5 Weeks Into Hansons Marathon Method

When something is working, I usually don't change it. Shoes, daily routines, parenting tactics, meal planning, what have you. But this year I caught the bug to try something new in the marathon.

Back in January, I posted a question about training approaches on IG as I was contemplating a change. Training for the past 10 marathons has been a mix of Hal Higdon, Marathon Training Academy and Greg McMillan plans but this Hansons Marathon Method had peaked my interest.

The past plans helped me to cover the 26.2 mile distance and BQ a few times, but could a change help me to break through the 3:22 wall?

For Grandma's Marathon back in June, I decided to stick to the familiar rather than jumping into Hansons at 7 months post our third baby. In hindsight, that was a great decision. There is no way I could have handled the volume so soon after having our littlest and while learning the new groove of balancing three kids!

Enter Marathon #11...

The Grand Forks Marathon in September. This has been my chance to give Hansons Marathon Method a shot! I could always switch back to my comfort zone if it wasn't working for me.

There were a few factors that intimidated me with Hansons:

  • Running 6 days a week - I hadn't done that since my pre-marriage, pre-kids days!
  • 16 miles for the longest long run - What? No 20 milers?!
  • Increased Mileage - How could I fit higher mileage while juggling young family life?

Five weeks into Hansons (technically week 11 of the beginner plan) and I'm enjoying this new challenge. The variety of SOS (something of substance), easy and long runs keep training fresh and my body seems to be responding well to the varying training load.

The goal paces serve as a motivator and accountability partner for me as a solo runner. They have pushed me to run faster than I realized I could! The biggest difference I notice so far is that the training volume is spread out throughout the week rather than putting all of the weight in the weekly long run. That is something I really like about Hansons — these set up makes me feel like a more "well rounded" runner.

On the homefront, our boys are a busy 5, 3, and 9 months and so full of fun! E will be starting Kindergarten at the beginning of September so I'm trying to get my ducks in a row this month — to teach E, to keep W busy with pre-preschool things, to keep C from self-destruction (my baby vacuum cleaner).

Fitting in an increased training volume with three young kids is making me get creative. Most mornings I'm up at 5:00 am to sneak (literally) outside. Once a week (or sometimes more, depending on baby's wakeup) I run on the treadmill, usually for an easy-paced 5 miler.

Long runs are hopefully done outside but I have split them into half outdoor, half indoor runs depending on my husband's schedule. If he's home over the weekend, I will take a kid or two with in the stroller occasionally as I don't run with the stroller much anymore! E is a strong biker but not quite ready to keep up for a long distance bike/run.

Basically I fit in a run at whatever time it works best for my family — serving God and my family always come before running. 

There is so much freedom in that!

Having my identity wrapped up in Jesus makes pushing my limits exciting and frees me from the fear of failure. Whether it's "officially" homeschooling for our first year, starting up a conversation with a new mom at the pool or pushing for a marathon PR, I can jump out of my comfort zone and not worry about being a personal failure if all doesn't go as planned. Give God the glory and do my best. That's all I have to do.

As for fitting in the training around my family's schedule, preparation and flexibility in my schedule is key. Setting out my clothes before a morning run. Pumping a bottle for the baby if I'm running long. Spending time reading my Bible the night before an early morning run. Having supper ready to go if I'm running in the evening. Once school starts, having our lessons and resources ready to go as soon as we finish breakfast. Getting my tail out the door early on days with appointments or other commitments.

Those are all little preparations that help me adapt to this ever-changing life schedule.

Five weeks down, eight to go until race day. I'm seeing big improvements with the Hansons Marathon Method and I'm going to keep running along one week at a time!

Which training method do you use? Do you like to switch things up occasionally?

GF Marathon Training W5

Follow my journey as a I train for the Grand Forks Marathon coming up at the end of September. This is my 11th marathon but first time using Hansons Marathon Method for training!

To briefly catch me up for the past couple weeks:
Week 3 Mileage - 37.26 (baby's first ear infection)
Week 4 Mileage - 44.25 miles


W5D1 Easy Run 5.12 mi 00:45 08:50 pace after church on the gravel. A little toasty this afternoon!


W5D2 Strength 8.1 mi 01:01, 6 x 1 Mile intervals (7:10-7:20 goal pace). Getting out of bed stunk big time, especially to do intervals, but I’m glad I drug myself out.

Intervals were 7:15, 7:17, 7:06, 7:14, 7:06, 7:08. This workout was a confidence booster and I really enjoyed it. I struggled to hit the mark in some of the past shorter distance speed intervals but this 1-Mile distance went MUCH better! Hopefully that means I’m still on track for a realistic 3:15 goal.


W5D3 Off


W5D4 Tempo Run (7:26 goal) 8.01 mi, 00:59 @ 07:24 pace. Ended up running 7:25 average but my watch was all over the place! I’m trying to dial in running by effort but I can’t always trust myself — especially when it’s humid. Certainly wasn’t too hot this morning but I was sweating buckets!

Miles were all over the place too,  8:19, 7:30, 7:13, 7:08, 7:17, 7:14, 7:19, 7:21. (First mile includes warm up because I was short on time.)


W5D5 (Treadmill) Easy Run 5 mi, 00:45 @ 09:05 pace trying out new Scott shoes to rotate with my UA ones.


W5D6 Easy Run 8.03 mi, 01:09 @ 08:38 pace early this morning. Feeling pretty good. Hansons is forcing me to stay more accountable with my paces. This run could have been a bit “easier” paced but I was running out of time and felt like I needed to rush. Hope I still have gas in the tank tomorrow.


W5D7 Long Run (8:05 goal pace) 16.08 mi, 02:08 @ 07:56 pace. The littles and I headed to my parents' farm for the weekend since my husband is busy with work and helping with harvest. Mom kicked me out the of house early this morning (Thanks, Mom!!!) and watched the boys while I ran. I'm glad I did get out early - forecast says 93 degrees this afternoon. Uffda!

Miles were as follows - 8:17, 8:08, 7:44, 8:01, 8:09, 8:11, 8:11, 8:07, 8:04, 7:50, 7:52, 7:53, 7:44, 7:40, 7:45, 7:36. Slightly faster than goal but I was fine with it because of negative splits. I have been needing more practice with those!

TOTAL MILEAGE: 50.34 miles

Let's Connect!

Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.


  1. I'm so glad to hear that Hansons is working for you. I see a lot of people trying it, but I really think Hansons is for the runner who is accustomed to high mileage. I know I couldn't do it. I understand the philosophy behind it. But it's definitely not for everyone.

    1. Exactly, each runner has to find out what works best for them!

  2. Wow! You are amazing - putting all those miles in with 3 little boys at home! I didn't start running marathons until my 3 boys graduated from HS, and even then, it was challenging. I can't even imagine doing the Hanson method when they were as young as your guys are. Kudos to you!

    1. Thank you!!! It’s a juggling act and each season has its challenges, right? We’re just starting Kindergarten now. I can’t imagine the highschool years with three boys!

  3. You had a pretty solid week! Looks like your new plan is working well for you always great to mix it up

  4. Great job with your workouts! Glad to hear Hanson's is a good fit for, especially considering how busy you must be with those 3 adorable boys! That makes sense that you'd feel more well-rounded on Hanson's...sounds intriguing but 6 days/week is more than my body could handle!

    1. The 6 run days have been a change for me! I like it, but just adding one day does make such a difference!

  5. I'm happy to hear Hansons is working for you. Your dedication to training as a busy Mom of three littles (as well as your faith and commitment to family) always impresses me. I know you must be super organized but understand you must have a wonderful knack for being flexible too. Thanks for linking!

  6. Throwing down some serious speed with those mile repeats! Nice work!

  7. Kudos to you for giving Hansons a try. Like you said, its not for everyone, and given my physical abilities as well as my family's schedule I'm not sure that its the best plan for me. I really like the Galloway plan and method, and since its worked well for me since I started running I'm going to stick to it for now.

    1. I haven’t tried Galloway before but I’m so glad it’s a great fit for you!

  8. Kudos to you for trying something new, and I’m so glad it’s working for you! Looking forward to seeing how the rest of training and your race goes!


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