Hansons Half Marathon Method – Review
Hansons Half Marathon Method – Introduction
This is a follow up to the “Hansons Marathon Method” which although somewhat controversial does have its ardent supporters who’ve experienced great results. The ever growing popularity of the half marathon prompted the author, Luke Humphrey, and contributors, Keith and Kevin Hanson to provide an in-depth book to get anyone through an 18 week training schedule and half marathon. If you are a couch potato, casual jogger, experienced marathoner, or elite racer, you WILL get better if you read and follow Hansons Half Marathon Method. The plans are detailed, easy to follow, and will allow you to work with a pace and perform the workouts catered to your ability. I do want to make it perfectly clear that in order to do this plan, you will have to run. You will have to run A LOT! That’s right, this is a no-nonsense approach to becoming a better runner. In order to do so, your body and mind will be pushed to its limits by running some serious miles each week. There are few “rest” days, and they don’t think very highly of “cross-training.” Hansons Half Marathon Method will present its theories and methods in a clear and concise manner.
Hansons Half Marathon Method – Approach
In part I of the book, the training philosophy and marathon physiology is explained. The underlying foundation for the program is “Cumulative Fatigue.” This is the accumulation of fatigue over days, weeks, and even months of consistent training. The five main components are Mileage, Intensity, Balance, Consistency, and Active Recovery. The training consists of speed work, strength training (not in the form of weights, but in specific running workouts), tempo runs, and the long run. Active recovery is one element that is unique to the Hansons Half Marathon Method, because it is an easy run where your tired muscles learn to burn fat more efficiently replicating a race situation. I’m usually not one for detailed scientific information, but the clear and concise explanations of how your body’s physiology functions are quite interesting. Hansons Half Marathon Method has a very solid approach and explanation for their method with in-depth physiological explanations, and easy to follow training steps. I particularly gained a lot from the information discussing fast and slow twitch muscles. You’d think fast twitch muscles have no place in long distance endurance running, but as it turns out they are actually quite vital in helping your body go the distance.
Hansons Half Marathon Method – The Program
Part II of the book gets specific with training program components, plans, and modifications. I have followed an assortment of plans over the years. I do have to admit that as soon as I got my copy of the book, I flipped to the Program section to see the training components and plans. Initially, I was blown away at the amount of running required, but quickly realized that without reading the background and introduction all this information wouldn’t make much sense. Hence, I started back at the beginning and quickly became absorbed into their Approach, Training Philosophy, and physiology which put to rest my initial concerns. The Hanson brothers are world class runners who coach many Olympic hopefuls, and their experience provides us with great insight. Other plans I’ve used had me running 3-4 days per week with the off days either for rest or cross training. We all have busy lives, careers, and families, so when I say that the Hansons Half Marathon Method will have you running at least 6 times per week do not let that scare you off.
Part III of the Hanson Half Marathon Method covers race goals, supplemental training, nutrition and hydration, gear, race tactics, and post-race coverage. Based on some training runs, you will be able to identify which plan will work you. This is all great information, and I implore you to use it to figure out your own personal plan to racing a successful half marathon.
Hansons Half Marathon Method – Final Thoughts
As I’ve become a more proficient runner, I have noticed that the more I run, the easier it gets, and injuries are minimal. Therefore, I see great value in this plan, and I will definitely follow it for my next half marathon. However, I do enjoy mixing it up with some of my other passions, so I will have to find a happy balance.
No matter what kind of runner you consider yourself to be, if you follow the Hansons Half Marathon Method, you will become a better and smarter runner, and if properly executed, you will crush your Half marathon goals. For more information please visit www.VeloPress.com
***Full disclaimer – I did not actually follow the 18 week plan to complete a half marathon. The timing and training schedule for my current endeavor to do an Ironman made that a bit challenging. However, I am using the principles as part of my training especially the cumulative fatique element of running 5-6 times per week while incorporating speed, tempo, and strength workouts.