MCM13: Week 8 with the Hansons Marathon Method

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

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

Another week passes and I am now 10 weeks out from this year’s Marine Corps Marathon.   I really don’t know how people with more traditional work hours get in their running, especially if they are morning runners such as myself.  Of course,  up to this point, the week day runs haven’t been high mileage and I have a fair amount of flexibility in my schedule since the store doesn’t open until 10am.

Physically, I’m feeling pretty good, although starting to feel a bit weary running six days a week.

 Just  as you will feel sluggish toward the end of the marathon and will need to push through, it is important to learn to keep moving forward during your training.

I think that’s true for me.  There have been a few days when I would rather not have had to go for a run, but because I have a goal and plan that I’m following, I recognize that I need to go even if I don’t want to.

I think my big “AHA” this week, is the value of the warm-up run.

Traditionally we recommend a 1 to 2 mile warm-up and cool down before and after hard workouts.

The warm-up allows me to work out all the kinks before the speed or tempo runs.   It allows me to work through any fatigue or soreness, running form and breathing so that by the time the workout is set to begin, physically I’m ready. There is also a mental warm-up that takes place.  During the warm-up mile, I can strategize and prepare for the more difficult workout ahead.

I finished Fahrenheit 451 and have started listening to Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea which offers a narrow, controlled exploration of a lesser known event, the 1708 Jacobite failed uprising by James Stewart against William of Orange and Mary Stewart to reclaim the throne.  I have listened and read plenty of historical fiction in the past so I’m looking forward to listening to this story. listeners rated it very high.

Week 8 Plan vs Actual

Week 8 Plan vs Actual

Monday 8/12

An easy 6 mile run.  Not much to talk about here.  Started listening to The Winter Sea and my impressions so far are that the narrator is narrating, not really telling the story.  I also don’t like the simper, childish voice she uses with the heroine Sophia.

Tuesday 8/13

Warning:  Some of my observations and thoughts may be viewed as “unseemly” and “not dignified.”

On my gosh, that was hard!

By the time I got to the track it was 12:30 and the sun was shining brightly and it was HOT.  The JV and Varsity football teams were in the middle of the track practicing so I had to ask to make sure I could run laps.  No problem.

I start my one mile warm-up while listening to the story.  I realize that I’m too pre-occupied with the upcoming 800m intervals to really pay attention and anyway its at the point in the story where the narrator is adopting a Scottish brogue which I can’t understand. Nope, that won’t work on this run so when I get back to my car to get my stuff for the track, I swap out my iPod for my phone so I can listen to music via Pandora.

When I finish my warm-up mile, most of the football players have headed into the school.  Apparently today is the “cut” day.  Having a high school athlete, I know how terrible or wonderful these days are for the athletes and their families.  Anyway, as the football players are leaving the field, the groundskeepers are entering.  Several start mowing the inner field, others mow the grass around the outside of the track, still others begin weedwacking.

(I kind of have to go to the bathroom, but chalk it up to nerves.)

1st interval.  I pick lane 5 on the track.  I start the music and off I go.  Wait, what am Iistening to?  The Carpenters!?!  No, no, no… this won’t do.  The music wants me to slow down and I need to run fast.  So, I’m battling the music, the grass flying onto the track, and the sun and heat.  I finish the 1st interval in 3:38, nearly 20 seconds too fast.  Ok, I’m definitely going to slow down.  The recovery 400m sure feels good.  Now that “kind of” needing to go to bathroom feeling is building.  Ok, so it wasn’t nerves., but I ignore it anyway.

2nd interval. Crud, now I’m listening to Jim Croce.  While I really like Jim Croce, again its too slow a tempo for a speed workout.  I’m able to slow down my 2nd interval to 3:50.  Much better both in terms of being closer to my goal time of 3:55 but it also feels better.  However, now I’m breathing in the smell of freshly mown grass which sometimes triggers my asthma.    During my recovery, I’m trying to change the station in Pandora to get to something a little livelier.  Between the brightness and not having my glasses on, I cannot see the details on the screen, so I’m just touching and sliding on the screen hoping to figure out how to change stations.  No luck.

3rd interval.  What the heck?  Don’t these groundskeepers understand that I’m out here doing my speed workout?  On the back side of the track, they’ve pulled equipment into Lane 5.  Now I’m running an obstacle, fast 800m.  Nonetheless, I finish the 3rd interval in 3:50.  During my recovery lap, I notice that the port-a-potty has grown in size and seems to have neon arrows in the air pointing to it.  I’m resist the temptation and keep going.

4th interval.  Success!  I finally figured out how to change the Pandora station and select the Classic Rock station.  But now the music is so loud that my eardrums are about to explode!  I keep calm, turn it down, and resist the temptation to run faster.  Really?  Now one of the groundskeepers has the line painter out and is painting new lines on the field so now I’m breathing the grass clippings and paint fumes.  I finish in 3:49.   During my recovery, I pick up some ice that the football trainers dumped out of the coolers onto the field and drop some down the back of my shirt and carry some in the palms of my hands to try to cool me down.  It’s so hot out here.

5th interval.  This is really hard. I wonder “why am I doing this?” I get to the backside of the track and glance at my watch and don’t see the seconds ticking by so I stop thinking that I didn’t properly start it at the beginning of this interval and that I’ll have to restart this interval.  Never mind, its going so I get going again.  I finish in 3:52.  During my recovery, that port-a-potty has taken about 8 steps and is about to step onto the track.  Nope, I’m stronger than that and ignore it.

6th and final interval.  I’ve dumped so much ice down the front and back of my shirt, and its sitting on top of my Amphipod belt.  I feel like I’m wearing an ice belt.  Look at that… the groundskeepers are done, the sun is behind clouds, the track is clear of obstacles and grass clippings and I finish in 3:51.  I take my final recovery lap and then darn near sprint to the port-a-potty.  I figure Hanson won’t mind that I take a quick break before starting my recovery run.

I drop my stuff in the car and head out for my recovery mile which I finish in 11:03.  I’m very glad to be done and looking forward to an off day tomorrow.

Lessons Learned:

  • If you have “kind of” needing to go the bathroom before a run, go.
  • If you arrive at the track at the same time as the groundskeepers, find another time or place to run.
  • Be judicious in how much ice you drop into your clothing.
  • Don’t leave your replacement fluids in the sun.
  • Run slower.

Wednesday 8/14

An off day from running.  Unfortunately, however, I have to pull carpet and padding from the basement floor where there was water backup.  Underneath the carpet are 12×12 vinyl tiles that also need to be pulled up.  So, instead of running, I’m down on hands and knees scrapping up tile.  I think of it as good stretching and cross-training.

Thursday 8/15

Tempo day.  I have a nice course that I’ve mapped out that has a good mix of gradual uphill and downhill as well as shade.  I’m feeling really good on this run and definitely feel like I could have gone longer at marathon pace.  Knowing that I’ve got more tiles to be scraped up from the basement floor, I resist the temptation and save my energy for that.

Friday 8/16

Easy 5 listening to my book, working out the soreness and stiffness from the two days of flooring work.

Saturday 8/17

Easy 6 listening to my book.  By now I have decided that I don’t really care for how the story is being told.  Its from the perspective of a writer, writing the story.  She flips back and forth between the writer and the story while planting seeds of “genetic memory.”   I really don’t like the voice of Sophia now.

Sunday 8/18

Its the perfect morning for a long 10 mile run.  Cloudy with some scattered drizzle.  I set a 9:32 pace and feel good throughout.  Last week, I shared that I was having trouble understanding what the pace of the long run should be.  I mentioned to Coach Bruce that I found Hanson’s book to be confusing and not very clear when discussing the long run pace.  He took that as a challenge and here is what he found:

One must read the book carefully to understand the recommended long run pace. On page 53, “We generally coach runners to hold an easy to moderate pace throughout a long run”.  Then if we refer back to page 45, read last paragraph captioned Easy Running Guidelines.  Easy runs (up to 2.5 hours) are paced 1 to 2 minutes slower than goal pace. Then, back to page 53. New runners “err on the easy side” (2 minutes) and more advanced “should maintain a moderate pace (1 minute).

Always listen to your coach!

Thanks Bruce for clarifying.


Definitely the most exciting run of the week was Tuesdays track workout.  Other than that, kind of a boring week.  Next week gets interesting with the lengthening of both the Tempo and Long runs.  Hope I can keep up.  Until next week, stay healthy and have run.


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6 Responses to MCM13: Week 8 with the Hansons Marathon Method

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