13.1 Mile Long Run – Broke into 3 Sections 3/8/13

Today was my first long run under my the new modified Hanson training plan, (click to see what I am talking about), where I broke it into three sections a warm-up, the workout and easy run/cool-down.

Surprisingly I actually liked doing my long run this way, I didn’t feel pressured to keep hammering away at the run, like I usually do and finished knowing that I could have run a lot further.

The other important thing that I learned today is that I am not in sub 7:40 pace shape for outside longer distances. Running on the treadmill is good, but is a lot different than running faster outside. I have a feeling it will also help to not have to bundle up quite so much too. It was still chilly even the thermometer said 42F, there was a 20+ mph wind, straight out of the north to contend with. Luckily it was at my back most of the way.

I had planned on running at about an 8:18 pace for the workout portion of my run and was feeling pretty good, so the last two miles I picked it up to see if what I thought was a sub 7:40 pace and learned that it wasn’t. Also, while I probably could have continued to run at the pace I was for another few miles, I am not ready for that pace yet for 6.0 or more miles.

I guess that is why we start training for faster pace/distances weeks/months ahead of the race date. Kind of an obvious observation – duh.

Here are the three different sections of today’s long run:

The first 2.0 miles I just ran comfortably to get the kinks out and get myself ready mentally to run a little faster.

This was the hard part of the workout, 6.0 miles at sub 8:18 pace. The first 4.0 miles I was very consistent coming in a little faster than I expected, but within 10 seconds of my goal pace.

Then I wanted to know if I knew what a 7:40 pace felt like and came pretty close for last two miles, but not quite, so I am going to have to work on that sub 7:40 pacing. I was very happy with my consistency of my pacing, but next weeks 6.0 miles scheduled for the sub 7:40 is going to be a LOT tougher workout.

The final part of my long run

Again I was very please with my pace, I wanted to be in the 9:00 to 9:30 range for this part of the workout. I did go up and over Leighton Rd. Hill, which is one tough hill for me

That first part is a STEEP uphill that really gets your attention and then you have few more rolling hills to deal with after that. The picture at the start of the post is looking back down that sucka.

I really enjoyed my long run today, I didn’t feel as though I had to start out hard and my body loosened up and relaxed and was ready for the harder part of the work. Then when I started the 6.0 mile portion, I was able to start out quick, have my form already dialed in and could focus on just working hard for those 6.0 miles.

Once I got that part of the workout over with, my obsession with the clock ended and I just ran comfortably (well once I made it up the hills) and didn’t stress about the pace at all. Which is a lot different than other long runs that I have done, where I would try to hammer those last miles too, in order to get a good time/pace for my run.

Instead I just ran relaxed and enjoyed the last couple of miles.

I also learned that for me Peeps make a great pre-run fuel and need to figure out how to keep some around for my long runs and races this year. Unfortunately, once they are in the house, they don’t last very long around me.

Mileage for today’s long run – 13.13 miles – time don’t care. Which is a big change, because I have been focused on keeping them below 2:00 hours on this course.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with this run, it showed me that I am not in as good a shape as I thought and that I have a lot of work to do between now and my half marathon on June 23rd.


My Modified for Me Hanson Method Half Training Plan

After reading the Hanson’s Marathon Method book last week, which provided me with several “aha” moments (getting things through my thick skull), it intrigued me enough, that I want to want to try it.

I put together a modified half marathon training plan based primarily on the Hanson’s Method, to prepare for the Rail Trail Half on June 23rd.

The training plan has to take into account that my wife has weekends off and I work from home. I like to do things with her on the weekends and do my heavy running during the week.

The modifications that I made were:

  • started at Week 13
  • the days of the week that I do workouts
  • length of the long run

I usually run to my wife’s work from home every Friday and that can be 11-16 + miles depending on the course. I will do the recommended long run mileage/pace during those runs and have a warm-up/cool-down period during the run to finish the mileage.


Below is the original Hanson half marathon training plan that I based the above plan on from their website

It does look a little different, but the basics are there.

The biggest challenges that I am having right now with the training schedule is the running the slower paces on the non-SOS days. I am getting better at it, but at the same time, the Hanson’s book forced me to really look at how I was training and wrap my head around the idea that running slower is not a sign of weakness or injury. I was taught to train with the do it hard and then go harder in races.

This go hard and then harder training method tends to produce some good times for me – when I am not injured. That is the problem with this training method, the injuries that occur when I am doing higher intensities, mileage or both. Do I really need to run sub 5:40 pace quarters (just because I can) on the treadmill, if I am training for a 1:35 to 1:40 half marathon? Looking at it realistically – No I really don’t.

So the idea of slower, but longer speed work and faster, but more consistent pacing during training runs, along with planned warm-up and cool-down mileage and scheduled rest days, seems like a much smarter and saner way to train for me.

I do know that the pace/distances are going to get challenging, but if I can run those paces for the longer distances in training, it should set me up to do it in the race – at least that is the plan.

I just have to learn to get past worrying about the total time/pace for a run and learn to break it down into sections to meet the objectives of the workout and stop. This is a lot different philosophy than I have been using, but it makes a lot more sense to me now that I have had a chance to try it for almost a week. One thing that I will be changing on my training spreadsheet/blog entries – is that I need to show that my SOS days are really a 3 part workout (warm-up, workout, cool-down), not just one long one run.

The other hard thing for me will be, if I am feeling good, not doing more than the plan calls for, especially once this Winter that doesn’t want to go away – finally ends.

Hey who knows maybe if I follow the plan, I will get through this training cycle in one piece, instead of hobbling around or running through multiple minor injuries like I usually do. At least that is my hope :-).

Plus I think this will be a great way to see if the Hanson Method works for me and if it is what I want to use for my Marine Corps Marathon training plan, which will start in July.

If you see anything that I have modified that looks really off, please let me know, I really want to get through this cycle uninjured, meet my goal time and have fun running.

Have you used the Hanson method of training or modified it to meet your particular needs? How did that go?