The Hansons’ MarathonTraining Plan

August 31, 2012 § 12 Comments

Running is important to me, keeps me sane and levels my pre-diabetic blood sugar.

I am in no way a professional, rather a mere mama who likes to run, likes to learn, appreciates a good challenge and crossed the finish line at her first marathon (less than six months ago) feeling both elated and defeated simultaneously.

Having signed up for my next marathon, Miami 2013 ( Jan. 27), I continue to run and learn and hope that I can strategize differently (better) for a faster time and more consistent race (less tired/more energy at the twenty-mile marker).

My training for Tobacco Road was strictly running, little cross training, following the Novice 2 plan by Hal Higdon. The Higdon plan is pretty straightforward consisting of a four-day run week with the long run exertion at an easy comfortable pace. Walk breaks are acceptable, especially through water stations, though I worked hard to run without them.

In the months between my two races, there has been the time and opportunity to test out different theories, the latest being the Galloway method using the run/walk/run ratio.

I like Galloway. I like running with my 10:30 pace group (although our walk/run speed is closer to 12:30).

But my problem with the plan that has nothing to do with running and everything to do with what goes on in my head.

For starters, none of the Olympic marathoners I watched this summer stopped to walk. If they didn’t stop to walk then running an entire 26.2 can be done. So shouldn’t we try?

Unfortunately, I am not an Olympian and my ability to keep a pace that results in a happy finish time requires walking. Strategizing walk breaks, then, would be a good way to go for the next race. If I could just get my head to accept it’s okay.

Having just received the current Runner’s World magazine in my mailbox, I came across an article by Alex Hutchinson about the Hansons; brothers who run marathons and train Olympic runners.

Their philosophy is in, “cumulative fatigue,” teaching your body to run fast on tired legs and “push recovery,” meaning that if your hard runs are easy, then your preceding runs were not hard enough.”

This makes sense, but how can the average mama bear use this strategy in her isolated/no trainer on the payroll training?

By putting mileage on your legs and going out with a little bit of fatigue, you can prepare your body for going farther distances. This makes sense to me.

Push Recovery doesn’t seem as clear.

The Hansons’ plan calls for a “nine-day hard-easy-easy cycle.” What does that mean? Does that suggest you run for a total of nine days and rest for the next two? That your runs should be hard, then easy, then easy, repeated for a total of nine days?

So here I am, constantly learning and testing the strategies with the hope that I finish Miami strong and happy with my performance. Not a professional in any way, but a lover of the game completely!

Are you in training? What does your training plan look like? Do you know anything about the Hansons’ plan? Share!

I took Grace for a run with me this summer. I tried to teach her the run/walk method in the hope we would go a couple of miles. She was having none of it and ran full force until she was too tired (complaining of hurt feet) and wanted to go home. There’s time, and I see track and field in this kid’s future!

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Galloway Run Two

May 26, 2012 § 6 Comments

Adrenaline is coursing after a four mile run with the Galloway Group.

Today we ran one mile before an 80-85% push toward another mile marker.

I clocked my time at @9:15, slightly faster than I’d expected, probably because the last half mile was down hill.

I’m fairly certain that the 10.5 minute per mile group is the right one for me and I felt good (even up hill) with the group.

When I returned home the girls were just sitting down for breakfast with their dad.

I joined them and though probably should have refueled with a piece of Ezekiel bread and peanut butter, couldn’t resist the strawberry pancakes that Brian had already plated. Unfortunately, my fork couldn’t resist the sugar-coated lemon cake under cover in the center of the table, either. It, too, was begging to be eaten.

By the way, as I waited for the run to begin I spoke with two of the ladies from my group; Maria (the pace leader) and Kellie (e?) her marathoning partner. When Maria saw my name tag she turned to me and said, “Are you the blogger?”

“Yes, yes I am!”

She remembered my name from the post I passed on to the WannaBeasts group through facebook .

Recognition for the blog and a fantastic four mile run all before 8:30 a.m.?

Perfect start to this perfect day!

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Right?!

Taper Brain

March 10, 2012 § 8 Comments

I have taper brain. I’m scattered, anxious, nervous, tired, hungry and unable to make too many decisions.

It would be wonderful to be able to write something substantial describing the past few days, but it’s too much of a challenge.

All I want to do is run. I dreamed of the race last night.

It was sunny with a sideways drizzle and I realized I needed the long running pants I tried at Lululemon on Thursday. I didn’t buy them, because of taper brain; the making decisions part. I’m going back today to complete the arsenal of race day gear.

It’s early now, but I think it best to dress and go.

Eight miles are on the agenda for this Saturday before the Expo.

The kids will be with Peach today. The husband and I have a date.

I hope we don’t kill each other. The last time we tried to enjoy each other’s company ended in a yelling match. He thinks I love the marathon more than him. I tried to explain taper brain, but it’s hard for people to understand who haven’t experienced it. It’s hard for me to explain and I’m going through it.

Nine days to go.

I can’t think in a straight line, but one thing is clear. I haven’t been this excited for anything in a long long time!

The Uncertainty Principle

November 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sophie woke up at five complaining that her ear popped. Sure sign of an ear infection, which requires an early morning trip to the pediatrician.

Today is a rest day and I’m glad. I myself woke up feeling a little weary. I skyped with my sister Gabby last night and told her about my day. She worries that I’m pushing myself too much and doesn’t quite get the whole, “training for a marathon,” thing.  I hope she’s not right. I have a tendency to, “burn the candle at both ends,” but training for a marathon is supposed to be taxing, right? Especially living in Mommyland, right?

After our talk, I went back to look over my training plan and I’m pretty sure I need to adjust. I like the Hal Higdon Novice 1 because it seemed “do-able,” but Novice 2 looks closer to where I am.  Novice 2 bumps up the mileage about week 7, which is a concern because I’m trying hard to adhere to the 10% rule. This leads me back to Gabby’s question, “Am I pushing myself too much?” I’m in a quandary.

I think I’ll stay on target for the rest of this week. Tomorrow I’ll run 5, vinyasa yoga on Saturday, with Jen at Evolve Movement, and an 11 mile (long) run on Sunday. My weekly total will be 27. I’ll see how I feel on rest day Monday and then change-up the training plan if necessary.

Today I’ll take care of the girls, maybe do some laundry, eat right and try not to dwell on the uncertainty that comes along with this endeavor.

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