Hansons Method: Why?

Before I signed up for my ultra marathon (does anyone consistently type “marathong” instead of marathon? No? Just me? Okay then.) I did some reasearch regarding training plans.

I first heard about the Hanson Brothers from Janae’s blog (a looong time ago) and it stuck in my head. My friend Krissie also recommended it as her husband was able to knock off 19 minutes from his marathon using the plan!



I thought about whether or not I actually wanted to spend the time training for a 50k, as it would require moving my goals around a bit. Initially, I had planned to train for a sub-4 hour marathon for the Calgary Marathon, and signing up for the 50k would move that goal to the fall, or even into 2015.

After a week or so of pondering, I finally bit the bullet and signed up.

The next question? How in the heck was I going to train for this thing?!

I figured the Hansons’ Method would probably be best for me, I knew about its intensity before buying the book, but I wanted to give the book a read before committing.


I picked up the book over Christmas break and gave it a read and I really agreed with the ideas of it.

The biggest thing you’ll notice when looking at my training plan, is that my long runs are not especially long. However, you’ll notice that the plan calls for six days of running with only one rest day – that is a lot of running. Like, a lot, a lot.

Aside from the six-day a week program, another thing to note is that there are no specific hill workouts. The book addresses this by advising the runner to select routes that are somewhat hilly. Well, living in Calgary I don’t really have that option. As an example, my SeaWheeze half marathon included 598m of elevation climb over 21.1 km. In September, I ran 200km and had an elevation change of 1896m. I ran ten times as far and my elevation change was only three times as much. I’m also pretty sure I was doing hill training during that month. An average run for me has an elevation change of around 100m because flat. I’m not too concerned with the lack of hill training as the 50k will be run in Calgary and the course looks to only have a climb of about 100m.

So, why did I pick this plan?


  • I feel running six days/week will help prepare me for the fatigue of a 50k
  • The weekly runs of the beginner program aren’t especially long
  • The plan still includes speedwork
  • I’m not injury-prone and feel I can handle the intensity
  • The majority of the running days are not high intensity
  • Naps


  • It’s a lot of running
  • I’m lazy, especially on weekends
  • I’m going to need a lot of massages. This could also be a pro; it would definitely be a pro if they were free.
  • I’m going to need another new pair of shoes. This could also possibly be a pro.
  • Naps
  • No hill training; also possibly a pro.

Given that the plan is designed for a marathon at 42.2km and I’m running a 50k, I’m going to be doing a bit of tweaking to the plan as well.

Some simple math tells me I’ll be running 20% longer than a marathon, so I’ll be adding 20% to all of my runs with the exception of the speed and tempo days. I figure those days will be difficult enough without adding 20% to them – and I want to keep myself injury free over the next 18 weeks.

For the first four weeks I’ll be using the advanced plan as the distance is more in-line with the distance I should be running for the Glass Slipper Challenge – after that I’ll most likely drop down to the beginning plan, but I will continue to evaluate where I am and how I feel throughout the process.

Since the Hansons Method does speed, strength, tempo and distance runs a bit different from the Running Room, I’ll be writing new posts explaining the theory and methodology behind this plan and how I feel each week.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the plan and I’ll do my best to address them throughout my posts.

Tell me: What are your initial thoughts on the Hansons Method? What’s been your favourite training plan?


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Weekly Plan: 1/27-2/2 (Ultra Training Week 1)

Happy Monday, my friends!!

I hope your day is off to a better start than mine, I woke up 40 minutes before I had to be at work. Oops! But, I did have a great sleep 🙂



First let’s look at my plan, and how it played out, from last week:

Monday Abs
Push ups
7 min workout
Push ups
Tuesday 6k run
7 min workout
6k run
Wednesday 10k steady
Push ups
7 min workout
Thursday 10k steady
7 min workout
Nothing again.
Friday Abs
Push ups
7 min workout
3k run. It was more of a slog than a run.
Saturday 10k steady
7 min workout
10k steady
Push ups
Sunday 18k long run
7 min workout
12k long run

I felt pretty good at the beginning of the week, but come Thursday/Friday I was exhausted. I reasoned I’d feel better on Friday if I went for a run and I set out with no particular pace or distance in mind, but my legs felt like they were moving through sand. Crawling into bed by 9pm on Friday night was probably a good idea.

Since I really haven’t followed my Glass Slipper Training plan since the end of November, and my ultra training plan starts this week, I’ve decided I’ll pick up the advanced section of the ultra plan (because it has speed work which will help me in Disney) starting this week. I plan on writing more about why I’m using the Hanson’s method and I’ll go into more detail about the different kinds of training once I get more into the program.

The Hanson’s method I’m following is designed for a marathon (42.2km) and my ultra is 50k. Since this is 20% longer, I’m also going to be increasing some of the runs by 20%, but again, I’ll get into the specifics of this in a dedicated post.

I also plan on linking my weekly plan posts to my training page so you can reference a week and see how my training has gone.

And now the plan for this week:

Monday Abs
Push ups
Tuesday Abs
Wednesday Abs
Push upsMASSAGE – YAY!!
Thursday 10k run
Friday 10k run
Push ups
Saturday 10k run
Sunday 13k long run

Tell me: Instead of just recapping my workouts (like the first table) would you be interested in a more in-depth recap of my weekly training?

Bestfoot This Week Link Up[4]

Since my food tends to be pretty boring (although I would like to do a post of food, training, and me) it seems kind of silly to type: green smoothie, salad, whatever is in my freezer, week after week. For now, just assume that’s what I’m eating unless I state otherwise 🙂

Why You Should Run SeaWheeze

In 2012 I found out about SeaWheeze about a month before the race, and it was most certainly sold out at that point, so right then and there I decided I’d be running SeaWheeze in 2013.


I wasted no time in signing up for the 2013 SeaWheeze race even though I had no one to go with. No matter, I was able to meet up with my friend Lexie and we had the most amazing time together (you can read my recaps here, here, here and here).

Now with just 15 days to go before 2014 SeaWheeze registration, I want to encourage you to sign up so you can run it with me!


For SeaWheeze 2013 I strayed from my tried and true Running Room plan and used the Lululemon provided plan and I think it worked out pretty well for me, considering I PR’d and all 🙂

Right now I believe there are 4 (including me) awesome ladies from Calgary coming, my friend Lexie from Vancouver (and her sister, I think?) and (hopefully!) a from Victoria. In my perfect world, we will rent an amazing suite close to the start/finish line (unlike my looong walk last year!) to maximize awesomeness (killer hotel room and location! location! location!) and minimize the cost.

So, I want to convince you to sign up for SeaWheeze to run it with me! (Just register after I do, so I get my spot, okay?!).

Never ran a half marathon before?

Don’t worry about it. The race is 7 months away. Let me tell you, seven months is more than enough time to get training. Seriously!

SeaWheeze doesn’t really focus on being competitive, as there are no age group awards, the idea is just to run and have fun while doing it! Perks also include exclusive Lululemon gear (sorry credit card), free massages, an awesome brunch, yoga and a concert.

Not sure how to train?

That’s where the Lululemon training plan and I come in!

You may not know this, but I spent years coaching speed and synchronized swimming and, although I’m not certified, I really want to be your coach/cheerleader/person to inspire and motivate you to run SeaWheeze!

If you’re in Calgary and are planning to run SeaWheeze – let me know! I want to connect with you – maybe we can go on runs together, or we can meet for coffee, or email back and forth about how you feel your training is going. You can also download RunKeeper (it’s FREE!) for your iPhone (and Andriod, I think?) so we can keep up with each other’s training – you just need to friend me here.

I’ll be updating my blog with the training plan once it’s released and I hope to do a weekly training post as well to answer any questions, address any training issues and just keep people motivated!

Still on the fence about it?

Leave me a comment below or send me an email through my contact form with any questions or concerns you may have. I had so much fun in Vancouver last year (Vancouver is one of my most favourite cities in the world) that I plan on running SeaWheeze every year!

Are you a guy and thinking about running SeaWheeze? Not to fear! About 10% of the people last year were guys – and you’ll be surrounded by a sea of females all in Luon, it’s a can’t lose situation!!

Tell me: Will I see you in Vancouver in August?

How I get my butt out the door

I like to think that Janae and I posted about running motivation around the same time because we’re totally destined to be BFF’s. Right?!

photo (48)

The above picture was taken from my office building (but sadly, not my office, I do not yet have a window office. Yet!) before the rain moved north to our building, but move it did. Around 3pm on Tuesday I was strongly debating my 10k run I had on the schedule: 1) I’m a wimpy wimp who doesn’t always like hates rain and 2) it’s taper week, so does it really matter?! 

Spoiler: I took the night off yesterday, instead I packed my bag to run at lunch today. I could tell I needed the rest because I went to bed at 10pm and slept straight through until my alarm went off.

Through training for my half marathon and now my marathon (count down: four freaking days. FOUR!) I’ve found some tricks that usually work to get my butt out the door.

1. Schedule it

Sure, you have a training plan, but is it visible at all times?

I have my training plan on my blog (Aug half, full, rest and Feb half) and in my awesome Erin Condren planner.

photo (49)

At any given time, all I need to do is flip open my planner, or click the appropriate link on my blog and my training plan is there. After seeing it again and again, I always knew what I had coming up in the week.

2. Make it easy

For runs I did in the AM (long runs) or at lunch (when I have something scheduled after work) I make it as easy as possible to get out the door.

Before going to bed I’ll pack my gym bag (if running and lunch) or will lay out my clothes (this isn’t as neat as it sounds; it usually involves me tossing them on the floor in my living room) and gathering  together all my supplements so I don’t waste time looking for them.

photo (50)

3. Reflect

Reflecting on past runs and how far I’ve come in a few short months shows me that all this hard work is paying off and getting my lazy bum out the door will make a difference.

I’m a visual person and I love data. Seriously, I love it. This is why using RunKeeper has been so awesome for me. It’s easy for me to compare previous runs and RunKeeper will instantly alert me when I’ve hit a new milestone: longest run, fastest at a certain distance, calories burned, etc.

Really, who doesn’t love some instant gratification?!

4. Take a break

Sometimes life is overwhelming and we need a break. With five runs per week on my training plan, I ran 4x/week 70% of the time and sometimes I even only ran 3x/week.

Guess what?

That’s okay.

Rest heals the body so it can run father and faster. On the days where I’m really bagged and can barely keep my eyes open, I’ll make a date with my couch instead. If I’m able, I’ll just swap a rest day for a run day, but if that isn’t possible I’ll have the best rest day ever and be ready to run the following day.

5. Get creative

Earlier this month I was feeling bogged down about all the 30km runs I had yet to do and instead of letting that cloud my thoughts, I made myself a running bucket list. This helped remind me that running is more than just running a race for time, it can be about exploring a new city. making new friends, and hanging out with family.

6. Bribes

When all else fails, I can usually get my butt out the door with a bribe. (If a bribe doesn’t even seem enticing, then I know it’s time for some rest). Although I don’t personally count calories, I do still really try to eat balanced and healthy, so food is normally my main motivator.

Get outside and you can have some extra ice cream for dessert.

Pumpkin pasta? Dang that sure sounds good. Get yer butt outside for a run and it’s pumpkin pasta time!

I’m not above bribes and I’ll probably never be above bribes. Chances are if it works on a small child, it’ll also work on me.

Candy? I LOVE candy!

Tell me, what are your tried and true ways for getting your butt out the door?

The Thursday Runs: Long Slow Distance

photo (37)

As shown in my marathon training plan there are numerous types of runs used to prepare for a race. In this series I’m breaking down the types of runs, what they mean and their purpose, and also talking about other important such running things.

Long slow distance shall now be refered to as LSD, and unfortunately, it is not some fun drug us runners do; we’re crazy enough without the drugs. True story.

I both love and loathe tempo and LSD runs equally. I love tempo runs because they’re over quickly and but they’re haaaard (TWSS); I love LSD runs because I can go out and take my time and run slowly, but they take freaking forever to complete.

From John Stanton and the Running Room (Toronto Waterfront Training Program):

Long Slow Distance runs are the corner-stone of any distance training program

  • Take a full minute to walk for every 10 minutes of running
  • These runs are meant to be done much slower than race pace so don’t be overly concerned with your pace
  • To increase capillary network in your body and raise anaerobic threshold
  • Mentally prepares you for long races

The Pace shown on the LSD Run/Walk day includes the walk time. It is walk adjusted!

  • This program provides an upper end (slow) and bottom end (fast) pace to use as a guideline
  • The upper end pace is preferable as it will keep you injury free. Running at the bottom end pace is a common mistake many runners make. They try to run at the maximum pace which is an open invitation to injury.
  • I know of very few runners who have been injured from running too slow but loads of runners who incurred injuries by running too fast
  • In the early stages of the program it is very easy to run the long runs too fast, but like the marathon or half marathon, the long runs require discipline and patience

“Practice your sense of pace by slowing the long runs down. You will recover faster and remain injury free.”
John Stanton

Contrary to what one might think, the vast majority of runs should be done at a slower pace, with only a few runs truly stressing the body.


I also should have included these types of runs in my intro post, but I didn’t, so I’m showing them now.

running actions

running actions 02

(All images from John Stanton’s marathon training program)

My personal running hierarchy (that determines if I will skip a run) is as follows:

  1. LSD
  2. Tempo/Hills
  3. Speed
  4. Steady

So, if I’m skipping a run, I do my very best to make sure it is not an LSD run. Where I am in my training, this means I’m up early on a Sunday to run for 3-4 hours before I plant my arse on the couch for the remainder of the day. Hey, no one said training for a marathon was going to be easy!

LSD’s also take the most amount of preparation when it comes to fueling and hydrating. I very rarely bring water on my weekday runs (I will for hills because I’m out there for over an hour) and I never bring gels for any run an hour or under; however, water and gels come along with me for my long runs. My personal rule is one gel for every hour or so of exercise, so once I hit 30km training runs, this means 3 gels are coming along for the ride, and for the marathon? Probably four. I’m gonna need some more pockets for all these gels.

For the past two weekends I’ve aimed to complete a 30km run, the first weekend I only ran 15km (ha! “only”) and this past weekend I ran 19km. It appears there’s a section of trail where the camber is such that my left ankle gets pretty cranky. It happened twice on the same section of trail, so next weekend I’ll be turning around before that section and I’ll be taping my ankle in advance.


Seeing as I’m a bit behind on my long runs, I’ll be modifying my marathon training plan as follows:

  • September 7/8 (it’s supposed to rain on Sunday, so I might move my run to Saturday): 30km
  • September 14: 32km
  • September 21: 25km
  • September 30: 32km
  • October 6: 6km (taper LOL!)
  • October 13: 42.2km. YIKES!


Half Marathon

  1:45 2:00 2:15 2:30 To complete
Tempo/Hills (min/km) 5:00 6:15 6:36 7:17 8:37
Tempo/Hills (min/mile) 8:00 10:00 10:30 11:13 13:52
LSD* (min/km) 5:33-6:16 6:56-7:47 7:19-8:12 8:03-9:00 9:29-10:53
LSD* (min/mile) 8:53-10:02 11:06-12:27 11:42-13:07 12:53-14:24 15:10-17:25

*note all LSD times are adjusted for a 10 minute run/1 minute walk interval, so if you’re not doing 10:1 you can adjust your times accordingly


  3:45 4:00 4:15 4:30 4:45 5:00
Tempo/Hills (min/km) 5:24 5:44 6:05 6:26 6:47 7:07
Tempo/Hills (min/mile) 8:38 9:10 9:45 10:18 10:51 11:24
LSD* (min/km) 6:00-6:45 6:22-7:11 6:45-7:45 7:08-8:00 7:30-8:25 7:52-8:49
LSD* (min/mile) 9:36-10:48 10:11-11:30 10:48-12:24 11:25-12:48 12:00-13:28 12:35-14:06

*note all LSD times are adjusted for a 10 minute run/1 minute walk interval, so if you’re not doing 10:1 you can adjust your times accordingly




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