Chicago Marathon Training Plan

by Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution on June 5, 2017

in Chicago Marathon 2017

I officially start my Chicago Marathon training plan this week! My last two marathon experiences did not go according to plan, with two DNFs and a trip to the ER. I am desperate for redemption and I’m excited to take on the Windy City in October. Historically, I followed Hal Higdon’s plans for training. But, every single time, I’m fighting injury by the time I toe the start line. While that could mean that my body is not built for marathons, I don’t think that’s true. Maybe I’m just stubborn.

I knew I needed a different approach this time around. A month or so ago, Jessica shared that she was following the Hansons’ training plan. Only vaguely familiar, I started some research. I read success stories from other bloggers about their PRs and injury-free training cycles. While this plan is a lot of work and requires serious commitment, it works.

While the bones of the plan itself is online, the meat of it is in the book. The more I read, the more it made sense.

chicago marathon training plan

The book details the philosophies and physiology behind the plan before diving into the various components. Although the physiology does get a bit technical at times, it is important groundwork.

This is an extraordinarily detailed training plan featuring six days a week of running. I have always maxed out as a four days a week runner, so the thought of six days intimidates me. But, each run holds a specific purpose. Even the easy runs are not “junk” or filler miles, but recovery. This plan includes speed/strength workouts, tempo runs at marathon pace, long runs, and easy runs. Each workout includes specifics including the target pace, distance, and, in the case of speed/strength workouts, and the distance for intervals, as applicable.

The plan eases the runner into the nitty-gritty, focusing on only easy miles for the first few weeks. Things don’t start getting interesting until week six and it builds from there.

The book also includes important information on strength training workouts to supplement the running workouts, nutrition, hydration, and recovery.

What about cross-training? I know and value the importance of this aspect and, in particular, still want time to spend on my yoga mat. It will get more challenging as the plan builds in intensity, but I can fit in two-a-day workouts in the first couple of months, logging some miles and then unwinding on my mat.

There are numerous approaches to marathon training and what works for one runner may not work for another. All I knew was that what I’d done previously clearly didn’t work for me. After reading so many success stories, and then the book, I couldn’t shake the idea of following the Hansons’ plan for Chicago.

This plan is intense and the thought of running six days a week makes me nervous. But, it’s a good nervous. I’m ready to put in the work and (hopefully) earn some awesome and injury-free results.

Day one is already in the books, so I’m on my way!


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

katie June 7, 2017 at 7:19 pm

I’ve also done hal’s plans and hanson’s feels like too much running for me, but I’m excited to hear how it goes for you!!
katie recently posted..Joy: Exploring


Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution June 12, 2017 at 8:20 pm

I am a little (lot) worried about just how much running it is…but, willing to give it a try!


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