Hansons Marathon Method Review by Steve

After completing a couple marathons, I came across Hansons Marathon Method, written by Luke Humphrey, with its promise of improvement with a 16-mile long run. A lot of the marathon training programs I had been seeing online were starting to look the same. I wanted to shake things up a bit. I had heard good things about this book. The Amazon.com reviews are mostly positive.

The biggest difference between Hansons and more traditional running programs is the long run tops out at 16 miles. They want that 16 mile run to simulate the last 16 miles of your marathon, not the first. You are not intended to run it on fresh legs, much like the last 16 of the marathon. They use cumulative fatigue to do this.

The book certainly has the approach of running more often during the week and more miles overall. I had to ease into running six times per week as I had never done this before. This might be too much for some people. Fortunately, I got used to it. I also got used to the overall volume. One of the big things about the training that may be helping people is the increase in mileage itself.

The schedule is a week full of good running workouts. They let you know the pace goals for specific workouts (speed, strength, tempo). The spectrum of paces will help your running in different ways. The physiological benefits behind this are explained in the book. I learned that I needed to run faster on the speed days and much slower on the easy/recovery days. At first I was skeptical about the recovery days but they really worked. I could run some solid miles on those days and feel great the next day. 

I felt like the book itself was an easy read even with some of the running science terminology. The book is also concise. I still use it frequently as a reference.

The results? I ran a PR after applying their training. I improved my previous time by about 17 minutes. After that, I decided to ramp up my paces using the same training for my next marathon. Again, I improved my PR by about 18 minutes. Hanson’s Marathon Method definitely works for me!

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