Boston Marathon Training: Hansons, Week 10

So last week’s milestone was that I made it to the halfway point. This week marks the end of my 10 week “speed” building segment of my training. The final eight weeks will use that speed, but the focus will shift to endurance. I’ll still have “Track Tuesdays”, but starting next week the goal of the workout will be strength. For the past 10 weeks, my goal pace for track workouts has been 5K pace. Starting next week, the focus is going to be workouts like 6×1, 4×1.5, 3×2, and 2×3 but the pace changes to marathon pace -10 seconds/mile. I’ll be gunning for a 6:50 pace for these workouts, rather than the 5K pace of 6:12. In theory, it sounds easier. It’s the volume that’s going to make these workouts challenging and effective.

Here’s the pace guide I’m using:

Marathon Goal –  3:05
Marathon Pace/Tempo Runs –  7:03/mile
Recovery Runs – 9:11/mile
Aerobic A/Easy – 8:36
Aerobic B/Easy – 8:01
Long Run: 7:42

Monday, 2/15: 10 Mile Easy Run+ Core/MYRTLs

We had off for President’s Day, so I met Emily for a hilly run around Saucon Valley. We did 10 miles, and kept the pace comfortable, 8:23. I went home and did some core and MYRTLs, and had intentions of going to pole class at night as usual. Mother Nature had other plans. By the time I had to leave for pole, it was snowing and the roads were a mess. It’s about a 20 mile drive for me to get to the studio, and the highways I normally take were completely jammed. I stayed home, and I heard I made the right decision. I was SO bummed to miss it.

Tuesday, 2/16: Track Workout: 3.25 mile warm up, 3×1600  w/400 meter recoveries, 3 mile cooldown (10 miles) + Pole Fitness + Strength/Core/MYRTLs

We had a super surprise snow day. I really didn’t even think we had a shot at a delay. It snowed, then it turned to sleet/freezing rain, and then turned to rain. Then, it warmed up to 50 degrees! But thanks to the arctic air over the previous weekend, the ground was so cold that most of the surfaces were like skating rinks. I wasted no time going to the gym for my track workout, and then headed right to pole class since I missed out on my Monday night class due to weather. It was ahhhhmahhhhhziiinnngggg! Best day ever.

So, the track workout. The repeats. I mentioned it before, I hate them. Mile repeats scare the eff out of me. Thanks to the ice, I was (once again) on the treadmill. My goal pace for these is 6:12, and I did them in 6:08, 6:10, 6:04!! I started with the treadmill set at 9.7, and then at the end of the first two repeats would crank it to 9.8. The last one, I started cranking the pace earlier and got it up to 10.1 mph! I felt really good, and I really enjoyed the run. After the workout, I did my Nike Training Club workout, Runner Strength and Balance. I mentioned it last week. It’s only 16 minutes and really targets your lower body.

I headed right to the pole studio and worked on a new combo that I plan to use in my competition piece. I really need to get my spin combo together, because everything else is pretty set. I have an idea as to where I want it all to go, but it’s still a huge work in progress.


I went home, did some MYRTLs/abs, and spent the rest of the day relaxing on the couch.

Wednesday, 2/17:  Elliptical, 25 min + Barre Strength + Skiing

“Rest” day (from running)! I had an hour before work so I used it on the elliptical and that Nike Training Club workout from last week, Barre Strength. It is so challenging and I really love it.

We skied for a few hours after work since it was a ski club night, but we had terrible conditions. We had the cold weather and the snow, but the ice turned to rain and 50 degrees made for a really interesting textured snow. We had fun anyway.

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Thursday, 2/18: 14 miles w/8 at Marathon Pace + Pole Fitness + Abs/MYRTLs

You guys…consistent tempo runs…it’s what my training was missing before. I know different training stimuli work differently for everyone, but seriously. Why was I not doing weekly tempos before? Oh, right – because they are scary and freaking hard. They still scare the shit out of me. They are still hard as shit. But I am beginning to develop a love/hate relationship with these runs. I don’t know how I trained for marathons before without them. Just the confidence booster alone is worth the anxiety of having them on the schedule.

I got to do my tempo run outside this week! That in itself is a huge win. I’m so glad that I didn’t attempt to do it outside last week, because the trails would have been covered for sure. There were still some sketchy, icy segments this week. Most were completely passable without having to slow my pace, but there was one patch that I hit in my warm up and cool down where I had to actually walk over it because it was like a skating rink. I almost went down both times – even just walking.

Back to the actual run. Just like last week, I made sure to get a great night’s sleep and to pack a few extra calories to eat throughout the day. I was also focused on hydration – drinking often, and making sure to add Nuun tablets to my water all day long. I ate a banana, drank a small coffee and some water on my way to the trail.

It was chilly and a bit breezy, but sunny. I started out on the trail with my warm up and I felt good. Really good. I was trying my best to stay within my easy range because I knew once I picked up the pace, I would wish for those relaxed miles back. When I hit mile three, it was time to take off and aim for my 7:03 goal marathon pace. The first mile felt uncomfortable as usual, but I settled into a rhythm and started ticking off the miles. I was trying to run off of effort rather than keeping an eye on my watch.

The trail I was on turns into a REAL trail run around mile 6.25, so I knew I had to turn around at that point (or slow down). If you run the whole trail, it’s a 15 mile run (7.5 out and back), but the terrain turns rough at the end. Not something that would bother me on any other run, but not ideal for a tempo run. As I turned around to head back at 6.25, I was just over 3 miles into my tempo and it felt decent, so I decided to take in my Salted Watermelon Gu. Last week, I waited to fuel until I was halfway into the run but really I just wanted to make sure I had enough gas in the tank to bust out my tempo miles (who cares about the cool down, I can struggle through that and eat after).

And that’s when I proceeded to crank it out:


Maybe it’s not a true negative split in the sense that each mile got faster, but I certainly laid down the second four miles of the tempo portion faster than the first four! I was smiling from ear to ear (I can’t imagine what I must have looked like to anyone I passed). When my watch beeped at that 6:39 mile, I was seriously shocked. I am still seriously shocked. Like what the actual eff even happened out there, I still don’t know. Is this real life?

The other awesome part of this run was my cool down. I decided to go for the full three miles, and so when I got back to my car I was only at 12.5 total miles. There’s a little extension on this trail that I’ve never checked out before, so I used the remainder of my cool down to go explore. It was perfect, because when I got to the .75 mile point I had to turn around because the trail became impassible with snow and ice. I literally could not go any further even if I wanted to. By the last mile, I was cold and starting to get tired so I just went with whatever pace I could comfortably manage.

I am sitting here writing this the day after the run, and I am still shocked at how this run went down. I’m so excited. I can only hope I can have a few more tempo runs that feel this way. I am so thankful for the tempo runs I’ve had in the past two weeks and I hope I can continue to see progress.

My new Garmin is still getting to know me, so every time I run I get new “PRs” that come up. It told me I ran my fastest half marathon during this run! My PR in the half is from this past September, and it’s 1:29. My watch doesn’t know about that race, but it alerted me on Thursday that I ran a 1:34 half marathon!

Regarding the cool down. So in the past, I’ve ALWAYS cut corners with my cool down. If I ever did tempo runs before, I’d do something like warm up for 2-3 miles, tempo, then cool down for one mile. It just never felt good during the cool down. I realized after the last 10K I ran where I did a cool down run of 3 miles that the cool down does, in fact, make a huge difference.

I believe a solid, honest (in pace) cool down helps your body wind down and reduces soreness, because while I definitely feel a bit creaky and stiff the day after a tempo run, I don’t feel horrendous. Same thing with these track workouts. I’ve been doing the full, three mile cool down and I really think it flushes the lactic acid out of your legs and speeds up recovery. I know how crazy that sounds – run more miles to recover better? But I’m telling you. I’m running 60+ miles per week now and it’s the one thing that I’ve really changed. I could barely walk in the fall when I was running this type of volume.

Post run, I did make it to pole class and worked on my routine. It wasn’t the most unproductive night, but I was certainly tired. I did some MYRTLs and core at home that night to stay true to our StrongBody Streak!

Friday, 2/19: 8 Mile Recovery Run + Core+ Pole Fitness


Well, I guess it’s not all. There were some really good things that happened. Besides the fact that my legs were all, “Hey you whore, remember that tempo run where we did what you wanted us to do less than 12 hours ago? What the HELL”, it was cold as shit (like 13 degrees) and dark and I am so whiny about this run ohmigosh. But I went, and I wore my new kicks (will be posting about those one of these days) and they were fabulous. But most fabulous of all was the fact that IT WAS GETTING LIGHT OUT AS I FINISHED MY RUN. You guys. Spring. It’s COMING!

After work, I headed to pole class to work on my competition piece. I’m working on a transition from an invert where I slowly lower down off the pole in a backbend. It’s really pretty. I also added a dragon tail, another favorite of mine.



At home, I did core, MYRTLs, and a Nike Training Club Workout called Core Control.

Saturday, 2/20: 10 Mile Run + Pole Fitness + Core/MYRTLs

Woke up early and met Mark and Kathy for 10 miles. They were doing 18 and we keep the pace comfortable, 7:53. That put me about 10 seconds faster than my easy range, but I felt good and really missed running with them. However, Hanson’s has me doing Sunday long runs and I want to try my best to follow the plan. It makes sense that they fall on Sundays, so as long as it fits in with my life, I’ll follow it as scheduled. I might have to run long next weekend on Saturday to accommodate life.

Followed it up with a long session at the pole studio to keep working on my competition piece. I got closer on that backbendy-thing I was working on the night before, so I posted a clip on Instagram – though it’s still a work in progress! At home, I stretched, foam rolled, and did my core/MYRTLs, and a NTC workout called Core Stability.

Sunday: 2/21: Long Run, 16 miles + Core/MYRTLs

With Hansons, they only have you running long every other weekend. However, it does state in the program modifications chapter that you can choose to do a long run on the “off” weekends if you are trying to add more miles in. I love how adaptable this training program is. While I feel like it is much more structured than anything I’m used to, I also feel like I am truly able to make this training plan work for me.

I figured that since Megan could run (my fun, fast friend!) this weekend and we already knew the next few weeks might be tough to get together, that I would do 16 miles again. I did that last weekend at a reasonable pace in the frigid weather by myself. The weather was so much nicer this weekend that I wanted to take advantage of it.

We decided to run the towpath, which I normally hate. But instead of starting in Bethlehem, we started in Easton and we ran south – I’ve only run to Easton before, never further. We were running towards Philly, and it was so gorgeous! We had a phenomenal run – such a nice day, and great company. I really enjoy running with her.

As for pace, it was too fast by Hansons standards, 7:16/mile. HOWEVER. I felt fine running, and we were talking the entire time. I wasn’t winded, and we could carry on a conversation. The only time I felt like it was tough was on the muddy sections where my footing felt weird. I felt a little tired by the last two miles, but it was the last two miles of the long run – I should feel tired. Since we were running flat and on a soft surface, I’m okay with it for this week. I have a long run planned for next weekend, and I am planning to keep the pace within my Hansons parameters for that one. There is no need to push the pace like that, and I don’t want my weeks to turn into a point where all of my paces seem to blend together and are the same. I’ve been doing a decent job of keeping each day within the suggested pace ranges, and week 10 isn’t where I want to go and start making things harder than they already are.

Post run, we did have enough energy for some pictures…the weather was awesome!

These shoes WERE new…

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I think this guy wanted to run with us:


16 badass miles, DONE!

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How was your week? How is your race training going?! I am still sucking at the blog life. This post took me all day to get out!

♥ Total ♥ 68 miles ♥


44 Replies to “Boston Marathon Training: Hansons, Week 10”

  1. Love that part of the towpath. When I go to my parents, I drive 611 and look longingly at the trail the whole time, haha. Can’t wait to hear more on the pure flows!!! I’m trying to run more with the stroller when it’s warmer out. Getting ready for the warm hearts 5k 🙂

  2. Sounds like a pretty great week!!!! I got some skiing in last week and we had similar weather/conditions. My running took the hit last week and my motivation is low. I’m sucking at the blog life too these days. However, I did hit up yoga today and feel amazing!

  3. Blog posts take MUCH longer to write than people give you credit for, especially when they include pictures. I was talking to a friend about blogging the other day (she asked) and told her that it’s sometimes crazy how long I spend writing a race recap. The training log posts I do aren’t too bad because I write them throughout the week as I do the workouts and have them in Windows Live Writer, so I just post it on Mondays. That’s one thing you could consider, I guess.

    Looks like you had a great week of training! I love that you got a new Garmin PR for a half, that’s a really good half time to be inside a training run, too.

    1. They take me forever to write! Lately, I have been spending a day getting some scheduled posts ready to go and then say I am going to spend the following day catching up on everyone else, but I haven’t been making it to day two. Today is the day. I know it! I do keep my training log as a draft and I update it all week long, but I always try to re read it and condense it but fail miserably. I know they are such long and drawn out posts. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!!!

  4. Tempo runs scare me too! I had one on Saturday, but it did go well. Your’s was awesome! The more we do them, the less scared we will be, right?? I think they are really important to a training plan. I mean, it makes sense to practice running race pace, right? I never understand people that have a certain race goal but rarely train at that pace. How do they know they can do it?

    We had a surprise snow day too! I had to run on the treadmill but I go ‘er done.

    My cool downs after tempos never feel good. 😦 Like I would rather tack on another tempo mile than do a cool down mile. Creaky is the right way to put it.

    1. Exactly my thinking! More tempos, less fear! I agree – super important to a training plan. I was reading your blog yesterday to try to catch up and I can’t remember if I commented on the post about your training plan (reading in between teaching lessons, LOL!), but I noticed your tempos in your 10 mile training. Those are going to help you so much. The consistency really makes them doable!

      1. Yup, I did tempos for my half marathon and even though race day sucked, they DID help me. I ended up PR’ing in a tempo run and then NOT PR’ing at the actual race. Hopefully that doesn’t happen with my 10 miler. 🙂

  5. Woo, I totally understand how that tempo run would be a major confidence boost!!! That is so awesome! I’m so excited to read about this next phase of training, it’s been super fascinating hearing about your experience with Hansons.
    Lol, your weekend run/photo shoot looks like it was a blast! haha and nice abs :))

    1. I know I ramble on and on about this training plan, but I love it so much and it has been so helpful for me – even just mentally. I hope that sharing my experience helps others the way Colby helped me by sharing hers!

  6. What a great week! And holy crap girl you are ripped! I always get a little (or a lot) nervous before a tempo run – which makes no sense I mean what’s the worst that can happen? You run slower than you want. Just try again next week!

    1. Awww thank you!!! And you are so right – worse that can happen is you slow down. My biggest fear isn’t the slowing down part, it’s the part where I burned myself out early in the run and now the rest of the run feels horrendous. I hate those days SO MUCH.

  7. Great week!! Your mileage last week is more than I have hit for this month yet- awesome! Are those the Pure Flow 5’s? How do you like them? I tried them at the store a few weeks ago but didn’t like the tongue. It felt abnormally hard.

    1. Yes! Pure Flow 5. I LOVE them, but I see what you mean about the tongue. It didn’t bother me but ugh, they are giving me blisters which is really kind of upsetting because I honestly love everything else about the shoe so much. Hoping my feet harden the eff up and get calloused already so I can keep wearing them. I am refusing to give up because they feel GREAT when I run. If that makes sense. Because I know blisters don’t feel great. Haha.

  8. Girl, your training is intense! How do you manage to get in all those killer runs AND pole fitness and all the other core stuff?! You’re a champion! Tempos are tough but, when executed properly they have a way of making you feel like a total rockstar. I’m so ready for spring… Uhh. I’m a whiny baby about the cold/dark too!!! Any day I get to run outside is a good day. Which isn’t often lately with my work schedule. Boo! I absolutely can not wait to see you crush Boston!!

    1. Thank you!!! It really helps that we’ve had some snow days lately, so that’s time off of work that I can devote to training. But honestly, I would go to the pole studio every single day if I could. I don’t go Tuesday when I have to work because there are no classes at night, and she is closed Sunday. Otherwise, I would totally go. I really think it is so much fun!!!! It doesn’t feel like I’m doing a workout. It’s so hard, but it’s also just REALLY fun!

  9. Tempo runs scare me but I feel so good afterwords. That being said, I’m not doing tempo runs nearly as long as you are either. It’s hard to believe Boston is approaching so quickly!

    I’ve gotten to the point that I type about 500 words for blogging and call it a day. I think anymore for me would get tiresome.

  10. i used to ALWAYS cut corners with warm ups and cool downs, but i saw the benefit last fall and actually enjoy those easy miles! They are motivation during the hard parts of the workouts. Also– YOUR ABS!!!!!!! WOO!! i’m jealous. Mine are still hibernating for the winter lol

    1. Thank you!!!! I think if Boston wasn’t in April, my abs would still be hibernating too. They go away in the winter, hahaha! I am so loving the cool down miles. I did hate them so much before but I really am seeing a benefit to them!

  11. Nice work! It’s kind crazy how tempo runs are SO SCARY, but they’re run at a pace you want to run for 26.2…which should be even more scary, but somehow it all seems to make sense. And you rocked it!

    1. OMG right? I think the biggest benefit so far might not even be doing the actual run, it’s the mental booster. I think I am capable of a 7 min pace for a marathon, but I get in my own head. Now that I have to do it every week, I am more familiar with the effort and it helps prepare me mentally. If that makes any sense.

    1. Awww thanks Suzy ❤ I don't know, I feel like with the shorter distances on the treadmill I can hang in there until it's over, it's the stringing it all together that usually scares the shit out of me. Tempo runs have always been so scary to me…probably meant I needed to do more of them!

  12. I’m completely exhausted just reading this, lol!! I’ve been doing baby mini tempo runs at my “goal” pace and I think it’s helped me mentally knowing I can actually do that pace rather than trying to wing it without practicing. Too often I think runners have pace in their heads they’d like to run but never practice doing it. I’m guilty of that too. But as I’m building back up, I’m trying to be smarter about it (and a lot of other things).

    Also, now that I don’t work, I tell my kids I’m “working” when I’m blogging, LOL. I can get a good hour in either writing or reading blogs, jajaja!!!!

    1. You freakin’ nailed those runs last week! You must be psyched for Boston – you are really trained up and ready to let loose. The next ten weeks are gonna fly by! And yes, I’m jealous of those abs too. Wow.

    2. I am so happy to hear you are doing tempo runs, too!! I really agree with you – like here I am with this goal, but I don’t practice it. Why would I think I could do something without practicing? It’s like my grandma always said – “Nothing is hard when you know how to do it.” Well, marathon pace might always seem hard, but you know what? If I know what it feels like ahead of time, I can better prepare myself for the race!!!

  13. Great job on your runs this week!! I’m also enjoying seeing how your competition piece is coming together. Very exciting stuff!! I’ve gotta say, my training runs have all been challenging (sucky) this cycle. Each long run I go on I say “wish I was training for a half!”. Hopefully it’s just a phase. I am looking forward to the excitement of my Boston trip though, even if I’m not running. Good times ahead!!

  14. Oh god I hear you on tempo runs! Mine are much slower than yours, but they still scare the crap out of me! I have to really force myself to do them, but there’s nothing like the feeling you get when you finished and hit the right pace 😀

    1. Pace is all relative on these runs – it doesn’t matter if your goal is to run your tempos at a 5 min pace or a 15 minute pace – they are hard for everyone! I am so with you, it takes me forever to get started but once I finish…it’s like magic 🙂

  15. Tempos seriously intimidate me! You KILLED it, though! Looks like you’re doing awesome with your training. I have nothing to report on the training front, as the only thing I’m training for right now is labor 😉 When I get my butt back in shape this fall though, tempos will definitely be a part of my plan!

  16. Tempo runs scare the shit out of me too!! Every time I’ve done one I end up feeling like I want to die, which maybe suggests I’m holding too hard of a pace. Great job on this week! You kicked ass.

    The signs on the ski routes cracked me up. Which to choose?! They both seem scary!

    1. Haha! They look scarier than they are! My favorite is the one that they had fenced off – they always close that one for the race team though, so I never get to go on it! You know, I don’t think you are doing too hard of a pace. That’s how I always felt about tempo runs. I think doing them each week really helps, because they really have gone from scary to fun. I did one yesterday again. It wasn’t quite as effortless as last week but you know what? I could do it. I wasn’t feeling 100% and I was tired. Normally, I wouldn’t have been able to hang in there. But the consistency thing makes a huge difference!

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