Adapting Hanson’s: Month One

I had a really good experience following the Hanson’s marathon method for Richmond marathon in September and I wanted to adapt the plan and take some of the parts of it that I liked for my training this Spring. So I am aiming for 6 runs a week, one speed session (either intervals or tempo), replacing one of the other speed sessions with a hill session, and doing longer back to back runs on the weekend with more focus on time on my feet than pace, as I’m not training for a Spring PB.

Training started in mid-December when I was finishing the Marcothon/Advent Running so for the first few weeks I didn’t take my scheduled rest day. I’ve also been incorporating my three weight sessions each week and one yoga class too, though I didn’t get to many in December as I was away quite a bit.


Week 1: 41 Miles.
I did my first speed session in months which blew the cobwebs away, I was well off target pace but it was really icy so I let myself off a bit. I also did my first hill session in about 8 months which was hard work- I’m trying to run hilly routesĀ  across the week to try and get some elevation in as well as one dedicated session to running up and down and up and down. The long run this week was 10 miles and I went to Southwark parkrun in the middle of it but it was cancelled due to ice, I just jogged round the course anyway.


Week 2: 46 miles.
I had a better speed session this week and managed to hit most of the 8 x 600m interval splits. I try to be a little flexible with my speed training as I don’t do it on a track, so it’s a little harder to control pace due to turning and elevation. I was in Wales over Christmas so made the most of living next to a mountain to get some good hill training in. This weeks back to backs were 12 and 8 miles, the 12 was a Cardiff parkrun sandwich. I love doing long runs like this as it just breaks it up a little bit- I try to get there as late as possible so I’m not hanging around and basically start straight away but I’ve missed the start of a few runs lately!


Week 3: 50 miles.
Christmas week. I got in a pretty decent parkrun on Christmas day, so there is some speed still in the legs. More Welsh hill training followed, and I finally did a speed session where I hit every single split at target pace. This weeks back to back runs were 15 and 10 miles, the 15 included Cardiff parkrun, and the 10 was when I was coming down with lurgy so not feeling great at all, and I was really unwell that evening.


Week 4:30 miles.
January started with my first rest day since the end of November as I was struck down with a terrible cold. I did get out the day after, but cut the run short as my chest was really tight, I took another rest day after that and called it a drop week so I could recover. I did a 10 mile run on the weekend including a Hilly Fields parkrun course PB which was surprising given I didn’t really feel like I was putting much effort in and was still recovering from the cold.

Some great base mileage built, decent sessions and hill training, I definitely needed that drop week to start the year. That’s the other adaption I’ve made to Hanson’s, taking a mileage drop week every 4 weeks, as though Hanson’s alternates between long run weeks, the mileage is always consistently high, and I feel with doing longer runs I need more recovery.

2 Responses to Adapting Hanson’s: Month One

  1. It’s great to hear how you have adapted the plan to suit you. I can’t remember which plan I followed for the Brighton marathon, but I do remember adding in a shorter week every so often, especially as the longer runs got longer.
    I love doing a parkrun sandwich but I always leave loads of time because I don’t want to miss the start (even though I am sure I would be allowed and would soon catch up the tail walker!).

    • Yeah I think it’s good to give the body regular easy weeks. I’ve been late three times lately- at Mile End on Saturday I spent most of the first half of the first lap catching up to the tailwalker, but I had overtaken 90 people by the end, so it’s quite fun in that way too.

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