Boston Marathon Training: Hansons, Week 15

It’s Monday, I’m off of work, and it’s pouring out. At some point, I’ll get up and run but until then, this is my plan:


Because guess what. I survived peak week!!

I can’t believe 15 weeks of Hanson’s training is behind me. I remember looking at this plan in week 3, when I was sick on my couch. I feared everything about this training plan. It’s certainly not over yet – still two more track workouts and two more tempo runs to go – but I made it to the taper and I didn’t hate it. As a matter of fact, it was quite the opposite. I loved it.

I was much whinier when I hit my peak week in the fall. I was just re-reading that post and I had a whole paragraph on how much I “hated” the mid-week medium long run, which was 15 miles in the fall. These days, I’ve been logging two medium long runs and I’m really enjoying it. This time around, the medium long runs have some sort of purpose and last cycle I just ran miles. Not that one type of run is more effective than another, but by having something to shoot for makes the miles fly by more quickly.

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, 3/21:  10 Mile Easy Run + Pole Fitness + Core/MYRTLs

Kicked off my Monday with core, MYRTLs, and NTC’s Alpha Abs workout.

SUPER windy day. 17 mph winds, 30 mph gusts. Headed out on the D&L trail for an easy run, and the wind was in my face. I felt pretty decent so I was excited that the wind would be at my back on the second half. NOPE. Turned around, and was slammed in the face with a gust. How is that possible? I probably would have been better off cutting this run at 8 miles. Hanson’s Monday runs are usually 6-8 miles, but in the program modifications section they recommend adding miles on your easy runs if you want more volume. So the 10 mile distance has been my goal when I have easy runs and enough time to fit it in. I did the out and back thing, so my options were to finish the run or walk it in. I didn’t feel like a two mile walk so I ran. 8:24-ish pace, really fading in the last two miles but mostly unscathed.

Headed to pole fitness class but I backed off a bit. We learned two new moves, and one was a spin that was kind of hard on your hip. I tried it once, didn’t like how it felt and decided I’d try again after Boston was over. Instead, I worked on some of the other moves we learned recently. Still a good workout, but I was a little bummed about the spin because it was really pretty.

Tuesday, 3/22: Track Workout: 3 mile warm up, 3×2 miles (@ MP -10 seconds/mile) w/800 meter recoveries, 3.5 mile cooldown (14 miles) + Core/Strength/MYRTLs

Last week, I was a little stressed over Track Tuesday because the workout just seemed so hard. While this week’s workout wasn’t exactly a walk in the park, it was familiar. I did this same workout two weeks ago and was able to get it done, and it was two days after a 10 mile race. I didn’t expect it to be “easy” but I almost breathed a sigh of relief when looking at my workouts this week because I already did this one.

Besides the wind (it’s been windy as EFF in these parts this week), the weather was ideal. Sunny, 50s, gorgeous. The goal was the same: warm up for three miles, 3×2 mile repeats in 13:40 (6:50 pace), recover for 800 meters and cooldown for three miles. That’s 13.5 and I hate ending on a .5. Last time, I cut the cooldown to 2.5 to end on 13. In the spirit of peak week, I decided to run the extra half mile for a grand total of 14 miles.

I grabbed my afternoon Starbucks and headed to the Saucon trail. After an uneventful warm up, I hammered it out:

  • 2 mile repeat #1 – 13:24 (6:42/mile)
  • 2 mile repeat #2 – 13:21 (6:40/mile)
  • 2 mile repeat #3 – 13:22 (6:41/mile)

For the 800s, I walked for 400 and jogged for 400. I took it nice and easy for the cooldown and had a lot of energy. I really enjoyed this run. I went home and got on my foam roller (Who even am I?). Last week, my legs felt tweaky on Friday and Saturday. The 5K was Sunday, and this was a killer speed workout. If I was going to survive this week, I probably should put a little more effort into my recovery. I also did MYRTLs, core, and NTC’s Runner Strength and Balance. That NTC workout is only 16 minutes and the last two minutes are stretching. It really complements speed work nicely.

Wednesday, 3/23: Core + Barre Strength + 2.3 Mile Walk + Pole Fitness 

Barre and core in the morning, competition practice at night. I had this great idea – to go for a short recovery run before pole. After all, it was peak week. Hanson’s states in their program modifications that if you want to add an easy run in on your rest day to add miles to go for it. I’d been mostly keeping the rest day somewhat sacred and not running at all. In the spirit of peak week, I thought I’d torture myself a bit more.

There was a trail I’ve never run on before, Penn Pump, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to check it out. Got dressed, got out of my car, started running and less than .1 into my run I stopped. My legs felt like lead from the track workout the day before. If anything, it scared me because I had a tempo run the next day. I walked instead since it was gorgeous out and I was already out there. I spent the entire time reassuring myself that my legs probably feel like this every week and that I would be totally fine on the tempo run the next day. The fatigue really scared me and it’s clear to me why Wednesday is a rest day. No bueno. I felt tired at pole class but worked on parts of my routine and was glad to go home and rest on the couch.

Thursday, 3/24:  Tempo Run, 16 miles – 3 mile warm up, 10 miles @ marathon pace, 3 mile cool down + Abs/MYRTLs 

I was still nervous about my Wednesday run attempt, but I had the day off of work. Perfect opportunity to really do a Boston “test run”. I ate my breakfast (sweet potato waffle, Just Great Stuff PB, and a banana) and got dressed. After I was appropriately coffeed up, I headed to the Plainfield trail. I got there so I could start at 10 am, just like the start time for Boston.

It was another beautiful day, and I felt decent on the warm up. After three easy miles, I picked up the pace. 6:47, 6:54, 6:55, 6:33, 6:41, 6:56, 6:48, 6:51, 6:48, 6:53. I cooled down for three miles and I felt really good. I thought to myself, I should just keep running and do 18-20. You know, in the spirit of peak week and all. But then I saw my car and I thought, nahhhh. I went home, did some core (including NTC’s Core Control workout) and MYRTLs and called it a day.

Friday, 3/25: 10 Miles Easy + Core/MYRTLs + Pole Fitness

10 easy miles with Emily and her fiancee, Aaron on the towpath in Easton. We averaged about an 8:25 pace. It was raining out when we started, but warm and sunny by the end of the run. I headed home, did core (including NTC’s Core Strength workout) and MYRTLs, and then went to pole class for about two hours. I had two very successful run throughs with my routine.

Saturday, 3/26: 11.3 Miles Easy + Pole + Core/MYRTLs

Ran with Mark and Kathy but was able to still keep the pace around an 8:03 and reign them in a little. Kathy had done her long run the day prior, so her legs were a bit tired anyway. Only problem is, we overshot the route by 1.3 miles. It killed me to stop on the .3 but I didn’t want to do more since I had my long run the next day. Headed to pole and had a REALLY good run through of my routine…so I uploaded it so you guys could finally see it!

HOWEVER: keep in mind that it’s still not smooth. Most of my issues are with the times I’m off the pole – I am not a dancer so I just look awkward. There are lots of timing errors (my whole beginning on the static pole is a little off and more rushed than it should be), directional issues (several tricks need to be facing the audience so you can actually see them) and when I went to do an inversion on the spin combo, it was really sloppy. But, it’s been my best take so far and I keep talking about it, soooooo…enjoy!

Whew!!! It’s coming along but still needs work! Came home, did core (including NTC’s Perfect Alignment workout) and MYRTLs and spent some quality time on the couch.

Sunday: 3/27:  Long Run, 20.7 Miles + Core/MYRTLs

I know, a 20 miler. On Hansons. What the what? As per my Hansons running bible:

  • Long runs shouldn’t exceed 25-30 percent of weekly mileage
  • 2:30-3:00 time limit should be enforced, suggesting that exceeding those guidelines offers no physiological benefit.
  • What’s right for an 80-mile-a-week runner is not right for one who puts in 40 miles per week.

Originally, I’d planned on topping out at 18 miles. Mentally, I was fine with it – I’ve run successful marathons with less than an 18 miler under my belt. But I started seeing 70 mile weeks earlier in my training this time around, and realized I would have a week where I hit volume in the 80s. Even with my long run at 18 miles during the 70 mile range, I was barely hitting the 25 percent mark. If I hit 80 miles, 18 was only 23 percent. So I decided I would adhere to the 2:30 time limit and take the focus off distance. If I wasn’t feeling too speedy that day, maybe it would be 18 miles. Whatever the case, I wasn’t going over 2:30.

It met Megan at 7:30am and we started off down the towpath. Cassie was meeting us at 8:30 so we figured we’d start on the trail. I’d put in a good chunk of distance the day before and Megan did a track workout, so we vowed to take it easy. We started running and talking, and by mile 3 we logged our first sub-7 minute mile. It was faster necessary, but my heart rate was fine and I was talking without being winded. We turned at 30 minutes, which was a little over four miles, and cruised back. We were still averaging 7:00-7:05 pace. It’s a flat trail, so I figured we’d slow down when we hit the roads. At worst, I could call it a day at 16 miles – the distance Hanson’s recommends anyway. I wasn’t too panicked, just enjoying my time with my friend.

We swung by the cars and picked up Cassie and continued on the roads of Bethlehem, which is where things get hilly. We slowed down for about a mile, but then continued to average 7-7:10 pace over the next eight miles. I felt really good, and the run felt like it flew by. Megan had to go do the family thing and was capping out at 16 miles, and Cassie never had a run on her schedule and just wanted to come run a loop with us so they were both going to finish up around the same time. We circled back towards our cars as we hit mile 16, I grabbed my iPod (and a quick Easter running selfie) and continued on.


I still felt great. I didn’t feel the need to push the pace anymore but still averaged 7:20-7:30 pace for the last four miles. I realized I’d be a bit further from my car at mile 20, and was planning to walk. However, I still hadn’t hit 2:30 so I told myself I could run the extra .7 to make it an even 82 for the week, since the .3 from yesterday was still bothering me! I finished 20.7 miles at 7:16 pace in 2:30:30. It was an awesome run. I truly love running with those girls. They are so fast, but they make it feel so fun and effortless. They make it feel like it’s effortless for me, too. I wish they could come and run Boston by my side because I have no doubt in my mind that it would be an automatic PR.

My husband and I headed to church for Easter:


And then my sister-in-laws house, where I didn’t hold back on the dessert spread. Those are the days I consider worth cheating and eating whatever I want!


And when I finally had a chance to get through my mail, I found this:


What a fitting end to peak week 🙂

How was your Easter? Anyone else just finish up peak week?

♥ Total ♥ 82 miles ♥

60 Replies to “Boston Marathon Training: Hansons, Week 15”

  1. 82 freaking miles?!?! You are a machine!! Sounds like a super solid peak week you had and such a beast of a long run. I always do my long runs with other people now and it really makes the time fly by and the run seems much more effortless 🙂

  2. Woohoo! You had an amazing week. I got so excited for you when I was watching the video. I’m seriously impressed with how good you are considering you haven’t been doing this that long.

  3. Congrats on surviving peak week! 82 miles is amazing! I love not having to do my long runs alone. The miles really do fly by!
    I love the video of your routine and I think that song was a great choice too.
    I’m glad that you were able to enjoy the dessert spread at your sister-in-law’s. I know that I ate a bit too much chocolate yesterday, if that’s even possible. 🙂

  4. 7:16 pace for TWENTY MILES?!?! I can’t even believe how much you’ve improved over the last couple of months. I mean, I can believe it, but I can’t. But I can. But I can’t. It’s AMAZING. It’s just been so cool to watch you do this. Oh and I totally know what you mean about having these mid week long runs go by so much faster now that we have a purpose for them, like with tempo and track and stuff. Even Andrew was surprised that he had in fact logged 9 miles in the middle of the week doing the track stuff. It’s so much easier on the mind! Congrats on your peak week. So proud of you!!!

  5. It sounds like you had a great and productive training week. You’ve been putting in the mileage so I’m really excited to see how Boston goes for you. Is it Spring Break for you guys?

  6. You are amazing!! 20 miles at that pace is incredible and 82 miles is huge! Congratulations on making it to the taper. After that week, it must feel good to know that things are a little more chill until you run the race. I bet you are going to rock out in Boston. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

    That video of your routine is really awesome! So many yoga moves!! I totally think you are going to win. 🙂

  7. You had a really amazing week with tons of running and cross training through pole! Don’t blame you to just walk on your rest day- The Hansons book plans don’t really account for cross training/pole fitness, and peak week is no joke… better not to chance it. I don’t blame you for doing a 20 miler before the marathon. If I followed Hansons, that would be the part of the plan I am not 100% comfortable with, but you followed the other “rules” and with an 80 mile week, the 20 is only 1/4 of your weekly mileage (not like you are running 35-40 miles a week with a 20 in there). Can’t wait to see how Boston goes and I saw your instagram of your packet/passport… super exciting!

  8. By the looks of that 20 miler, you are totally going to kill Boston. 🙂 I recently began putting purposes to all of my runs and you are right, mentally they are just easier to get done! Oh the wind thing- my dad taught me that a cross wind feels like you are running into the wind! So it was probably a cross wind so lucky you got to feel like you were running into it in both directions!

    1. Omg I just watched your video. First of all, BEAUTIFUL! Second, I was so scared you were going to fall! Then I told myself you would NOT post a video of you falling on your head and that it would be okay.

      1. Thank you Meg!!! Haha, I guess you have good reason to be scared I would fall…since I totally did, haha!!!! But honestly, it happens…I was the third fall that week – my sister in law took a pretty nasty spill too!

  9. Congrats on making it through the toughest part! I feel like you are super ready for Boston. And that pole routine is so cool–it looks like you’ve been doing that for years!

  10. Wow, what an amazing week you had! You are going to rock Boston!! Saw Cassie at Warm Hearts. It was definitely a great morning to run. Now I need to get some of your motivation- even though I ran faster than I did on training runs (with my stroller) I still felt discouraged and wishing I wasn’t so out of shape. I don’t have too much time these days, but am going to make it a priority to do strength training and speed workouts!!!!!

    1. Yes – she won that and then came on my long run the next day! Not for all of it, but enough that I was like holy crap woman didn’t you just win a 5K yesterday? Don’t feel discouraged!!!! You are doing GREAT!!! Awesome job at the 5K. I wanted to do that one but it didn’t work with my long run schedule, which was why I chose St. Pats. Maybe next year!

  11. Giiiirl, you’re going to kill this marathon! You inspired me to try the 3×2 mile workout last week and I’ve got to say it was tough!! But, I feel like it added some “meat” to my training. I have peak week coming in two weeks then taper time! 5 weeks to go until Nashville! We did the church thing for Easter than hung out with our little family. It was *perfect*. 🙂

  12. Wow. What an awesome peak week! So many things to respond to in this post… first off, congrats on the hardest week ever (which you made look super easy) ; I would have had no boundaries with that dessert spread, even without a 20.7 miler in an 80 mile week. It’s great that the plan works… the tiredness on Wednesday was so that you could be stronger through the rest of the week. 🙂
    Now, onto your routine. Thanks for sharing! I really liked watching it, though I’m sure there’s a lot of technical details I didn’t pick up on. All I know is that it looks really hard. The spinning pole looked like a lot more fun. 🙂
    Great week behind you, hope the upcoming one is just as good, but also a little easier 😉

    1. Thank you!!! I did not have any boundaries with that dessert spread – more came out after I took the picture and it was GAME OVER!! The spinning pole is my favorite part of the routine. It’s normally scarier being on spin but I am very comfortable with those moves and love that part!!!

  13. WOW. What a week of workouts! First off, your competition piece is totally amazing. I love the song “Unsteady”, and I think your choreography works with it so well! Those moves are so intense – it looks like you’ve put a lot of time into that routine! I can’t believe Boston is so close, it’s an exciting time of year! 🙂 I can’t wait to go to the expo and just soak it all in, even if I’m not running!

    1. Thank you Nora!! I love the song too, I really hope the choreography goes with it. In my head, it does!!! I have been working on it since January. The song changed (it was a Bieber song, HA!) but the routine didn’t. It fit so much better with this song and just felt right! I hope we can try to cross paths at the expo!

  14. I love reading about your progress and seeing you grow as a runner. Isn’t it amazing how one training cycle can be so different from another? I actually enjoy my midweek long runs. But last week we had a brutally hard rain on the day I had it planned. I ended up switching it to Friday and ended up having to do that one followed by my 20 miler. Body didn’t love me. But we survived 🙂

    1. Thank you Sarah! It really is crazy how much we change with each cycle. I do love the midweek long runs. I have a 13 miler today and I would be more excited if my toe was a non issue. It can’t all be perfect, right?!

  15. Umm wow, you are SO strong! The video of your pole routine is really awesome. You might not be a dancer but you are one hell of a strong women! And what a running week!!!
    I had a horrible run on Sunday – the worst in ages but it’s all good. Easter was great with family 🙂

    1. Thanks!!! I am tooootttalllyy not a dancer – I watch the other girls who are so graceful and then laugh at myself trying to move from pole to pole with some yoga moves. Regardless, I’m having fun with it!

  16. I am seriously impressed by your pole routine! I don’t know how you are running 80 miles a week and training for a pole competition at the same time. I can barely function as a human being when I’m in the depths of training!

    1. Thank you Katie!!! There were a few weeks that I was a complete hermit/whack job to make sure I got it all done. I am relaxing a little more now that it’ts taper time! Woohoo!

  17. LOL church selfie

    Absolutely amazing job. You’ve done so well this training cycle and you should be so proud of yourself. 20 miles at at a 7 effing 16 pace? Don’t even get me started. Except to say that with a goal pace of 7:03 you’ve pretty much got this in the bag. And what better place to finally PR?

    I have to admit, I have felt a little jealous of all you Boston runners this weekend making it to taper. I’m still 2 weeks out and I want to pull my hair out because it might as well be two YEARS out.

    1. LOL We love our church selfies. My parents (yep, parents) Snapchat me weekly church selfies. I die over them.I hope you are right about the PR and hope my toe holds up for it! You are ALMOST AT THAT TAPER – hang in there!!!!

  18. WOW! Are you actually Superwoman posing as a runner blogger?! I’m jealous. I wish I were faster so I could run all those miles! And I’m just in awe that you can get in 20 miles in 2:30! And the video! The routine is amazing, and the moves are a beautiful combination of strength and grace. I have no idea how you do some of them! Congrats on an awesome week!

    1. You are so sweet! Thank you so much 🙂 The speed = it’s allll Hansons, I swear! I can’t believe how much that training plan has helped me. I really, really love it! I also really love the pole classes. You should try it – soooo addicting!!!!

  19. Wow, your routine looks great! Very impressive! My husband was hoping to get his Boston stuff before we left for vacation, and wouldn’t you know it, the day before we left the mailman gave us the wrong mail (the neighbors mail) and we never found our mail! So hopefully we will see his race packet soon.

      1. Oh thank GOD! And that would have driven me CRAZY last year. I saw people posting pictures of theirs about two days before my came and I was like, “OMG it got lost in the mail”!

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