Trying A New Marathon Training Plan


I have been putting off finding a marathon training plan…mainly because there are so many options and so many theories that I knew coming up with my own plan would take time.

Randomly, I stumbled across a blogger who used the Hanson’s Marathon Method.


I had obviously heard of the Hanson brothers before, and was intrigued. Her post described how the plan was challenging and helped her PR…and only had a long run of 16 miles.

Wait, what???

Yup. 16 miles.

But that is not the main point of the training plan. The Hanson’s believe in cumulative fatigue when it comes to marathon training. They want you running every day (and a decent amount ranging from 6-10 miles) so that your legs are always somewhat fatigued. Taking a day off (according to them) before a long run won’t help you in the marathon. They prepare you for the last 16 miles of the race, not the first 16.

The reason the long run is around 16 miles is because so many plans say don’t make the long run half of your weekly mileage…yet for us mere mortals, running 20 miles in one day probably IS half our mileage. They want you to stick to the 25-30% rule…so if you run a decent amount then yes, you will still have your 20 milers.

For me, this is a good premise because I am not the fastest runner. I am on the road a lot longer than someone running 7 minute miles (if only).

Also, I know that to improve I need to run more. Period. I usually run 4 days a week and this clearly hasn’t cut it for longer distances. Despite nailing my long runs in half marathon training, I still bonked in the actual race.

So what does the quote at the beginning of this post have to do with? Well, I’m terrified! This plan calls for 6 days of running with 1 day off. I’m scared because I’ve never ran this much (except for high school cross country) and because I’m scared of hurting my shins. But I am trusting it because half of the runs in the plan are easy and recovery runs, which should be run at a way slower pace. Though that will be hard in and of itself!

I know this will be challenging, but I’m excited at the same time. It will require some blood (hopefully not), sweat, and tears (of joy?). It will be the most I have run (peaks at 57 miles per week) and also the most I will be running on a daily basis. But I am DETERMINED to not totally bonk at NYC Marathon again like I did in 2011. That was awful.

I highly recommend reading their book as it explains everything in way more detail and offers the science behind it all.

We’ll see what happens! I start training July 1 so I guess I should get in a few runs in before then since I haven’t ran since May 18 lol.

Who’s running a fall marathon? What kind of training will you be doing? How many days per week do you usually run in general?

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  1. Fascinating training theory. I am guilty of doing a few short runs during the week and back-ending my training with alot of miles during the long run. Very curious to see how this plan works for you. I may be taking this idea and incorporating it into my halfsie training this fall.

  2. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this program but haven’t investigated it too much myself. I can’t wait to see what you think!

  3. I’m starting my marathon training a week from Monday and am in the market for a good training plan. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. I have heard of this method and will definitely be interested in reading about your experiences with it. I completely understand about how going slow can be one of the hardest parts of the training program – I’m in the midst of a slow training cycle right now. While my body has never felt better, and I quite literally feel like I can run all day, every day at this pace, the temptation to pick up the pace and GO is always there (likely because I do feel so great). Good luck!!

    • Thanks! Yes I hate slow running…I’m usually like ok lets just speed up to get it done! But I will adhere to this plan 100% and see if it helps me last longer in the marathon.

  5. Amy Race says:

    Hi Patty! I found your blog when I was looking for reviews on the Hanson Marathon Method. I’ve signed up for my first marathon (11/16/13), and I’m torn between Hal Higdon and Hanson. Would you recommend Hanson for a first time marathoner? It seems like everyone does HH or Galloway, and that I’m going “against the norm” if I stray from that (most of my running friends follow one HH plan or another – many have never even heard of Hanson). I’m curious what your thoughts are about plans for first timers.

    • I’m not really sure…I followed a plan probably similar to HH or Galloway the first time and I majorly bonked towards the end. Hansons encourages running more in order to get used to your legs being tired. I think it depends on how much you have been running leading up to this. If it’s not much I’d go with HH or Galloway and just make sure you don’t have a time goal for your first marathon (regardless of training plan)!


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