The first block of my training plan is base-building with short, easy runs, gradually building mileage. Because recapping easy runs can get boring, I thought I’d instead share what I’m learning through my coaching with Hanson’s Coaching Services. I get access to lots of resources, including podcasts. I listened to a few podcasts this week and found a few things really interesting.
You Can Accomplish More Than You Think
There’s a 50-minute podcast by the Hanson’s Method book author Luke Humphrey devoted to how to decide on a marathon time goal. Apparently, there’s a lot to consider! Listening to this podcast made me feel more confident about my time goal, which I talked about last week. One of the things to consider is the courses of the races you used for the race equivalency calculator. My 5K and half marathon times my coach used were on very similar, flat courses so it’s no wonder they were only off my seconds. My marathon will be on the same type of course, so that makes me feel better that my marathon goal time is feasible. Another factor to consider is how much time you have to train, not just for running but for stretching, foam rolling, and strength training. If you have little time and will be running low mileage, an aggressive goal may not be as feasible as it would be if you have a lot of time to devote to higher mileage and the supplemental training. That again gives me confidence because I’ve been through this method twice before and understand and am prepared for the hefty time commitment.
The biggest thing that struck me, though, is that Luke said that most runners–especially those new to the marathon–underestimate what they’re capable of. One line from the slide really stood out: Believe in yourself! You can accomplish more than you think. This resonated strongly with me given my mantra of Believe for this training cycle.
Luke also said you really have to believe in your training method, whether it’s Hanson’s, Hal Higdon, Galloway, or anything else. He said if you believe you’ll be successful following your training method, you will. We all talk a lot about different training methods and how there’s no one-size-fits-all method. Whatever method you follow, it’s important to believe in it!
Patience Is Important
I watched another podcast on the five most common pitfalls runners face in the early part of Hanson’s training that can derail the later stages of training. The first one that Luke talked about was being too overzealous in the early parts of training. Just this past week, I told my running buddy Jamie I was itching to ramp up mileage. After all, my runs were 2, 3, and 4 miles. Luke said in this podcast that the method builds you up gradually for a reason, and you need to respect that. He said the most important thing you’ll learn in marathon training is patience. Be patient with the gradual nature of the plan, just like you’ll need to be patient in the first miles of the race to not go out too fast.
He also said to be patient with your paces, which ties to another common pitfall of cheating down paces. He said he frequently sees runners who run faster than their prescribed paces, which can lead to injury, burnout, or just feeling like crap in the later stages of training. He said this is especially true for easy runs and for speedwork, when it’s easy to run too fast in intervals. He said the paces are prescribed for a reason, and it’s critical to keep to them because running too fast could jeopardize the rest of your training.
Because I’ve been pretty excited, this was good for me to hear. But it also made me think about my winter training. Luke said something that seemed to describe what happened to me in that training cycle perfectly. He said if you put too much into the early parts of training, you’ll peak too early and then get to race day overtrained, tired, and unmotivated, which can set you up for a terrible race. That’s exactly how I felt, and I had a terrible race. So I looked back through my training logs, and sure enough, I found what was likely the culprit. Instead of doing all easy runs during the first part of base-building, each week I did hill sprints. I think I did exactly what Luke warned not to do and put too much into the first part of training. Lesson learned!
Another resource I have access to is a strength training plan. The plan was created by personal trainer Nikki Humphey, Luke Humphrey’s wife. There are three six-week rounds designed to be done with the Hanson’s method. The routine starts and ends with stretching and foam rolling and includes strength exercises in the middle. The routine is different each day and has a different focus, which will be great for keeping away boredom.
And, of course, my coach Melissa is the best resource. She checks in with me after every run. Through my coaching plan I have unlimited access, so I can always ask her questions.
Here’s the breakdown from the week.
Week at a Glance
- Training mode: Training for small, local, rails-to-trails Indiana First Bank Veteran’s Marathon on November 6 using the Hanson’s Marathon Method
- Days running: 5
- Miles this week: 15
- Time running this week: 3:13
- Miles this training cycle: 27
- Miles this month: 34.2
- Miles this year: 937.34
- Strength training sessions: 3
- Yoga sessions: 2
Rest day. I’m supposed to do strength training Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but I wasn’t able to fit it in this day so switched days.
Easy run: 3 miles (68 degrees)
In the evening I started the strength training plan available through Hansons Coaching Services. This routine focused on strengthening adductors, abductors, and gluteus medius to increase lateral stability while running. It took a little over 30 minutes. I guess it’s the foam rolling at the beginning and end, but each time I did this I felt refreshed. I really like it!
Rest day. I did 20 minutes of yoga in the morning.
Easy run: 3 miles (72 degrees)
Even though it was pretty hot and humid, I felt great on this run. I think I’m fully acclimated to the heat now because it just doesn’t bother me as much. I may think differently once I start speedwork though!
In the evening I did the same strength training as Tuesday. I only just realized that the routines change every single day. Oops!
Easy run: 2 miles (70 degrees)
I did 15 minutes of yoga at lunch.
Progression run: 4 miles (68 degrees)
I met Jamie on the river trail for this run. Melissa wanted me to run the second half of this run faster than the first. The main goal wasn’t so much to hit a fast pace at the end but to control my pace in the early miles so I could increase at the end. This was good practice for me because I tend to go faster when I’m running with friends, especially at the beginning. Jamie let me set the pace, and we ended up running a really nice progression run, with each mile a bit faster and the last mile slightly faster than race pace. That last mile at race pace was tough, but Melissa had warned me that the first few times I run at race pace it will feel tough because I haven’t been practicing that pace. Overall this was a great run!
Afterward I did the same strength training routine.
Trail run: 3 miles (72 degrees)
I headed to Riverview Park for some shady trail running. I’m still figuring out how trail running fits into my training. On one hand, I absolutely love running through the shady woods. It’s fun and is more like a treat than a run I have to do for training. On the other hand, Sunday runs are supposed to be recovery runs at a very relaxed pace. Even though I go slower on trails, these runs aren’t easy! Yes, I’m walking up steep sections, but they’re still steep sections and not easy. So I asked Melissa what I should do about these runs. She said once in a while won’t hurt, but if I’m feeling really fatigued to choose an easier route. But she said the bottom line is to make running as fun as I can. So, I think I’ll take it week by week based on how I’m feeling.
This week will be more easy runs with a slight increase in miles.
I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap. I appreciate all the work Holly and Tricia do for their linkup and am happy I’ve got to meet some great new bloggers through the linkup. Thank you, Holly and Tricia! Have a great week!