I’ve had some people inquire lately for info on trying to run the Hansons Marathon Method without speed or tempo work (which I’ll refer to hereafter as just speedwork).
First of all, the Hansons did write a plan into the 2nd edition of their book which they called Just Finish. It’s a beginner’s version of their plan, without speedwork.
However, there’s a substantial issue with that plan: It’s clearly just a lightweight version of the other plans. There doesn’t appear to be any real adjustment for the loss of speedwork. The total volume of the plan is far too short on mileage volume to adequately prepare a runner for the marathon. The average mileage is about 30-40 miles, which wouldn’t be so bad except there’s no speedwork to make up for that shortfall.
The less speedwork you do in a training plan, the more important regular and long aerobic runs, plus a large training volume, becomes. The effectiveness of the medium aerobic Hanson weekday runs and 16 mile max long run is logistically contingent on you completing a speedwork session and extended tempo run during the week.
Still, people like the scheduling, run frequency, and the spread of the Hanson plan, though understandably prefer to avoid the lengthy, demanding speedwork and pace sessions.
Is there a way to follow some variation of the plan without speedwork, in more robust fashion than following the lightweight Just Finish plan, without totally undermining the plan?