One of the great benefits of having blogged since my first marathon is that I can easily go back and read about my training and analyze, compare and explore what worked in the past, what is working now and what I might want to consider in the future. As I was thinking about how different this marathon training segment is, I thought it would be interesting for me to compare this marathon training cycle with some of my previous cycles – specifically my first training cycle and my last. Since this week’s Friday Five is discussing fitness, I’m sharing five things that are different training with Hanson’s Marathon Plan (as opposed to previous marathon training cycles). Make sure you check out my co-hosts for the linkup – Mar and Cynthia. Have a great weekend!
- One of the major differences in terms of my marathon training is mileage. Last summer I used a version of Run Less, Run Faster – I ran four days a week. One run was a speed workout, one was a tempo run, one was a long run and one was an easy run. During that cycle, I topped out at 133 miles – which I ran in the month of August. I ran 101 miles in July and 96 miles in September and 93 miles in October (keep in mind, I ran two marathons and the Army Ten Miler in October – that mileage includes those three races). The Hanson plan is a high mileage plan and so, my mileage is much higher than it has ever been. To compare:
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- Another major difference between prior training cycles is my mental focus. I worked really hard on the mental aspect of running last winter while training for the Shamrock Half Marathon and while it’s never perfect, it did work. I generally am careful to not do things to pysche myself out of workouts before they begin. This summer, that’s meant that I generally don’t check the weather before a run. This summer has been brutal in terms of weather and checking and reading that it is already 80 degrees with 80% humidity just gets in my head. I assume the weather will be bad and just head out the door. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised. Sometimes I’m not. But either way, I’m not convincing myself the run will suck before I even leave home. Another thing I’ve done is during tough workouts, I pretend I’m at mile 22 of the marathon. I ask myself what I want my story to be and usually that helps me get my mind right.
- Consistency is the third difference. As you can see in the chart above, my mileage is much higher than prior cycles and I do think that is helping me in this cycle. I’ve determined that I actually respond really well to a higher mileage training. I said this before on Instagram, but one of the the things I think is beneficial for me on this is that because I run almost every day, I can not afford to just skip a run because I don’t feel like it. If I miss a run (I have missed one in three months of training) it is because I can literally not run (I missed one run when I got stuck an extra night out of town for a business trip and slept about 3 hours) not because I’m not in the mood. Prior to this training cycle, I would skip a run just because and then I would never make it up because life gets in the way. When you remove the option of skipping a run unless truly necessary, you make it easy to stick to your plan. And that consistency builds results, it truly does.
- Variety in pacing. With this plan, I’m running easier and slower on some days and working really hard three days a week and I think this has helped greatly. Learning how to pull back and run slower is truly necessary for the recovery runs. On the flip side, knowing how to pick it up and dial in to race pace is excellent preparation for race day. I used to pretty much run all my runs around the same pace. OR I just didn’t think about pace much at all – I just ran. Being intentional about pacing is a big difference for me.
- My level of tiredness. I’m just gonna be real – I have never been this tired before in training. I know that because I’m training so hard, but man is it an adjustment. I am heading up for bed at 9:30pm most days and feel like I could sleep in almost every single morning. I have been napping for at least 2 hours every weekend – the struggle is real, y’all!
Tell me, have you ever used the Hanson method?