MCM 13: Week 2 Training with the Hansons Marathon Method

Week 2 – June 30 – July 7, 2013

Co-owner, Metro Run & Walk, Certified Pedorthist, and Runner Walker

Co-owner, Metro Run & Walk, Certified Pedorthist, and Runner
Walker

I continue with the Hansons Marathon Method.  If this is the first post you’re reading about my progress, the Hansons Marathon Method is a training plan that trains you using the principle of “cumulative fatigue” to better prepare you for the last 16 miles of the marathon.  The longest run is 16 miles, but from weeks 6 – 18, you’re running six days a week.

This week, I’ve started to record my times so that I can get a better sense of my progress towards my time goal of a 4:00 marathon. As you’ll see, based on my times so far, my goal seems unrealistic. I know that, but I am still going to hard work to pursue my goal.

I continue to be ahead of the training plan. But, that’s alright according to the training method.

The initial 5 weeks of the Beginner Program are designed to simply build weekly mileage. It’s all about time on your feet and miles logged…. For runners coming to the Beginner Program who are already logging weekly mileage closer to that specified in the 3rd of 4th week of training, just keep doing that you are doing and let the training catch up with you. page 86

Week 2 of MCM '13 Training

Week 2 of MCM ’13 Training

This week, on Monday, I ran neighborhood streets trying to maximize the shade. I run every run wearing my Garmin 210 now so I can easily track my distance, speed, and total time. I was surprised that a route that I thought was 4 miles was really only 3.5. Good to know for the future.

On Tuesday, I ran the same 3.5 mile route as Monday but extended and incorporated a long gentle hill. So now I have a 5 mile route that has a short steep hill and a long gentle hill. While the Hansons Method does not specifically designate hill workouts, or hill repeats, they recommend that your training runs should inherently incorporate hills.

Thursday, July 4th, I ran the annual Applegrove 5k. Our neighborhood “Applegrove” is very active. The majority of the adults run, walk, swim, bike, do yoga or pilates, or a combination of these. Most of the high schoolers run on the high school track team, or play on the high school baseball, football, basketball, or soccer team.

Our good friends Joe & Beth started hosting an annual Applegrove Fourth of July picnic and in 1996 added a morning 5k race. Regardless of your time, everyone is a winner and receives a ribbon and a t-shirt. Of course, there are faster winners (sub 16 minutes) and slower winners (45 minutes). I’m one of the slower winners. Knowing that I had to get a sense of my current level of speed, I decided to run the 5k for time.

The 5k follows a devil course. Starts on a ¼ mile stretch of flat, then 6/10 mile combination of both gentle down and short steep downhill followed immediately by a short steep uphill to the 1 mile mark. The next .55 miles is a very gentle downward incline until the turnaround. There are volunteers at each intersection and there is water at the turnaround point. The second half of the race is the reverse of what I’ve described which makes it mostly uphill.

Having read the Hansons Marathon Method, I knew that I needed to warmup before running a speed race.  So this is what I did:

  • The plan suggests a 1-2 mile warmup. I warmed up for a ¼ mile. (Boo Hiss)
  • I started the race way too fast and was then breathing too hard with heavy legs by 1 mile. (Boo Hiss)
  • Even though the next .55 miles was a gentle downhill, I was not able to take best advantage of it. (shameful)
  • The last half of the race was torturous. (serves me right)
  • I finished in 27:22 angry at myself for not racing properly. I knew better than to start too fast. I didn’t warm up long enough. I didn’t pace myself. (argh)
  • Even so, I beat my previous year’s time by just over 1 minute so I guess I did accomplish something, however, the experience did reinforce the need to follow the plan.

If I use the Race Equivalency Chart on pgs 122-125 of the book, based on my Applegrove 5k time, I’ll run a 4:28 marathon. Yikes! That’s no where near my 4:00 goal.

Regardless of the goal time, be sure to select it before you begin the strength segment of the training program, which is when most of the marathon-specific training is completed. That time goal provides a tangible number on which to base the strength workouts.

Thank you! If I understand that correctly, I’ll have another chance in three weeks to run a race to determine my appropriate marathon goal. Until then, I’ll just keep working that 4:00 marathon.

Although I set the alarm for 6:30 on Friday morning so I could get up to run before work, I hit the snooze too many times and I missed my opportunity to run in the morning. Darn it. I tried really hard to leave work so that I could run at Burke Lake on my way home, but missed that opportunity as well. Double darn it.  I was running late and had to get back home to pickup a rental car at the airport because we were leaving Saturday morning to drive to Orlando for our daughter’s basketball tournament.

Knowing that I have to follow the plan to gain the results that I want, I knew that I still had to get in a run on Friday. So, I headed out at 6:30pm for a very hot but easy 4.47.

Driving to Florida

Driving to Florida

We left on Saturday morning at 8am and because I was doing laundry and taking of other things, I had to pack in the morning so again, I didn’t get a run in.  I was due for a day off anyway, so I decided that with so much driving in front of us, Saturday would be my off day. We didn’t have to be in Orlando until Monday so we decided to take advantage of the time and visit some family on the way down. We drove to Blacksburg Virginia first to have lunch with Mark’s parents, and his sisters and their spouses. Upon our arrival, Fred, my brother-in-law, greeted me and immediately asked about my marathon training.

Fred:  “Hey, Helen… how’s the training going?”

Me:  “How did you know I was training?”

Fred:   “Paula and I read your blog articles.”

Me:   “Really? I didn’t know you read our blog.”

  • What I was thinking was… “Really? I didn’t know anyone reads our blog. Especially family. Wow, that makes me really happy.” And then…

Fred:   “Yeah, you really put it out there. You can’t back out now.”

  • I immediately thought…  “Crap…he’s right that means I really have to follow the plan and work hard. I like and respect them both a lot. They are the most disciplined people I’ve ever met. No excuse is accepted for failing to try. Fred is a retired Marine who served two tours in Vietnam flying fighter jets. In his second tour, there was a problem with the jet and he had to eject. His parachute got tangled in a bamboo grove in enemy territory. He was badly injured but managed to stay alive until he was rescued by helicopter. Not only that but Paula and Fred have run many marathons. In fact, on their honeymoon they ran Boston in t-shirts that said “Just Married.” You’ll see their picture in the book 26 Miles to Boston:  The Boston Marathon Experience.   Not that I was planning to but they are not people to whom I can say “well, I didn’t achieve my goal because it was too hard or I was too tired or I didn’t feel like it.” When talking about marathon training, Paula shared that one year she followed a plan and ran a 3:42 MCM. I’m sure I’ll be following the plan now.
Shaggy Cow at Lazy 5 Ranch

Shaggy Cow at Lazy 5 Ranch

After lunch and fun conversations, we left Blacksburg and drove to the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville NC for a slow drive through the animal park. When my kids were small, I took them through the park many times and our daughter Hayley wanted to see and experience it through her older, more mature 16 year old eyes. She turned right back into that 3 year old little girl delighted with the animals feeding out of the bucket and sticking their heads into the car.Feeding the Giraffe

We drove on to Albemarle NC, had a fantastic dinner at Big Al’s and then checked into the hotel at 9:30pm.

On Sunday, Mark and I headed out together for a 6-8 mile run. I never thought of Albemarle as being particularly hilly, but let me assure you that that it is. Hilly country roads. We ran exactly 7 miles at an average 10 minute pace.

Hilly run in Albemarle NC

Hilly run in Albemarle NC

Cleaned up and headed over to Mark’s Aunt Rachel and Uncle Bruce’s house for a southern brunch. Aunt Mary joined us. Wow, that was delicious. Salty country ham, drop biscuits, egg casserole, grits, home fries. Hayley had never had country ham and biscuits before and requested to pack out the leftover biscuits. After a wonderful time catching up, we knew we had to get on the road.

As I write this, we are on 95S about 85 miles from the Georgia line. By the time its posted, we’ll be staying over somewhere on the ocean tonight and then head into Orlando in the morning for the beginning of the basketball tournament and lots of Florida running.

All in all, a good second week of training. Until next week, stay well and keep training.

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6 Responses to MCM 13: Week 2 Training with the Hansons Marathon Method

  1. Pingback: MCM13: Week 9 Training with Hansons Marathon Method | Run, Walk, Live in Springfield, Virginia

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