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Monday, August 26, 2013

Marathon Training with the Hanson Training Method

It's been well documented here on the blog that my sister-in-law Kelsey is a speedy runner! Today she's taking over the blog to talk about her marathon training with the Hansons Marathon Method (affiliate link).  For those of you who aren't familiar it's a marathon training method where you run 6 days a week and don't run over 16 miles before your 26.2 mile race.  The thought is that through the cumulative fatigue of training your body will be able to handle the 26.2.
If you'd like to ask her questions or just stalk her fast training runs you can follow her on Twitter or check out her new blog Running ROI
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Hello! I ‘m Kelsey, Carissa’s sister-in-law and traveling race partner!  When Carissa asked me to do a guest post about running I was excited because basically I could talk about running all day long. I occasionally blog about my running over at RunningROI, but with a wedding in the near future that has taken a bit of a backseat.
Lets backup…I started my running career in high school as a distance runner then switched to the pole vault (odd swap) my junior year.  I proceeded to compete in the pole vault through my college career at the University of Central Florida.  After a few years of no competition I had the itch to get out there and compete and train again.  I started with the local 5ks and was convinced by Carissa to sign up for a half marathon.  That is where my love for training and competing was ignited again.  Since 2010 I have run 7 half marathons and finally did my first marathon, the Disney Marathon, January 2013.  
I never used an actual training plan and trained for my first full marathon just doing long runs and CrossFit and lifting weights (aka: workouts from Kyle).  I did a few 20 milers before Disney and hoped I was ready to run.  My goal was to get 4 hours or under and I ended up running a 3:29 and qualified for Boston (to my surprise). My best half marathon time is 1:31 at the Savannah Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon.  Carissa has repeatedly told me that if I just used a real training plan and did speed work I would be so much faster.  Well…..I finally listened (for once) and bought the book The Hanson Marathon Method…best decision ever!

I am training for the Southernmost Marathon October 12, the Space Coast Marathon December 1 and I am hoping to run the Disney Marathon again in January.  I started my training the second week of June and have been going strong so far.  I absolutely love having a training plan and having my workouts ready for me which leaves little room for excuses.  I am someone who would rather go out and run for hours and hours than do speed work.  
So far I have stuck to the planned speed and strength workouts …even enjoyed them.   I run with a few other girls who are loosely following the Brooks Hanson Method and are always excited to go do the sprint/strength workouts with me, which makes them fun and keeps me accountable for my pace.  I love the concept that the Hanson Method wants you to keep all of your sprints at the same pace for the whole workout.  They do not want you to do the first few repeats really fast to the point where you cannot finish the workout.  The main goal of the method is to internalize your pace which is important for me….I have been known to start all my races way too fast!
The tempo runs on the other hand have been a bit of a struggle for me.  I absolutely hate them with a passion…I did my first 3 on the treadmill and decided that I needed to start doing them outside.  It is incredibly hard for me to make myself to run really fast for 6+ miles.  So far I have done 2 outside and while I’m not hitting my “goal pace” I feel good about the fact that I am going out and pushing myself and doing fast miles.  The Hanson Method has the tempo go up to a 10 mile tempo, and honestly I’m not sure if I will be going that high.
The long runs are not any longer than 16 miles.  As someone who started the plan running 50-60+ miles a week I plan on doing at least 1-2 20 mile runs.  So far I have done a few 14 mile runs and one 16 mile run.  I really enjoy long runs so I plan on doing what my body feels even if the plan doesn’t call for the same amount of miles.
I have noticed a huge difference in many areas since I started the plan.  First my sprint/strength workouts feel so much better.  My pace has improved and I am not as sore after the workouts as I was in the beginning.  The plan has also changed the composition of my body too!  As someone who only did long slow runs, running faster made my body a lot leaner.  I have always crossed trained but adding in the speed work has made a huge difference.  It feels great to get out there and really push myself and see the results.
I guess the real results will be seen during race season.  I am trying my best to take rest days, and fuel properly so I can compete and not feel burned out.
Thanks Kelsey for taking over the blog and sharing your training so far! I'll make sure to share with you guys how she does in the races and her thoughts on the Hanson training method.
Have you ever heard of or used the Hansons Marathon Method?
Do you have runners in your family?
Love and SIL,
Carissa & Kyle Kelsey
Related Posts: The Southernmost Marathon - Discount Code F2F10

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Marathon Training and Weight Gain

You're running for endless hours preparing for a 26.2 mile journey.  You step on the scale to see the result of all that calorie burning cardio only to find that you've gained weight.  Say what?

Marathon training can actually cause weight gain and friends...I'm here to figure out why and stop it.  Instead of our typical "Friday 5" today I'm giving you the 5 reasons you might gain weight during marathon training.
1. Gained Muscle Mass
I think most of you know this, but muscle is more dense than fat.  Therefore as you gain strength in your legs from training, you're going to gain weight.  The upside is that muscle is a more compact tissue than fat, so you may shed inches while gaining pounds.  Muscle is also more metabolically active than fat, so even at rest muscle tissue burns more calories.  
*For me, I had pretty muscular legs to begin with.  And if you've ever seen me in person then you know I have freakishly large hamstrings.  If there was an award for this then I should be nominated. Personally, marathon training doesn't affect my legs via muscular gains.

2. Overestimating and Overeating
I just ran 16 miles today, I deserve this <enter decadent food here>  Does that sound familiar? I'm guilty here too guys.  You may burn 1600 calories on a 16 mile run, but it's not that cut and dry.  Add in a 300 calorie breakfast, 200 calories of fuel during the run, 100 calories of sports drink, and 200 calories of banana and protein post run.  You've just consumed about half of your calorie burn and you were right to do so.  Your body needed thost fuels.  However now when you sit down to your burger, fries, and beer(s), you are overeating and extra calories = weight gain.  

3. Increased Hunger
Working out for hours will increase your hunger.  That's totally normal.  If you're hungry eat, however make sure it's something nutritious instead of eating cheerios from the box (ahem, me).  Try to fill up on higher fiber whole grains and vegetables and lean protein post run for a more filling effect.

4. Increased Glycogen Storage
This one is a little more scientific, however it's the one that I'm dealing with right now.  Running takes energy and leg muscles.  When you eat carbohydrates they are stored as glycogen, which you can think of as your body's energy reserve.  More energy needed = more energy stored.  Glycogen (carbs) also attract water when they're stored.  This leads to an increased number on the scale.  You can think of the weight as stored energy for future use.  The good news is that your legs are now loaded weapons ready for race day domination! The bad news is that your jeans are a weeeeeeee bit tighter.

5. Lack of Sleep
There are a slew of current scientific studies that link lack of sleep to weight gain.  There are several reasons for the correlations.  First, when you sleep less you are awake more hours and your body needs food for energy during those extra hours so you're hungrier.  Second (and this is what the studies have shown), when you are sleep deprived you are more inclined to make a poor food choice and reach for high carbohydrate foods.  You are also more likely to eat higher amounts of carbs at night.  Finally, when you are sleep deprived your body's level of cortisol increase.  Lack of sleep has many more negative consequences including...

  • interference with the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates and high blood levels of glucose, which leads to higher insulin levels and greater body-fat storage.
  • decrease in leptin levels, which causes the body to crave carbohydrates.
  • reduction of levels of growth hormone--a protein that helps regulate the body's proportions of fat and muscle.
Why am I talking about inadequate sleep with runners?  We get up early.. REALLY early to run.  I have between 2-3 4am wake up calls a week to run.  This is something I'm actively working on hence this week's solo tempo run.  It was tougher running alone, but it earned me 2 extra hours of sleep.

So what am I going to do?  Like I mentioned above I'm going to work on getting enough sleep.  I"m also going to be mindful of the "I deserve a treat" mentality.  I have been bad about this (shakes head)  I'm also going to "try" to realize that I'm training for a significant athletic event and my body may change as a result of it.
Ready to run strong!
If you're interested in reading other POV's about marathon training and weight gain I suggest reading Tina's post, Lauren's post, or this article from Runner's World. 

Are you currently training for a distance race?
Have you gained weight training?
Have you lost weight?
How does that make you feel?

Love and 26.2 kilos,
Carissa & Kyle