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?

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