for the marathon, which would make my strength repeat at 4:50-4:55. My half marathon PR was at 4:52 per mile pace. So, with me, it all tied in nicely. However, I fully recognize that if your goal marathon pace is, say 10:00 min/mile, then there is not a huge difference there. Many of you may be averaging close to 9:50 pace for your marathon tempos!

I think that before we get into adjusting the recovery on these, we have to consider what we are trying to get out of these. For faster runners, it is accumulating volume at just under your LT. By faster, I’d say anything faster than 3:30, or so. For these people, it’d really be in the danger zone of your marathon pacing. You go out at this pace and sustain it, then it’s probably not going to end well. You aren’t at LT, but you are at a point that’s not sustainable. You’ll still be producing a lot of lactic byproduct and burning through carbohydrates.

For runners below that 3:30 range, really the closer you get to 4:00 and beyond, you aren’t producing big amounts of byproduct. We are really stressing the aerobic threshold, which is the point where we start seeing an inflection of lactic byproducts. It is often considered the crossover point of utilizing more carbohydrate than fat as fuel. With these folks, we aren’t working on improving the LT as we would be with the faster runners, but rather, trying to boost fuel efficiency and accumulating harder miles closer to goal MP.

As for recovery, you now see the trend- the faster the repeat will result in shorter repeats with a higher ratio of rest to work.

As you creep down to LT range, repeats lengthen out, volume increases, and rest to work ratio decreases. Once you get close to MP, the work to rest ratio will be the lowest. When I would do a workout like the 3×2 miles, they would be done in about 10:00 per repeat. A half mile jog recovery would be 3:45-4:00, usually. This would be a .4/1 ratio (about)- or 40%. I do see faster runners do similar workouts with 3:00 jog recovery, but I will say this, they usually aren’t training for a marathon. They are usually training for half marathons and under. Let’s say you are doing the same workout at about 20:00 per repeat. A half mile jog might be closer to 6:00-7:00, so we are still pretty close to that 40% range.

So… should we adjust?

When just looking at it by a numbers standpoint, I’d lean towards the idea of shortening these up. However, I keep coming back to the intensity of these, the volume, and the timing of these workouts. I also think about who is doing these workouts. First off, I’d say that if you are new to the philosophy, then don’t make this harder than they are. Now, if you are feeling super comfortable, or your paces are getting way too fast without any effort, then maybe consider it. If we were in that 40% range for recovery, maybe try decreasing recovery to 30% of the time doing the work. Or, even easier, back the 6×1 to a 200 meter jog, the 4×1.5 and 3×2 to a ¼ mile, and the 2×3 to a half mile jog and see how that goes.

I would be open to experimentation if you have been through the programs a few times and you know how you feel when you get to the strength block of the training. In essence, I want to be cautious. My other worry is the timing of the workouts. You’ll be in the peak volume of the training. You’ll be tired and you’ll be fatigued from the training. So, from that standpoint, just because you can, does it mean you should? That’s a decision that’s gotta be thought out. If you try it and fade off or you start flirting with injury, then stop it. There is no need to be a workout hero and not even make it to the starting line.

Going through this, I realize I am more vague on this, but I do think it’s something to explore in the right situations.

I think it’s something where keeping really good track of your previous data is a must.

Knowing how you handled previous segments should guide this decision. I don’t want you to take this as a free pass to just push the pace and take less recovery. I want you to focus more on controlling the pace and recognizing the effort. Then see if you can maintain that pace with less recovery. If inclined, give it a go. Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

Hanson Marathon Method: Choosing the right plan.

Being in the right plan can make all the difference in the world. If you are familiar with the plans in the books, then you know that there can be a big difference between what others use as a beginner plan and what the HMM beginner plan looks like. These differences has led to the creation of a number of different plans based on the original Beginner and Advanced plans. These plans have helped filled the gaps to meet more people where they are at in their marathon experience. All of these plans have led to a common question, “How do I know what plan I should be in?” I explore those plans in this podcast. I have also attached a presentation so you can have a visual.

Google Slides 

 

Luke Humphrey Running Books!

Glass City Recap

I ran CIM in the beginning of December and then took some time off. I was going through a lot of life changes so for the first time in a long time, running took a backseat on the priority list. I’ll have to admit, I didn’t really miss the training aspect. I still enjoyed the daily routine, but not the regimented routine I have been undertaking for the last 25 years!

As life began to sort itself out, I began to be accustomed to my routine. For a long time I had to be selfish with running (or at least I thought) and that left a lot of daily tasks to my wife. That always made me feel guilty and over time I think it was things like this that really affected our feelings towards each other. I always was an early riser, but it was usually to scramble to get around to meet the guys for an early morning run. Now I was getting up at the same time, but getting a couple hours of productivity done, school lunches packed, kid fed and dressed, and making sure bags were packed. Even after all that, I was out the door running by 9 am.

I started getting the desire to train again, but knew I had to change the approach a little bit. Not the philosophy, but just how this segment was to be approached. I had done two marathon segments in 2018 and ran two in 2017! I hadn’t even thought about that until writing this.

I had played around with more recovery and less mileage because I thought my body couldn’t handle what I used to do.

The truth is, it can’t, but it could handle a lot more than what I was doing. That’s a little off topic, as I still needed to change this segment. I had a ton of marathon work in my system, so I wanted to work on just being able to run faster. I hadn’t done much of anything under 5 minute pace (per mile) in a very long time and I want to get back to where that feels comfortable. However, this winter was pretty rough and I did a lot of simulated efforts on the treadmill. When I got outside, I tried to run faster. During the the last 6 weeks, I was able to get in the staple workouts of a Simulator and a 2×6 miles. I was pretty confident, at least in my ability to run respectable, but honestly, I knew it was going to be a little bit of a crapshoot.

Overall, from the first week of February until the week before the race, I averaged about 105 miles per week.

Not bad by any means, but a little less than what I averaged before CIM and about the same as what I averaged before Bayshore in May. I felt good physically. My back was in decent shape and my head was clear. My stress levels had decreased significantly. So, heading into the Glass City Marathon, I had two goals- 1) Was to compete for the win and 2) Run under 2:20.

RACE WEEKEND

The nice thing about this race was that it was close- about an hour away from home. Nikki and I still got a hotel room in Toledo, but just for convenience. Given the fact that our hotel for Boston two weeks earlier was in the 4 figures, this was nothing! We checked in and then headed over to the expo to pick our race packet up. Part of my elite entry included helping out for a couple hours at the expo, so I fulfilled that duty. Talking to the elite athlete coordinators gave me a lot of info and I knew the competition I was going to be racing against the next morning.

As expected, the weather deteriorated over the evening and into the night, but all reports said the rain was going to be gone, which was my biggest concern.

There is nothing worse than a cold rain. The morning was cold.

About 36 degrees, but the rain had stopped. However, the wind was steady at 10-15 mph and gusts up to 20+ mph. Woof! Oh well, I was honestly just glad it wasn’t 75 degrees! It did warm up a bit- I think starting temp was 39 or 40 degrees, but the wind was still there.

As I stood on the starting line I was pretty calm, but anxious to get going. I wanted to see how this thing was going to unfold. The half marathon and the full marathon run together for the first 9-10 miles, so I knew there’d be a good range of paces at the start. The race started and of course all the local hero’s went blowing by for their few minutes of fame. I was glancing around at bibs to see who was full and who was half marathoners. There was a couple guys that were on there own and then everyone else seemed to just kind of pack up. We started looping around the outside of the U of T campus and I tried to tuck in away from the wind. It was funny because there was so much back and forth with the pacing, so I just tried to stay calm. All was pretty well through the first 5-6 miles. I just ran my pace and let those young guys throw the sneaky punches. Looking at my splits, I was pretty steady at 5:18 ish pace. Miles 5 and 6 were 5:12 range, but I think we were with the wind.

However, by 6 miles, they must have tuckered themselves out and all of a sudden I was in front. Knowing the field, I knew that I had to set myself up for the best chance to win, so I stayed on the pace. I never pushed the gas to the floor, but I stayed honest at 5:18-19 pace. It was cold, and it was windy, so the field started falling apart. Pretty soon it was just myself and the eventual winner. From miles 7-15 we worked through a nice neighborhood and then into a big metropark and were on a bike path. We ran side by side all the way through 15 miles. I never felt like I was over the edge, but I felt like that was as fast as I could go without getting over the edge.

As we exited the park at 15, we made a right hand turn and this guy just blasted it. I ran 5:15 for that mile and he just dropped my like I had made a pit stop, or something.

To make matters worse, we were dead nuts straight into a headwind, too.

So, there was the break and he spent the next two miles putting a big distance on me. At that point, it was a matter of holding on. It just stunk because he was too far ahead to be in contact and I was all alone with third being a couple minutes back. No man’s land is incredibly lonely.

I am proud that the gap didn’t get any worse. At mile 20, or so, the biker next to me told me the gap was about 50 seconds and that’s where it stayed. As we headed back to campus, my calves were starting to cramp and my quads were fried. I was just spent and managing myself.

The wind definitely played a role with me. I looked at a couple calculators and a 10 mile head wind can add 10-20 seconds per mile, pretty easily. I would say that you throw in the factors of dehydration, being tired already, and then running completely alone for 10 miles and there’s a lot going on there. All in all, it was 2:22 and second place. I competed for the win for a long time and was on sub 2:20 pace for 20+ miles, but it ended rough.

Post Race

Now’s the time for too much information. I didn’t pee for almost two hours after the race. When I did, it was so brown I thought it was blood. I am telling you this because it’s important. I dehydrated myself really bad and that also had an effect. The thing is, I was really good with gels. I took 5 Isagenix Fuels. One right before and four during the race. However, it was so cold I couldn’t grab water.

I would be surprised if I took in 10 oz of water during the whole run.

That’s such a bummer, too. That’s a rookie mistake and it’s frustrating for myself. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and you always have to remember the basics!

The next couple days were brutal! I could barely walk. However, by Saturday, I felt good and went for a 3 mile jog. It was slow, but spring had finally come and I wanted to get some sun in! I ran the next week until mothers day. My hip was a little sore, but now it’s all good. I even started doing strides this week!

Moving Forward

I feel like I have one or two more chances at a Trials qualifier.

Right now, I need to step back from the marathon. I want to race some shorter races and get to where I can handle some things I haven’t done in a long time. My plan is to build up with a 5k and a 10k in June and July. Then run the Crim 10 Miler in August. From there I’ll transition right into marathon training for Indy on November 9th. I think there will be quite a few guys going after sub 2:19 and it’s a great course and race. It should be fun! I also want to get back to more strength. I keep saying it, but it’s my downfall!

At the end of the day, training for Glass City helped me transition to a new chapter of my life. I didn’t win, but I raced hard. I learned how to train without the reliance of a team. And I feel good with a lot of things in my life and my family! So, here’s to the rest of 2019.

 

Marathon Tempos: 2019 Update


In 2018, I did a podcast on tempo runs, and it really discusses how Marathon pace should feel. That post is still relevant and will be unless our physiology drastically change. If you haven’t read or listened yet, I encourage you to do so HERE.

Over the last several years, as more and more people have read the HMM books, some questions have arisen. I have had this discussion several times now about how the book and the plans are meant to fit a wide spectrum of people. Now as more and more people have read the books we can dive into discussions about how to make things more specific to your individual needs. So today, I want to comment on the four most common areas of specificity when it comes to the marathon tempo runs.

The first is “Small Jumps vs Big Jumps” in marathon training.

By this I mean, are you making a big jump in goal pace or are you making a small goal in pace? I would say that anything within 10 seconds per mile of what you have currently run is probably within your standard of deviation already. So, if your current marathon pace is 9 minutes per mile, then you probably hit 8:50 per mile fairly regularly in training and doesn’t represent any major adjustment to pace. However, if you ran 8:50 per mile instead of 9:00 pace, then you run nearly 5 minutes faster for the marathon!

Funny how small increases in pace over 26.2 miles can drastically change the outcome of your race…

Anyway, let’s use that same 9:00 per mile pace and now you want to run 8:30 pace. For some of you, that new pace might represent a pace that looks more like your half marathon pace than it does your marathon pace. This, obviously, is a big jump in pace and is going to drastically alter how your marathon tempo runs feel, especially the early ones. Even a four mile tempo will probably feel more intense than your speed work! I will discuss how to handle this in a minute but recognize that if you are making a big jump in pace, you’ll need to exercise a certain amount of caution and recognize that your early tempo runs may feel harder than what your later tempo runs feel.

Building on the jump in pace, the next logical step is how your early paces feel versus later tempo runs feel.

The basic assumption here is that you are coming off a rest and are now starting a buildup to a marathon.

Now, if you aren’t coming off a rest, but simply moving from one segment to another, then chances are your early tempo runs will feel easier than they should and that’s a sign of trouble.

However, that’s another discussion for another time. For now, let’s assume you are coming off rest, and are making a small jump in paces. If that’s the case, then marathon pace will feel uncomfortable, but not super taxing. This is mostly because you have slightly decreased fitness levels and this slightly above your current marathon ability. The idea that is that as your fitness improves (and it will quickly) your marathon pace will feel easier as you go on- to a point. Now, as we mentioned, if you are making a big jump in paces, the marathon tempos will feel difficult. They might even be discouraging. However, if you are committed to the goal, I say give it several weeks before deciding if it is too much. We’ll discuss ways to combat this later on.

Custom or Pre-Made Training Plans for any distance!

The third area is your progression of fitness:

The whole goal with a training plan is to improve your level of fitness. So, in theory, MP should feel easier, right? For some, it might, but for most, there are confounding factors involved that will affect how you actually feel. In reality, I have only had pace feel slightly easier. What’s more important is that unless I was overtrained, I never felt worse. So, I felt roughly the same for a 10 mile tempo later in the segment as I did during a 4 mile tempo 8 weeks prior. Even more important than that, my confidence increased as I felt more comfortable (or familiar) with the new pace. Notice that I am differentiating between easier and comfortable. I find this to be true for modest increases in pace and for those who are adjusting to the bigger increases in pace.

The fourth is the effect of cumulative fatigue and its effect on your “feel” of tempo pace.

Using that early four mile tempo, it feels hard because your fitness is at a lower level. When you get to those 10 mile tempos, you are doing them with several weeks of hard training in your legs. So, your fitness may be leaps and bounds higher, but the fatigue you feel is not allowing your tempos to feel easier. Now, under normal-heavy training, tempo runs will still be hard and the first couple miles might not be wonderful, but you will settle into a pace and end up being just fine. If you are overcooked, what you’ll see is that effort will increase, but your paces will be slower and slower. If this is the case (which is usually with the “big jumpers”) then you may need to reconsider the pace that you are trying to attempt.

How do I combat this?

For big jumpers- a segment that focuses on getting other race times down

So let’s assume that you just ran a marathon and it went well. Now, you want to jump in and start training for another one, but you’ve gotten the idea to make a go at that once impossible BQ. It’s still a big jump of 15 minutes, but what the heck!

Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t. However, what I am saying that you will not want to jump right into it for your next segment. Let’s say you ran an end of April marathon and were thinking you want to make a go at it in the fall. What I will see is a lot of people will want to jump right into another marathon attempt to try and reach the deadline for Boston. For those who don’t know, if we are in the year 2019 and you want to run the 2020 Boston marathon, you need to have your qualifying time by early September of 2019. So, what we have seen is a number of “last chance” Boston qualifying races for that weekend of the deadline. The problem is this doesn’t give the person who is trying to make a big jump in performance enough time to adjust to that new level. Those just needing a couple minutes is another story. They can probably make that turnaround.

What I would propose is that the person take their recovery, then utilize the rest of May, June, July, and part of August to work on shorter races.

I don’t particularly care if it’s a 5k/10k segment or a half marathon segment, but just something that shifts the focus. The reasoning is that if the person trying to make the big jump is aiming for a new goal that doesn’t line up with anything that they have run in the past, then it’s going to be a hard go trying to run that new pace for 26.2 miles. Let’s pick, say a 10k, goal that is more in line with what would suggest that the marathon goal is possible. That way, we aren’t putting all our eggs in one basket, we are giving our body an opportunity to train at faster paces, but not be under the grind of marathon training. Then, once you come back to the marathon, the paces won’t be as daunting and you’ve hopefully increased your fitness enough to tolerate the new paces. Essentially, we have made an attempt to bridge the gap between where you are at and where you want to be.

 

Break up the tempo runs early, treat as rust buster workouts

This is something that I will do in many of my other Final Surge plans. Essentially, these

are soft toss workouts. Something that you are confident in hitting, but an introduction to

new marathon paces. It can be pretty simple like 6-8×800 meters at your goal marathon with short recovery jogs. Each week, simply lengthen the distance of the repeat until you get to where you are more comfortable at doing a straight up tempo run.

  1. Add a day of recovery.

    I am a big fan of going Monday, Thursday, Saturday or going Tuesday, Friday, Sunday. I also like our alternator and 9 day cycle to spread out your intense workouts to a more manageable recovery period.

  2. Start from slower to faster (or fast to slow?)

    You can employ this strategy regardless of whatever strategy(ies) you employ from above as a supplement. There are really two ways to approach. The first is to start your tempo (or marathon repeats) at your current marathon pace and progressively work towards your goal marathon pace. I personally like this method the best, as I like to have your train how’d you should be racing. However, there the other side of this, too. That would be to start at your goal marathon pace and simply hold it as long as you can. This, I feel is acceptable when you want to test yourself after a few weeks, but it’s not something I’d attempt on a weekly basis. I feel like frustration would lead to doubt and more negative self talk. Regardless, the end goal would be the same, and that would be to accumulate more time, each successive workout, at your goal marathon pace.

How am I going to go another 16 miles at this pace?

This is what I want to end with because it’s probably the biggest question I see in the Facebook group after they do a 10 mile marathon tempo. It’s certainly a valid question. I have talked about it in this post (the how do I know I am ready). However, I will say, if you are hitting your 10 mile tempos within a few seconds per mile and not adjusting any of your training to get there, then you have a good chance.

If you get through a 10 mile tempo and felt like you just raced the workout, then you might be in trouble- especially if you are trying to take a big jump.

If you get to that point where it was a hot mess or you just can’t even come close to that goal pace, then you really have some decision making to do. If you are ok with rolling the dice, then go ahead and roll the dice. However, if you are ok with splitting the difference and scaling back to a smaller personal best effort and building that bridge (rather than potentially burning that thing all the way to the ground) to BQ land then now is the time to make that decision.

Need a plan? Check out all our training plans and our Run Club 

Hansons Marathon Method: should I reduce my mileage at the beginning?

Many times a runner is already running the weekly volume that the training plans start out at. This prompts the question, “do I need to lower my mileage at the start of the training plan, or can I keep going at my current mileage?” Anyone who knows me at this point, knows what my immediate response will be, “it depends.” There really are cases to be made for keeping on with current mileage, as well as, reducing down to match what the plan is asking you to start at.

When you should reduce back:

  • If you have looked at the plan in entirety and realize it’s going to be the hardest training plan you’ve ever followed. This can be a combination of weekly mileage, workouts, and workout volume.
  • You are already doing workouts. By this I mean, speed, strength, tempo, anything of intensity.
  • You have been running for more than 2-3 weeks already and are at 85% of your weekly mileage.
  • You never took significant down time after your last major race.
  • You have a nick, a trouble spot, or are actually injured.

The reason these are important factors boils down to two things. The first is the length of time you will then make the training plan. With the two main Hansons Marathon Method plans, you are looking at 18 weeks of structure. This is already a long time. If you now turn it into a 22-26 week training plan, then you are asking for trouble late into the training plan and will turn cumulative fatigue into plain old overtraining. The second is that not only are you making the training segment loner, you are making it longer at a higher level. This is a combination that more often, than not, leads to injury, staleness, and overcooking. It’s by design that the plans start out a little easier, especially the beginner.

Consider reducing the mileage as hitting a refresh button to the plan. I know many of you are worried about losing fitness, but I can assure you that you won’t lose much at all. With two weeks completely off, you’d lose about 5% in performance. All I’m asking is to reduce your mileage. It’s all about getting you to peak fitness for race day, not the 4 weeks prior to your peak race. If you haven’t already, check out my blog post on Getting too fit too fast.

I would take a step back if you have any one of the above scenarios that apply to you.

When you should keep on keeping on

Despite what I just said, I do see a couple scenarios where it might be best to just keep on with what you are doing until the training plan keeps up with you.

  • You are currently injury free, but have come off a long layoff (4+ weeks of no running). The biggest issue here is that you have already had a lot of time off and you really want to make sure that you are ready to get into a long training plan. So, where before you might be starting a plan with an already fitness that’s high enough, you might be trying to get your to a decent starting point. It wouldn’t do you any good to cut back when you already cut back for several weeks.
  • You are currently NOT doing any SOS days. To me, the mileage is secondary to intensity. What I mean is that usually the mileage is fine as long as the intensity is low. It’s usually the higher intensity for extended periods of time that will overcook the runner. So, if you are running, but just keeping it easy, then I don’t usually see problems later on.
  • Your weekly mileage is 40-60% of what your peak mileage will be. While intensity might be the bigger factor in overtraining, if your mileage is continually near peak, you go back to making that segment too long. If you’ve been running at say 30 miles per week, with no SOS, and the training plan starts at 20 miles a week, then I don’t see a need to scale back to reach the prescribed early mileage.

At the end of the day, you just don’t want to put yourself in a position where you’ll be regretting your decision six weeks out from your marathon. With beginners and first time Hansons Marathon Method users I tend to be more cautious. With these runners, I know the training is going to be hard for them, but they might think it’s too easy at the start. If they have never been through cumulative fatigue before, it’s my job to make sure they don’t overdo it too early in the program and then go straight through CF and into injury, illness, and overtraining. Hopefully, these scenarios can help guide you in making the decision that best meets you where you are at! If you take anything away, I want you to recognize that you should start a plan fresh, recharged, and not already too close to peak fitness. You want to reach that peak fitness in the last 4 weeks, not the last 8 weeks!

 

 

Luke Humphrey Running Books!

2017 Summer Camp!

At the time I’m writing this, we are less than three weeks from the Boston Marathon. Where has the first quarter of 2017 gone? Before we know it, our downtime from our spring marathons will be nothing but a fond memory and we’ll have to start getting ready for our fall marathon!

If you are using the Hansons Marathon Method, or are just interested in a fun (but educational) getaway, then I encourage you to consider the Hanson’s Coaching Fall Marathon Kick-Off Camp. The camp will be held in Rochester, Michigan- the home of Hanson’s Coaching Services and the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project.

What you get:

  • Go beyond the book and learn directly from HCS Head Coach, Luke Humphrey, as well as meet our other coaching staff.
  • Meet and greet Hanson’s-Brooks ODP runners (many whom are our coaches)
  • Nearly every meal taken care of (expect your dinner on Thursday night)
  • Hanson’s Coaching Schwag bag
  • Dozens of training clinics including
  • Strength for runners session
  • Customizing your training
  • Marathon physiology
  • Nutrition
  • Go for runs and do some workouts where the nation’s best marathoners have
  • Transportation to and from Detroit Metro Airport
  • Discount on lodging at the beautiful Royal Park Hotel. This is where all clinics will be held and you can hit either the Paint Creek or the Clinton River Trail from the front door. (Or hit up downtown Rochester)

TENTATIVE CAMP ITINERARY

Thursday

Athletes arrive mid afternoon. HCS will pick up groups from airport.
Optional group run/ Hanson’s Thursday night group run at Royal Oak?
Dinner (athlete’s responsibility)

Friday

  • 7:00 AM- Leave from hotel. Drive to Stony Creek Metropark
  • 7:30 Group Dynamic Warm Up/1-2 miles warm up
  • 8:00-9:30: Progression Run/cool down
  • 10:30- 12:00: Lecture (Food provided in conference room)
  • Marathon Philosophy/Understanding cumulative fatigue
  • 12:00-1:00- wrap up/free time
  • 1:00-3:00: Lecture/lunch in conference room
  • Marathon Physiology
  • Metabolic Efficiency
  • Training Components and physiological impact
  • 3:30-4:30: Strength for runners with Nikki
  • 5:30-6:30: Lecture: Avoiding early training pitfalls
  • 7:00: Group dinner @ Antonios pizza
  • Recovery strategies/periodization
  • Meet and greet

Saturday

  • 7:45-9:15 AM: Easy run from hotel (Paint Creek Trail)
  • 9:45-11:00: Lecture: Goal Setting/Realistic expectations, new runner vs. veteran
  • Breakfast provided
  • 11:15-:00:
    • Understanding what kind of runner you are
    • Modifying to fit/stay in philosophy
  • 1:15-3:00:
    • General Nutrition
    • Supplements
    • Taper week/race day nutrition
  • (Lunch in conference room)
  • 12:00- modifying schedules/staying within the philosophy
  • 12:15-1:00- understanding the taper
  • 1:15-3:00- Supplemental training, what why and how to add.
  • Self Running analysis
  • Gadgets/testing?
  • 3:00-5:00- Free time (nap?)
  • 5:00-6:45-Lecture
  • Keeping logs
  • Analyzing training
  • Long term planning
  • 7:00- Dinner- Rochester Mills Brewery
  • Developing mental strength
  • Approaching your race
  • Meet and greet

Sunday

  • 7:30 AM: Leave Hotel for run
  • 8:00 AM-10:00: Group Run at Lake Orion (Long Run)
  • 10:00-11:00: Brunch @ CJ’s or Lockharts
  • Meet and greet
  • 12:30- Leave for airport

 

 

 

Moving Beyond the Basics

First off, let me thank the tens of thousands of folks who have utilized the Hansons Marathon Method. One of the greatest compliments I receive is being at a function and someone asks me to sign a copy of a dogeared, note filled, and more than gently used book. While the book is the foundation for everything we do, there is often the question of what to do once you’ve been through the schedules a couple times. This post is for you!

Structuring for the long term?

Many of you have read the book and then simply put the training plan on repeat. While many of you have had success doing that, it certainly doesn’t leave much for variety. While the book is the foundation, I admittedly lack discussing how to grow as a runner after you have completed the advanced training plan. There’s a lot to figuring what’s best for you, so I’ve come up with a list of questions to ask yourself. It’s a little bit of work, but trust me, we take care of the rest!

What are my primary goals for the a) next training segment b) the next year and c) the next 3-5 years?

When a person comes to us for coaching we ask them about what their long term goals are. It gives a glimpse into the big picture but it also helps us organize our priorities. Even if you are new runner, or at least a new marathoner, we should have an idea what our big goals are so that we can create a road map. We can address immediate training problems. Let’s say you want to have a segment where we build your milage and just maintain fitness. Maybe we want to learn how to incorporate some general strength training into a running regimen. No problem, we can give you one of our base programs and then a 6 week strength for runners program. From there we can then go after working getting our overall speed up before going after another marathon or half marathon.

Do I need to follow an 18 week program all the time?

No! That’s the beauty of training at a moderate level. When people first start either the Beginner or Advanced program we are making some general assumptions. We are trying to fit the bulk of the population into a program that will work for everyone. Once we get through that, we can then start helping you get specific. Here’s a great example of moving beyond the classic schedules that we did with folks running Boston:

  1. Runners started in December training with an 18 week Hanson’s schedule.
  2. Completed Boston and took about 2 weeks of down time.

Here’s where it got tricky. With a marathon ending in mid April, we now had a ton of time before we needed to worry about a fall marathon. So what do we do? We definitely didn’t want to just sit idly by and watch! We had a couple otions.

Option 1: For those who were really just rocked from Boston or were at a point where they wanted to try and get mileage to a new level. For these folks we gave them a 8-12 week base building plan that allowed them to get their mileage up without a ton of intensity. Some of them started their strength and core routines here (which is a great time to begin). It also opened the door to another marathon, speed, or half marathon segment at the end. Leave the door open!

Option 2: Most of the rest of the folks wanted to attack some 5k and 10k races, which I was all on board with. So with theses runners, we gave a small buildup of about 4 weeks post time off. Then we went into a true speed segment where we attacked VO2max pace and true lactate threshold pace. Here it made sense because they already had such a huge aerobic base under their belt from the marathon training. We did that for 8-12 weeks, depending on the goal.

For either option we were able to fit a different training segment that would suit their needs and not put them into a training rut. With Option 1, these folks were at a new mileage level with a good general starting fitness point. With that said, they didn’t need to start over from scratch with the classic 18 week schedule. For whatever race they chose we could now put them into a 12-16 week training plan that wasn’t going to repeat what they had just done. For Option 2, these folks had already gone through several weeks of speed specific training so there was certainly no need to rehash a big block of speed again for a marathon. We could get them into a 12 week marathon specific plan and they’d be in great shape come fall.

As you can see, we can break up and take modified versions of the classic schedules (but still on point with the philosophy) and create a long term approach to fitness building and personal bet running.

The long road of running!

The long road of running!

Where do I fit a training segment for shorter races in? Or build my base?

A common question, which we began addressing above. I would further say that it depends a little bit on where you are from. We coach a lot of people in the midwest and down south. It might as well be above the arctic circle and at the equator as far as geography. What’s the point? Well, my midwest folks do well with a different running calendar than my friends in say, Florida. Here, while summer is warm, it’s not typically oppressive like it is down south. We can get away with starting our fall marathon training in June or July. Meanwhile, my southern athletes will typically just let summer be a base building period or maybe a shorter race segment. They typically don’t even want to start thinking about training for a marathon until late September.

 

Custom or Pre-Made Training Plans for any distance!

What if I want to run more? What about less?

Absolutely. While I really want to get you to handle mileage and workouts, we have to be smart about it! We have versions of the classic plans that are written on the philosophy but scaled down to longer segments (up to 24 weeks) with less mileage (about 40 miles per week). We also have extrapolated to shorter segments that are 12-16 weeks long, but with mileage anywhere from 70 to 100+ miles per week at peak.

I really need more recovery between workouts, but want to keep a high level of training; what can I do?

Along the same lines as above, we’ve also created plans that provide more recovery days in between. Right now we have examples of the classic marathon plans that are built around a 9 day training cycle and include one day off. What that means is you have a schedule that looks something like this:

  • Day 1: Long run
  • Day 2: Easy
  • Day 3: Easy
  • Day 4: Workout
  • Day 5: Off or Easy
  • Day 6: Easy
  • Day 7: Workout
  • Day 8: Easy
  • Day 9: Easy, reset the cycle

We are also currently devising plans that will still be on a traditional 7 day cycle, but with 2 SOS days per week, instead of three.

Do you have plans to help me with these?

Heck yes we do! We currently have over 40 training plans that can be downloaded right into a dynamic training plan. These plans notify you nightly of upcoming workouts. Easily move days around to fit your personal schedule with the drag and drop feature. Sync your Garmin to the training log so your training log is always updated. SEARCH THE PLANS

 

Want to pick the brains of the HCS coaching staff and hear what your running buds are doing with the Hanson’s training methods?

Online Marathon Courses

Many of you took our Boston Marathon Courses this spring and gave us some positive feedback! This was our first attempt at it, so we were glad you got some useful information out of it! With that, we decided to expand on our course library with the addition of our popular programs The Beginner and Advanced marathon programs. I’ve figured out some technical stuff with the online courses, so now it should be a smoother experience. The courses will run the gauntlet of what you need to know for the marathon and for the specific training schedule you are using. We cover everything we can think of that you’ll need to know, including:
Read more

Upcoming Boston Marathon Training Webinar Series

Update: 12/23/14: The first course is up and it is FREE!!!! Check out the “video courses” tab on the home page!

 

Check out this quick overview of our upcoming webinar series! Stay tuned for instructions to sign up for lecture #1.