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Running For The Hansons: An Insider's Account of The Brooks-Sponsored Marathon Training Group Made Famous by Olympian Brian Sell Paperback – May 17, 2011

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Running For The Hansons: An Insider's Account of The Brooks-Sponsored Marathon Training Group Made Famous by Olympian Brian Sell + Hansons Marathon Method: A Renegade Path to Your Fastest Marathon + Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance (The Racing Weight Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Vo2max Productions, LLC; first edition (May 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983294119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983294115
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #855,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sage Canaday grew up in the backwoods of Sheridan, Oregon, where he started running seriously in 6th grade because his soccer coach told him that he was better off without a ball! A part of the very deep Oregon high school class of 2004 (Galen Rupp, Ryan Vail, Stuart Eagon, Scott Wall), Canaday’s best cross-country finish was 13th at the Oregon State Cross Country meet (large-school division) his senior year of high school. Lacking natural foot speed, Sage was “just another 4:30 miler” who didn’t even make states in track and never got to race at Hayward Field in Eugene. At Cornell University, Canaday slowly developed as a distance runner under the guidance of co-founder and Cornell distance coach Robert Johnson. After a disastrous freshman year of running sabotaged by iron-deficiency anemia and a poor diet involving the infamous “freshman 15,” Canaday slowly built his mileage up over 100 miles per week. A gradual, but steady progression of improvement eventually resulted in a trip to the DI NCAA Cross Country Championships as an individual in the fall of 2007, and an Ivy League Conference individual title on the track for 10k in the spring of 2008. Also in college, Canaday convinced his coach Robert Johnson that he should try to qualify for the 2008 US Olympic Marathon Trials. After receiving permission from his coach, Canaday trained between cross country and track seasons and debuted in the 2007 Houston Marathon with a 2:22:21, missing the trials “B” standard at the time by a margin of only 21 seconds. Determined to qualify for the trials (his dream since his sophomore year of high school), Canaday tried his hand at the marathon 6 months later at the 2007 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. Despite racing in sunny temperatures over 70 degrees, Canaday succeeded in qualifying for the trials in his second marathon with a 2:21:43. He was the youngest participant in the 2008 US Men’s Olympic Marathon trials at the age of 21. Sage joined Hansons in August 2009 after graduating from Cornell University with a Bachelors of Science in Design and Environmental Analysis, and a concentration in Human Factors and Ergonomics. Most recently, Sage ran a 2:16:52 at the 2011 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon and qualified for his 2nd Olympic Marathon Trials.

Customer Reviews

Like Sage and the Hanson team, I am obsessed with running.
Negatives: I found the book to be poorly written and rather hodge-podge in general.
Abu Seyame
In short a good book that anyone who seriously runs will enjoy.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Writing About Running on May 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
Where Chris Lear's "Running with the Buffaloes" did an excellent job of painting the picture of what it's like to train with a top notch collegiate program, Sage Canaday's "Running For The Hansons" does the same for the post-collegiate elite level. The subtitle of the book is "An Insider's Account of The Brooks-Sponsored Marathon Training Group Made Famous By Olympian Brian Sell," and that is exactly what Canaday delivers in his debut. While giving an excellent account of what it is like to train at 140 miles per week, week in and week out, Canaday also delivers some excellent prose on the joys and shortcomings of a professional running career and some hilarious commentary about the different kinds of customers that come into the Hansons Running Shops. The book also includes 100+ pages of extras that include Drew Polley's entire 15-week training log leading up to his 2:16 at the 2010 Boston Marathon and references to many of Sage's popular Flotrack videos. Lots of great stuff here for any competitive runner.

When I heard that Sage was putting this book out, I couldn't wait to get a hold of it as it finally pulls back the curtain a bit on how the decade plus long and very successful Brooks Hansons Distance Project operates. Many of the rumors that can be found on the LetsRun's "World Famous" Message Boards are true, including instant expulsion for dating a teammate of the opposite sex and a six figure guarantee for running a sub-28:00 10k or sub-2:11 marathon (a feat only achieved by Olympian Brian Sell and Desi Davila for the womens equivalent). It also talks about the 26.2k "Marathon Simulator" run that the Hansons do about a month out from a major marathon. You can tell how serious about the sport Kevin and Keith are in regards to their attention to detail for these simulator runs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LJF on June 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Anyone who has considered himself or herself a competitive runner in Michigan over the past decade is well aware of the influence of the Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project racing team. In a local race when you see the distinctive red, yellow and black singlet at the start line everyone knows they are running for second.* There have been several local races in which I thought I would have a good shot at winning only to see Luke Humphrey, Mike Morgan or Clint Verran stroll up to the start line a few minutes before the gun, intent on putting in a nice tempo run on a clear course.

I've jogged along side them at community runs, chatted with them at the stores, watched them make the Olympic team (Brian Sell) and come within seconds of winning the Boston Marathon (Desiree Davila). However I didn't know much about the inner workings of the team and the sacrifices that these smooth striding elites make on a daily basis in order to push American distance running as far as they can.

Sage Canaday's book provides an insightful glimpse into the Hansons program. It discusses the early years of the program, the formation of the team and the investment Keith and Kevin Hanson have made to improve American distance running. Published by Vo2max Productions, Running For The Hansons is written in a similar style to that of Running with the Buffaloes and Sub 4:00, both by Chris Lear. It includes journal type entries describing training interspersed with entries detailing the history of the program, races and other odds and ends.

The author, Sage Canaday, joined the Hansons program late in the summer of 2009. He packed his worldly possessions into his 1998 Chevy Prizm and drove from Ithaca, New York to Rochester Hills, Michigan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TS on September 18, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
As a weekend runner and an occasional triathlete, I always look forward to reading accounts from the pros about what their training is like and the sorts of sacrifices that are required to be one of the best. Sage Canaday's account of his time with the Hanson-Brooks elite training group is full of these details: doubts about his own talent, boredom with a lifestyle that has little intellectual stimulation, and most hilariously, frustration over the lack of eligible single girls in the area.

I read the book quickly and was especially taken with his descriptions of the races on his schedule. The book sort of climaxes with his account of running the 2010 Boston marathon, and I was eager to find out how the race panned out.

That said, in the hands of a good editor, this book might have been considerably better. I imagine they were eager to get the book out before Olympic trials (presumably, a second volume is coming), however many of the chapters had the feel of short entries that had been plucked straight from his journal. There were spelling errors and frequents shifts of tense, even within the same paragraph.

The author's best quality is his eagerness to prove himself and his excitement for what running and adulthood hold for him. However, as a writer, he is still a bit green. For instance, he keeps telling the reader how much he looks up to Brian Sell. Yet it's never really clear why; he never shows us enough about Brian for us to really understand his feelings for the older runner or why the Olympian is such a role model.

All in all, a good read for those interested in elite training, if a little rough around the edges.
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