Hansons vs. Pfitzinger (Read 2527 times)

    Just saw the reference to this on Jeff's blog.  How did I miss this the first time around?

     

    Anyway, thanks for the comparison, Bhearn. It is one of the best written, most informative, posts I've ever read on here.

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      Just saw the reference to this on Jeff's blog.  How did I miss this the first time around? 

       

      It just appeared. I was hoping Jeff would weigh in!

       

      Hansons' Marathon Method and Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning -- the two aspects of marathon training

        OK, I decided to give Hanson's a try for my next marathon.  I've been a Pfitz guy for my past few marathons, and have always felt well repaired, and been happy with my times, but...

         

        1)  I drafted up my schedule for my next marathon (Yakima Valley, April 9th), and frankly I'm not looking forward to hashing out the same training yet again!

         

        2)  I read a good point (possibly earlier in this thread) about it's good to shake up your training to provide new stimulus.  That makes sense to me.  I don't think I've plateaued with Pfitz, but a little change will be good.

         

        3)  I like doing MP runs!  Pfitz calls for a a couple LR's with MP, but I would generally add at least a few miles of MP on every LR.  I'll try to follow Hansons and not do that on the LR, but rather try to get my fill during the mid-week "tempo" runs.

         

        I don't have the book, but purchased the 12 week, 85-105 mile, plan from the website.  Looking at the plan, it all makes sense, but I have a couple questions I'm hoping those who have read the book can give guidance on.

         

        First, in the text it explains the 12 week plan forgoes the base building phase, assuming you are already good to go.  I have about 3 weeks until I'm officially 12 weeks out from my marathon.  As of right now, I plan to just start the plan next Monday, and then repeat a few of the "Race Specific" weeks once I get into the meat of the training.  What would be in a typical "Hansons" base building phase?  I'm guessing just working up to ~100 per week of all easy running?  I averaged around 80 MPW during the couple months before my last marathon on 11/25, and have been "slacking off" since with weeks around 30-40, but think I could quickly ramp back up.

         

        Second, I noticed all the runs are singles.  What’s the official Hanson’s line on doubles?  I’d be inclined to break up 1 or 2 of the easy days into doubles.  My plan has a lot of 10 to 12 mile easy days, that seem perfect for doubling up as two shorter runs.

         

        Thanks,

        Jason


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          Obi-run, for that base building period, they just have you do all easy miles. They do prescribe a schedule, but it's really low. If its too low, then they say to just do what you are already doing. As for doubles, they don't recommend them until you are at 100 weekly miles. At that point, they recommend adding a second run to a day on which the main run is at least 10 miles. So, for example, 10 in the AM and 4 in the PM. In the elite schedule given in the Appendix, he was doing 14 in the AM and 6 in the PM. Hope that helps! 

          PRs: 21:35 (5K); 1:46:46 (HM); 4:30:46 (FM)

          Ghettopops


            Very good write-up and thread. Am strongly leaning towards Hansons Plan. Have only used PFitz 12/55 modified.

              Having gotten this book for the holidays and having read through the first 2 parts now (covering the approach, basic physiology, and the plans), I appreciate bhearn’s initial post even more.   He nails the key issues.

               

              To sell a plan and books, you need to highlight and emphasize the differences from other plans.  (Sometimes that gets weird, as in their use of the word “tempo” to mean MP-pace.) But, in reality, all sound plans follow similar basic principles.  I agree with the Humphrey/Hanson line that “we tend to overthink training processes.”  For aging mid-packers like myself, simple consistency (run lots, mostly easy), and variation (sometimes hard)—whoever’s plan we follow—is enough to give us a good shot at meeting our modest goals.  (YMMV if you’re younger, faster, more competitive, etc.) I usually make up my own plans but have built off of Pfitz the last couple of cycles.  It’s time to mix things up a bit so I think I’ll try Hanson for Boston this year, knowing full well that I’ll add some variations as I see fit.

               

              Re: The long run.  The biggest “difference” is the shorter long runs…but not really.  In fact, they point out, “While 16 miles is the suggested maximum run, we are more concerned with determining your long run based on your weekly total mileage…”  Citing Daniels, Noakes and others they note, “long runs shouldn’t exceed 25-30 percent of weekly mileage.”  So if you plan to peak at 70 miles (as many Pfitz users have done), and follow the percentage guidelines, you could be right back to long runs of 17.5-21 miles.   For more advanced runners they encourage a “moderate”—not easy—pace (e.g. 8:42 LR pace for a 3:30 marathoner).  Their emphasis is on cumulative fatigue, rather than big long-run efforts that wipe you out.  But it seems to me they don’t slam the door shut on longer LR’s if you have the overall mileage to support them.

               

              The real difference, then, is the emphasis on MP pace and cumulative fatigue.  As they repeatedly note, those 16-mile LR's should simulate the last 16 miles of the marathon, not the first.

                 

                It just appeared. I was hoping Jeff would weigh in!

                 

                Hansons' Marathon Method and Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning -- the two aspects of marathon training

                 

                Nice.  I like the simplicity of the distance vs. pace dilemma.  Well put.

                  I have their purchased plan and the mileage tops out in the low 60s and includes three 18 mile runs. For a 60 mile week, 30% would be 18 miles.  One of their 18 milers is 3wu+12@MP+3cd.  The other two are labeled as "moderate."

                  pcaharrier


                    The biggest confusion here is the word "tempo". I guess most commonly tempo refers to the structure of the workout, rather than a specific pace -- a medium-distance run with some continuous miles at a hardish effort. The difference is that in Pfitzinger plans this effort is at LT (or slightly faster); in Hansons plans it's at goal marathon pace. In Hansons plans the LT workouts (actually a bit slower than LT: they recommend MP - 10 sec) is done as 6 miles broken up various ways with recoveries. The Pfitzinger plans have you going up to 7 continuous miles at LT (or faster), which is a brutal workout. And in Pfitzinger plans, the marathon-pace runs are done as part of the long run, making them tougher as well.

                     

                    I hope someone can clarify.  Reading this, it sounds like the Hansons plan tempo run is what other plans (I'm thinking specifically of MacMillan) might call a steady state run.  In other words, with the Hansons plan, the tempo workout would be 7 miles at the target pace rather than (as might be more typical of a tempo run), the middle miles at target pace with the beginning and end at a slower pace.  Am I reading that correctly?

                    2014 goals: 2,000 | 52.5 | Marathon PR | Skip the injuries again

                      Hanson's "Tempo" run calls for at least a 1 mile warmup and cooldown with the middle miles at the target marathon pace.

                       

                      i.e. if the plan calls for a 10 mile MP Tempo run then you would have at least a 1 mile warm up, then 10 miles at target Marathon Pace then at least 1 mle cool down.  I think they say you can go up to a 3 mile warm up and 3 mile cool down.

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                      Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 43:59; 5K 21:27


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                         I hope someone can clarify.  Reading this, it sounds like the Hansons plan tempo run is what other plans (I'm thinking specifically of MacMillan) might call a steady state run.  In other words, with the Hansons plan, the tempo workout would be 7 miles at the target pace rather than (as might be more typical of a tempo run), the middle miles at target pace with the beginning and end at a slower pace.  Am I reading that correctly?

                         

                        Confusingly, what MacMillan calls steady-state is faster than what Hansons calls tempo (goal marathon pace), but slower than what MacMillan (and most others, I believe) call tempo.

                         

                        Also what npaden said.

                        pcaharrier


                          Thanks for the replies!

                           

                          I had a 7 mile Hansons-style tempo on tap for tomorrow, but given that that's actually 9 miles of running, I think I might have to dial it back a bit and work up to that toward the end of my current half marathon training schedule (which is Hansons-esque, I guess; I intend to get the book and read it at some point or maybe get the local library to order it for me, but at this point I just have something that I pieced together myself).

                          2014 goals: 2,000 | 52.5 | Marathon PR | Skip the injuries again

                            I have a question as to when (what day of the week) to start either of these plans?

                             

                            Typically the goal race is on a Sunday and both plans (actually most) call for a Sunday long run, but my goal race is on a Saturday. So I'm wondering if I should move the plan back a day so my long runs are on the same day of the week as the race?

                             

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                                Yeah. FWIW I've heard that the original Hansons plans had the long run on Wednesday.