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Hansons Marathon Method: A Renegade Path to Your Fastest Marathon [Paperback]

Luke Humphrey , Keith Hanson , Kevin Hanson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 2012
InHansons Marathon Method, the coaches of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project reveal the methods they've used to turn their runners into race winners, national champions, and Olympians.Hansons Marathon Methodoffers a radical overhaul of marathon training that promises to turn any runner into a true marathoner and help experienced marathoners set new personal bests.Hansons Marathon Methoddoes away with mega long runs and high mileage weekends—two outdated traditions that make most runners miserable. Instead, runners using the Hansons method will gradually build up to the moderate-high mileage required for marathon success, spreading those miles more sensibly throughout the week. Running easy days mixed with precisely paced speed, strength, and tempo workouts, runners will steel their bodies and minds to run the hardest miles of the marathon. Both Beginner and Advanced training programs feature the unique Hansons 16-mile long run which, as part of the Hansons program, is ideal for preparing the body for the marathon. Humphrey explains how runners should set their goal race pace and shows how to customize the Hansons method to their own needs, like adding extra racing, running more miles, and handling training interruptions. Detailed nutrition and hydration chapters help runners pinpoint their personal energy and hydration needs so they know precisely how much to eat and drink during workouts, race week, race day, and for recovery. The Hansons approach to pacing and nutrition means marathoners will never hit the wall.Hansons Marathon Methodlays out the smartest marathon training program available from one of the most accomplished running groups in the nation. Using this innovative approach, runners will mold real marathon muscles, train their body to never hit the wall, and prepare to run their fastest marathon.

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Hansons Marathon Method: A Renegade Path to Your Fastest Marathon + Runner's World Run Less, Run Faster: Become a Faster, Stronger Runner with the Revolutionary 3-Run-a-Week Training Program
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Review

“Keith and Kevin Hanson have been training professional and amateur distance runners for over 20 years. Last year the brothers, along with Luke Humphrey, an exercise physiologist and one of their coaches, published Hansons Marathon Method. In it, they’ve thrown out just about every standard of the marathon training program…Unlike other marathon training programs, which typically have runs of 20 miles or longer, the Hansons method tops out at 16 miles, an appealing draw.” — New York Times

“You might expect a training program devised by the Hanson brothers, Keith and Kevin, to be a little different than the usual rehashing of principles and schedules. Given the success of athletes from the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, you wouldn’t be surprised if it was effective, too.” — Runner’s World

“With his wealth of knowledge, and the Hanson’s assistance, Luke Humphrey crafts a fantastic book that is easy to digest and understand. The book is a quick read and breaks down the entire program nicely. Hansons Marathon Method is purely based on science. Every single run is an important part of the entire program. There is a strategy and logic to everything the plan calls for you to do.” — The RUNiverse

“Kevin and Keith Hanson have years of experience coaching athletes at many levels. Their knowledge of the sport is evident in their ability to continually develop athletes and take them to the next level. In addition, Luke Humphrey's science background coupled with being a top-tier marathoner brings a unique and beneficial perspective to training. Not only can Luke provide the scientific approach to the training methods, but he's done the workouts and had successful results. The results have been proven at every level, from the beginner to the elite, the Hanson's training system works. With the coaching experience of Kevin and Keith and the science background Luke brings to the table, you have an incredible wealth of knowledge, and arguably one of the best marathon coaching teams in the country.” — Desiree Davila, Olympic marathoner

“Keith and Kevin Hanson, through their passion for the sport of distance running, have developed an amazing history of successful coaching with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Their insights into their individual athletes and coaching philosophies have enabled athletes like Desi Davila and Brian Sell to successfully compete on the world’s greatest running stages. Even more impressive is the development of what many elite coaches would call “marginally talented runners” who the Hansons have coached up to being national-caliber competitors. Many coaches have systems, but the key to success is the athlete’s belief in that system. That comes with trust. The athletes trust the process and the people directing that process. Luke Humphrey adds the science behind the process, but the implementation of the process is an art perfected one athlete at a time.” — Greg Meyer, American distance runner and winnter of the Boston and Chicago Marathons

From the Back Cover

Break free of outdated training traditions to run your fastest marathon!The Hansons-Brooks Distance Project has taken American running by storm, becoming one of the nation's most successful running groups. Known for upstart talent and an unconventional 16-mile long run, the group has earned spots on podiums at the biggest U.S. marathons and on the U.S. Olympic team. Now you can learn the team's secrets for a PR-busting performance in your next marathon. Combining smart science with proven practice,Hansons Marathon Methodstarts with the end in mind, preparing your body for amarathon's toughest final miles through:
  • Lower-mileage long runs that emphasize quality over quantity
  • Speed, strength, and tempo workouts focused tightly on goal pace
  • Crucial nutrition and hydration guidance to avoid hitting the wall
  • Detailed training plans for both beginners and advanced runners
Coaches Keith and Kevin Hanson break old rules and new ground, combining science and strategy to cultivate the very best race in any runner. Their method, laid out in clear, easy-to-understand terms, arms you with the knowledge, tools, and training plans you need to run your best marathon and achieve the personal record you've dreamed of.Luke Humphreyis head coach of Hansons Coaching Services and a runner with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project.Keith&Kevin Hansonare elite running coaches and founders of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best program out there March 12 2014
Format:Paperback
I love this program. With its emphasis on high weekly mileage and 6 days per week of running it really turned me into a runner instead of just a guy who trains for marathons. With it I shaved 3 minutes off my PB and finally nailed a Boston qualifying time, which was no small feat for a guy whose first marathon was a sad 4:20. Not only does it work (if you put in the effort), it's much more enjoyable than all those other programs that promote super long individual runs, sprinting up hills and other unnecessary tortures that force you to take too many rest days. I've been at it since 2002 and have run 14 marathons and have tried lots of different things. This is by far the best approach to training I've come across and everything's pretty well explained if you care to know why it works. Do it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Image problem Oct. 4 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The images in the electronic version can't be increase and are to small (like the training schedule). They can't be use
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! March 7 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Hansons Marathon Method is a the best training plan book I have ever read. Very easy to follow and understand, the book backs up all its suggestions with strong sports physiology research and reasoning. I highly recommend this book to marathoners of all levels who want a solid, well-researched, effective plan where every workout has a specific purpose. Excellent, excellent book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Effectively debunks a lot of training myths Dec 11 2012
Format:Paperback
Very comprehensive both in terms of explaining the program and the scientific basis for the program. Tells you what you need (as opposed to want) to hear and leaves no stone unturned.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  190 reviews
65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 30+-minute Improvement, Same Marathon One-Year Later March 31 2013
By jh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I used the simple, easy to follow (but not easy shortcut!) program and ran a 30 minute, 40 second improvement one year later at the same marathon, from 3:57 down to 3:26.

While that was the goal I had set, I was able to achieve it feeling strong and without hitting the dreaded wall where one just wants to give up especially mentally and start walking. My paces for the 10K segments through 30K were nearly perfectly even: 7:55, 7:53, 7:55, and final average pace for the whole marathon was 7:53. I was even able to run Mile 26, the last full mile, at 7:21 pace, meaning I was doing a speed workout and finish strong at the end of 25 miles already run at goal pace.

I attribute my improvement to the features of this program: more than most others, many of the miles in the program are run at race goal pace, so the goal pace seemed not only easy but also well-ingrained (cadence, stride lengths, feel of the pace in the legs and the lungs). There were also plenty of weekly runs that gave me confidence I could run at the goal pace.

The longest runs in this program are done after the runner has gone through a challenging Thursday - Saturday section, and those runs are definitely not started on fresh legs as many other programs will have you do. This means on race day, when you are actually starting on fresh legs for once, the marathon distance is not that big a deal any more.

It is important to remember this program is NOT A SHORTCUT, despite the misleading notoriety of its "only 16 mile as longest run!" feature. The total miles per week, the intensity of workouts, and the deliberate accumulation of fatigue are real, and are just as challenging to manage both on the body and on your schedules as other programs of similar demands (the closest in terms of mileage and intensity I found was the Pfitzinger 18/55 program). I totaled about 1,000 miles through the 18-week program. I was consistently at a level of 4/10 fatigue from about week 8-17, but on race day I was feeling more than ready.

The 16-mile long run feature has created a lot of buzz and some negative snarky remarks from people who haven't followed it (obvious, because they were already criticizing the program BEFORE the actual book became available). This is unfortunate, because there is no shortcut to marathon success, and this program's 16-mile feature was being misleadingly singled-out as its main point.

What the 16-mile run does is it allows the rest of the days in the week to be used in a productive way, and to not turn the 20-22 mile long run as the disproportionate focus of the week while the days before and after were relegated to super easy, essentially "rest" days. If one is always running the long runs while being shielded from fatigue, even the "classic" 20-miler, 22-miler long runs that critics of this program seem so fixated on will still lead the runner only "to" the wall every time, and still not prepare the runner to go "through or over or around" the wall.

There is an outline of the program on the Hansons website. While that is the same outline as in the book, the book goes into the actual paces of the individual workouts a lot more, and is a good resource well worth the modest cost. It is very easy to adjust the paces: all the prescribed paces for all the workouts are pegged to the goal pace. I will be using this program as long as I am running marathons.
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nailed it! Nov. 13 2012
By Willard M. Oliver - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After 7 marathons trying to break the four hour mark, I finally decided to try the Hanson Method. Not only did I finally get under four hours, but I bested my last marathon by 28 minutes, and my PR by 16 minutes! Not to mention, I stayed injury free for the first time. Sore legs, yes; injuries, no. I highly - highly - recommend this book/method.
65 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! Must read for runners! Nov. 9 2012
By Colleen A. Lerro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thanks to my impulse buying and Amazon Prime membership, I had a copy of Hansons Marathon Method: A Renegade Path To Your Fastest Marathon in my hands just two days after learning about it. Written by Luke Humphrey, an elite Hansons runner who also has a master's degree in exercise science, with Kevin and Keith Hanson, the book outlines their philosophy and program for a successful marathon covering every aspect from training to strategy to recovery. In just a couple of days I'd read the book from cover to cover and I was sold. I'm going to give their program a shot for my next marathon.

Most marathon training programs are fairly similar. For beginners you usually run three shorter runs during the week and a long run on the weekend peaking around 20 or 22 miles. As you get more advanced, speed workouts and higher mileage are added to the training schedule, but the long run - still peaking at 20 or 22 miles - remains a staple of most programs. The Hansons method takes a different approach. It "teaches a strategic and scientifically grounded approach to everything from the long run to speed workouts to pacing," writes Kevin Hanson in the book's foreword. The Hansons method has evolved over the years helping runners of all levels to marathon success since the 1990s.

The biggest difference in the Hansons program is the long run. Rather that the typical 20-miler, the longest training run in the standard Hansons program is 16 miles. The reason this works, Humphrey writes, is that the long run should simulate the last 16 miles of the marathon, not the first 16. It's all based on experiencing the cumulative fatigue you experience in a marathon without completely zapping your energy for the next week of training. The book cites a guideline that your long run should not exceed 25-30 percent of your weekly mileage. For beginners who have completed just three short runs during the week, a 20-miler on Sunday can sometimes be 50 percent or more of their weekly mileage. This can be demoralizing and lead to injury - both of which can turn people off from running.

The book covers the philosophy behind the program and delves into the physiology of running covering issues like glycogen depletion and VO2 max. From there Humphrey's discusses the training program components including easy mileage, which is made up of warm-ups and cool downs, easy days and recovery days, and something of substance (SOS) workouts, which include speed, strength, tempo runs and long runs. The book goes over proper pacing for each of type of run before outlining it's training programs including both a beginner program and an advanced program. It also talks about program modifications for when life and injuries get in the way.

After covering the program, the book moves into the strategy side of things. It talks about setting race goals; how to incorporate supplemental training such as cross-training, strength-training and flexibility; and marathon nutrition and hydration during workouts, on race day and for recovery. It moves on to marathon gear, race tactics and post-race recovery - leaving no stone unturned. Finally, the book includes an appendix showcasing the elite Hansons program and describing how its principles are very similar to the ones in their beginner and advanced programs for everyday runners. It even shows Humphrey's training program for the 2011 San Diego Rock `n' Roll Marathon (this course was my first marathon back in 2005!) where he placed fifth in a personal best time of 2:14:27.

If you're a runner, you'll want to give this book a read. Even if you decide to stick with your current training program, you'll most certainly learn something from it.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I used this training method and it worked for me June 10 2013
By Bridget Paulus Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I used this method to run my first marathon at the age of 51 and I ran a 3:20 and qualified for Boston by 40 minutes. I followed the advanced program as I have been running for 35 years but never did a marathon because I always got injured from the training. I didn't want to just finish a marathon - I wanted to race a marathon. I followed this program pretty much to the letter although I had a bad cold in the middle and had to miss some days. Some of my track workouts were on a snow covered track so I couldn't hit the times I needed but put the effort in. I liked the information about what to do if you miss some days because you are sick. And I liked the information for first time marathoners since this was my first. I was mostly afraid of hitting the wall and having a bad finish so I held back in the first half. I ran a negative split by 1:30 minutes and my last mile was my fastest (7:17). Needless to say, I felt strong. It is not an easy plan but if you are focused and stick with it, good things will happen.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!!!! Oct. 18 2013
By Lucky Girl Running - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After running 3 marathons using the Hal Higons program for the novice runner; this plan ran you 3 times during the week and a long run maxing at 20 miles on the weekend. I ran a 4:40 the first time, a 3:59:22 the second and a relaxed marathon at 4:10.... I now wanted a BQ; I bought this book that scared me at first with all the miles and bringing me to running 6 days a week... maxing at 3 16 mile runs! Well thank you BROTHERS! I ran Chicago 2013 and finished with a proud and easy! 3:42:46... needed a 3:55 for Boston. I felt strong the whole time... I did however taper the last week more than the plan; I was having some hip pain and wanted to clear that up; I ran only 11 of the 24 miles in the last weeks plan... but my past marathons I had only run 7 miles in that week; so I felt confident.

I trusted the plan as well as listened to my body! Other than my own taper I NEVER missed a run! I recommend to this program to all levels as you can adjust it to your own goals :)
THANK YOU!!!!!
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