MCM13: Week 11 Training with Hansons Marathon Method

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

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

Hopefully the challenges that faced me last week with blisters, a sore toe and lung pain are indeed behind me.  I look forward to this week with anticipation and the expectation that I will be back on track.

Week 11 introduces the Strength workouts and takes another pretty big jump with a total of 54 miles this week.  The additional miles are added in the Tuesday Strength workout which totals 8-10 miles depending on how long a warm-up and recovery you do, and the Long run topping out at the magical 16 miles.

When Strength workouts are added to the schedule, the goal of training shifts from improving the VO2 max to maintaining the VO2 max and preparing the body to handle the fatigue associated with marathon running… At this point in the plan, everything the runner is doing is focused solely on marathon preparation.

The benefits of strength workouts include:

— improved lactate clearance

— improved lactate tolerance

— improved endurance at faster paces

— improved O2 delivery via a stronger heart

— improved running economy

The guidelines indicate that Strength workouts are designed to be run 10 seconds per mile faster than goal marathon pace.  Recovery between strength intervals are managed so that they are less than 50% of the duration of the intervals.

Hansons also recommends that the warm-up and cooldown increase from the 1-2 miles that I’ve been doing for the Speed workouts to 1.5-3 miles for the Strength.

While I’ll read and re-read this section several times this week, I think I understand and am ready.

This week I am listening to Emile Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin narrated by Kate WinsletThérèse Raquin is the story of a young woman forced into an unhappy marriage to her dull, sickly cousin and smothered by her overbearing aunt. When her husband’s childhood friend enters her life, it leads to a torrid affair that sets her spirit free for the first time, but with shattering consequences.

This audio book is another in the A-List collection which features classics narrated by celebrities.  If you remember, last week I finished Being There narrated by Dustin Hoffman and absolutely loved it.  Early impressions on  Thérèse Raquin are mixed.  Kate Winslet does a great job but the pace of the story is pretty slow.  We’ll see.

Week 11 Plan vs Actual

Week 11 Plan vs Actual

Monday 8/27

Easy 5 today.  Finally the mornings are a little cooler and less humid.  I enjoyed my easy run although I ran a little too fast for an Easy run which for me should be 10-11 minute/mile pace.

Tuesday 8/27

What a beautiful morning!  Cooler, low humidity.  A great morning for a run.

I start with a nice easy 1.6 mile warmup at 10:36 pace.  I’ll be doing my 1 mile repeats along the Fairfax County Parkway between Stringfellow Rd and Rugby Rd.  Its mostly flat and the Applegrove Runner Runners have used this area for many intervals and the path is marked every 400m.

Based on my marathon goal of 4:00, I should be running 9:00 miles for Strength workouts.   So here’s what I do:

1 mile @ 8:24
1 mile @ 8:51
1 mile @ 8:31
1 mile @ 8:25
1 mile @ 8:28

Every stinking one is too fast!  Not a little too fast, but A LOT too fast, except for the 2nd one.  Not only that, but I misread the plan and only did 5 intervals instead of 6.

Since these are less intense intervals than the speed intervals, you may be tempted to exceed the prescribed pace, but keep in mind that the adaptations you’re looking for specifically occur at that speed, no faster.

I lost sight of the plan and gave in to how great I was feeling.  After all, the intervals weren’t that hard physically and my ego was being stoked with how amazing was I running.  MISTAKE!!!!!  Anyone reading this also doing Hansons, don’t make the same mistake.  I paid for it as you’ll read in a bit.

Wednesday 8/28


Thursday 8/29

I have a little headache this morning which I come to realize is due to a loss of focus on daily hydration.  I’ve been busy running around taking of this and that and have only consumed about 20 oz of water during the core of the day and another 8 oz in the evening.

I’ve got a Tempo 8 to run this morning.  I head out and at first I think its another cool morning.  That notion was quickly dispelled.  It warmed up rather quickly.

I can’t quite get my legs moving properly until 1.25 miles, so again I’m grateful for the warm-up.  I start my Tempo run and my pace is all over the place!  9:36 – 8:14 and everywhere in between.  My legs feel really fatigued as well.

Well of course, they do, Dummy!  You ran way too fast on Tuesday and stressed your entire system.

I’ve taken to running with the Camelbak Marathoner pack which allows me to carry up to 70 ozs of liquid.  If I have a run of 8 miles or more where there is no place to replenish a water bottle, I wear the Camelbak.  This morning, I’ve got about 45 ozs in which I’ve dissolved 2 Nuun tablets.  (Remember the directions:  dissolve 1 tablet in 16ozs water.)

By the time I’m finished with my run, I’m completely tapped out.  I didn’t drink enough and my Nuun-enhanced water wasn’t of appropriate strength.  I had enough fluid to drink, but I went into the run a little dry.   I’m incredibly tired, a little chilled and my stomach hurts.  After about 20 minutes, I fix a bowl of yogurt with fruit and sliced almonds with 2 gluten-free waffles.  I’m feeling so bad that after a 1/2 waffle and 1/2 the bowl of yogurt, I’m done.  I can’t force myself to eat anything else.  It takes me 3-4 hours before I’m feeling well again.

Remember back in Week 3 where I discussed the importance of proper hydration.:

Even a 2% decrease in hydration stores (or  3 pounds of sweat for a 150-pound runner) can affect physical performance.  Sweat rates can reach up to 1-2 pounds on a cool, dry day.  Sweat rate is the amount of sweat a person produces per hour.  Most often, it is described in terms of pounds or ounces per hour.

Physical response to dehydration include:

– impaired cardiovascular functions

– impairment of the body’s ability to dissipate heat – CHECK, GOT THAT

– gastrointestinal distress – CHECK, GOT THAT

– cause an imbalance in electrolytes crucial to muscle contraction

– decrease in VO2 max which causes you to burn through glycogen stores at a much higher rate

– cognitive impairment

I take it easy for a few hours, drink lots of water, eat when and what I can and by midday I’m feeling better.  I work all day at the store until closing (8pm), get home, and go straight to bed.

Friday 8/30

I wake up feeling much better.  I head out for an Easy 5 and take the dog.  I was determined that I I was going to run easy today.  As much as I wanted easy (10-11 minute pace), Tanner wanted to run fast.  He doesn’t like to run in the heat and appreciated the beautiful morning.  Being the “master,” I won but only after a bit of “tug of war” with the leash.

Saturday 8/31

I am so tired of Thérèse Raquin!  By now every one of the characters is pathetic!  The story plods along “languidly.” I think the author must have had a word/page quota to meet and decided to put as many words as possible with an incredible amount of repetition in the book.   While Kate Winslet is doing a good job narrating, even she can’t rescue a terrible story.  On top of that, every time she sounds happy, my mind’s eye sees her on the bow of the Titanic “Jack, I’m flying” and every time she sounds sad, “Jack, come back.”  One of the pitfalls of having a celebrity narrate a book.

I head out on my run.  I decide to take a few detours through some neighborhoods that I’ve never been through.  I don’t take into account that extra distance and end up running 9 miles and walking another 1 mile.  I don’t mind the walk but try to cut a few corners and go traipsing across some fields.  Turns out I didn’t save any distance at all and I’m pretty tired when I’m done.

Sunday 9/1

Long 16 today.  I finished Thérèse Raquin yesterday (thank goodness!) and know that I need something that I know I will like.  I’ve had Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane downloaded since Week 2 but I’ve been holding on to it.  Now is a great time to listen to it!  I really like Neil Gaiman’s books (not short stories) and he narrates them himself.  He’s got a great reading voice and is invested in making sure the listener enjoys the story.

The alarm went off at 6am and I promptly went back to sleep until 7:10.  Crap!  I’m supposed to be running right now!  I hurry through my routine and am out on the road by 8am.

My Long run goal pace in 9:52.  I did it at a 9:55 pace.  I’m actually pretty pleased because again, I was tapped out by the end.  It turned out to be pretty hot and the latter half of my run didn’t have much shade.  I also planned my route on roads that I haven’t run before so had no idea what to expect in terms of elevation and running conditions.  Turns out some pretty major roads in Reston are darn hilly and there aren’t sidewalks on all of them.

Later in the day… OK that run wiped me out.  I was dragging at work, dragging at home, and went to sleep just after 9pm.

In Conclusion

Week 11 was a difficult week.   I’m very tired, that whole cumulative fatigue thing is quickly becoming extreme cumulative fatigue.  Interestingly enough though, in spite of everything, I still have little to no soreness, just fatigue.

I am a little tired of running though.  Hopefully, a few easier days will help.

Until next week,  train well and stay healthy…


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4 Responses to MCM13: Week 11 Training with Hansons Marathon Method

  1. Martin says:

    I also heard Being There with Dustin Hoffman, it was pretty good and entertaining!

  2. Pingback: MCM13: My training ends… | Run, Walk, Live in Springfield, Virginia

  3. Pingback: MCM13: Week 13 & 14 Training with Hansons Marathon Method | Run, Walk, Live in Springfield, Virginia

  4. Pingback: MCM13: Week 12 Training with Hansons Marathon Method | Run, Walk, Live in Springfield, Virginia

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