The irony is beyond me that my post about *balance* didn’t happen for an extra week. But I guess that’s the whole point.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Marathon training is hard. It’s getting tougher and tougher each week to figure out the hours to run, or the mental energy to accept the runs. And like most runners, we’re not just runners. We’re workers, friends, daughters, sons, girlfriends, boyfriends — some of us are even mothers and fathers.

Identifying priority of running, training and the mental capacity to push your inner-athlete can’t become your full time persona, which leads me to my next point: kindness.

You know the meme, “I’m sorry for what I said during my bad run”?– well how about just changing it to “I’m sorry for what I said during training” — and not just to other people, I’m sorry for what I said to me too. Being able to accept that good runs are blessings, not just because. Strong paces won’t come after every run, and summer heat will beat those splits down till they break me down. And getting that inner voice that tells me I should be running faster, or “I’m not getting any better,” is the one that needs some serious talking to.

Five and a half weeks into training, my legs are pushing longer miles and repeats than they did during my first training cycle. To put in perspective, at the end of this week I will hit about 40 miles (!!!) which was the PEAK mileage during my training for New Jersey Marathon. How insane is that? So time to be kind. Time to tell myself that I’m crushing it, and the pace will come and the right time and place.

But back to balance.

Balancing workouts and mileage with Hansons Marathon Method is tough. The workouts are so thoroughly planned out — it can be daunting. Over the last two weeks I’ve been going through changes at work, I’ve been moody and honestly kind of fed up with being told what to do by a spreadsheet (WHO FEELS ME?) . Through this temper tantrum I’m ready to accept Hansons as a framework, not a religion. My rules of thumb are:

  • Do everything to keep the weekly mileage within 1.5 miles of the Hansons goal
  • If you  need to bump over miles from day to day, do it. (If I needed to run 5 miles on Wednesday, but only got 3, +2 on the next easy day)
  • Don’t do two hard workouts 2 days in a row. This is actually a real Hansons rule, but I really dig it.
  • Allow one “easy run” day a week to be what you want it to be, just don’t take it off. Run the whole mileage, half the mileage and add some cross training. This isn’t part of Hansons, but it’s part of me, and part of my way to balance.

Hansons is one of the strictest, most labor-intensive training plans that boasts a lot of results and success stories. That being said, feeling balanced, strong and kind may be a little more important than a -25 minute PR.

Who out there has modified Hansons, and how? Asking for a friend.



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