This is the second part to my review of the Hansons Training Plan. I shared some more general thoughts and answered a few questions over in part one – read on for more answers to questions I’ve received about the plan.
- Nutrition. I definitely became much more aware of my nutritional needs while training on this plan. I generally try to eat real food but I don’t sweat about eating things like pizza, bacon, etc. I have a pretty healthy relationship with food and recognize it both as something delicious to taste and as fuel. I do think that I paid more attention to the amount of protein I was eating and would consciously make a few meal choices based on my desire to make sure I was getting enough protein. I actually often had less of an appetite than normal, which was kind of strange. All that to say that I did notice that my body seemed to crave protein (eggs especially) often during training.
- Paces. I was asked about how I chose the paces I trained at. If you read the book, it lays out the paces based on a recent 5k or 10k race. I actually looked at my goal pace and then trained at those paces. For the half marathon, there are paces for a 2 hour race and paces for a 1:55 race. I pulled my paces from those listed for those times and went from there.
- Burnout. Finally, I was asked how I dealt with burnout. Honestly? I never felt burnt out. Yes, I often (VERY often) felt tired. Yes, I was very frequently nervous about my runs. Yes, sometimes I just wanted to sit on the couch instead of run. But I did not feel burnt out nor did I feel any differently than I had running 3 days a week, in terms of burnout. I just didn’t feel it. Don’t get me wrong – this plan is HARD. It’s by far the hardest I’ve ever trained. However, I think there’s something to be said about the confidence that comes from nailing hard workouts week after week. Plus, the easy runs kept it fun for me, since I tried as much as possible to run those with friends.
Bottom line, this type of high mileage plan is not for everyone. Nothing is for everyone and you have to figure out what works for you. When I decided to try it, I gave myself an out if it just wasn’t for me – I just said I’d try it because I really wanted to break sub-2 and thought something different might work. However, that being said, let me say this…I have had a number of people tell me that they could never do a plan like Hansons. I said similar words myself before actually reading the plan and like I just mentioned, I wasn’t sure if I could actually do it. The truth is…if you’ve never tried a high mileage structured plan, then you actually don’t know if you could do it and have success or not. I’m not saying everyone should try it. I’m just saying that you might want to consider that maybe something completely opposite from how you’ve been training previously might help you break through a plateau and get you where you want to go, running wise*. Again, this is a very general sentiment just to encourage those of who you might be thinking about trying Hansons but worried that you’ve never done a plan that like. Neither had I. And I’m so glad I gave it a try. I’m a huge fan and very excited to use the plan again to train for the Chicago marathon this fall!
*Please remember that I’m not a doctor, trainer, or any of that. I’m a self-coached lawyer turned diversity professional who had some success with a training plan I purchased from a book. Please consult an actual expert before making any big changes in your running routine.
Do you have other questions I didn’t get to? Let me know!