Chicago Marathon Training Week #2

I was looking over my training plan this weekend and realized Chicago is right around the corner!

Even though I’m only on week two of training, I’ll be running 16-milers by my birthday. The Hansons plan tops off at “only” 16 miles for a long run, but because it incorporate doubles it’s really 10 miles on Saturday and 16 miles on Sunday for a few weeks. I feel totally unprepared for that right now, but I am trusting that when the time comes I’ll be ready!

Here’s how training went last week:

Here is my Hansons pacing guide as reference for watching the video and seeing my paces:

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 9.59.36 PM

The plan I’m following (the 20-week plan) still hasn’t begun incorporating speed or strength workouts so it’s been all easy running so far!

Checking My Ego at the Door:

I strongly believe in the Hansons philosophy of running your easy days super easy, but since my weekly mileage still isn’t that high and I’m not doing any running workouts this has been a serious exercise in checking my ego at the door. I mean, I don’t even have much of an ego when it comes to running, but aiming for 15 minute pace is something I thought was behind me.

Last week I ran a lot closer to 14:42 for all of my runs and that felt okay. I definitely have to reign myself in a little once I’m sufficiently warmed up, but to be fair it is kind of nice to just cruise along at a ho-hum pace.

The Long Run:

For Sunday’s “long run” you’ll see I only did six miles. I was supposed to do seven but I had a total brain fart! I honestly didn’t even realize I had cheated myself a mile until I was plugging all of the data into my spreadsheet. At this point in training I’m really not going to worry about it. I know I could have run that extra mile.

Strength Training Hurdles:

I actually wonder if I made a subconscious decision to cut the run short since my legs were SO SO SO sore from lifting on Saturday. I had taken a nap Saturday afternoon so when I hit the gym I was full of energy!

I know I shouldn’t have lifted legs the day before my long run, but in the moment it felt like a good idea! I did a full body workout but I squatted 5 x 10 @ 80lbs and did leg press 5 x 10 @ 120lbs. I thought I would be fine since that type of weight really isn’t a lot for me, but I should have probably done 3 x 10 or 3 x 7 instead of 5 x 10. You live and you learn!

Honestly, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best days to incorporate strength training into my schedule while I was doing the Hansons base building plan. I have come to the conclusion that there really isn’t a great place for it.

When you’re running six days a week there just isn’t a perfect day or two to lift. Right now I’m only doing one day a week, but I definitely want to get back to doing two days a week. I just need to figure out which two days!!

Which days do you strength train?
Is the weather nice and toasty where you are? 



  1. June 6, 2016 / 5:01 am

    Since Im not really training right now I move around my strength training day alot. It usually ends up being a Tuesday or Wednesday, preferably after any tough workouts of the week. I can’t remember when I strength trained when I was following Hanson’s- I think it was the evening after a longer mid-week workout.Yes, its nice and toasty here now! This weekend was so humid. I’m glad its warm but we really jumped into summer weather with no warning!

    • Kristina
      June 6, 2016 / 1:56 pm

      That makes sense – I’ve been avoiding strength training after long or hard running workouts but I just need to resign myself to doing it on those days. The hard days will be super hard but at least I’ll get it all over with in one shot!

  2. June 6, 2016 / 6:33 am

    I’m really enjoying your recap videos…I love the little cat icon in the corner!

    I don’t think I can explain how interested I am in watching you use Hansons. Because you and I are both in the “slower runner” category (especially for long distance), I’m totally using your training as a way to see if Hansons would be right for me next time I train for a marathon. It seems like running 6 days a week has its drawbacks, like finding time for strength training, but I’m most curious to see if the cumulative fatigue and all these slow miles really help you meet your goal! I hope it will!

    • Kristina
      June 6, 2016 / 2:00 pm

      I hope so too! I talked with a Hansons coach a couple of months ago to see if it would be right for me. When you use the Hansons calculator the slowest marathon goal they allow you to choose is 5:59 so I was worried that I might be too slow for the plan. I’m definitely on the cusp but I’m still a fit esp. since I was already used to running six days a week. We’ll see how it goes! I’m in the Hansons Facebook Group now and it seems like a lot of people are seeing big success with this methodology!

    • Kristina
      June 6, 2016 / 2:01 pm

      Me too! I really don’t think I will ever get tired of leaving near the beach. Every time I go I have to take a picture. Adam always asks, “don’t you come here basically every day?” YES but i love it so much!

  3. Susan
    June 6, 2016 / 10:47 am

    Nice job on completing week 2! You go girl. I strength train 6 x per week (one body part per session) but I only total 4-5 miles for my workouts (running then walking). I do make sure I train legs the day before my swim day. I don’t like to run on sore legs if I can help it!

    • Kristina
      June 6, 2016 / 2:02 pm

      Thanks Susan!! Running on sore legs stresses me out because I feel like each step I take is risking injury. I know that’s not really true, but when each foot strike feels like hell it creates concern! haha

  4. June 6, 2016 / 11:22 am

    Cross training is on Mondays, so I try to do some strength training on that day. I would like to do some more strength training throughout the week, but I’m just not sure where to fit it in! The weather here in Indiana has definitely warmed up, but I’m happy because it’s still comfortably warm and not yet stiflingly hot. 🙂

    • Kristina
      June 6, 2016 / 2:03 pm

      Ohhh warm but not stifling hot sounds lovely. The windows in our apartment are permanently fogged right now because it’s so hot outside!

  5. June 6, 2016 / 11:56 am

    Video was awesome. I love the beach scenery, obviously don’t get that around here lol.

    I agree, three are no good days for strength training lol. Obviously being against strength training I look for every reason to miss workouts. I prefer to use my time running 🙂

    • Kristina
      June 6, 2016 / 2:04 pm

      Haha you love the beach scenery and I love your mountain scenery!! I thought you were going to try and commit to strength training! Giving you major side eye right now 🙂

      • June 7, 2016 / 9:35 am

        Did I say that?!?! I don’t remember that, I guess we will have to agree to disagree lol

        I just can’t get into it, no desire.

  6. June 6, 2016 / 12:49 pm

    Although it’s not ideal, my strength days are Tues & Weds. Back to back isn’t the best, but it fits into my work schedule and so far it seems to not interfere with my SOS days. I had to chuckle about “checking your ego”… on my “easy” run this weekend a neighbor ran past me. I felt like telling her I was supposed to be running slow that day 🙂 It does mess with your head a bit!!

    • Kristina
      June 6, 2016 / 2:06 pm

      Hahahahahah that’s so funny! I know exactly how you feel. There’s this guy that runs at the beach at the same time I do. We’ve been running the same route around the same time at about the same pace for over a year now. Recently he’s been passing me by and I totally want to stop him and explain how I’m doing Hansons now!

  7. June 6, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    Well, I don’t strength train and I sure as hell don’t run 6 days a week anymore, BUT the advice I’ve always heard is to do your strength training on the same day as your hard running workout, that way you can truly recover on your corresponding easy days. A local clique of runners I know do track workouts together on Thursdays and they always drop and do a bunch of burpees and squats after the repeats (I know that’s not the same as lifting, but still). I actually think it’s a cool idea. It makes the whole workout more fun and if you do the strength stuff immediately after the running, your body hasn’t yet had time to realize how tired it is 🙂 I think the key, obviously, is just making sure you don’t overdo it.

    • Kristina
      June 7, 2016 / 1:49 pm

      I know you are totally right. I’ve definitely read and been told it’s best to make hard days hard and do strength training on the same days as running workouts. I just don’t know if I am the kind of person that can honestly commit to that for an entire training cycle. At this point I know myself and what I can stay accountable to. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t push myself to go outside my comfort zone and do strength + running workouts on the same day, but I haven’t yet wrapped my mind around that. I’m getting there…!

  8. June 6, 2016 / 4:14 pm

    It is so hard to figure out which days to lift. It is also hard for me to wrap my mind around it because when I was able to lift lower body, I would never ever run/lift on the same day. It just seemed counter intuitive for me. From everything I have read, if you are going to do it on the same day, you are supposed to wait until later in the day when you have had time to recover from your run, eat, hydrate etc.

    You are strong girl!!!!! 🙂 And that’s not even a lot of weight for you???

    • Kristina
      June 6, 2016 / 5:13 pm

      Argh, I just can’t imagine getting up before work to run and then lifting after work. That would be the longest day in the world. I don’t know if I could stay committed to that schedule!

      It’s not. I used to squat 150 and leg press 300. I believe moving a lot of weight up and down with my legs is my God given natural talent LOL. If only I could use this strength to run faster. I need to get everything in sync! Someday!

      • June 6, 2016 / 6:05 pm

        “I believe moving a lot of weight up and down with my legs is my God given natural talent LOL.” <—- HAHAHAHAHA THIS!!!!!!!!! Well you have GOT the talent girl. 🙂

        I don't blame you not wanting to workout before work and after work. I do. not. blame. you. Whatever you decide it has to be something that works for YOU.

        I forgot to tell you in my first comment… Last night before I want to bed, Paul was trying to be the caring husband and he said, "What is on your Hans plan tomorrow?" I'm like "HANS???? WHO IS HANS, MY SWEDISH MAN FRIEND????" LOL! He remembered "Hans" from my bog but not "HansONS". Isn't that cute?

        • June 6, 2016 / 6:08 pm

          One more thing, I think it also helps that it’s not like you just started strength training. I think it is a little funny when people decide to start strength training because they are marathon training. Noooo strength training should be a year round thing so that it’s not THAT big of a deal if you have to cut back a little when marathon training or when training gets really intense!

          • Kristina
            June 7, 2016 / 1:44 pm

            Hahahaha awww Paul! That’s so funny! That’s effort! When I walk in the door in the evening Adam just goes on autopilot and says “Hey baby I missed you, I fed the cat his dinner. How was your run?” Same thing every day!

            Yeah, I think it’s a little weird too when people start strength training at the same time as marathon training. It sounds dangerous to me to be honest, I mean that’s a lot of stress on the body that it’s not used to!

  9. June 6, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    Hi Kristina,
    It is so hard to find a day to strength train! I’m always so sore afterwards that I can’t run for a few days. I am trying to mix it up and run less and do strength workouts that are less defeating! Lunges with 5 lbs, single-legged squats without weights, jumping squats, planks, and more yoga type strength workouts.

    • Kristina
      June 7, 2016 / 1:46 pm

      That sounds like a smart strategy! I should probably decrease the amount of weight I am using, that’s what I’ve always done in the past. This time around I wanted to see if I could maintain some sort of semi-hard lifting routine but it’s becoming such a pain in the butt!

  10. June 6, 2016 / 10:14 pm

    I strength train Monday through Friday. Monday is typically leg day for me and I have learned that I have to keep the weights LOW. I can really impress myself with squats and leg presses, but if I do those to my 8-10 rep max (110 and 230 respectively) the fall out is brutal. My legs get enough abuse with my running.

    I haven’t tried the Hanson’s method, but I am training for a 50K and part of that training has back to back long runs. Since my hubby is a newbie training for a half, I do my longest long run on Saturday and his long run with him on Sunday. It’s been an effective tool in building my mileage for sure.

    It’s fairly warm here in Montana this week… in the 90s.

    Hey… in your picture video, are those Brooks Transcends? Just curious.

  11. June 6, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    Super humid here!!
    I hear you about working legs, I have struggled with that even when I am not training! I know I am going to hurt two days later, so I just try to roll with it. Maybe you can work legs now, and when the mileage really climbs, just let it be.
    You are lifting a good amount weight 🙂 I love that.
    …I can NOT squat much at all!! I think if you can work that heavy weight in now one day a week you are doing great!
    Join me doing push ups this month 🙂 You can knock them after a run!
    I like your pink capris! cute 🙂

  12. June 7, 2016 / 8:28 am

    Great second week of training! I love your recap videos!

    I think as long as you are being honest without yourself about whether or not the pace feels easy, then it shouldn’t matter too much if you are little bit faster than the recommended pace guide. I remember feeling similar last summer when I saw my recovery pace should be 9:30-10:30. It was like, but I’m faster than that now! My pace hasn’t been 10+ in a few years. But during high mileage weeks, I needed to slow down. And I’m glad I was able to put my attitude aside and run at the paces I needed to recover. And it paid off on race day when I hit my goal!

  13. June 7, 2016 / 11:50 am

    I’m excited to come across your blog since I’ll also be running Chicago! I look forward to following your training for the race. I live in Alaska but am leaving for a research trip to toasty Madrid in a few weeks and am worried about getting my miles in there. I will have to be more disciplined than usual. Lately I mostly do yoga for strength training. I try to make the lunchtime classes once or twice a week — usually earlier in the week so my legs won’t be tired on long run days.