Carlsbad Marathon Training Plan

I’ll be running the 2013 Carlsbad Marathon in about 12 weeks.  I’ve been training for about two weeks and finally beginning to feel I’m back in a nice routine and flow.  I still think I’m many weeks from regaining the fitness I lost over the summer, but feel I’m gradually getting to where I need to be.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m going to be changing my training from the FIRST method to Hansons Marathon Method.  It is not a radical shift in philosophy, but there are some considerable differences.  Here are the major differences:

  1. I’ll be running 6 days a week instead of 3 days.
  2. Cross-training is limited, whereas, the FIRST method incorporates 2 days of cross-training.  However, I may do some mountain biking once or twice a week.
  3. I’ll be running more miles, averaging over 50 miles a week and topping out at 63 miles.  Under the FIRST method, I topped out around 45 miles.
  4. The long run tops out at 16 miles, which is hard for me to accept.  Under the FIRST method, I routinely ran 20 – 24 mile long runs.
  5. Tempo runs are done at marathon pace, but are longer.
  6. The speed work is similar, but Hanson incorporates longer strength intervals toward the second half of the training plan.

So although I had success with the FIRST method, I felt if I wanted to get better, then I needed to change my training plan.  Hansons has had a lot of success with their runners (e.g., Desiree Davila and Brian Sell) and they have put their training principles to the test since the early 90s, so I decided I’d use the method this marathon season.  Their philosophy is based upon what they call “cumulative fatigue” where the accumulation of fatigue over days, weeks, and even months of consistent training will lead to better marathon times.  Cumulative fatigues results from repetitive training that doesn’t allow for full recovery between training days.

Below is my training plan using Hansons method.  I plan to run 6 days a week, with Wednesday being my day off from running.  There are two speed sessions per week, intervals on Tuesdays and tempo runs on Thursday.  The long run is every other week, topping out at 16 miles – which will be difficult to adhere to, but will try to.  Strength training will comprise of kettlebell training as well as some yoga to keep a little limber.

I’ve incorporated a  10K race in mid-December.  Otherwise, that will be my only race leading up to Carlsbad.  My goal is to finish the Carlsbad Marathon in under 3:15.

As I progress in my training I’ll provide updates at least once a week as well as provide more insight into Hansons’ method.

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About runninginspired

I’m in my mid-40s and have been running for about 19 years. I have finished 24 marathons with a personal best time of 3:04. I currently reside in San Diego, CA. I enjoy running since it keeps you honest and will give back what you put into it. Work hard, but smart, and good results will eventually follow. I like to experiment with training plans, gadgets, shoes, and nutrition to find what works for me. The primary purpose of this blog is to document my training and thoughts about running in my ongoing quest to improve my fitness and health.
This entry was posted in Chula Vista, Marathons, Running, San Diego, Training and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Carlsbad Marathon Training Plan

  1. Matt Trivella says:

    Interested to see how this program works for you. Just ran my first marathon since Nagano this past weekend and trained using the three day a week method. I found my legs to be in pretty bad shape towards the end of the race and time slipped a bit. I hadn’t been as honest to my training schedule as I have in the past but think more miles in training may be key. Good luck with training, will check back on the progress

    • Thanks, it will be interesting to see if the extra miles translate into a better marathon. This plan is harder in some ways (in terms of more miles and running days) than my previous plans, but easier in others, in that, the intensity of the speed work and length of the long run aren’t as difficult. Right now I’m feeling the lingering fatigue from day-to-day, but I guess that’s part of Hansons philosophy.

  2. fiberliza says:

    It is so good to see you posting again! I just knocked 10 minutes off my PR using what I found out afterwards is the HMM. The book had not come out yet, but when i finally got a copy, the workout plan looked just like my log 🙂 My focus was on those Thursday sessions. They are key! Run the easy days really really easy… You’ll do great! I can’t wait to read all about it!

    • Nice hearing from you and great to hear about your amazing progress. I’d be ecstatic if I experienced the same results 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing how I adapt to the HMM, it’s been fine so far. Just hope I can manage the Tuesday and Thursday workouts, those will be the biggest challenge.

  3. Melissa says:

    I agree with your first commenter. I switched from 4 runs a week to 3 runs a week between my last 2 marathons and I saw a big slip in my time. My legs were so beat. I bet you are going to do great with this plan. Good Luck!

  4. Ms. Victoria says:

    Hey – it’s been quite some time since you wrote this original post, but I thought I’d test my luck on you responding! I am running my second full marathon in November (Philadelphia) and want to adapt this plan to my schedule. Did you find success?

    • Hello! Yes, the plan seemed to have worked out well for me for many of my marathons. The training plan is a bit difficult with the speed work, but I liked it because it provided adequate recovery time between runs. Best of luck with Philadelphia!

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