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Higdon, Hansons and Pfitz...oh my! (Read 261 times)

LoveIsHill


    Hi. I'm sure the question of which marathon training plan to follow comes up here on a regular basis so I hope this isn't a nuisance. I would love some advice from those with more marathon training experience.

     

    I am in the market for a new training plan and am a little overwhelmed by the options. I've done 4 marathons so far. For the 1st I did a Runner's World program and finished in 4:17. 2nd was Higdon, finished in 3:42. 3rd was a custom plan from a private coach, 3:38. 4th was Higdon Advanced II, 3:26. I'm looking to try something new and am considering Hansons, Hudson, Daniels and Pfitz.

     

    During past training cycles, my weekly mileage maxed out at around 55 mpw. I'm interested to see if increasing mileage will lead to better race times, but am also worried that it will lead to injury. (So far I've managed to avoid that, knock on wood.) I have 2 young  children and sleep is hit or miss, so I've done a lot of my training on the TM during their naps and prefer focused, efficient workouts.

     

    With this in mind, does it make sense to try one of the more intensive plans?

     

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

      I'm not an experienced marathoner but I have read all the plans and to me HANSON makes the most sense.   If you read the book and understand the plan it seem at least in my opinion to be the best.

       

      If I ever decided to run another marathon, I'll use the Hanson plan as outlined in the Hanson Marathon Method book....

      Champions are made when no one is watching


      an amazing likeness

        Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

        ulikunkel


          I have the Hansons book, it was given to me as a gift.  I have not tried any of their plans but I like some things about the book.  The suggestions for diet and calories, etc. are good as well as tips for race prep.  However, the advanced program maxes out at 63 miles, for only one week, so it's not really much more than your previous 55mpw .  There's only a total of three weeks that exceed 60mpw.

           

          A couple of things I'm sort of meh about:

           

          I'm not sold on their shorter long run philosophy, which limits them to 16 miles and again, only 3 weeks in the entire plan have 16 mile long runs.  They attempt to back up their philosophy with physiological evidence as to why they do that but it just doesn't jive with me.  I would rather spend more time building a base and gradually increasing long runs to 20+ miles, but that's just me.

           

          As well, I feel there is too much speed and strength work, which I personally do not like.  To each their own, but I don't like the emphasis on repeats, etc.  *yawn*  Not for me.  I'd rather run 90 min 6 days a week and then do a 5k for speed work.  That's just me though....

           

          It's interesting to note that on some other boards the Hansons method is somewhat controversial and even thought of as dated.  They have churned a lot of athletes through their system and very few would be considered exceptional marathoners.  Perhaps Desi Davila but I can't think of any others.

           

          So, that's my two cents.  Honestly, if you have already tried a few plans, why do another?  You must have a pretty good idea what training is about now....just rack up those miles and throw in some speedy stuff once in awhile and I'm sure you can hit a new PR without the need to follow another "plan."

           

          Hi. I'm sure the question of which marathon training plan to follow comes up here on a regular basis so I hope this isn't a nuisance. I would love some advice from those with more marathon training experience.

           

          I am in the market for a new training plan and am a little overwhelmed by the options. I've done 4 marathons so far. For the 1st I did a Runner's World program and finished in 4:17. 2nd was Higdon, finished in 3:42. 3rd was a custom plan from a private coach, 3:38. 4th was Higdon Advanced II, 3:26. I'm looking to try something new and am considering Hansons, Hudson, Daniels and Pfitz.

           

          During past training cycles, my weekly mileage maxed out at around 55 mpw. I'm interested to see if increasing mileage will lead to better race times, but am also worried that it will lead to injury. (So far I've managed to avoid that, knock on wood.) I have 2 young  children and sleep is hit or miss, so I've done a lot of my training on the TM during their naps and prefer focused, efficient workouts.

           

          With this in mind, does it make sense to try one of the more intensive plans?

           

          Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

          NHLA


            I use a different plan every year. I think you learn something from each plan.

            Hanson's will teach you MP pace and you only have to run 16 miles on long runs.

            It seems like the Hanson's miles are not enough until you get about 2/3 thru the plan then you start to feel it.

              If you pick up a copy of the Oct/Nov 2013 Running Times magazine, there is an article in there comparing Hansons, Pfitzinger, Daniels, and Canova.

               

              Good luck!

              2014 Goals

              Weight - 200 lbs (not happening!)

              2000 miles (Over 2000 and shooting for 2400)

              Stay healthy for Boston 2015 (So far, so good)

              Marathon - 3:05 (Didn't happen - Took and shot at sub 3 and blew up a bit)

              5k - 19:55 (19:43 July 4, 2014)

               

                and what about Brad Hudson?

                  With this in mind, does it make sense to try one of the more intensive plans?

                   

                  I'd say read a few of the books (cover to cover, not just look at the suggested schedules) and cook your own plan based on what works for you and your life. You'll probably find more similarities than differences among them. With 4 marathons under your belt you must have a decent idea what you respond to.

                  Runners run.

                  mab411


                  Proboscis Colossus

                    I've done Pfitz, Hansons, and my first was one that no one talks about because it's very beginner-oriented, by Tom Holland (it was a good book for my first marathon).

                     

                    My favorite has been Hansons.  NHLA is right, the miles start to creep up on you (I'm at that point right now), but more importantly, I'm just having more fun doing the actual plan itself, as opposed to all the "fun" happening during the race.  Repeats and tempo runs don't bother me...what can I say, I like to go fast!  And all the time spent at marathon pace is, for me, a big advantage over Pfitz.

                     

                    With regards to the skimpy miles...this time around, I've been adding two miles to all my easy runs, and one repeat to the speed/strength runs.  Early on, tried adding a mile or two to the tempo runs, but since I was going at my "new" pace, it was no-go.  And I usually go a little farther than 16 on the long runs, when I can.  Point is, no reason you can't add a few miles, if there aren't enough for you.

                    "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people


                    I'm back!

                      This comparison and analysis by bhearn and follow-on discussions might help.

                       

                      I keep meaning to go back and annotate the original post with a brief summary of all of the great discussion that followed.

                       

                      After that post, I started training with Hansons Advanced plus additional miles for Boston 2013. But my hamstring issues (which have now turned into torn tendons, no running at all) eventually forced me to cut out all the speed work. After that, about halfway through the program, I just said screw it, I can't train, and from then on I ran whatever I felt  like on any given day. Mostly a lot of very hilly trails, which was fun, because I wasn't doing that much while on Hansons. Result? PR at Boston. Which leaves me totally clueless now about how to train going forward (if my tendons ever heal).

                       

                      After doing Pfitzinger for so many years, I do have to say that its structure feels more natural to me than Hansons. But that probably doesn't mean anything.

                      adyer12


                        You take a bit away from each of them.  I've read Hanson's - good book and I like their philosophy on cumulative mileage and a medium long day before the long run -, Hudson - I like his book a lot, from the hill sprints to Wednesday medium run, to just about everything but I do feel like it tends more towards 10Ks and even halfs over the full marathon - as well as McMillan's book - good ideas on how to adapt training and I can say my wife did her marathon PR (Boston Qualifier) by using one of his plans - and some others.  Of them all I prefer Hudson's book but this may because I am more naturally a 5k/10k type than a marathon type.  When I do go for my next full I will first aim for my target 10k using Hudson and then after my speed is set I will work on strength and endurance with the Hanson's plan for a half marathon.  Will get through those two milepost, if you will, before deciding which to use for the full.