This is the 3rd marathon that I’ve trained for with the Hanson Marathoning Method. With that training program, there are three of what they call “Something of Substance” workouts per week- intervals, marathon pace run, and long run. The other three days are relatively easy running. The workout that I love/dread is the marathon pace workout. When it’s first introduced into the program, it’s a warm up, then 10km at marathon pace, then a cool down, for a total of 14-15km. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it! The thing is though, that with the Hanson program you’re always running on tired legs. The way I have my training scheduled, I do intervals on Tuesdays (for example, this week was warm up, 6 x 1600m with 400m jog recovery, cool down, for a total of 15km), then rest on Wednesdays, then the marathon pace workout on Thursdays. The distance you do this workout at ramps up through the program- by the last couple of weeks you’re doing warm up, 16km at marathon pace, then cool down for about a 20km workout. My legs are constantly tired, but that’s the beauty of it- my legs get used to hammering out my target pace with that dead leg feeling in training, so that when it comes to race day and I’m 35km into the marathon, my legs will remember what it feels like to keep hammering out that pace.
So, why do I dread that workout? Because it’s really hard. Why is it my favourite workout? Because I know that this workout pays off for me on race day. I know that my legs will drop into that pace that I've trained at, and even when the going gets tough, they’ll keep churning out the miles.
Marathon training is a lot of hard work, but it’s like life- if you work hard and don’t give up, you can accomplish more than you ever thought you could. Sometimes it takes doing something that is very difficult, but if you value the outcome enough, you can put in the effort you need so that you can have the result you want.