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Hansons Marathon Method – I have to run HOW much??

I’ve started my training for the London Marathon. The first 2 weeks of it in Australia where the hills and the heat made ALL my runs easy pace runs but I’m sure I got some muscle & stamina gains from those elements so no sleep lost over the slow miles.

I’m following a Hansons Marathon Method plan for the first time. Instead of my usual 3-4 runs a week which include one long one, one short fast one and one intervals session, this plan makes me run 6 times a week and a lot of it at an easy pace (5:50-6:20 min/km for me). It includes a tempo run and intervals, as well as strength sessions and stretching and proper warm ups/cool downs.

I’ve always wanted to try this plan because the long runs are never super long but haven’t been keen to run almost every day of the week. I love running but I’ve always been very happy running 3 times a week and I stay clear of any run-every-day-this-month kind of challenges.

For my last marathon I actually used a Run Less, Run Faster plan – only 3 runs a week BUT the long runs were so freaking long and the 2 other runs every week were at VERY high paces. I got my London Good For Age time but now it’s time to test out Hansons.

Three weeks in I can say that I don’t hate running almost every day. It requires some planning and I still haven’t quite figured out how to fit in Crossfit but I’m sure it’ll all come together in another few weeks.  The intervals are still hard and the one tempo run I’ve done has not been easy either but most of the runs are very freaking enjoyable.

I have already made a mistake in this training cycle though – I jumped right into the advanced program because I thought I couldn’t possibly follow a beginners’ program.

But – even though I’ve been running 50km a week consistently for a few months leading up to starting the 18 week program, my feet got a big niggly after a 63km week last week. The advanced plan sees the mileage go up to 78km this week and then increase by another 10km a week, etc. and I’m realising now that I’ve run all my other marathons with just about 60-65km a week and my feet are not ready to do 15 weeks of 80-100km a week.

So I’m winging it a bit and doing something in between the beginners and the advanced plan. My weekly distance will still be higher than it’s ever been but it’ll be 70-80km a week with one peak week of 93km. I will listen to my feet and see how it goes. (I have super stupid high arches that make me underpronate and gave me a plantar fascia tear in my arch at the start of the year so now I’m very feet-concious).

There is no other goal for London for me other than something less than 3:46 and to finish a marathon again with a smile on my face and a body that does not feel broken.

Let’s see what the next 15 weeks will bring. The roller coaster that is marathon training has only just begun 🙂

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