Today on Friday Five with Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney, the topic was a day in the life. Since I did one on Wednesday, I figured I’d do something different. I am currently about halfway through my training for Marine Corps Marathon using the Hansons Marathon Method, so I thought I’d share my impressions so far.
1. The mileage is higher than you realize. I’ll admit, I looked at the training plan before I read the book. And the mileage didn’t scare me. Well, some of the runs are longer than they are on the plan because if you are doing a tempo or a speed workout, you are expected to run a warm up mile (or 3) and a cool down mile. End result? I’m spending a lot more time running than I expected.
2. 6 days a week is a lot more than 5 days a week. I know it only seems like one more day, but trying to fit in 6 runs a week is challenging when the shortest run each week is 6 miles. I’ve done a run streak – I can always fit in a mile. I can’t always fit in 6.
3. This is not a flexible plan. My training mode has always been to fit in the runs where I can. I might do a long run on a Tuesday one week and Thursday the next week. With three “hard” runs each week (tempo, speed work, and long run), it’s hard to keep from ever doing back to back hard runs.
4. Mind the paces. Hansons does their runs a little differently. Tempo is “race pace.” Speed work is 5K pace. The long run is done about 30-45 seconds per mile faster than most plans do their long runs. BUT! Recovery runs are slow. Like traditional long run pace or slower. And you know what happens if you run those too fast? You are exhausted by rest day. Ask me how I know this LOL. (Also, take the paces with a grain of salt when dealing with high temps and high humidity. Running my 5k pace for less than a half mile should not make me want to puke. But it absolutely does when I’m dealing with some of the crazy hot Virginia weather.)
5. The hard part is the mental, not the physical. I can run on tired legs. The mileage is nothing I haven’t done before. But it is relentless. Every day it’s “where do I fit in 6 miles?” There are no “I’m just going out for a short easy run” days.
Would I choose to do it again? For a spring marathon, absolutely. The cooler weather, plus kids in school would allow me to do this plan justice. For a fall marathon, with no other crazy plans before it, no way. I’m completely over juggling my life to get the miles in. I’m tired of being out there for an hour+ in the heat every time I lace up my shoes. And trying to do it all with out easy access to a treadmill? That’s just crazy!
But, I have 6 half marathons in 6 days starting on September 14, so this plan is about perfect and I’ll be doing my best to stay as close to the plan as possible.
Have you ever tried a high mileage plan for marathon training? What did you think of it?