2015 Honolulu Marathon Training Plan

My third marathon.  My first marathon with a time goal.

The goal: break 4 hours.

I will be using Hanson’s Marathon Method, the beginner training plan.  I wasn’t sure if I should do the beginner or advanced, but the mileage is going to be higher than anything I have done before in the beginner program that I thought it would be safest to start there.

Training Plan

Runs – Paces

My paces are what the book prescribes to come in at four hours.  I am being cautious, and am allowing myself to use the 3:55-4:00 pace.  This is to allow a buffer if I run longer than the 26.2 distance, which can happen by weaving around people and not running the tangents.  Looking at these paces right now I know I can do them.  The question is if I can maintain it over a heavy training period to get me to be able to run all 26.2 miles at a 9:09 minute per mile or faster.

Easy Runs:

These are meant to be done easy!  It is all about keeping your body moving and preparing for the next hard run.  If you run these too hard your body will not be ready for the next workout.  I may not want to post photos to Instagram with an 11:00 minute mile, but I will do it because I want to break four hours.  Sometimes you have to deal with you ego.

Easy Run: 10:00 – 11:00 min/mile


If you want to run fast, train fast!! Speed work will happen at the start of the program, and then it will develop into strength workouts.  This isn’t anything crazy fast.  I know I am capable of faster, but I am using current 5k times, and not what I think I should be able to run a 5k in.  I have read you should train for how fast you are now, and if you want to train faster, run the race faster!

400m: 2:01 minutes

600m: 2:59 minutes

800m: 4:00 minutes

1000m: 4:54 minutes

1200m: 5:57 minutes

1600m: 8:00 minutes

Strength Runs:

Strength runs are to be done at about 10 seconds faster than marathon pace.  I will be aiming closer to 8:50, but the end goal is 9:00, so if I am running at that pace I will be happy.

Strength Run: 8:50 – 9:00 min/mile

Tempo Runs:

Hanson’s Marathon Method uses tempo runs as race day preparation.  The tempo will be performed at race pace, wearing clothes that I may be running in for the race and fueling strategies.  The longest tempo will be 10 miles.

Tempo Run: 9:00 – 9:09 min/mile

Long Runs:

The longest run is 16 miles, however this comes after a lot of mileage and heavy legs will be expected at the start of this run.  The 16 mile long run is meant to simulate the last 16 miles of the marathon, not the first.  I may decide to add in some miles at marathon pace in some of these, but it just depends on how my legs are feeling.

Long Run: 9:38 – 9:53 min/mile

Warm up/cool down:

Warming up and cooling down is important.  I will be doing at least a one mile warm up and cool down for each speed, strength and tempo run.  I hope to add in some dynamic stretching in-between my warm up and workout.


This training plan doesn’t really cover hills.  What I will try to do is run my long run or tempo run on a course similar to the marathon.  If I can get to the area where the marathon will be, I will run there, otherwise I will aim to add in slight hills similar to the course elevation chart.


3 thoughts on “2015 Honolulu Marathon Training Plan

  1. lazyw says:

    So so so very happy to find your blog. I feel like we have very similar running/fitness goals and capabilities, so I will be excited to watch your progress. Best wishes on your next marathon!! I am running my third full this coming April, excited to get in to serious training.


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