Hanson’s Marathon training?

A fellow running buddy emailed me this morning. She will be training for Marine Corps Marathon (about 3 weeks before Richmond Marathon), and wanted to know if I’d be interested in training with her on some of her faster runs (I’m a little faster; at least, in shorter distances. I think our marathon times are comparable).

I read up on it, and got excited (but also nervous). It sounds like exactly what I thrive on– You run 6 days per week, with your last day in a row being speed work. You never run more than 16 miles (and only do 16-miles three times in a four-month training cycle).

The idea is (or sounds) simple- You are training yourself to be mentally and physically strong by keeping your pace, even on tired legs. Your legs will likely be tired at some point during the marathon, so training them to keep this pace is helpful. The beginner program goes from ~20 miles per week to 55 miles per week. The advanced goes from ~35 miles per week to 65 miles per week. She is going to do the advanced. I am thinking I could do the “Beginner” and tweak it to have a 18-miler somewhere in the rotation.

They (the Hanson brothers) focus on quality workouts, and spreading the mileage over several days, rather than running 40+% of your mileage on your one day (as the traditional “L.S.D.”). I fully believe in this tactic. And, it means I get to work speed. BONUS (I love speed work, no matter how painful. I am, by nature, a sprinter).

My goal (if I dare say it out loud) is to go sub-4:15. I am tempted to say sub-4:00, but I haven’t even started training yet, and that seems very daunting at this stage. Also, I have yet to run a sub-2:00 half marathon. If I can run 10 miles in 1:27 (during a relay race/ with no support and while eating bug), I’m confident I can maintain that pace for a half marathon (which would be 1:54).

So, I guess I am wondering if anyone else has tried the Hanson’s training method? I think I would still want to include one 18-22 mile run, but I may forego that upon beginning the program

It basically looks like this:

Mon: 6 miles (mid-distance “easy” run)
Tue: Speedwork (warm-up 1.5 mi, 12×400@5K pace with 400m recoveries, cool-down 1.5 mi; for 9 miles total)
Wed: rest day/ cross-training/ strength-training
: Tempo (1 mi warm-up, 5 miles at marathon pace, 1 mi cool-down)
Fri: 6 miles (4 at easy pace, 2 at 1/2 mar pace)
Sat: 8 miles (easy pace/ “long run” pace)
Sun: 8 miles (easy pace/ “long run” pace)
Total: 40 miles

So, I’m nervous. Do I forego the long run? Also, running 6 days per week means I may not have time for the essential cross-training and strength training… It is hard to fit in two workouts in a day? Maybe I can double up one day of running to trade out for a “free” workout day?

Any thoughts?!

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