I’ve never been someone who follows marathon training schedules very well. Daunting, dull, and monotonous are a few of the adjectives that arise for me when contemplating a formal training program.
Although I don’t often consider myself a “marathoner” (it isn’t even one of my favorite distances) I decided I would like to get more out of my running as a low marathon time is usually a key indication of just how badass a runner is. In an effort to overcome my resistance to formal schedules, I bought “The Hanson’s Marathon Method”, along with my first GPS running watch to ensure that I could follow the training program as closely as possible to get the most out of my marathon training.
I must admit, the tagline for the book got my full attention, “A renegade path..” implies that it might in fact be easy, an effortless way to cut marathon times without tediously jogging day in and day out. I was wrong about it being easy, this plan is not, but having a target each day, with 3 different types of critical workouts does relieve the tedium. There is also an assortment of information regarding the program itself, how to set race goals, nutrition and hydration, stretching, race tactics etc, each with an overview of the physiological aspects.
For me, I started right from the training program, getting familiar with it, and later read the other sections as they became of interest. There are 3 major workouts you will encounter in this book, intervals, tempos and long runs. There are also the easy runs which are important, as the book explains, but with less emphasis. Each comes with a through explanation, as well as targets based on your finishing time goal. These specific targets gave me quite a physical challenge, similar to one I would find in any race, regardless of distance or type.
Since beginning this workout I have, admittedly, not followed it rigorously, although I have found it very useful in increasing the variety in my workouts as well as increasing my overall speed. I am a half marathoner, a full marathoner, a trail runner and occasionally an ultra trail runner and I don’t restrict myself to few races per year, but instead sign up here and there for races island wide. This book was perfect, allowing me to take the information I required and the goals of the week and putting them into action. Slowly increasing the distance of the intervals, tempo and long runs while not following the program religiously gave me the power to take advantage of upcoming races, regardless of where I was in the training program. In my last trail race I could really feel the difference this training program has given me and I am already looking forward to my next opportunity to use what I’ve learned.
This is a very informative book with references and proven practices. The plans are easy to follow and are explained clearly. I have not yet read the book cover to cover, but keep it next to my bed, both to see what I’ll be running in the coming days and also, to occasionally read a paragraph, expanding my running knowledge. Unfortunately the distances are indicated in miles so I’ve had to change everything in the book to metric which I feel the book could have easily included in the tables. I would have also liked if there was a small section on how to use the book for other distances, not just the marathon as it is an all around resourceful book on running. Overall, this book has inspired me to add variety and speed to my workouts while bringing a new excitement to my races. A great book for any distance runner.
You can about the book, its authors and other reviews here.
You can buy this book in Taiwan and have it delivered to the nearest 711 here.