Boston Marathon Training: Hansons, Week 14

It’s spring. I’m wearing shorts and a tank top to run most days. We’ve had a really mild winter (other than that one record breaking blizzard and all), unlike the past two years.

Next week is my peak week. And look, oh just look, at what I saw on my weather app during the week:


Go home, weather people. You’re drunk.

I’m certainly not opposed to snow – I love it. In the WINTER. When I can go SKIING. NOT on the eve before my peak week. If my trails are covered and the roads are slippery, where the EFF will I do my speed and tempo work? And I had a 5K on the plan for Sunday, which they informed us would be canceled if the parade that it precedes was canceled. Luckily, the weather people really were drunk because we saw some flurries on Sunday but that was the extent of it.

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, 3/14:  10 Mile Easy Run + Pole Fitness + Core/MYRTLs

I really couldn’t Monday. I even wrote a whole post about it. I had great intentions of doing abs before work so I didn’t have to get home and do them at 9 pm that night. But daylight savings jacked that all up, so I sat on my couch with coffee until I absolutely had to leave.

After work, it was an easy 10 miler. It was drizzling and low 40s, which just felt damp and cold to me. I wasn’t feeling it. It took me 10 miles to feel like I was  a runner, and then it was over. I think it was something like an 8:27 pace, and I didn’t feel badly considering the 18 the day before, I just didn’t feel like doing it. Until mile 10, but I stopped because I was saving my legs for Track Tuesday.

I went to pole class and learned a few new moves. We don’t do competition prep on Mondays, we learn new things. For the past few weeks, all I wanted to do was practice my piece. Now that I have it all worked out, it’s nice to have one day where it has nothing to do with the competition. I learned a cool drop that I have on video and I’ve added to my competition piece, but also two new static ones that I really liked:


This one gave me a really hard time:


I can tell by the picture that I’m too crunched up. The grip is in your armpit, and trying to crunch up distributes the weight differently and messes that up.

I got home and had dinner, and then…abs/MYRTLs. I’m starting to lose steam with these but I’ve kept my strength streak up since 2/1 and don’t want to stop now! I did my usual planks, bridges, leg raises, hip drops and MYRTLs, followed by NTC’s Alpha Abs. I can usually convince myself to do that workout when I don’t feel like doing anything.

Tuesday, 3/15: Track Workout: 3 mile warm up, 2×3 miles (@ MP -10 seconds/mile) w/1 mile recoveries, 3 mile cooldown (14 miles) + Core/Strength/MYRTLs

I wrote a whole post about this run, too. This quote showed up in my e-mail that morning so clearly it meant I needed to get my shit together:


So I did. I finished my three mile warm up, and hit the intervals hard. The goal was to run each 3 mile interval in 20:30, or a 6:50 pace (which is marathon pace minus 10 seconds/mile).

  • 3 Mile Interval #1 – 20:01 (6:40/mile)
  • 3 Mile Interval #2 – 20:10 (6:43/mile)

In between each interval, there was a one mile recovery. For the first recovery mile, I walked a 400 and took a GU, and then jogged slowly before the second interval. I took another recovery mile after the second three mile interval and followed the same format. I picked up the pace slightly on the cool down but I was DONE by the last mile. Happy I did it, but tired and hungry as hell.


14 miles of speed is a daunting workout, but what I like most about these is how quickly it goes by once you get started. You don’t really pay attention to the total mileage until it’s over. First goal is the warm up, then the intervals and by the time you’re at the cooldown you only have a few miles left.

I went home and did my core, MYRTLs, and NTC’s Runner’s Strength and Balance workout before cooking dinner and passing out on the couch for the rest of the night!

Wednesday, 3/16: Pole Fitness + Core

I slept in a bit and relaxed, and went to pole class at night. It’s been awhile since I just rested on Wednesday mornings. I knew with Tuesday’s speed and Thursday’s planned tempo that I could use it.  I did some abs after just to keep the streak going – my usual planks, bridges, leg raises, hip drops, and NTC’s Perfect Alignment (15 minutes). Pole class was awesome because I felt great and got through my entire competition piece pretty smoothly TWICE!!!! Huge win.

Thursday, 3/17:  Tempo Run, 15 miles – 3 mile warm up, 9 miles @ marathon pace, 3 mile cool down + Pole + Abs/MYRTLs 

Another week in the books! This was my third week tackling nine miles at marathon pace for the tempo run. It was a nice enough day – 60s, sunny and breezy so I wore a tank top and shorts. But as I started out down the trail, I noticed the sky was completely black ahead. Like a summertime thunderstorm type of sky. Eeeek. Well, I already started so I might as well keep going.

As soon as I finished my warm up and launched into my first tempo mile, the skies began to open up. I whined to myself a little – it wasn’t quite warm enough that I could enjoy the rain, and the wind picked up. Ugh. There was nothing I could do about it.  Even if I wanted to quit, I was a little over three miles from my car. I carried on. Eventually, the sky cleared and it was sunny again. I felt pretty good, and my tempo miles were 6:55, 6:58, 6:56, 6:47, 6:49, 6:52, 6:51, 6:49, 6:55!

Once again, I could call this run comfortably uncomfortable. And my Garmin knew it too – it told me that that I spent 1:09 of my run in zone 3 (70-80% of my max heart rate) and 31 minutes in zone 4 (80-90% of my max heart rate). I don’t know what that all means because I don’t do heart rate training so much. I feel like it means that not only am I getting used to these paces mentally, but my body is physically adapting to them. I hope!

I did go to pole after my run, and then did abs at home. I really just went to pole to try something I wanted to add onto my routine, but ended up staying for the whole class. It is seriously so addicting! It’s such a hard workout, but you don’t go there feeling like you are going to workout. It’s just so fun.

Friday, 3/18: 8 Miles Easy (3 miles AM; 5 miles PM) + NTC’s Barre Strength + Core/MYRTLs + Pole Fitness

I say it every week. I hate Friday morning runs so much. So much that this week, I got 3 miles in (about when I pass my house again) and said eff this. It was pretty nice out, but I just wasn’t having it. Not because I didn’t feel like doing it (which I didn’t) – it just feel like it was helping me at all. I also really didn’t like the way my right knee felt. I knew I could squeeze in a five miler before pole class in the afternoon so I called it. I went in, and did abs, MYRTLs, and NTC’s Barre Strength to stretch and strengthen my legs instead.

I finished out the run in the afternoon with five miles, and it felt a lot better. My right knee still felt tweaky, and I felt a weird ache in my left foot. I didn’t let myself panic: I’m fatigued and my body is telling me. I went to pole, and my body told me it was tired there too. I was just all around beat. I mowed pizza and rested. I got another sissy in law special manicure:

imageObsessed. She’s so damn good.

Saturday, 3/19: 10 Miles Easy + Pole + Core/MYRTLs

This run started nice and easy, but all of the tweaky things from Friday showed up around mile 5. But my legs felt pretty good so I was kind of annoyed. The little nags/aches and pains of 14 weeks of training are here, so I am really excited for my peak week and my taper. Lots of foam rolling, gentle stretching and sleep for me next week.

Pole class felt good at first and I made some progress, but things went downhill fast and I ran out of steam about an hour into the class. I went home, did some abs and actually went out for the night. A St. Patties Day party and bowling afterwards! I’ve been pretty lame lately so this was big for me 🙂

Sunday: 3/20:  St. Pat’s 5K (warm-up, race, cool-down was 10 miles) + Core/MYRTLs

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you already know what happened. Race report coming soon!

How was your week? How many weeks until your goal race?

♥ Total ♥ 67 miles ♥


38 Replies to “Boston Marathon Training: Hansons, Week 14”

  1. Congrats on another great week! You continue to amaze me with all of your workouts and your tempo runs are fantastic. I hope that everything is okay with your knee and foot. Get some rest, you certainly deserve it!

  2. Looking forward to hearing more about the awesome 5k! nice week of training though, solid miles and serious workouts in there too! here we go peak weeks for Boston!

  3. Wow, what a great week…and at your race this weekend 🙂
    It’s spring here too however, you’d never know as we are getting 15-20 cm of snow today and freezing rain. I’m done with winter. I got my skiing in. I’m ready to move on to spring!
    Next week I start my half training and can’t wait!!!!! (June 19th race)

    1. Thank you, Anna! And what the heck with the weather?! We ended up with no snow but we did see some flurries. On the first day of spring. WTF?! I’m excited to follow your half marathon training!

  4. Congratulations on another awesome running and pole-filled week :). Sounds like you had some ups and downs with motivation and weather, but you had some solid mileage. I try not to worry about weather too much because half the time the weather people get it wrong, then I feel like I worried for nothing!

  5. As usual, I soaked up every word. I love how you’re all achy and tweaky and tired and then BAM race a 5k in 18-min at the end of the week. BEAST. My hero. I really am in love. Okay and can you tell me one more time where you get those cute shorts for pole? I’m ordering some. For not pole. For…ehhh…home. 😉

    1. Awwwww thank you!!! YOU are the beast – I’m the Suzy wannabe over here! The site for my shorts is called Bad Kitty: – I go to the polefit category. My favorites are the competition shorts, but I also wear the brazil shorts. I like the shorts better because I tend to flash people in my brazils. So depending on what your intention is…haha! They are super comfortable for just wearing…you know, at home 😉

  6. What an awesome week, Allison! I cannot wait to hear about your 5k. We had wonderful weather last week too, now this week it will be cold. 😦 At least it will be a short one due to the Easter Break!

  7. Damn. My speed workout totaled 8 miles this week and I thought that was kind of crazy. Can’t imagine 14 miles! But I definitely get what you are saying, once you take away the warm up/cool down and the recovery portions, the actual workout doesn’t seem quite so daunting.

    Also even though Hanson’s doesn’t have the 20 mile long runs that I would normally associate with marathon training, it is crazy how many double digit and longer-than-a-half training runs you are doing each week. But based on your latest race results the work is definitely paying off. I was pretty sure I’d be using a Pfitz plan from Faster Road Racing for my next half, but now I kind of want to buy Hansons Half book to see what that is all about.

    1. Eight miles IS kind of crazy!!! That is so awesome!!! But really, mine was only 6 miles of speed. I’d be willing to bet yours wasn’t too far off from that. I’ve been shooting for the max w/u and c/d (3 miles each) but you could do one mile of each, and that would have made this w/o significantly shorter. I used to use Pfitz before Hansons. I think it’s safe to say that I have a new main squeeze. I bought the half book – it’s awesome and I HIGHLY recommend it!

      1. Well mine was technically only 3 of speed, although for 5k training that is almost an entire race so I guess that is a good sign!

        Are there different levels for the half plans or can the be adapted to different volumes? I’m probably going to be in the 40-50 mile range and it would be nice to know if Hansons would cover that mileage or if it would be better suited for for when I can sustain greater mileage. And how are the long runs each week? Are they shorter than expected like the 16 vs 20 mile for the marathon, or are they more what you would expect? Ah, so many questions!

      2. Yes – there is a beginner version and an advanced version! But don’t be intimidated by the advanced version: I know I’m averaging about 65-75 mpw, but I follow their program modifications chapter to add volume. There is nothing wrong with the way the plan is written, I just worked this past fall to build my base up so I figured I would use that base to make this plan work best for me. I would suggest doing one of two things in your case: follow the beginner plan (NOT saying you are a beginner AT ALL!) but do what I’m doing – follow the program modifications chapter to customize the mileage. I can help you with that. Or, you can follow the advanced plan as written. I forget what the half plan peaks at. However, for the half they do have longer runs – I think I remember a 14 miler in there. I highly suggest trying it. I really like the structure of the plan. Personally, it really addressed areas that I was weaker or less confident in. Like those damn tempos. I used to fear tempo runs. I still have a healthy fear of them, but I also look forward to them!!!

  8. You are seriously killing it every week. I know you’re getting tired, but you are still doing amazing work! We’re supposed to get some snow here this week, and I am not at all pleased about it. I’m hoping this is winter’s last gasp and we can just have spring afterwards.

    1. Thank you so much!!! Just a few more weeks to go now. It’s been quite the ride this time around. As for the snow, I hope it passes you guys by like it did for us. We were pretty confident it was coming but it changed about a day before, and then we just saw some flurries! I am over winter at this point too.

  9. I’m so excited for you. You’ve been working so hard and definitely deserve that PR. I think based on everything you have a faster PR too. Did you guys get any snow? I drove home from VA and we didn’t have snow when I got here today.

    1. Thanks Hollie! We got some flurries but nothing stuck, thankfully! I love the snow but it definitely would have complicated things! I hope you had a good drive home and you are recovering well!

  10. Congrats on your race!! You are crazy awesome and you are kicking butt at this training. I want to one day be as fast as you!! 🙂 I am 8 weeks out from Colfax, but I only have 3 more runs that are more than 14 miles. I feel like I am in the home stretch… but I guess it’s more like the peak of my training.

    1. Thank you Kerry! You are certainly in the homestretch now! I’m sure you have some big miles ahead of you but you also have a lot of training behind you! You have been working so hard!

  11. I’m in awe of your training! Not only are you kicking butt in the plan with awesome paces and getting in all your miles, but you get in so much strength work too. I would love to hear your tips on how you find time for it all! There’s a pole fitness studio in my area that I’ve always wanted to go to but have been too intimidated to do. Some day!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer!!! I am in love with Hansons ❤ I think you can relate, haha! Part of how I find time for everything is my schedule and being a morning person. I am a high school teacher, so my hours are 7-2:30. I can get off of work and be out running by 2:45, making it easy for me to get to an evening pole fit class. On days where the classes are a bit earlier, I will run in the morning before work but that means being out the door by 4:45. I think I remember that you are a morning runner sometimes too, right? As far as the core/strength goes, I don't lift weights and never spend more than 30 minutes on core/hips/legs so I don't have to go to a gym to do those workouts – all bodyweight stuff. I can fit that in over my prep period or before work if I know I have a long night ahead of me, but sometimes it's 9pm while watching TV. You have GOT to check out a pole fitness class – seriously the best workout ever and has helped my running so much. It mainly works your upper body so I feel like it really balances out the running!

    1. I can’t wait until I have a run through of the routine that’s clean enough to post! I got pretty close last Wednesday. Maybe this week 🙂 I’m going to upload it to YouTube when I get a good take of it. I want to post one soon so it can be like a before and after thing – I’ll post the final product at the end of my competition training!

    1. Thanks! The real work of peak week starts today with a Track Tuesday special. Fingers crossed! I have a long week of running ahead of me, but I am off of work starting Thursday…which helps a LOT!

    1. Thanks! Victoria’s Secret – and it’s not a super pricy one either! Like $29.50. With some coupons, it can be a steal 😉 As for the nails – they are gels! I could never get a real manicure. It would totally be ruined before the polish was even done drying!!!

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