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Nov 8, 2012

Two useful books for marathon training

5 miles on the schedule today.  This week has really be a struggle running wise.  I sometimes get into this funk.  Probably did not help that my hip was sore all day at work on Monday.  Sitting all day at works sucks.  I try to stand, walk around, etc just to keep moving.

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I thought I'd share a couple books that are helpful(at least have been for me) for marathon training.  Both are specific to training and not stories about marathoners.  They are great reference books to have in your collection.

The first book is Hal Higdon's Marathon, The Ultimate Training Guide.  I've actually used his program for four marathons including the Novice 2, Intermediate 1(twice) and Intermediate 2.  I typically follow them pretty much to the schedule except I have not done specific work on speed or tempo in any of the programs.  I did run hills and perhaps ran some runs speedier than usual but otherwise just ran the program.  On the last marathon, I did exceed the mileage a bit near the end.  Also, one thing I did not do, which I should have, was run on Saturday and Sunday so I was tired doing the long run.  I tended to rest before and after the long run and I think had I followed more along Sat/Sun, I would have been faster.

I also purchased the Hanson's Marathon Method several weeks ago and have been studying this book.  There are some big differences in that I will need to follow speed, tempo, strength runs accordingly.  This plan also has running six days a week and while it has long runs, the longest is 16 miles.  It's really a huge difference from the Higdon plan.  I'm not saying it's better but it's certainly more specific to quality workouts rather than just getting the miles in.

I think I've decided to give the Hanson's plan a try for my next marathon.  I really like the concepts in the book.  My running buddy T has talked me into running a spring marathon and we will be running the Lansing Marathon in April.  This should fit in well with the schedule since I'll only have two races during the training cycle - a 10k(ShamRockNRoll Run) and a half marathon(Rock CF Rivers).

The Hanson plan recommends not racing much during the program so this will really give me what I want which is to follow the program exactly as they describe.  The only thing I might modify is instead of doing my speed work on the local track, I'll may do it in the morning out my door.  I'm going to have to figure out how to do this with my GPS watch but should be able to figure it out.  Fortunately, I live close to the Hanson's Running Shop and they have speed work and weekly runs so I could even join that group for my speed work if I wanted.  Pretty fortunate.

I hope my heart gets into it more when we start the training in December.  At this point, I'm not that excited to train for another marathon but then it's only been a couple weeks since the last.  Being that I've made a decision to run the full in the Spring, it's likely I'll just run either the half/full in Detroit next Fall.  Just one out of town marathon a year is enough so Chicago will have to wait until 2014.  Not that Lansing is that far away but given we'd be running the full marathon will mean going the night before so we don't have to drive 1.5-2 hours to the race that morning.

If you decide to purchase the books, I hope you enjoy the books as well as I have.  There's lots of great programs out there.  Pick one and follow it.  It's really that simple.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

14 comments:

  1. I did speed workouts for the 1st time during my training for Detroit, and I found they are essential!! And I would recommend trying some on a track! I did quite a few on the track and actually kind of liked it! even the 8mile ones.

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  2. I've been eyeing the Lansing Marathon as well as a NYCM rebound run. (Really, I'm just a Detroit Runner groupie)

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    1. Haha. From what I remember, I watched you run your last marathon.

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  3. I'd love to try the Hanson's Method, but think it might be too technical for me.

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    1. The beginner plan is for beginners. Ha - makes sense huh. Actually I think their beginner plan is tough so I'm going to start with that given the higher miles.

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  4. I have both those books and think they are great. I don't use them much but refer to parts from time to time.

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  5. RE: Hansons. It's hard to fit in six runs a week in my schedule, and to recover fast enough to run there speed sessions. I love what they do for the community though, and I do their group long runs.

    Regarding Lansing> Just posted on my dilemma of running a 'rebound' marathon such as Lansing after New York was canceled. Yeah, it's a weird one as usual: http://markmatthewsauthor.blogspot.com/2012/11/never-mind-ill-find-someone-like-you.html

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    1. I believe that's the point. They don't want you to be fully recovered. Just enough to push the limits. I agree that six runs a week is tough though. I figure I can try it for 18 weeks.

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  6. what type of gps do you use? i have an older garmin that i've used for intervals for years. most of the time i go to a nearby track, but sometimes i just head to a bike path or somewhere else where i know i won't get stuck at an intersection. it can be time consuming to preset the intervals, but it's definitely worthwhile.

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    1. Garmin 310xt. It has interval function but just need to learn how to program it.

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  7. I don't need no book learning to run! LOL, Hanson's speedwork is seasonal, so get your butt up to the track!

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    1. One step in front of the other huh? No more to know? Can't do it Ken. Treadmill, track - I hate them both.

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  8. I've just writen a little blog on training for a marathon. But I do love reading, watch what other people are doing and seeing where I would tweek what they are doing. learning all the time.

    Just one thing, remember the extra mile helped, so keep the 'big' mile there as you move to the new program. (I think 16 miles is a little short for a longest run... but that is just me)

    Maybe what I've writen will be tomuch for you

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    1. Thanks Coach. I did read your post. Yes - WAY too much for me. Haha!. I understand your concern for the shorter 16 mile run. Pick up the book. If you look at the mileage, you will see it's more than I even did last marathon overall. Their theory is to be tired going into the 16 mile run. Also, specific speed, tempo runs. I'm going to trust it for this spring marathon and see how it works. Can always go back to something different next time around.

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