If you read my marathon training weekly recaps then you know I used the Hansons Marathon Method. In a nutshell, this training is based on the concept of cumulative fatigue. You train your body to run often so that you are frequently running on tired legs. The idea is to run this way so that during the last miles of a race you are prepared to push through the final miles. These plans are 18 weeks and have you running 6 days (easy, speed/strength, tempo, and long runs) a week with one rest day.
This was my first time using this method for the marathon. I was fortunate to be off this summer (I am a teacher) so I knew I would be able to handle running 6 days a week. However, going back to work did not go well. Please note that I am NOT saying that if you are not off this summer that you will not be able to handle it. This girl has a job and always made time to get her runs before going to work.
- This plan is HARD. However, I am not saying that it isn’t doable. It is but you need to make sure you can run 6 days a week with only 1 day to rest.
- Tempo runs freaked me out. I ran all of them on the treadmill and they weren’t bad after all. I managed to run them at the specified pace and that was a confidence booster.
- Plan to run high mileage. I was not used to running so many miles in one week. The Advanced Plan had me running over 40, 50, or 60 miles in one week.
- I was constantly tired. Oh my goodness. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as tired as I did this summer. Again, I was fortunate that I did not have to get up early to go to work.
- Sleep was my best friend. See point above. I slept and napped like a baby.
- Wednesday was the best day of the week. Remember that one rest day mentioned above? Yep, that is on Wednesday. Each week I looked forward to this day.
- No strength training for me. In the beginning I did a few TRX sessions before my runs but stopped once I realized I could not wake up in time for the class. <<Excuses, I could have taken the class in the afternoon or evening. See points 4 and 5.
- You can choose from 3 different plans. In the book you’ll find plans for “Just Want to Finish”, “Beginner”, and “Advanced”. I chose the latter because, well, this was my 8th marathon so I knew it would be perfect for me.
- Read the whole book; a few times if necessary. I didn’t and ended up asking many, many questions that could have been answered if I had read the whole book.
Going back to work was challenging. I was fine the first two weeks and then BAM it was a struggle. I had to stay late most days and found it hard to run after work. I am not making any excuses. I know everyone has a job and finds a way to make it work but I just could not find a balance nor get back to a different routine. That left me worried and frustrated and various times I thought about giving up.
Now that the Chicago Marathon is over (read my recap here), I’ve asked myself if I would use it again for another marathon. At this point I have NO desire to run another marathon. However, if I were to run another one then I might use the Hansons Marathon Method again. I am already familiar with it. I know it is doable. However, I would run my speed/strength and tempo runs outside instead of the treadmill. Or at least alternate a bit so as not to do all of them on the treadmill. And I will make sure I do not skip so many runs.
I do wonder if my marathon experience would have been better if I had followed the plan exactly as stated. However, I know that there are no guaranteed and anything can happen on marathon day. I mean, I was ready for my marathon but somehow my hip decided to be a jerk that day. I did get a PR and I am definitely happy about it!
Hoping everyone had a good week!