Hi there! Thank you for all your sweet comments on yesterday’s post. It has been a long road to get to this point, but  am excited for things to come. We never know where things might lead us!

Sometimes we have to take a chance and see where it leads us. All I know is I am excited for the challenge!


Piper says hi!

Piper Says Hi

I started Monday off on the right foot with another easy run. I got up early to try and beat the heat. Thankfully it is supposed to cool down today right in time for my first workout of the week.

6 Miles

6 miles at a 9:04 pace which was right on pace for what my easy day was supposed to be. I went out on this run without a course mapped out, which is actually pretty rare for me. I knew approximately where I needed to be at certain miles and just ended up turning down a lot of side roads to switch things up. I ended up going over 6 miles because I misjudged the end, but that’s ok.


While I was out on my run it got me thinking about the purpose of each run. With Hanson’s program you never have to worry about trying to figure out what the purpose is:

Easy Run – It recruits your slow-twitch fibers which help you when you are running longer distances.  Easy running also helps to deliver oxygen but increasing the products of hemoglobin. This run not only helps build miles but it helps your body recover from the tough workouts you put it through.

Long Run – Obviously we all know that the long run enables us to build our base for the marathon. Beyond that long runs train you for the mental aspect that comes into play during your race by increase your mileage slowly over time.  Long runs can also help to improve your VO2 max, your heart, and your body’s ability to use fat. As you run long your body adapts and learns to store glycogen to keep you from getting overly exhausted. To me the biggest advantage to the long run is the mental side. You learn how to push through, you learn how to test your limits and it is the closest simulation to the marathon itself you will get during training.

Speed Workouts – Speed workouts are specifically focused around basically interval training.  Aside from the importance of speed training in getting faster, it also gets your mind prepared to handle harder work. Speed workouts not only train the slow-twitch fibers but also the intermediate fibers to be maximally activated to provide aerobic energy.  This enables better muscle coordination and improves your overall running efficiency.

Strength Workouts – When you begin doing strength workouts the focus goes off of improving your VO2 max and instead works to maintain your Vo2 max and prepare your body to be able to handle the fatigue that comes from the marathon.  These typically start about halfway through training because once you get to this point your only focus is preparing for the marathon itself. The other benefits of strength workouts include: improved lactate clearance and tolerance, improved endurance at faster paces, improved O2 delivery and improved overall running economy.


As I’ve shown above (all taken from Hanson’s) each run has it’s own purpose. Even the rest day has a purpose. Even on the days when you go out and run slow there is a purpose. I try to remind myself this every day. Run for purpose.

If you look at any training plan it most always comes down to some sort of speed workout, tempo workouts and long runs. Regardless of the thoughts on how much or how long those 3 workouts will always be vital to marathon training.


What is your favorite type of run? 

How many plans have you tried?

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