Myrtle Beach Travel Park

These Hanson Tempo Runs…

We are home from the beach. We had a smooth trip home yesterday and now there’s lots of laundry to do and lots of sleeping to catch up on. The latter really only applies to Hank and Scout, who get absolutely worn out by camping trips and traveling in the truck. 🙂

Myrtle Beach Travel Park
Sunset on our last night at the campground.

Before we drove home yesterday, I had a 5 mile tempo run on the schedule. I’ve talked about this before, but the tempo run is one of the Hanson’s “something of substance” workouts. These are workouts that require more effort than easy runs. They include speed workouts, strength workouts, tempo runs, and long runs. For the Hansons, a tempo run is synonymous with a marathon pace run. They’re a bit slower than your traditional tempo run, but they’re longer. The goals of a tempo run with the Hansons are to help you internalize marathon goal pace, learn control, and build endurance.

I don’t think the tempo runs are meant to freak you out, but they are freaking me out every week. They freak me out more than sharks in the water, which happened at least twice while we were on vacation.

Myrtle Beach Shark

I have done three tempo runs, now, and it’s always the same. I worry that I won’t be able to hold marathon pace for five miles, and what that will mean for my marathon goal. But so far I have continued to clock in right on pace, and often under it (which I need to be careful about). Yesterday I averaged 10:12/mile for my tempo run.

Myrtle Beach Travel Park

You’re probably wondering why I’m freaked out if I continue to meet my pace. It’s because it is never feeling easy or even comfortable. Shouldn’t a pace I intend to hold for 26.2 miles feel relatively easy for 5 miles? My breathing is relatively even, much the way you’d want it during a marathon, during these runs. The problem is my legs. They feel so tired and I really have to push to meet my goal pace.

But maybe that’s what the Hansons want. The foundation of their training program is “cumulative fatigue,” which basically means you’re never meant to feel fresh until you toe the line on marathon morning. It’s the reason I only have one complete rest day per week and am running high mileage.

Hansons Marathon Method Cumulative Fatigue

So maybe, despite my tempo run falling on the day after my rest day, I’m feeling exactly the way I’m supposed to. I guess time will tell, as my tempo run will increase to 8 miles for the next three weeks, and will eventually build to 10 miles.

What freaks you out when training for a goal race? How do you deal with it?
Hansons veterans or those going through the program: How did/do you feel during tempo runs?
Are you scared of sharks?
Um, yes.

10 thoughts on “These Hanson Tempo Runs…”

  1. Sharks. A question I can respond to.

    Not really scared. I just refer to not have them around when I’m in the water.


  2. I’m feeling the same anxiousness that you are. I’m also going faster than the prescribed times for both my tempo runs and speed workouts, but I’m attributing it to this training. I have seen an improvement in my running since using the program. I just keep telling myself to believe in the program. I really researched what people have said about using Hanson’s and most runners stated that it was one of the hardest training regimes they have used, but it does work if you stick to it. If it makes you feel better, my legs feel tired too. Not so much sore, but tired. Keep up the good work! It sounds like you’re doing a great job.
    BTW…I surfed that ocean for years, and never saw a shark. I’m kind of jealous 🙂

    1. I am glad to hear I’m not the only one! I feel like I am really seeing some improvement in my strength as a runner after tonight’s 5 x 1000m track workout went really well. 🙂

      Well I would be glad to have never seen one, haha. The first day there was a shark sighting there was a group of five hammerheads swimming around near shore. But the second time I don’t know what type of shark it was or how many.

  3. You are doing GREAT holding a pace that’s hard for 5 miles! I’m sure as the weeks progress you’ll have the confidence to do 8 & then 10. I’m glad you’re home safely! I enjoyed Hank & Scout’s pics on Instagram, especially the sitting at the table eating pic & the one of Hank sleeping on you on the way home!

    1. Fingers crossed! I have 8 on the schedule for my tempo this week. I’m glad you liked the pictures 🙂 For that one of them at the table they were both already sitting on the bench together looking out the window. So I just put their food bowls on the table and snapped a quick picture.

  4. I like my short little 3-mile tempo runs as I train for 5K’s, and don’t miss my marathon training tempo runs at all!

    Sounds like you’re doing just what you should be according to the Hansons Method plan. Being a little nervous is good, and it’s shows you’re taking your training seriously. It’s good to not be too over-confident when you toe the starting line.

  5. I felt the same way about Hanson tempos, especially once they jumped to 8-10 miles. However, to be honest, until the last five weeks or so they never felt that hard to me because they’re so slow. Intimidating, sure, but since they’re the day after the rest day I usually felt pretty good. I do remember the last five weeks being pretty brutal, though, since all the training finally caught up with me. But that’s a huge part of the plan – running on tired legs and continuing to move when you really don’t think you can! You’re doing an awesome job and seem to be very strong mentally so keep doing what you’re doing!

    1. I make that jump to 8 miles this week. So far my legs have still felt relatively fatigued the day after my rest day (on tempo day). But I think it’s because I’m still adjusting to six days of running and higher mileage. At least I hope that’s why. But I’m not too fatigued to make the set pace, so I guess I’m still doing alright for now. If I get to that point I guess I’ll have to rely on my stubbornness 🙂

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