This coming Monday starts my 18-week training for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.



I am excited to be running in my first marathon in over a year (not to mention excited to be running in my favorite city and blogging about my training/race experience!) but at the same time, I am a bit hesitant. Keeping my back healthy is always on my mind so it will be interesting to see how the additional miles will affect it. Training for the half marathons in 2013 seemed to be fine but to be honest, I wasn’t as regimented with my training as what I usually am with full marathon training.

The Hanson Method

I have read a lot about “Hansons Marathon Method: A Renegade Path to Your Fastest Marathon” and am going to try it out. The longest, long run they have you do is 16 miles. Most marathon training plans have runners complete a 20-mile run about two to three weeks out from marathon day.

Granted, The Hanson Method has you do three 16-mile runs but that four mile difference is music to my ears! During the week though, the training is more involved: run six days a week (strength, easy and tempo) with midweek runs going up to 12 miles. The program trains you to run on tired legs, getting them ready for the marathon by building cumulative fatigue. The beginner program that I will follow, maxes out at 57 miles a week and includes three 16-mile runs. A typical week looks like this:

Monday: Easy 4 miles

Tuesday: Speed: warm up 1.5 miles. 12×400 @ 5k-10k pace with 400 jog recovery. Cool down 1.5 miles.Total: 9 miles

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Tempo: Warm up 1 mile, 5 miles @ goal marathon pace, cool down 1 mile.Total: 7 miles

Friday: Easy 4 miles

Saturday: Easy 8 miles

Sunday: Easy 8 miles

Am I crazy? You bet! But I like crazy and I also like trying new things and am excited to try this new method. Plus, I like trying new programs and if it works, I can let my clients know.

To save stress on my back and to train smart, I will change-up the above routine a bit to go along with my teaching schedule. Thursday will be the toughest day for me since I teach Spinning and Piloxing. So taking what is up above and adding in my work schedule, a typical week will look like this for me:

Monday: Easy 4 miles, light leg and shoulder day

Tuesday: Speed: warm up 1.5 miles. 12×400 @ 5k-10k pace with 400 jog recovery. Cool down 1.5 miles.Total: 9 miles. Teach Power Pump and work my back

Wednesday: No running. Teach Pilates and work Chest.

Thursday: NO RUNNING (teaching Spinning and Piloxing). Work Arms.

Friday: Tempo: Warm up 1 mile, 5 miles @ goal marathon pace, cool down 1 mile.Total: 7 miles. Teach 1-hour Spinning and light shoulder and leg day.

Saturday: Easy 4 miles

Sunday: Easy 8 miles

I will be shortening my Saturday by doing the Friday run on Saturday and doing Thursdays Temp Run on Friday. I figure the 1-hour Spin class on Friday will be a happy/medium for shortening my Saturday run. Spinning is a great cross training for running and it will help lessen some impact on my back as well.

I will continue my strength training 5-days a week but will lift light weights for my legs instead of going heavy. I want to continue adding muscle mass like I have been doing since October but will go easy on the legs for the next 18-weeks.

Foam rolling will be done every day and I will continue my physical therapy exercises for my back.

The next 18-weeks will be fun! I will be sharing my training ups and downs with you and everything that happens in between!

I hope I am as happy finishing the 2014 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon as I was in 2010:

Cleveland Race

In the past, I have always followed Hal Higdon training plans (3 runs during the week and a long run on the weekend). I love his plans and they are easy to do with a complicated life! However, I always did the basic/novice plans and never worried about tempo runs. I never had the desire to really do a tempo run or I guess I never wanted to put any thought/effort into a tempo run.

This time, I want to challenge myself and spice up my training routine so I am looking forward to the tempo runs.

As far as time goes, in 2011 the last time I ran the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, I finished in 4:14:53. I would like to finish this year in 4:00. Of course, a runner always has a second goal in mind that they keep to themselves: if I achieve that one, you’ll find out May 18th!

With all that being said, it is now time to give one of you a chance to join me in Cleveland May 18th! I have a FREE entry to the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon (or Half Marathon if you prefer)! To enter, just comment below telling me you want to be entered in the contest. You will earn more entires if you also follow me on Instagram or Twitter!

 Are you training for a race? What training methods have you tried that you like/don’t like? Any advice for me if you have tried the Hanson Method?

16 Responses so far.

  1. caroline says:

    I will be near Cleveland around the time of the marathon. I will cheer you on as well as the other runners. Good luck Christine. !

  2. Jessica says:

    Thanks for sharing! I look forward to following your success with the Hanson Method and I’d like to be entered into the contest!

  3. Jen says:

    I’m thinking about tackling the Rite-Aid half this year (would be my second half and a jump from the 10k for Rite-Aid the last two years). Winning just might be the push I need! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks, and best of luck to you!

  4. Tim hartman says:

    Winning a free entry would mean a lot to me considering it would be my first ever marathon!

  5. Jeffrey says:

    I’d love to win entry into the Cleveland Marathon. We live on the West side of Ohio so it wouldn’t be that far of a hike. Since its so close to home it would also great having family there to cheer me on! I’ve used many of Hal’s programs in the past with some great results and very few minor injuries. I have yet to use anything from the Hanson Project but hey, they trained Desiree Davila!

  6. Jeffrey says:

    I follow you on Twitter with the handle @FireRunner2379.

  7. Melissa says:

    Ooh pick me! I would LOVE to win a free entry – I was due to run the full marathon two years ago but had to back out due to injuries 2 days before the race. I’m thinking about signing up for the half this year and would LOVE a free entry!

  8. Jim says:

    Love to have a free entry!

  9. Andrea says:

    I’d love to be entered! I actually found this post by complete accident (love your blog by the way!). I just started reading the Hansons method and while googling questions I had, I found your site! My first marathon was the Cleveland and it was a horrible experience. I ran it (in 2012) with an un diagnosed tibial stress fracture. I swore off marathons after that! Of course that didn’t last, I just ran the Columbus in Oct and it was great! I’d love a do over in Cleveland!! It’s nice to see that you are doing things other than just the program. I lift 3-4 days a week and don’t want to give that up!

    • Christine says:

      Thanks so much Andrea and I am glad you like the blog! I will announce a winner on Friday. But stay tuned…I will have other running/fitness giveaways as well! Glad you are injury free now! If you have any Hanson Method questions feel free to throw them my way!

  10. Tami says:

    I would like to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks!

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