Marathon Training – Week 11

Week 11 has come and gone.  I ran just over 53 miles (which is a new high for me) and I can definitely feel it in my legs.  I learned a few things this week:

  1.  Switching training days is not a good idea when following the Hansons Marathon Method.
  2. I have thoroughly psyched myself out when it comes to tempo runs and it’s potentially a problem.
  3. I shouldn’t eat anything with curry powder the night before a long run.

I’ll discuss more as I go through the recap.


  • Planned – 5 miles easy
  • Actual – 5 miles easy @ 10:55 pace

Normally this would have been my first strength workout, but I’d decided last week that since I did my long run on Sunday, I was going to do Tuesday/Thursday for strength and tempo.


  • Planned – Strength workout (6 x 1 mile w/ 400 recovery) @ 9:40 pace
  • Actual – Rest

I woke up on Tuesday and was TIRED.  Tuesday has been my rest day for the last 10 weeks and my mind was set on that being a rest day.  So, I rationalized a schedule change.  My thinking was basically that, no matter what, my legs are going to be tired so what does it matter if  and decided to take the day off today and switch things up the rest of the week?

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.  The Hansons training includes three “something of substance” (SOS runs) – strength, tempo and long runs a week and three “easy” runs.  At this point, with running 50+ miles a week, the SOS runs really need to have either a rest day or easy day in between them.  By taking Tuesday off, I now had to do two SOS runs back to back.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if this had been a 10 mile long run week, but I had a 16 miler on deck.

So, I’d shot myself in the foot by succumbing to the urge to rest.  The biggest favor I did to myself is not get angry and beat myself up.  It was done.  I just had to figure out what the best course of action was for the rest of the week.


I considered my options, solicited advice from a friend who’s also doing the Hanson Method and set up a new plan for the week. It wasn’t ideal but I figured I’d just go ahead and do my best to get in all my planned runs.

  • Planned (new) -Strength workout (6 x 1 mile w/ 400 recovery) @ 9:40 pace
  • Actual -Strength workout (6 x 1 mile w/ 400 recovery) @ 9:40 pace w 1 mile wu/cd

I did the strength workout on the treadmill.  It was pretty damn hard – much harder than I expected.  For some reason, I thought that the strength workout would be easier than the speed workout, but it wasn’t.  It is longer (about 3 miles) but a significantly slower pace, which is why I thought it wouldn’t be that bad (and I was coming off a rest day.)  We’ll see how it feels next week.  I also followed the strength workout with an hour long workout with my trainer (solo.)  That was pretty damn intense.  While I was able to follow speed work with gym workouts, I don’t think I’ll be able to do the same with the strength workouts.  I was completely spent.


  • Planned – 8 miles easy
  • Actual – 7.7 miles @ 11:15 pace

I typically try to leave at least 12 hours between runs.  This was a morning run and it was just shy of my 12 hour gap.  However, it actually felt pretty good.  For the first time in awhile, the weather was actually quite nice.  This summer has really been a beast in terms of heat and humidity and I was happy to be outside.


  • Planned – 8 mile tempo @ 9:50 (1 mile wu/1 mile cd)
  • Actual- 8 mile tempo @ 9:50 (1 mile wu/1 mile cd)

I’ve had lots of “reasons” that I chose to run my tempo runs on the treadmill.  Some have been legitimate (humidity) but some have been more about the fact that I’m more comfortable letting the treadmill set the pace.  It’s actually gone beyond that – I’m actually worried that I won’t be able to maintain the tempo pace on my own.  This is a little ridiculous on a few fronts.  First, running a 9:50 pace for 8 miles is something I’ve done many times.  I was able to do a 10K at a faster pace back in May, there isn’t any reason why I shouldn’t be able to do it now.  Second, even if for some reason I couldn’t do it, I need to know that so I can either adjust my training or re-evaluate my goals.  Keeping this as an unknown concern isn’t doing me any favors.

So, I’m committing to running the remaining tempo runs outside.  Torrential downpours being the only valid reason not to.  I’ve got to prove this to myself to get out of my head and I also need to be able to get used to staying at my tempo pace without the treadmill.

Incidentally, the treadmill tempo run was fine.


  • Planned:  16 mile long run @ 10:29 – 10:36 pace
  • Actual:  16 miles @ 10:50 pace

We ran through three states for this run.  Started in Virginia, went into DC and then up into Maryland.  This run was much better than the 15.6 miler two weeks ago.  Aside from my overall pace being better, I didn’t do any walking and I felt generally just stronger.  Unfortunately, I’d tried a new recipe the night before.  Turkey-curry bites (basically it was mini burgers made with ground turkey, sweet potato, swiss chard and curry powder) with an apricot dipping sauce.  In theory, it seemed like it would be a pretty good pre-long run meal.  Low fat protein, fruit and complex carbs and fairly light.  However, SOMETHING didn’t go right with my stomach that morning and I had some “issues” both before and during the run.  Had it not been for that, I think I might have had a better chance of coming in closer to my target pace range.

So, we won’t be making that recipe again before a long run.  Or anything with curry for that matter.


  • Planned – 5 easy miles
  • Actual – 5 easy miles @ 11:09

I ran on the treadmill deliberately this morning, because I wanted to watch the men’s marathon while I ran.  That was actually pretty fun to do.  I was pretending that I was running along with them (despite the fact these guys were running at least two miles to my one.)  As I was watching, I saw the beginning of when Meb started to struggle (his first stop) and while I certainly was sad to see that happen to him at the Olympics, it was just another reminder that even great, elite runners have “those days.”  No one is immune.  But even though he knew he wasn’t going to win a medal, and that it wasn’t his day, and despite what I imagine was a lot of pain and discomfort, he did keep going and finished the race.  Seeing the winners is inspiring, but watching Meb finish was just as inspiring, too.

On to week 12!



Running for Medals. And Bacon.

4 thoughts on “Marathon Training – Week 11

  1. I’m about to head downstairs and put on the men’s marathon. I know the results but missed it this morning and I NEED to see it. Great job – this plan is so hard and you are getting much stronger – physically but also, almost more important in my opinion, mentally!! 🙂 Proud of you, friend!

  2. Looks like you had a strong week! Moving rest days is mentally challenging, but you still had a great week 🙂

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