A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Via Training Plan (Hansons!)

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Via Marathon training officially begins in a week! I knew I would use Hansons for my training, but I went back and forth on whether to use the beginner or advanced plan. I originally decided to do the beginner.


The first thing I did was write out the entire beginner plan on my color coded calendar.

My colorful beginner plan.

But as I wrote the plan, I kept thinking that it didn't look like a big enough challenge. I mean, the first several weeks were full of 2-5 miles runs. The first run that hit double digits was Week 7. Is that really going to get me to my goal?

I know you are allowed to add mileage to this plan, but if I was going to add mileage, why not just do the advanced plan?

Then I wrote out the advanced plan. I broke it into Part 1 and Part 2 so it wouldn't be so intimidating. I put the first nine weeks on one piece of paper and the second nine weeks on another. Mentally, it will be easier to think of doing two 9 week plans than one huge 18 week plan! (Running is all mental games, remember!?)

I know you can't read this, but I just wanted to show you how I laid it all out.

There are two things that scare me about the advanced plan. It's the 11 weeks in a row of super high (for me) mileage and the intense speed training. It's not that I don't want to put the work in. Believe me, I am very excited to work hard. I am just worried about my body holding up!!!

Fears aside, I decided to do the advanced plan. The last thing I needed to figure out was my time goal for the marathon so I could run my training at the correct paces. I said before that my A Goal is to PR with a <3:28:07. I promise you if I just got a 3:28:06 I would pee my pants with excitement. But I'm worried about whether I should train to hit my goal right on the mark or if I should train to get under my goal... that way there is some buffer room, you know? I talked to Allison, who just completed the Hansons plan and she said go for 3:25:00. Okay then!

My paces for each workout.

None of those paces scare me except marathon goal pace.
I honestly do not think I can run a marathon at a 7:49 pace. I know that's a lousy way to think at the beginning of training, but I have to be honest! A 7:54 pace would bring me in at 3:27 and having those 5 extra seconds per mile seems much more manageable. We shall see...

Hopefully I am able to complete all of the prescribed workouts on the Hansons plan. But beyond that, here are some other things I want to be sure to do during the training:


This pretty much sums up all my training goals. I didn't mention anything about lifting as I realize it may have to take a back seat for now. Even though I only lift upper body (read here if you want the reason for that), lifting is EXHAUSTING! And I don't normally lift and run on the same day. But since I want to keep my rest days completely workout free, if I want to lift during these 18 weeks, I'm going to have to do it on a day I run.

Fridays and Mondays look like they are the lowest mileage days on the plan. If I am going to lift, it is going to be on those days. I realize I may skip some lifting sessions or I may not be able to lift as heavy as I normally do. Right now I am okay with that, but I'm not going to lie... if I see myself getting weaker it is probably going to bother me! I will just have to deal with that as it comes.

There ya have it, folks! More than you probably wanted to know about my upcoming training! Writing this post has really made me excited! I can't wait to BRING IT!

... But it also has me scared. I am very skeptical of my abilities right now. I suppose that is normal. I can't wait to work hard but I know it may not pay off in the end. We shall see. (Why am I being such a Negative Nancy!!!!!????)
Did you ever have to let lifting take a back seat to your running?

What is "high mileage" according to you? (For me it's anything 45+!!!)

38 comments:

  1. I honestly did not think I could run a 7:03 pace (that was the 3:05 goal pace) for 26.2 miles. And for the first 4-5 weeks of training, I couldn't. I seriously doubted myself. But something around the second week where the tempo paces were prescribed for 7 miles clicked. Suddenly, I COULD run that pace - and then, come race day, I did. You can doubt yourself today. It's understandable. But go out there, and give it everything you've got and I bet you will find that your marathon goal pace isn't as scary as you think :) You will have your "a-HA" moment, and you will KNOW you can do it. I'm not kidding. Ever since that 7 mile tempo, I knew I could do it. It will happen that way for you too!

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    1. I remember you having trouble with your paces in the beginning. I am hoping things click for me like they clicked for you! :) I have a feeling I will be creeping back on your old training recaps!

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  2. I think the key is altering the plan if you feel like you are bordering injury. For Boston, I was supposed to run 6 days a week, but more often than not, I ran 5 days per week. (There is an interesting article about Meb and older runners doing this--I am talking ME NOT YOU for the OLder runner thing!!) I did a 20 mile race for my last long run and easily ran it at a 7:49 pace--now Boston didn't pan out so well, but it just wasn't my day.
    Sounds like you have a good handle on things going in--I love how you write out the plan on the calendar--I do the same thing.
    Go get 'em!

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    1. Wow Cheryl that is an awesome pace for your 20 miler!!! Do you have another race on the horizon? I would love to hear more about your training plan and Boston experience if you decide to blog about it. :)

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  3. I can just feel how raring to go you are, Meg! I love how thoroughly you've planned this all out. With enthusiasm like yours, you've totally got this, as long as you continue to listen to you body and modify if need be. When I was running my best I kept 2 upper body strength training days in. Although I did not run 45+ miles. I'm excited for you!

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    1. I am glad my excitement has shown through!

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  4. I was going to say...beginner plan? Really? You have the skills to do this. You just need to convince yourself that you can. That mental piece is as important as the physical training. You have to believe you can do it. You got this.

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    1. I have been hard on myself lately. The last several races I did I did not reach my goal, even though I felt relatively confident and prepared. So now I am kind of like... trying to figure everything out. I hope as I train I get confident. One workout at a time.

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  5. I am excited to see how your training moves along! You are an awesome runner, and you got this!!

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    1. And If you need a place to run, and are willing to drive a bit... check out the Jonathan Eshenaur Memorial Trail in Hershey. It has some hills, but offers at least 10 miles of safe running trails.

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  6. If you set your mind to it, you'll accomplish everything. And it looks like you've got everything down to your pace planned out :) And you should definitely respect your rest days, you've got a total of one day per week lol! Be mindful and stay injury-free! xo

    How Running Makes Us Happy, But Happiness Makes Us Better Runners: https://candiesandcrunches.com/2016/05/04/how-running-makes-us-happy-but-happiness-makes-us-better-runners/

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    1. I know, I prefer 2 running rest days per week so this whole running 6 days per week scares me!

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  7. Woot! Go Hansons! I'm just getting my plans lined up right now and wondered how lifting should fit into it. I really thought strength training would help me last cycle, but maybe I went at it the wrong way because I feel like I was just more sore all the time :( Not sure yet what my plan holds for me. Will talk to my new coach on Saturday to find out. (yep, a real coach! so excited!!).

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    1. That's so cool you have a real coach! How did you find them?

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  8. I know you got this, Megan! For the weight training, I would say put it on the back burner. Clearly, your short term goal is to PR. Everything comes at a cost. Would you rather cut back on weights and reach your PR or keep too much in plan and have your running (potentially) suffer? I know people don't want to hear that but long term, when not training like a beast, you will get back to it. I know how important this PR is for you so I say do "whatever it takes".

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    1. Thanks Susan, I need to reread this comment when I get frustrated by not lifting as heavy as normal! I agree, it all comes at a cost and we can't be EVERYTHING we want to be all at once. Well maybe some people can but I can't. I already added up the minutes and I have about 45 min of stretching, walking, a hip/core stuff to do in addition of whatever my training run is. Yah, so now I am feeling good about a lot of my training being in the summer when I can devote the time!

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    2. I can't do it all, either! This is why my running has slimmed way to do "just enough" while I work on my strength training. And I also really don't want to be working out more than a little over an hour each day. Been there, done that. Not looking for a repeat on that :)

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    3. I know we came from similar over exercising backgrounds. I am sure after these 18 weeks I will be excited to have shorter workouts!

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  9. I'm scared too. My race pace for the tempo runs is ridiculous. But bit by bit, mile by mile and then week by week our bodies adapt. It's pretty incredible. I have no doubt you can do this.

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    1. Thanks Suzy! I know you will do it too.

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  10. I may have to go back and re-read that other post because I am interested in why you only lift upper body. I only started lifting after my injury as a way to strengthen my quads. I rarely lift upper body although it is something I know I need to do and will start doing regularly when I start going to the gym again next month!

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    1. Remember it bothers my IT band really bad. You do it so it helps your It band but if I do it it bothers it! It is sad. I won't to do squats and lunges. Beliiiiiiiieve me. I hate even thinking about it as it makes me sad.

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  11. I was talking to a friend on a long run a few weeks ago and she was so happy with Hansons...She couldn't stop saying how much faster it made her and how she was scared of the high mileage but shouldn't have been.
    In starting something new I think we all tend to freak a little. I know I always do. It is so darn easy to doubt ourselves.

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    1. So many people rave about Hansons and I read the book and it really excited me. I hope I enjoy it as much as everyone else seems to!

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  12. You definitely have the hardware, talent, and mindset to do this, Megan. Execution is key. It sounds like you are ready to get serious and jump right into training mode. I think once you get going and start building your mileage, so will start to see what you are capable of. I know you have a <3:25 in you. :) How did you choose Hansons? I know Kristina is using it too.

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    1. Thank you so much, Kristen! I chose Hansons because I followed Allison @ invertedsneakers.wordpress.com and was intrigued... so I got the book and read the book. Reading the book really made me want to try it out!

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  13. This is so exciting! I'm still undecided about a plan for Chicago. :S I worry like you about my body breaking down with injury. There's a really effective coach here locally who designs individual training plans...I may check him out. The only thing for me I keep thinking about is that every marathon I've done over the past 2.5 years has been "long," like 26.5 or 26.6 miles!!! I don't usually account for that when I'm obsessively checking my pace during the marathon. Do you know anyone who has run Via and if their distance was accurate or not like crazy long? lol

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    1. I am sure you will figure out what works best for you. I wouldn't even know where to start looking for a coach.

      My friend Allison has done Via, it's in her backyard and she didn't say anything about the course being long. I know it is rated like one of the third fastest marathons in the country so hopefully that means it's not long. Was Chicago long for you? I HATE when races are long. Because I don't account for that either. I go by my Garmin.

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    2. That's really long! Did others get that on their Garmins too??

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  14. I love the feeling of starting a new plan! I am so excited for you! It can be scary to set high goals but I think thats a good sign. You don't want it it be too easy! I can't wait to follow along with your training:)

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! :) This is actually the first time I had a real plan for a marathon.

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  15. Ooh, I love that you're doing the advanced plan. I do think it will be challenging but you'll get a huge payoff, and I honestly believe you can do it. If the 11 weeks of high mileage are too much, you'll adjust. But I think going in ready for the challenge will be good for you mentally. And yes, breaking it into two 9-week plans seems like a brilliant mental game to me!!

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    1. Thank you Ali! Yes, I am completely prepared to adjust mileage if I have to. I know high mileage plans aren't for everyone. Even if it is ideal, not EVERY body can handle it. And the last thing I want to do is run myself into injury.

      You know me, all about the mental games! Heck maybe I should have made it six 3 week plans hahaha!

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  16. First off, I'm really excited that you're doing Hansons!!! I'm glad you decided to go for the Advanced Plan as I think it WILL suit you well. I originally thought about doing the Hansons Just Finish It plan but came to the same realization as you, if I really want to challenge myself I need to step it up! We can always back down if needed but we might as well give it a shot! I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do about the first few weeks of the beginner plan. The mileage is so low and now that I'm topping out around 40 I really don't want to back down and lose fitness. I might just cut the plan down and not do the full 18 weeks. I need to decide on that soon!

    I think you will find that lifting on running days isn't terrible! It's better than nothing! I like your idea to make rest days full rest days. I'm going to make that a rule when I start the marathon plan too!

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    1. I would be pissed if you chose the Just Finish plan. I think it would be too easy for you. :) And yes, we can totally back down on anything as we see fit. I know that I am not too proud to do that. I feel like I am not a beginner, but I also don't feel advanced. Why doesn't Hansons have a WishyWashy plan??? Haha!

      Yeah don't back down your mileage at the beginning of the beginner. Either add, or just start a couple weeks in before the speed training or something.

      I think having a complete rest day is going to bother me at first but I am going to force myself to do it. Maybe with all the crazy mileage I will be happy for the break?

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