Han­sons First Marathon

Luke Humphrey with Keith and Kevin Han­son Velo Press

Canadian Running - - DEPARTMENTS - — CR

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.

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