Chicago Marathon Training


Today begins the 2nd week of my training for the Chicago Marathon. What happened to the 1st week? Well… due to traveling back from Europe, insane jetlag, and tiredness… I took the entire 1st week off. That may sound like a weird thing to do when training for a marathon, but for me, it was necessary. Injury risk is always at a high when I am exhausted. I also wanted to make sure that I had at least 2 full weeks off from running to be fresh from Colfax and the Liverpool Half Marathon.

For the next 17 weeks, I will be following the Hanson’s Advanced Marathon Plan. This means I will be doing a lot of running, but shorter long runs. I chose this plan after realizing that the 20-miler runs I did for Colfax were probably doing more harm than good. They would leave me tired and burnt out and after having run a marathon less than a month ago, I feel that running super long long runs will only leave me battered and broken.

The other thing I like about the Hanson’s plan is the goal aspect of it. Coming off of a fantastic first marathon experience, I feel more ready than ever to go for a big PR. I ran the Colfax Marathon in 3:57 and my goal is to run Chicago in 3:45, a 7% time decrease. According to the Hanson’s book, this is possible… but I am going to have to work for it. These will be my paces while I train:

Goal Marathon Pace: 8:35/mi
Strength Workouts: 8:25/mi
Speed Workouts: 7:33-7:52/mi
Easy Days: 9:35-10:35/mi
Long Runs: 9:05-10:35/mi

With the Hanson’s Plan, these paces are written in stone. Straying from my easy paces will lead to fatigue, overtraining, and potentially, injury. Seeing that I want to get to Chicago healthy and ready, I will keep to this plan. As of now, that goal marathon pace seems pretty steep, but I hope that over the next 17 weeks, it will seem more realistic and less daunting.

In addition to Chicago, I will be running a few races within the training period. I do have another goal race, the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon, where I am hoping to nab a PR of less than 1:47, the half marathon pace that is equivalent to a 3:45 marathon. Although this race is far from flat, and is at 7,000 feet, it was my PR race until recently and I PRed by over 5 minutes when I ran the race last.

Each week, I will do a loose overview of my training to let you know the ups and downs as I make my way to the starting line. I’m not sure how formal they will be, but I will at least include something, even if they are mostly complaints.

Well, here it goes… Marathon #2. I’m ready to chase down some goals!

Have you tried the Hanson’s Training Plan? How did you like it? What is your next goal race?

9 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training

  1. Good luck with your upcoming training! It sounds like you really needed to take that first week off. I know that when I am exhausted I am injury prone too. And it is always better to take a few preventative rest days than to end up injured.


  2. Wow missed the entire first week…smh…totally kidding lol.

    Can’t wait to follow your training. This is a bit of a trial for me as those are about the training times I would want if I used Hanson’s. Watching with great intrigue lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Go girl! I am excited to follow you and to see how you like it. I am on week 5 so far but things got messed up this week due to vacation and a rip roaring case of PF. 😦 It feels a lot better today though. So week 5 I wasn’t able to do 2 of my easy runs and the longest run so far 12 miles. I am hoping my PF clears up and I can ease back in.


  4. Yeah!! I’m so excited that Chicago marathoners are now in training! I felt so alone the first couple of weeks, haha.

    Have you booked your hotel for Chicago yet? I think I’m going to stay at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. According to the Chi marathon website it’s only .3 from Grant Park. I don’t remember seeing it last year but it will either be that or the host hotel for me I think.


  5. You hit on something important with the Hanson’s plan…I like the confidence running a 20-miler gives me mentally, but now that I’ve run multiple marathons and multiple 20-milers, maybe the Hanson’s method of shorter long runs back-to-back would be beneficial! The 20-miler can be REALLY hard to recover from!

    Nice job this week!


  6. Very excited for you and looking forward to following along! Not sure if you know my story but I’ve done 2 HMs using Hanson’s and will be doing my first full using a modified version of their beginners plan working with a coach. I wrote a lot about how much I loved the plan. I loved the routine, I loved the workouts, I loved the huge confidence booster those tough, midweek runs would give me. I felt so awesome running all those miles! And I ran my best HM using it. If you have a big goal, Hansons will definitely help you!


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