Sunday, July 7, 2013

Back to the Hansons!

Workout: linear algebra?

So I didn't run today. Obviously. Unless linear algebra is a strange running workout I've never heard of, which wouldn't surprise me. I mean, fartlek? Ladder? Yasso 800s? Running's weird.

But no, I didn't run. I spent last night doing terribly unhealthy things to my body, like trying to convince a stranger that yes, Prussia really was a thing (keep it classy, Alaska). That hurt my heart almost as much as the alcohol ravaged my poor liver.

I suppose I could have forced myself outside for a run, but I want my first run back to be fun, not vomit-inducing. Plus, my thighs are still crazy sore from yesterday's hike. Oh, what's that I hear? Is it you begging me for another picture, or is it just me telling myself I need to throw a picture somewhere in this post? Who cares?

I did manage to take Bailey outside for some fetch. And by "fetch" I mean "Jeano throws the ball once and spends the rest of fetch time trying to convince Bailey to drop it." While we were out there, I jogged a bit on the grass to see what was up with the ankle I re-tweaked during my hike. No pain! And finally, an extreme desire to run! I've been surprisingly relaxed about my extended break from running and was sort of wondering/worrying about whether I was going to ever feel like doing it again. It seems I just needed a small taste first! Tomorrow will be my official return to running, when I attempt to sprint the 7:30 mile Professor Amy tells me I need to run in order to break two hours in the half. Okay, not really; I'll probably just run an easy three miles.


When I posted my review of the Hanson Method a couple of weeks ago (has it been that long already?! How long can I keep telling people I "just ran a marathon?" Six months? A year? On second thought, don't tell me), I asked whether you guys had any questions about it. It's a hell of a lot easier to have someone else choose a post topic for you than to come up with it on your own, especially when your ideas consist solely of "this was my run today" and "look at my pretty views." So when Coach Holly threw in a few questions about the Hansons, my first thought was, "Yes! Something to talk about!" followed quickly by, "Shit, this is going to require some actual thought."

Well, I can't say that I thought about it too much, but I'll see what I can do:

What was the MOST challenging part for you?

This is a hard question to answer. I had such a positive experience with the Hanson Method that I seem to have conveniently forgotten all of the hard parts. 

One would assume my answer would be something along the lines of, "Running six days a week is a real time suck, not to mention incredibly tiring," but in reality, it actually wasn't that bad. I didn't really have any trouble getting out there every day, and although there was a short stretch towards the end when I whined about how tired I was, overall training for a marathon was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. There was a lot of  #######run#luv#lolhashtag#OMG##.

For me, the two biggest challenges were actually 1) doing most of my runs at a much slower pace than I was accustomed to, and 2) trusting that the Hansons know what they're talking about. As my training progressed and I started to see enormous gains, it definitely got easier to do both of these things.

What did you LOVE about it?

Almost everything! I loved the variety of the runs, I loved that I never felt completely wasted after my long runs, I loved the fact that I often finished Tuesday speed workouts ready for more (despite the fact that it was my sixth consecutive day of running), and most of all, I loved feeling like I was finally a "real" runner (an arbitrary distinction that existed only in my mind, but an important one nonetheless!).

What did you HATE about it?

Honestly, nothing. I know that sounds like a cop out, but it's true! I can see some people hating its lack of flexibility, but that was rarely an issue for me.

What would you say to a friend embarking on their first Hanson's training cycle?

Prepare to be amazed! And, DO YOUR RUNS AT THE PRESCRIBED PACE. I'm sure there are hordes of people who have given up on this plan because they injure themselves/burn out from running too fast, which is totally their loss. Also, as with any training plan, consistency is key-try not to miss runs if at all possible.

Well, that's all I've got-happy Sunday!


  1. I bet if you did not think about it, you could break a 7:30 mile as long as you just go out there and run hard for a mile. Then you have to see if you can run a sub 26:00 5K. It is really fun and a good way to structure your runs. But don't get so caught up in it that you, you know, forget to run those long easy runs or anything. But, yes, for your first run back, I think 3 easy miles is a good idea :)

    1. I dunno how "fun" a 7:30 mile sounds, but we'll see! Although (spoiler alert), the 3 miles today were a roaring... failure. Waaaaaah. Seems the ankle's not yet up to the task.

  2. Love those pretty green mountains! I think I'm going to give the Hansons Method a try one of these training cycles...I just did so well on the Advanced Marathoning plan for my first marathoning that I'm afraid to switch! Maybe I should just run more marathons so I can play around with my training. :) Good luck with your mile time trial!

    1. You should!! I know what you mean about sticking with what works, but I promise it's a great plan! Although now, of course, I'm going to be afraid to try anything else ;).

  3. Thanks for indulging me. :)

    I've been thinking about this - and as much as I rib you occasionally about being a super-solo runner, I think that is part of the reason that you had Hanson Success. People who run with others have a *very* hard time slowing down enough to hit the Hanson paces (and as you say, those paces are critical to the plan's success) - because they're often gauging their runs by other people, and worrying that they'll look "slow".

    So thanks again for sharing your Hansons journey - I found your reports interesting, informative, and useful for me, as a coach.

    1. That's a good point! I feel pressured enough to speed up when running next to cars; I imagine it would be a lot worse if I was running with another human being! That said, I should probably do it again someday. From what I remember, it's quite nice.

  4. Happy too see another positive review of the Hanson plan while doing it!
    I spend a few months doing the Hanson outline before starting the plan to make myself learn the paces. Doing slow miles is just as hard as fast, both mentally accepting that slow is okay, and physically making yourself be slower.

    I'd also add, love running before doing this plan. 6x a week is a lot of time and if you don't enjoy it, it can suck.

    Thanks for the write up!

    1. Yes, agreed! A love for running is most definitely a must.

  5. Ugh, I wish people would come up with topics for meeeeee.

  6. I read your initial post about the Hanson Method, and after reading this one I have to say I am intrigued. I may look into it for marathon #2. Full disclosure: I'm in week 3 if training for marathon #1, haha.

    By the way, your dog Bailey plays fetch the same way my dog, Hank, does. So much fun, isn't it? I've found that if we play with two balls I can hold one up and tell him to drop the one he has. He will, since I'm holding a ball. Then I step on the one he dropped and throw the one in my hand.