Thoughts on Hanson’s Base Builder So Far (50% Done)

If you haven’t already read through my 25% done report, you can browse through it here

I am now four+ weeks into the Hansons 40 mile per week base building plan which means I’m halfway done. Well, sort of. Let me explain! The plan is 8 weeks long and doesn’t include any rest/down weeks. Spoiler alert: I’m actually feeling pretty good and don’t really think I need a down week; however, I’m going on vacation soon and I don’t want to have to stress about my mileage while I’m exploring Spain, France and Italy!

Fitting in Mileage on Vacation

I can’t imagine that after hiking Mt. Vesuvius I’m going to want to get back on the cruise ship and run six miles. It just doesn’t sound practical, reasonable or fun to stress over fitting in 40 miles on vacation when I’m not even training for a specific race right now!

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Instead I’m creating an unofficial down week into the base builder plan so that I can go with the flow on vacation. I still plan to cover all the bases: run six days per week, complete one tempo run and do back-to-back mid length long runs on the weekend. I just won’t stress about how many miles I’m covering each week day. I’ll also probably add on an extra week to the end of this plan where I’ll run another 40 mile week after which I’ll take a small break before jumping into full blown marathon training!

Building My Mileage

When I wrote my 25% done post I was just about to reach my 30 miles in a week for the first time in a long time. That’s all history now and I’m feeling really good in the mid-30 mile per week (mpw) range right now. Next week will be my first week at 40mpw and I’m actually not nervous about it at all.

Before I took on this plan I really questioned whether I would be able to handle the mileage. I really wanted to hit 40mpw but I didn’t know how my body would respond. I sort of took a “fake it until you make it” approach where I said I was going to do it even if deep down I was unsure.

Now, just four weeks later, I’m absolutely sure I’ll hit forty miles next with no major problems. Following my pacing guidelines and keeping all of my easy miles easy has really been the key.

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How is my body REALLY holding up?

  • My right hip is really tight some nights, but on other nights it doesn’t bother me at all (which is a miracle)!
  • My calves and achilles are sometimes really tight, but this isn’t new.
  • Sometimes I feel mentally exhausted by the thought of running every day but once I get started I my energy increases tenfold.

A little tightness here and there is really nothing to complain about or hold me back. It’s actually just a good daily reminder to stay diligent and committed to my lengthy stretching routine.


Last time I told you that I was having difficulty figuring out where to place my weight lifting days. I’m still doing two days of lifting per week: one upper body and one lower body day.

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Just last week I decided to switch my upper body day from Saturday to Sunday. My biggest issue with lifting on Saturday was that it made me very sore for my long run on Sunday. It definitely isn’t ideal to lift after my long run but it’s better than feeling sore and beat up during the long run.

I should probably play around with my schedule a bit more to find a more practical solution. However, I am also following the philosophy of keeping my easy days easy and hard days hard by lifting on tempo run and long run days. This philosophy says that you should allow your body to really recover on easy days. It makes sense, but it’s H.A.R.D.

Overall Thoughts 

When I wrote my 25% checkin post I said I was feeling good but realized I hadn’t yet been pushed outside of my comfort zone. Even though I’m now approaching 40mpw I still feel the same way. I’m EXTREMELY surprised by this as just four weeks ago I would have told you that 40mpw was way, way, way outside of my comfort zone. Like, opposite side of the galaxy far away.

My fingers are crossed that the smooth sailing continues all the way through October when I cross the finish line in Chicago. However, I have a feeling I’ll hit quite a few bumps along the way ?! Thanks for being here to chat about training plans with me. Can you imagine if I tried to tell all of this to Adam? I’m sure he would listen but his eyes would probably gloss over, haha!

Have a great Wednesday!

What day of the week do you take your rest day(s)?
Where is the coolest place you’ve ever had the opportunity to run?! 




  1. April 20, 2016 / 5:24 am

    Sounds like you are doing great! When I think about little areas of tightness I always ask myself if I think they would be tight anyway even if I didn’t run. Alot of time I think they would, just from sitting and driving and stuff!

    • Kristina
      April 20, 2016 / 7:58 am

      I love that! You’re so right, my right hip gets tight from just sitting for hours on end at work (even though I make it a point to get up and walk around a lot) so it would probably be tight anyway!

  2. April 20, 2016 / 6:42 am

    I would like to run on the Champs d’elysee…could you do that for me???
    My peak mileage for marathon was 48…
    Great job!

    • Kristina
      April 20, 2016 / 8:00 am

      Instead let’s go run the Paris marathon together! 🙂

      Isn’t it funny that right now 40 mpw sounds doable but 48 sounds completely insane to me? Forty-eight is almost 50 which is half of 100 which is half of 200! You basically ran a 200 mile week!

  3. April 20, 2016 / 9:46 am

    Ah yes, I am quite familiar with watching my husband’s eyes gloss over when I want to have an in depth discussion on training.

    I can’t believe you are already half way done with you base builder plan. Didn’t you just start it yesterday?! It is great that your body has been adapting so quickly to the plan and the increased mileage. The down week while on vacation sounds smart. Plus if I was touring Italy I would be all about the food and wine and not at all about the running. Plus a little time off will help keep you from feeling burned out between now and Chicago.

    • Kristina
      April 20, 2016 / 10:58 am

      I know, I feel like I just started it too! I totally forgot that I needed to write my 50% done post until I was writing notes in my training log last night and saw the WEEK FIVE header!

      You and I are on the same train of thought when it comes to Italy 🙂 There are *sometimes* more important things than running! haha

  4. April 20, 2016 / 10:14 am

    It’s nice to hear that your plan is still going well. The tightness, I am starting to think that is just a part of life. My calves have been worse than usual so I have been stretching them at work a lot. I think the sitting all day doesn’t help…no movement to keep things loose. I also like that you are keeping the hard days hard and lifting after your long run. Yes that sucks but its better than working hard on your rest day!

    • Kristina
      April 20, 2016 / 11:00 am

      I think you’re right, it seems like it’s just part of life, especially for those of us who sit all day. I try to get up and move at least once an hour but that’s really not that much! I was telling a colleague the other day that I sometimes miss the retail job I had as a teenager because I got to be up and moving around all day!

      • Kristina
        April 20, 2016 / 11:00 am

        I don’t miss the pay though! 😀

  5. April 20, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    Whaaaaat you don’t want to obsess about mileage in Europe??? 🙂

    I think you and I have the same running philosophy. Obviously, when we are training for a specific goal, we are diligent. But when LIFE comes up, we don’t allow running to take over. We have balance. We are not obsessed with paces and miles. We like life too. 🙂

    I am glad your body is holding up and that you feel ready to tackle 40 miles per week! It was a big mental hurdle for me to get over the 30s because I was stuck in the low 30s for about a year. It is hard to hit 40 when you only run 5 days a week, but obviously I am going to have to change that when I attempt the Hanson’s plan. I am excited we’ll be following the same plan *around* the same time. I think I am going to try a marathon Sept. 11 so I will be a couple weeks ahead of you in the plan.

  6. April 20, 2016 / 7:10 pm

    I’m SO glad this is working out well for you!! I’m impressed by your mileage 🙂 And I’m glad your legs are holding up!! I think this bodes well for you for your next marathon. It seems like you’re going to be SO strong and ready for those super long runs!

  7. April 20, 2016 / 9:36 pm

    Your vacation sounds awesome! I wouldn’t worry about how much you run, because you know you will be getting a lot of walking and activity, but the thought of getting to a run in all those places is really great motivation!
    That is great the mileage is feeling manageable 🙂
    I wing it every week lol I rest when I need to grocery shop and want to eat!