Hansons First Marathon

Step Up to 26.2 the Hansons Way

By Get Back to Fast, Keith Hanson, Kevin Hanson, Luke Humphrey


Hansons First Marathon, from one of America’s most successful marathon training groups, offers a smart, friendly guide to preparing for your first marathon.

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With the right training, anyone can finish a marathon!

Hansons First Marathon, from one of America’s most successful marathon training groups, offers a smart, friendly guide to preparing for your first marathon. With their proven method, the coaches of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project will show you how to break down the 26.2 miles into achievable daily workouts. By race day, you’ll feel strong and confident of a race experience you’ll be proud of.

The Hansons-Brooks Distance Project has an amazing track record of turning normal runners into marathoners through their acclaimed Hansons Marathon Method. Now they have made the marathon not just something to check off your bucket list, but also an enjoyable, inspiring, and life-changing experience.

Hansons First Marathon is for anyone who has decided to step up to the marathon. Whether you’re a totally new runner who has never run a race, a recreational runner who enjoys occasional races, or even a competitive runner who is ready to go all the way—you’ll find the right marathon training schedule for you in Hansons First Marathon. Author and coach Luke Humphrey starts you off on the right foot with a simple survey about your running experience, race goals, and your natural strengths and weaknesses. Then he guides you to the right plan to prepare you for the miles ahead.

Hansons First Marathon covers everything you need to know:

  • Finding your foot type and a good shoe for marathon training
  • The types of workouts and how (and why) to do them
  • Choosing your race wisely
  • Training around travel, illness, and navigating injuries
  • How to stretch and strength train for marathon
  • Ways to recover from daily runs and after your race
  • Science-based nutrition and hydration guidelines for workouts and race day
  • What to do differently during the crucial final 6 weeks before your race
  • How to get to the start line feeling confident, stress-free, and ready
  • Setting an ideal marathon race strategy that puts you in control

Marathons are an exciting, rewarding challenge for runners of all abilities, but how you get to the start line matters as much as how you finish. Choose Hansons First Marathon to start your marathon adventure and you’ll set yourself up for success.

Read excerpts from Hansons First Marathon.

From Scratch Training Plan Error: We made a mistake! See the fix.

Hansons First Marathon: Step Up to 26.2 the Hansons Way
Luke Humphrey with Keith and Kevin Hanson
Paperback with illustrations, charts, and tables throughout.
6″ x 9″, 312 pp., $18.95, 9781937715793

Hansons First Marathon: Step Up to 26.2 the Hansons Way

Get Back to Fast, Keith Hanson, Kevin Hanson, Luke Humphrey

Paperback Illustrations, charts, and tables throughout

Shipping Dimensions: 6in x 9in x .75in 304pp $18.95, Inventory 9781937715793, Shipping 1.2lbs



1 Establishing Your Starting Point

2 What Kind of Runner Are You?


3 Our Training Philosophy

4 Physiology


5 Ready, Set . . .

6 The Components

7 Training Plans

8 Modifying Your Plan


9 Setting Goals

10 Choosing a Race

11 Supplemental Training

12 Recovery

13 Nutrition and Hydration

14 Shoes and Other Gear


15 Navigating the Last Six Weeks

16 Race Day!

17 After the Race



About the Authors

Preview book.

Praise for Hansons First Marathon

“A first marathon is scary and uncharted waters, even for the most elite runners. Keith and Kevin Hanson have developed a program with tried and tested results. Luke Humphrey brings forward years of experience coaching the Hansons Training method. This system is simple enough for any first-time marathoner but with all the fundamentals required to tackle 26.2 miles.” — Dathan Ritzenhein, three-time Olympian and member of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project team

“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.” — Canadian Running Magazine

Praise for Hansons Marathon Method and Hansons Half-Marathon Method

“Keith and Kevin Hanson have been training professional and amateur distance runners for over 20 years. Last year the brothers, along with Luke Humphrey, an exercise physiologist and one of their coaches, published Hansons Marathon Method. In it, they’ve thrown out just about every standard of the marathon training program…Unlike other marathon training programs, which typically have runs of 20 miles or longer, the Hansons method tops out at 16 miles, an appealing draw.” — New York Times

“You might expect a training program devised by the Hanson brothers, Keith and Kevin, to be a little different than the usual rehashing of principles and schedules. Given the success of athletes from the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, you wouldn’t be surprised if it was effective, too.” — Runner’s World

“With his wealth of knowledge, and the Hanson’s assistance, Luke Humphrey crafts a fantastic book that is easy to digest and understand. The book is a quick read and breaks down the entire program nicely. Hansons Marathon Method is purely based on science. Every single run is an important part of the entire program. There is a strategy and logic to everything the plan calls for you to do.” — The RUNiverse

“Kevin and Keith Hanson have years of experience coaching athletes at many levels. Their knowledge of the sport is evident in their ability to continually develop athletes and take them to the next level. In addition, Luke Humphrey’s science background coupled with being a top-tier marathoner brings a unique and beneficial perspective to training. Not only can Luke provide the scientific approach to the training methods, but he’s done the workouts and had successful results. The results have been proven at every level, from the beginner to the elite, the Hanson’s training system works. With the coaching experience of Kevin and Keith and the science background Luke brings to the table, you have an incredible wealth of knowledge, and arguably one of the best marathon coaching teams in the country.” — Desiree Davila, Olympic marathoner

“Keith and Kevin Hanson, through their passion for the sport of distance running, have developed an amazing history of successful coaching with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Their insights into their individual athletes and coaching philosophies have enabled athletes like Desi Davila and Brian Sell to successfully compete on the world’s greatest running stages. Even more impressive is the development of what many elite coaches would call “marginally talented runners” who the Hansons have coached up to being national-caliber competitors. Many coaches have systems, but the key to success is the athlete’s belief in that system. That comes with trust. The athletes trust the process and the people directing that process. Luke Humphrey adds the science behind the process, but the implementation of the process is an art perfected one athlete at a time.” — Greg Meyer, American distance runner and winner of the Boston and Chicago Marathons

“There is really no minor detail in marathon prep, as anything can be a major issue in the face of a 26-mile run. From how and when to rest, how to fuel, stretches and exercises to work on parts of the body that running misses, gear, and then formulating the actual race strategy, every key detail is addressed. Hansons Marathon Method is the kind of book a rookie marathoner can pick up and use to ensure they reach the starting line feeling like they are ready for the challenge.” — Run Oregon

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