Running, Cats & Adam’s Personal Best

Hi there! This weekend I spent a good chunk of time reading more of the Hansons book. If you’re thinking about running a marathon this fall, I would highly recommend it. I would especially recommend it to slower runners like myself who think the Hanson’s Method is only for faster, more experience runners.

I wish I had read the book last spring before I started training for Chicago. If you remember I worked with a coach who put together a plan based off of Hansons for me. I didn’t love it at all, but with a better understanding of the principles and how each type of workout helps to improve running efficiency I think I would have enjoyed the training more. I am nearly 100% positive I’ll use a Hansons plan this summer to prepare for Chicago 2.0.

I think one of the scariest things about Hansons is the weekly mileage which can be pretty intense. What makes it much less scary is understanding that only your easy mileage increases (not the amount of miles run for speed/strength). Additionally, you are not only encouraged but required to run easy miles 1-2 minutes slower than goal marathon pace.

The book goes into the scientific reasons why so much easy mileage is important for increasing running efficiency. I won’t try to explain it myself, but it’s definitely worth a read if you’re interested in that sort of thing. The book does a great job of explaining why all of that mileage isn’t junk as long as you’re following the plan. If you’re not following the plan to a tee then yes, you can definitely end up running junk mileage and sabotaging yourself. Super interesting stuff for running nerds :).

Last week was my first week of using the Hansons Base Work plan, which requires running six days per week just like the Hansons marathon plans.

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At the peak of my running abilities in 2014-2015 when I set all of my current PRs I was running six days per week, but over the last 5-ish months I transitioned down to five days per week. Adding in the extra day didn’t feel that much more taxing, although it is strange to not have a rest day after a long run day.

I’m keeping a log of my thoughts and will write up a post after the 8 base building weeks are over to recap how I think it went, what the biggest benefits were and also what the biggest downsides were.

This weekend my plan called for six miles on Saturday and 8 miles on Sunday. Adam and I went to the gym together on Saturday night and I got in my miles along with an upper body strength training session that left my chest super sore! I woke up on Sunday and was like “omg I think an elephant sat on me last night!”

SHOUTOUT to Adam who benched 270lbs three times which is a new max for him! I know what you’re thinking, but sorry ladies, he’s taken :).  Also shoutout to me for being an excellent spotter, haha.

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My mom is getting ready to move into her new place this week. She texted me to say that Georgie is doing a great job helping her pack up all of the final pieces. As you can see he is working real hard:

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And here’s a pic of Cecil just because I don’t want him to feel left out:

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I bought him this brown cat box last October and almost six months later he’s finally decided to use it. Go figure!

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^ I require him to do 15 minutes of light reading every night before bed and he’s finally picked up “Why Not Me?” by Mindy. Good boy. ?

I hope you had a great weekend!

What was the best part of your weekend?




  1. March 28, 2016 / 6:44 am

    The high mileage in Hansons scares the crap out of me too. And it’s not like it’s a month of high mileage, it’s like over two months of really high (for me!) mileage!!

    Wow go Adam!!! I can’t imagine lifting that much weight one time let alone three times. Cecil looks so stoic in the photo and I want to put my face in George’s belly!

    • Kristina
      March 28, 2016 / 8:08 am

      Yeah! The mileage in the advanced plan is really, really high. If I select Hanson’s I’ll definitely do the Beginner Plan which isn’t nearly as intimidating. It’s comforting though that the additional mileage is from easy miles and extra long warmups and cool downs though, isn’t it? I like what the book says about injury usually coming from too much intensity from speed/strength days due to incorrect goal setting (or from running easy days too hard). That seems to be logical!

      Georgie is sooo fluffy! As someone who loves cats but is highly allergic to them I have to resist snuggling Georgie every time I go to my mom’s place – it’s hard! Cecil doesn’t shed a lot, thank goodness since he likes to sleep right next to my face.

      I wanted to take a video of Adam benching but he said that I wouldn’t be fulfilling my spotter duties if I did. His reps were super smoothe though, he didn’t need me :).

  2. March 28, 2016 / 6:50 am

    So when I read your post last week about wanting to try this method again, I got a little nervous for you. I remember how much you disliked it last year. I’m so glad that this book is explaining things and making you like the method more… I hope all of your marathon dreams come true with it!!!

    • Kristina
      March 28, 2016 / 8:11 am

      Thanks Sam! Yeah, understanding how it all works definitely helps! When the going gets tough I can just remind myself of the purpose. Plus the book provides insights on how to stay mentally motivated at peak training when you’re feeling the biggest effects from cumulative fatigue! I’m excited to give it a try again this fall!

  3. March 28, 2016 / 7:12 am

    The problem for me with Hansons was it didnt really have cutback weeks like most training plans. I modified to add them in, otherwise I would have totally been burnt out. I also had to move days around due to weather (I was training in the winter) and I definitely think that interfered with some of the principals being as effective. But I do think its a great plan and I hope it goes well for you!
    Congrats to Adam!

    • Kristina
      March 28, 2016 / 8:19 am

      Oh yes, I definitely noticed there weren’t any cutback weeks! That surprised me but I think what helps is that all of the speed sessions are during the middle part of the plan when long run mileage isn’t quite as high, tempos are still short and overall mileage is just starting to build. It’s obviously super easy for me to say all of this when I’m not yet in the middle of the plan! I’m sure I’ll be missing those true cut back weeks when the time comes around!

  4. March 28, 2016 / 10:19 am

    I think I am going to order the Hanson’s book online. I haven’t thought at all about Chicago, and now with all of you talking about this book, I think I need to check it out. Super high mileage does scare me.. and I am not sure if I would be a fan of the inflexibility. I still think it is worth the read.

    I had a crazy and wild weekend in Dallas participating in Questival. I am working on a recap… but I did more in 24 hours than I usually do in a month. It was crazy!

  5. March 28, 2016 / 10:59 am

    I would like to read that book, but I will wait until after Boston. I don’t want to freak myself out by what I “should have been doing!”

  6. March 28, 2016 / 11:34 am

    I loled so hard at the cat comment. It sounds like you had a great weekend and got everything done you needed too. A lot of friends have had success with Hansons so I’m always curious to give it a shot.

  7. Jasmine
    March 28, 2016 / 2:20 pm

    Hey Kristina! This is super interesting about the Hansons plan. I’ve only used a Hal Higdon plan which I adapted, but I’m open to trying a new one. I feel like I still need two rest days though! I always feel like reading about running and the ins and outs of training motivates me too. Good luck with the base training!

  8. March 28, 2016 / 5:13 pm

    I’ll have to take a closer look at the Hanson’s method whenever I decided to start training for a race again (it’s going to be awhile) I’m not sure I could handle running 6 days a week though, I get burnt out too easily! I’m really interested to hear how it goes for you!

  9. March 28, 2016 / 11:02 pm

    You’ve got me thinking about re-reading Hanson’s and trying it for my next race. UGHHHHHH… It sounds so hard but so wonderful and worth it. Keep us posted!

  10. March 29, 2016 / 8:55 am

    Soooooo, Saturday while on my run, a new friend of mine said she used Hansons for her last marathon. She LOVED it. She said she used their beginner plan and after using Hal Higdon for her first marathon (4:25) she PR’d with a 4:04 with Hansons…She said even though the mileage seemed daunting as long as you follow the plan it isn’t as bad as what you may think. She did mention how much time it takes up and that it is a real commitment. But really hammered home how great it worked for her, how much faster she is now and more confident in her running. She is the first person I have been able to actually talk to about it and she couldn’t say enough good.

  11. March 29, 2016 / 1:06 pm

    Wow, long runs two minutes slower than marathon pace? I feel like for me that would be walking.

    I think Hanson’s is a great plan and I know many runners who thrived off it. It’s too time-consuming for me but I look forward to seeing you train with it!

  12. March 29, 2016 / 8:14 pm

    Looking forward to seeing how following the Hanson method goes. I’ve never followed a training plan before, but I only like to run 3 days a week. Your cat is adorable!!

  13. March 29, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    Adam rocks!!!
    That is great you have a plan for training. I have watched (read) as people have used this to great success, but the mileage load makes me really nervous. I guess I need to read the book lol
    The idea to run that easily intrigues me, I wonder if I could do it. I always get a certain point and just want to be done ll

  14. March 30, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    Cecil is adorable! I love your blog. I am a beginning runner and my body is really struggling with running right now. I am going to have to take it down to run/walk until it finally adjusts and I don’t feel like I’m falling apart. I look forward to reading more of your posts and good luck with your 8-weeks of base training.

    • Kristina
      March 31, 2016 / 11:18 am

      Hi! Thanks very much!

      That’s so exciting that you’ve started running. Beginning with a run/walk program is a great option. I did Couch to 5K which is a free online training plan you can follow to easily work your way into running without getting injured!