Hansons First Marathon
Luke Humphrey with Keith and Kevin Hanson Velo Press
Keith and Kevin Hanson own four running stores in Michigan, and are best known for their partnership with Brooks. (You may have heard of their most famous former client, 2018 Boston Marathon champion Desiree Linden.) Author and exercise physiologist Luke Humphrey started out running the stores’ coaching clinics, formalizing the coaching business in 2006, then publishing Hansons Marathon Method and expanding the coaching business in 2012.
One of the fundamental tenets of the Hansons Method is the long runs of no more than 16 miles/26k or two hours (by contrast with other methods, which recommend multiple long runs of up to 20 miles/32k). The rationale for this is explained in detail in the new book, and though the concept will continue to be debated in runner circles until the end of time, it should come as some relief to first-timers who may be worried about the long weekly training runs.
With this new book, Humphrey and the Hansons recognize the need for information aimed specifically at first-timers. The risk of information overload is real, and probably discourages many potential marathoners from even trying. This is a shame, as anyone who’s caught the marathon bug would agree.
The book doesn’t entirely achieve the goal of providing just enough information to be useful to the first-time marathoner. The 20-plus pages of scientific information on the physiology of marathon training is, in this reviewer’s opinion, too complex for most first-timers. And while differentiating between firsttime marathoners who are beginners, recreational runners and experienced competitive racers at shorter distances is important, trying to cater to all three makes the book less relevant to any one reader specific distance.
That said, reading this book will give you an excellent understanding of how the components of marathon training work, why most marathoners run their easy runs too fast, and why the physiological adaptations resulting from easy runs, tempo runs, speedwork, and long runs are only possible when carried out at the appropriate pace. Once you understand these concepts, you’ll never make the mistake of running your easy runs too fast again – and that will translate into significantly better results on the course.
After all, t he Hansons have been at t his a long t ime, and t hey know what t hey’re doing. Thanks to t his book, you will too.