Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Hansons Marathon Method - One New Mom's Journey Back to Marathoning

Point A to Point B...also known as how I went from casual running after baby to running a marathon again. Here it is...the Hansons Marathon Method.

I fondly refer to this book as my running bible. From the moment I picked it up to the time I turned the last page it has captivated me. Yes, I read this book cover to cover. Multiply times. Everything in this book is useful...or at least it is to me. I pick it up at least once a week still to refresh my memory. Mainly because I have a bad memory. Also, because the more you get into the training process the more this book starts to make sense. When you first start reading you might not fully understand everything they are talking about or care but in time you will. I've ran a lot of races but this book gave me a new perspective on training. It is very likely that I was doing it all wrong before. Highly likely.

Let me start by saying that I'm no stranger to running. Prior to getting pregnant it felt like I was running a marathon every other month so I didn't just pick up this book and go from zero to sixty. However, if you are new to running, this book could also work for you since there is a beginners section that I think is pretty reasonable.

I think if I had to pick the one thing I like most about this training plan it is that everything is laid out for you. All you have to do is pick out a reasonable pace and/or finishing time and commit to it. Honestly, even if you pick out an unreasonable pace, you will find out in a painful way soon enough to adjust to a goal that's right for you. So it's all good. Mostly foolproof.

I can't stress this enough when I say that you will need to COMMIT to your pace because you will literally need to eat, sleep and breathe that goal for the next three to four months. This plan works really well for people who likes structure and having every workout laid out for them. You won't have to worry about what you're going to do today or the next because everything is spelled out for you. All you have to do is make sure you do it. This plan is not very flexible and it admits to that. If you are going to continually miss runs or change things around or worse try to add other elements to it, it may not work very well for you and you may end up not accomplishing your goals which will be frustrating especially if you put in a lot of time and effort into the training.

Having said that, I for one love this plan. Prior to using this plan, I was a Hal Higdon training plan devotee. I had used the Higdon plans for so long that I was really hesitant to try something new but I'm glad I took that leap of faith. I really didn't have a reason for changing training plans. The Higdon plans were good enough to get me through over 20 marathons and even 2 BQs. What I lacked now that I use to have a ton of before was free time. Being a first time mom is hard. Trying to train for a marathon at the same time is harder. I was looking for something that didn't require me to be out for 3-hour training long runs on the weekends. Although, looking back, the HB method is equally time consuming just in different ways.

So how did I do on this plan? I'm going to say 'good'. I'll go into more details in the next couple of posts and break it down for you month by month. It's just too much to cover everything in this one posting.

1 comment:

Dolly said...

I'm really excited to hear your thoughts on Hansons, especially as a mother.

Hal Higdon has been my buddy for the past two years. He's helped me train for several half marathons and two fulls. My kids are 3 and 5 so I actually scheduled some personal days and used work holidays to know out the big 16, 18, 3 x 20 mile runs.

Hansons has always seemed intimidating to me because even though you top out at 16 mile long runs, the rest of the week isn't cake.