Changes to the Training Plan–Update One Zillion

I have been using the Hansons Half Marathon training method in case you have not read about it here before (hehehehe).

Gee I might have mentioned using it a few times over the past few months.

Anyways, I started this whole Hansons Method thing, back in January with the idea in the back of my mind that I would be running a surprise Spring marathon or to prepare a good base for running a Fall one.

While I have been able to follow and love the Hansons training methods, I am not able to keep up the cumulative fatigue that is a part of the training. It negatively effects too many other parts of my life and I am not that passionate about needing to race either the marathon or half marathon to let it impact my life that much.

So guess what – I probably ain’t racing either distance this year.

Am I disappointed at all about not running or training for marathon or a half marathon after using the Hansons Half Marathon training plan through week 13?

In a word – nope.

Passion or Not?

Speaking of being passionate, I read the Passion Paradox when it was released and it got me to really look at my marathon dream and whether I really need/want to run one. When I did that – what it comes down to is that in reality I am rather ambivalent about running a full or even a half marathon.

Racing those distances just are not really that important to me.

Which is not how one needs to feel about either of those races which both require: time, effort, desire and yes passion to get to the starting line.

What are my passions about my running?

  1. Simply running first and foremost.
  2. Trying new or different gear – yeah, that includes running shoes, tech gear, etc.
  3. Blogging about my feeble attempts to become a better runner
  4. Reading and learning more about running.

Those are my passions and what I do most of the time, with my time.


Honestly, I love to run, be around runners and run faster (for me at least). However, I have also found over the last few years that racing is not really my thing, I have always had issues with race anxiety, but now it is more I don’t want to deal with everything that goes along with going to a race. While I enjoy challenging and pushing myself, hell I even like the hard stuff when training, I just don’t enjoy the actual race day crap that I have to go through in my own head to get to the starting line.

Also I don’t like the person I become when I start to take racing too seriously. I ain’t that good a runnah, never was and that ain’t gonna change any time soon, so when I start getting delusions of grandeur, it makes me into something that I ain’t.

Running then becomes a chore and the enjoyment I get out of it is lost due to “having” to do this or do that to be “that” runner.

So I doubt you will see too many race recaps from me this year and if you do they will most likely be about a shorter, smaller race, somewhere locally.

New Training Idea

That said, I do like to race once in a while, but the 5K is the distance I prefer. Well actually I think the mile would be cool too, but I would really have to train differently for that distance, although I might find one at some point this year, just to see how I do in one.

IMG_2255 (2)

Since I have pretty much decided that my focus at least through the 4th of July will be the 5K, I have put together a 5K training plan that uses some of the Hansons Method ideas.

Hopefully this will be a good enough plan to get me ready to run around a 21:00 minute time at the Winthrop 4th of July 5K. Anything under 21:21 would be a post age 55 personal best and since my best 5K in the last year was 22:36, I am looking for quite an improvement.

Now I have a goal, a goal race and a date to shoot for, which are all good things.

Looking at the training plan, it should be good training cycle, challenging but within my ability to accomplish at this point in my life. Plus I am still doing longer runs (which I do enjoy as long as I don’t have to run all that fast), so that if I decide to jump into something at the last minute, I can run most distances up to a half and not suffer terribly. However, the training intensities are not in the stupid range and are primarily speeds that I have successfully done this winter on the treadmill.

Speaking of the treadmill…the weather is getting better and I am getting outside more and more, which is a good thing. However, I am planning on continuing to do my speed workouts on it, since I can’t slack off the effort level when the going gets tougher, which I admit does happen when I run them outside.

Also in this area, it seems that a lot of low-key races take place on Tuesday evenings, so I have switched my Tempo days to Tuesdays and will use those low-key races to be my tempo workouts. I recover pretty quickly from the speed workouts, so having them on Thursday works for me.

The Reality is That

Using the Hanson Half Marathon Method was a great experience, where I learned that I could do more than I thought and has provided a fantastic base from which I can jump into my new 5K training plan quite nicely.

So the first quarter of 2019 ends with a very successful training cycle, where I stayed relatively healthy, if a bit overly fatigued. I learned a lot about what I can do and what works for me at this stage of my life, as well as what does not, along with letting go of something that should have let go of many years ago.

Sometimes, facing reality is a bitch, but once you do and start to accept that what you are passionate about has changed considerably and that some dreams need to be let go of. So that you can move on and enjoy life without that monkey constantly sitting on your back.

Now will I follow this plan to the letter?

Of course not, but it does provide me with some good guide rails or is that crash guards to keep me from doing too much stoopid shit, that will result in a dumb injury. One thing that I really need to watch out for is when I get to do those strides, remember Harold you are not attempting to run a sub 18:00 minute time, you are going for a sub 21:00.

Yes, I am changing my training goals yet again, like I said in the title probably for the zillionth time. However, lately the changes to my training, have been less philosophical and more about the distances I want to race and where I want to go with my running.

The bottom-line is that I am happier running shorter distances and as long as I don’t act half my age, the old body should hold together. I do know that I have to a cut-back week every 5-6 weeks now and have added that into my plan.

Tomorrow the work begins.

You know something it seems that I usually do come back to a 5K running goal and this time I am pretty excited by the idea of a fast for me 5K.

Reading and Thinking Keeps Me Out of Trouble – Hopefully

So far in 2019, I have taken my training to higher levels than I have in years. Unfortunately, on the flip side of that, the one thing that the number of years that have passed since I was born have done is – is taken away my ability to hold that high level of training for long periods of time.

In other words I am starting to feel that fuzzy around the edges feeling that tells me it is time to pull in on the reins for a week or two to let the old boy recover a little.

Now thankfully I am not injured and still am smiling, but at the same time when I read this blurb from Mario Faioli’s – The Morning Shakeout while eating breakfast, I found myself nodding my head and going this is exactly how I am feeling.

Screen shot of email from Mario Fraioli “The Morning Shakeout” on 3/19/19

…Sometimes these lessons are profound, other times they’re more practical. And every once in a while, they’re a bit of both. Recently I’ve come to realize that as an athlete, I can only keep the proverbial water running at full blast for 8-12 weeks at a time before I need to dial it back for an extended period to refill the tank. And that is exactly where I’m at right now…

Quite honestly, I have had the water running at full blast since the end of October. I have very consistently been putting in at least 30 mile weeks, which is good mileage for me. When I started doing the Hansons Half Marathon plan that mileage has steadily increased to the 48 miles that I ran last week.

During this time there have not been any cut-back or rest for an aging body, weeks thrown in to consolidate the gains I have made. The intensity and distances have only increased and I am starting to notice maybe it is time for a quick break.

I know, a lot of runners can do a complete 16-24 week training cycle and not worry about it. However, when I look back through my logs, I see that I fall fairly naturally into 4-6 week go hard, then the body requires a cut-back week over the last few years. When I ignore the cut-back week, to keep pushing a training plan, I get the blahs and the aches/pains start to multiply or worse the injury bug starts to visit.

The reality is that

As much as I hate to admit it most of the time, the older I get the closer I have to pay attention to the signals that my body is talking to me about. Yesterday, when I had zero desire to do an easy 6.0 miles and my hip and ankle were grumbling a little more than usual, I decided to take the day off.

Once in a while I can be smahtah.

Then when I read Mario Fraioli’s “The Morning Shakeout” today and looked back at my running log, it kind of tied things all together and made me think about how much and how far I have come since last October.

Even though the Hansons Method is based on accumulated fatigue, there is a point where it accumulates too much and I need to back off, recover and then get back to with a fresher body and mind.

Sometimes, you get so focused on the constant improvement model, that you forget that you have to stop for a bit to take a breather, take stock of where you are, then decide the direction to keep moving.

This is especially true for my running right now. I don’t have any races scheduled and have purposely been using the Hansons Half Marathon Method more as a base building cycle, than a race prep cycle. The last few months have been more to see how things work for me using the Hansons Method than anything else.

So far it has worked well.

However, as a concession to my age, doing the Hansons Plan without a cut-back week or two included into the cycle, probably is not going to let me complete the training plan without burning-out or an injury. Just the way things are.

In other words for me to be successful with the plan, about every 4-5 weeks, I need a cut-back week, to solidify the gains I am making. Which means that this week goes from being planned to being more whatever I feel like doing and then on Sunday re-evaluating how the old body feels, to see if I need an extra week or if I am ready to get back to it.

Oh, I still plan to run and workout, but not at the Hansons Method’s intensity or mileage.

Then I will get back to my Hansons Method Half Marathon base building time. The philosophy fits my personality and how I want to train, but I have to modify it a bit for it to actually work well for me.

You know that damned experiment of one thing.

How about you, do you ever take a cut-back week in the middle of a training cycle, just because you know if you don’t, you will start to have problems?

First Runs in Brooks Green Silence – RunLog 5-2-14

Brooks Green Silence
Brooks Green Silence

That’s right I ran a first run in a new to me pair of Brooks Green Silence today.

  • Yes, I got them on Ebay.
  • Yes, I know they are a discontinued model.
  • Yes, they are very comfortable.
  • Yes, they  are light.
  • Yes, I added in LockLaces
  • Yes, I changed out the insoles (not the original) to a pair of PureFlow 1 insoles
  • Yes, I can hear you all laughing at me right now. 🙂

It is okay – really, laugh away.

Me the running shoe geek, who loves the newest and greatest running shoes is running in someone’s old cast-off shoes, that the manufacturer couldn’t sell enough of to keep them in their current line-up.

What is wrong with you Harold? Continue reading “First Runs in Brooks Green Silence – RunLog 5-2-14”

Killer Interval Workout – RunLog 4-28-14

Well it didn’t kill me, but it sure as hell was one of the toughest workouts that I have done in a while!!!

As part of my changing up my training plan to run better i.e. faster at the 5K to 10K’s, part of the deal is increasing the intensity of my hard workouts.

I feel that I have a pretty good mileage base and as long as I stay away from raking the lawn, my knee seems to be doing just fine, so it is time to push the envelope.

Yeah, I even went back to running in the Newton Energy’s and was wondering if they would bother me as much as they did the last time I ran in them.

Here is the workout:

Continue reading “Killer Interval Workout – RunLog 4-28-14”

First 15.0 Miler in the Books This Year – RunLog 4-10-14

Yep, I did 15.12 miles today and I did them in the Brooks Launch. This was really my first run in these shoes, I don’t consider my 1+ mile yesterday a real good sign of how a pair of shoes will do. However, today’s 15.0 miler was a good way to find out how they would work, but more on that in a minute.

Ra-Course Map 4-10-14
Ra-Course Map 4-10-14

I picked a nice sunny day in the low 50’s to do this run, which sounds great, but there was one problem – The Freaking Wind. It was 10-15 mph steady and coming up out of the south – so of course guess which direction I was going – between 80 and 90% of the run was into the wind.

Which made this run a lot more miserable than it should have been, especially when I got into the wind tunnel areas and winds were in the 20-30 mph range. The absolute worst was going over the big bridge over the Kennebec, a couple of times I lost my breath because of the gusts.

So it was a windy run.

How did the Launch do? Continue reading “First 15.0 Miler in the Books This Year – RunLog 4-10-14”

Racing – Training – Running and Struggling With it All

Photo by David Colby-Young
Photo by David Colby-Young

When I started to write this post last week, it was going to be all about how much I hate to train (I don’t), then it morphed into whether I am a serious runner (I am) and moved on to what you are reading now…

  • am I moving in a different direction with the focus of my training?

What in the hell are you talking about Harold?

I know that I am not a great runner by any stretch of  the imagination – no big news there.

However, I am good enough to have some minor successes in races from time-to-time, which results in misplaced delusions of grandeur. In other words I start to pay too much attention to thinking that my minor successes can lead to bigger ones, if only I follow such and such plan or if I do this or that.

Unfortunately, there are  just a couple of small problems with this or that:

  1. I am getting to be an old fart
  2. A lack of talent to run fast over long distances

I think most of us want to believe with a lot of hard work and doing the “right” things according to the experts, that some of those delusions of grandeur can become more than wishful thinking. Continue reading “Racing – Training – Running and Struggling With it All”

Bodyfat Where I am vs Where I was

Champions Body Composition Record
Champions Body Composition Record

One of the things that I really like about going back to Champions is that I get to work with Judy (personal trainer) again. Besides motivating me to do more than I ever thought I could in the gym, one of the most important things that she has done over the years is to accurately measure my body fat and how much I actually weigh on an “accurate” scale.

With her doing the measurements I can’t fudge factor them to make me look better to myself, because in the past I was the only one who saw the results. So they are an accurate measurement of where I was at that time.

As part of my re-joining Champions, I had an appointment on Wednesday with Judy, to get re-measured and setup a training plan.

It is not something that I have always looked forward to, especially since I know that my weight and body fat historically have usually been higher than it should be. Until I looked back at the measurement record, I didn’t realize how big I actually was in the past. I had deluded myself into thinking my measurements back in 2002 to 2006 were my “normal” measurements and pretty much where I would be for the rest of my life.

However, after my knee surgery in May 2011, when I decided to go ahead and take control of my health, I have shrunk a lot. Unfortunately, I also knew that I gained back some of it after I got injured in May. So it was with a more than a little trepidation that I approached that appointment.

Continue reading “Bodyfat Where I am vs Where I was”

Slow and Easy 4.0 Mile Recovery Run – 3/5/13

Believe it or not I am getting used to this idea that running slower is okay to do and is not a sign of weakness or injury. Wrapping my head around that huge philosophical shift was tough, but finally I am getting it.

Today while I was running slow, I did work on my midfoot landing and keeping my arm loose and close to my body, while running a consistent pace.

Garmin Stats 3-5-13

The first two laps were purposely real slow and then the last two, I just ran comfortably, while trying to pick-up my cadence a little.

Nice recovery run after yesterday’s pretty tough interval workout.

RunLog 3/5/13

1st Day New Plan and Interval Training 3/4/13

I started my modified Hanson training plan today and while I am excited with the idea that I actually have a plan that will provide some structure to my training through June, I am also worrying about how I will adapt to having this much structure. Especially since I haven’t had much structure to my training for a long time and have been doing mostly seat of my pants running.

The biggest modification to the Hanson plan is the day of the week that I do my SOS workout. So what did I do, well it is Monday, so for me that means Intervals – today 12 x 0.25 @6:43 pace, the difference for this workout was the slower pace in between the hard effort.

  • 1.0 mile @ 6.6 mph – warm-up
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 1
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 2
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph – 2.0 miles
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 3
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 4
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph – 3.0 miles
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 5
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 6
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph – 4.0 miles
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 7
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 8
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph – 5.0 miles
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 9
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph
  • .25 @ 8.8 mph – 10
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph – 6.0 miles
  • .25 @ 9.5 mph – 11 (yes a little faster than the Hanson plan calls for)
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph
  • .25 @ 10.0 mph – 12 (again faster than the Hanson plan)
  • .25 @ 6.6 mph – 7.0 miles

From this point on is extra from the Hanson plan

  • 1.0 mile @ 7.3 mph
  • 1.0 mile @ 7.9 mph
  • 0.7 mile Ladder between 8.0 mph and 8.6 mph
  • 0.1 mile @ 9.0 mph
  • 0.1 mile @ 9.5 mph
  • 0.1 mile @ 10.0 mph

Total miles: 10.0 miles/1:19:02 finishing heart rate was 175 bpm

0.5 – mile cool-down walk

The slower pace between the hard quarters, did make a big difference in the quality of my later quarters and the extra work that I did. It is amazing what a difference slowing down from 7.3 mph to 6.6 mph for the rest quarters makes to a workout.

Something that I know that I will have to figure out soon, is not doing this extra work and just do the plan as I get further into the training cycle. Just the way it is, otherwise I am defeating the idea of having this training plan, but I did feel strong today and my quad didn’t bother me, while I was doing the faster paces. Yes I was really focused on whether or not the quad bothered – if it had I would have shut it down. I really wanted to give it a good test and this workout did that.

I wore my Altra Instinct 1.5’s and they did great with this faster paced workout, even though they are not really a racing flat or fast-paced trainer, they are more of a daily trainer or longer run shoe, so I was impressed. However, I am going to have to look a lot more closely at Altra’s new racing shoes, when they come out later this month – a lot closer.

I wore my Swiftwick Pursuits with these shoes for the first time and I didn’t have any issues with my right foot for the entire run. It is weird how different shoe/sock combinations work together.

Yes I did a quick lower body workout, some stretching and balancing work on the Bosu Ball and Fitness ball.

After running, I did something more important, I got to go out to lunch with a good friend I haven’t seen since 2009, we caught up on what we have been doing and all that kind of stuff. It was good to see him again and we both agreed that it would not be 3 years between seeing each other again. Life just got in the way.

RunLog 3-4-13