A Step Back and Being Realistic for a Change

This week has been an eye opener.

I have been using the Hansons Marathon Method to train for a Spring Half Marathon or more, if I did really great and surprised myself. I picked the 3:40:00 pace to use as a basis, which I figured would help me finish between 1:40 and 1:45 for a half, but not completely beat the snot out of the old body.

Yeah, it is also the goal time that I have set for myself for the marathon if I run one.

At least that was my plan, until this week when I finally realized most of my training this winter will be done on the treadmill, due to the cold, my fragility and/or crappy footing outside. When you add in: attempting to be a good neighbor, when it storms snow blowing 2-3 households, roof raking multiple buildings, trying to keep Bennie sane (lots of walks – at least 20-30 miles extra per week), sanding ice covered driveways, maintaining a life and attempting to keep up with a tough training plan.

Something had to give.

I know many other people are facing the same conditions or worse and yes, I knew going in that the Hansons Marathon Training method is tough. While the paces don’t really change, the mileage and planned accumulated fatigue only becomes more daunting the further into the program that I would go.

Struggling

The first two weeks were at just below 40 mpw and this week is trending towards a bit over that. Unfortunately, I am also starting to pick-up not so subtle clues that the body is not completely happy. A least I am hearing what the body is telling me and attempting to be proactive for a change.

Let’s be real Harold, you are starting to struggle to keep up with the mileage, workload in the Hanson’s Marathon plan now and getting a bad case of training foreknowledge intimidation, especially since I know that I will be having to run most of those miles on the treadmill is not helping.

Not quite what I expected when I came up with this grand idea.

Questions

My big questions are:

1. Is eventually running a BQ marathon and/or having to put up big mileage numbers that have to be run in order to do it, worth all the time on the treadmill the rest of January, February and March?

Honestly, no.

2. Could I be happy with just finishing a marathon and not worry so much about the time?

No.

3. Do I even need or really want to run another marathon?

This is the actual question that I need to answer more than any other one and I really do not know the answer to it.

4. Finally, is the Hansons Marathon training method something that I want to continue to use?

I like the Hansons Training Method a LOT.

It fits my personality and how I prefer to train. I have a pretty good idea of what is coming next, and provides me with solid guidelines on the paces that I should be doing versus the stoopid stuff that I tend to think I still can do.

The biggest thing that I need to change in order to cut down on the total fatigue (physical and mental) is lower the mileage on the active recovery days and keep the long runs in the 8-12 mile range.

In other words pretty much what the Hansons Half Marathon Method calls for.

Using their half marathon plan sounds pretty good right now and with that 20/20 hindsight that we all have, probably where I should have stayed when I decided that I was going to use the Hansons Method.

I think that a good goal to base my training on for the half will be 1:41:00 and be happy with running one somewhere between 1:40:00 and 1:45:00. Which is something that I believe is doable in a few months, I think that if I were to run one today that I would struggle to break 1:45:00.

The reality is that

I will finish up this week and then start back at week 6 of the Hansons Half Marathon Method program and see how I do with the lower mileage, but slightly faster paces.

This is probably what I should have done in the first place, but as usual in my hubris as a runner and believing that I am more and better than I am, I have to set my goals a bit out of reach. Now that I have failed again, it is time to pick myself up off the ground, look to see what smacked the hell out of me, figure out where I really am and what I comes next.

Would I do it again – yep and I have a feeling that I will continue to keep making the mistake of starting out too high and having to back off…because sometimes it isn’t too high. Take a look at my tag line, don’t limit yourself or anyone else.

Unfortunately, my goals was a little too high this time, but not by that much. I think I am physically closer to being able to handle the marathon training plan than I might give myself credit for, but mentally I am not there yet. Just the way it is.

I tend believe that going through a complete Hansons training cycle will give me a better base and understanding of the program’s demands – something that I do need and prepare me for whatever I decide to do next.

The biggest thing right now is to DO what works versus what sounds good or that I “wish” would work – for me.

Confusing Myself Needlessly

Sometimes I am an complete and utter…idiot, putz, or whatever word you use to describe someone who cannot make up his mind or at the very least is easily confused. After a lot of researching, trying, experimenting and eventually attempting more than a few running philosophies over the last year or so, I finally settled on the Hansons Method as fitting closest to how I tend to perceive training.

So I got the Hansons Marathon Method book and started following the plan at week 5, because it seemed to be about where I was at the time, even though I have no plans to run a marathon this spring, I used the 3:40 marathon pace training plan to start my half marathon training, because that is the 60 year old Boston Qualifying standard at this point.

The great news is that I finished week 5 no problem and have started week 6. Although most of the training has been on the treadmill, but it has been my experience that my treadmill running transfers decently to running outside with a little bit of transition.

However, since I am focused on running a spring Half Marathon, I thought it probably would be a great idea to get the Hansons Half Marathon Training book. So I ordered the Half Marathon plan book. However, my goal time for the half is a sub 1:40:00 which is a much faster pace than my 3:40:00 marathon pace goal. Continue reading