Hansons vs. Pfitzinger (Read 2460 times)

     

    I think what it goes to show is that marathon success has a lot less to do with which canned plan you choose for the last 12, 16 or 18 weeks before the race than with lifetime miles and experience.

     

    Disclaimer #1: The one and only time I ran a marathon, 1979, was before uncoached amateurs could access plans off the internet; yeah, there were books one could buy, but all of the folks I knew simply ran (and ran, and ran, and ran).

     

    Disclaimer #2: I've never had the desire to run another marathon (one of those, "been there, done that, got the tee-shirt" kind of things), so all I have to go on regarding "plans" is what I've read anecdotally from y'all.

     

    With the above disclaimers in place, I've never even remotely understood why a marathon plan (for non-elite amateurs) would include speed work of any sort.  Are any of us going to be required to dig deep and nail some sub-five minute final miles and then out sprint a competitor to secure a podium spot?  I'm thinking kind of unlikely.  So, without the "need for speed", why wouldn't many (most, all?) marathon training plans for non-elites concentrate on building an impressive mileage base for sustaining the fastest overall pace for any given runner and completely forego speed work?


    I'm back!

      bhearn - great post. I am just coming back from 2 mos. off. Nov. - Jan. Ramping back up, hoping for a repeat just sub 3 at Boston with 12 weeks true training. Have been Pfitz for 7 marathons, but I feel like the early speed of Hansons might be an advantage in an abbreviated cycle. Thoughts?

       

      Hmm. In that circumstance I'd be tempted, again, to back-load the speed. Right now you need to be increasing mileage, and you don't want to be increasing quality at the same time. But what do I know. Why would you think early speed would be an advantage in an abbreviated cycle? Also, going from zero to a fast marathon in 3 months seems pretty challenging to me, after two months off.

       

      FWIW Napa is no longer a goal race for me; I had to get another PRP injection in mid January, building back from that now. I could perhaps at this point think about a 12-week plan for Boston, but my priority is Western States, and I think I will just gradually build mileage for now. I don't want to risk relapsing.

        With the above disclaimers in place, I've never even remotely understood why a marathon plan (for non-elite amateurs) would include speed work of any sort.  Are any of us going to be required to dig deep and nail some sub-five minute final miles and then out sprint a competitor to secure a podium spot?  I'm thinking kind of unlikely.  So, without the "need for speed", why wouldn't many (most, all?) marathon training plans for non-elites concentrate on building an impressive mileage base for sustaining the fastest overall pace for any given runner and completely forego speed work?

         

        There is very little speed work in most marathon plans--it is a tiny percentage of the overall mileage--and the focus is generally on building a mileage base.

         

        That said I think it's a good idea to train at a variety of paces to develop your stride and form and to become more efficient/comfortable at higher speeds. But the focus in marathon training should be (and is) on endurance and stamina.

         

        Personally, whether marathon training or not marathon training I try to at least touch every pace from mile to marathon at least once every 10 days.

        Runners run.

          With the above disclaimers in place, I've never even remotely understood why a marathon plan (for non-elite amateurs) would include speed work of any sort.  Are any of us going to be required to dig deep and nail some sub-five minute final miles and then out sprint a competitor to secure a podium spot?  I'm thinking kind of unlikely.  So, without the "need for speed", why wouldn't many (most, all?) marathon training plans for non-elites concentrate on building an impressive mileage base for sustaining the fastest overall pace for any given runner and completely forego speed work?

           

          How are you defining speed work?  There are many varieties that I think any and all runners benefit from.

           

          While I agree that building the impressive mileage base is going to be a key (if not the most important) ingredient, I think that running miles at race pace (which I would consider to be speed work) or even short fartlek sessions will always benefit runners of all paces.

          And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx

           

          Rob

             

            How are you defining speed work?  There are many varieties that I think any and all runners benefit from.

             

            While I agree that building the impressive mileage base is going to be a key (if not the most important) ingredient, I think that running miles at race pace (which I would consider to be speed work) or even short fartlek sessions will always benefit runners of all paces.

             

            Hmmm, interesting definition of speed work; personally I've never considered marathon pace, or even half marathon pace, speed work of any kind. That said, if I've still feeling like I have something left in the tank as I'm nearing the three-quarter mark of a long run, I'll amp up the pace considerably, so I suppose that might qualify as speed work.  Then there are the occasional 5K to 10K races; those to me are definitely speed work.  Smile


            HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

               

              Hmmm, interesting definition of speed work; personally I've never considered marathon pace, or even half marathon pace, speed work of any kind....

               

              In contrast, I consider both MP and HMP as speedwork.

               

              Both are faster than my average easy runs; the latter (half marathon pace) is much faster, for me.

               

              I guess I lump in anything requiring pushing as speedwork, whether it is just faster than easy, or all out sprinting, or anything in-between.

              It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                 

                In contrast, I consider both MP and HMP as speedwork.

                 

                Both are faster than my average easy runs; the latter (half marathon pace) is much faster, for me.

                 

                I guess I lump in anything requiring pushing as speedwork, whether it is just faster than easy, or all out sprinting, or anything in-between.

                 

                Hmmm, well, I suppose by that definition, I do speed work at least a few times per week.  Smile


                HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                  What kind of stuff do you distinguish, amongst that large cloud of running harder?

                   

                  I think I saw that McMillan distinguishes stamina, strength, and speed.

                  It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                  JimboJet


                    I've been reading this thread with interest as I'm keen to try the Hanson plan for my next marathon. For my last few I've been using Daniels with great results but fancied a change to keep things interesting. The one thing I like about Daniels, and really understand, is the concept of picking your VDOT based on your current fitness and then training at those paces. As your fitness improves and you move up the VDOT ladder then so your paces increase to reflect the new fitness. This totally makes sense.

                     

                    But in the Hanson plan, as I understand it, you base your training paces on your desired time goal rather than your current fitness. I'm having trouble getting my head around this. So let's say my goal is 2:45 and I start training at the corresponding paces. But hang on - I'm not at 2:45 fitness yet (but hope to be in 18 weeks) so at this point I must be training too fast. Maybe I'm only at 2:50 fitness at the moment, but that's not may goal pace for the race.

                     

                    So how are other people picking their 'goal' times. Are you treating it similar to Daniels' VDOT and moving up the goal range as you get fitter?

                     

                    There seems to be no doubt that the Hanson plan has credibility and I'm keen to try it. But the book is slightly frustrating me in it's vagueness whereas after reading Daniels I was in no doubt about what paces to train.

                      My understanding from the book is that your interval workouts should be based on your current fitness level based on fairly recent 5K and 10K race times.

                       

                      The MP Tempo runs are based on goal race pace though and they do talk a little bit about setting your goal race time at a realistic level.

                       

                      Because of the way they build that MP Tempo run up from just 4 or 5 miles at Tempo pace early on to 10 miles at Tempo pace later in the program I think they are adjusting for you to increase your fitness as the run would be getting more and more demanding.  For me, early on the 4 miles at MP wasn't very challenging, but as I increased to 5, 6, 7, and on up to 10 miles at MP that was a tough workout even though my fitness level was much improved from when I started the training plan.  When I started the training plan there would have been no way I could have knocked out 10 miles at my goal MP even on relatively fresh legs compared with where I was toward the end of the plan.

                       

                      I'm not an expert, but I did read the book and follow the plan for my first marathon and was really happy with the result and met my goal time.

                      Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                      Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

                        A theory is a theory. They both are probably great. Maybe either way will get a runner to the same level. It may not matter if doing speed workout early or late in the training cycle. Once a solid base is built, the peak will be there at the end of the training maybe. I like McMillan calculator that gives a big range for each workout. In reality, I also find that each day my body responds differently. I use the guideline and try hitting the general feeling on each type of workout but the speed will be different. My theory is:

                        1. Try not to get injured. Adjust my pace accordingly based on my recovery status, tiredness, mood, etc.

                        2. Run the intervals, tempos as "hard" as I can for the required assignment. It doesn't mean I would run 100% effort, but I need to make sure that the workout won't affect the next hard workout. For instance, if I run an interval workout on Tuesday and Tempo on Thursday, I need to make sure that my body is ready for Thursday. If not, then my Tuesday workout was too hard and I need to adjust the pace the next time.

                         

                        It is still just a theory. The reality is that I can not always find the fine line. However, I can feel each workout becomes easier towards the end of the training cycle and the pace becomes faster. Running by feeling/effort enables me to increase my training pace gradually.

                        5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14)

                          My theory is:

                          1. Try not to get injured. 

                           

                          I will have to write this one down.

                          Dave