5, 6, 7, 8, 9 weeks between marathons | 80/20 Endurance

5, 6, 7, 8, 9 weeks between marathons

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  • #8179
    deanmurley
    Participant

    I was originally going to run two spring marathons six weeks apart, but Covid put paid to that idea. My first plan was 80/20 and then I had downloaded a Hal Higdon plan for the six weeks preparation for the next race.

    The races have been postponed until this autumn, and I’m now on week 9 of the 80/20 marathon plan on TrainingPeaks. The race is 13 September, if it doesn’t get cancelled.

    The other race has now been moved to 15 November, which is nine weeks in between.

    My question is how to use the 80/20 plan for this nine weeks.

    Thanks!

    #8180
    deanmurley
    Participant

    And a follow-up question – what should the protocol be if the gap was 5, 6, 7 weeks, etc.? Is there a magic formula?

    #8189
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Dean,

    For the 9 week-gap between 09/13 and 11/15, I recommend taking one week off of training, then load the plan again with an end date of Nov 15, starting in Week 11 of the plan and completing the final 8 weeks.

    I would follow this same pattern of training for 5-8 weeks between Marathon plans as well.

    OK, to be honest, in a perfect scenario I would write a custom plan for the athlete to cover those 5-9 weeks based on their performance from Marathon #1 and addressing their strengths and weaknesses. For example, the last 8 weeks of the 80/20 marathon plan will significantly reduce Zone 4 work. But what if that is what the athlete still needs? If they just nailed Marathon #1, I’d be more focused on maintenance. If they struggled at mile 16, I’d be more focused on number of 18+ mile runs.

    But, if you are using a pre-built plan, my recommendation will get you 95% of the benefit for 1/3 of the cost.

    David

    #8198
    deanmurley
    Participant

    Thank you David

    #9341
    deanmurley
    Participant

    Hi David,

    Many thanks for all your advice in the past. I now have a marathon on April 18 and another one exactly 4 weeks afterwards. I’d like to PB in both of them, but the second one is a few days after my 45th birthday, which will allow me to run a GFA for London. So I’m treating them both as A races.

    What would your suggestion be for approaching this? I am intending to use the Level 2 plan again that worked for my PB in October.

    Thanks David.

    Dean

    #9347
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Dean,

    This will be tight. You might get other opinions from other coaches, but the first marathon is so close it is likely to interfere with the second. Ideally, you just do the second (I perceive it is more important).

    But, many athletes report success with marathons this close together, it’s just that most can’t pull it off well.

    If you do, I’d take a week off from running but 2-4 hours of something else (cycling, rowing…) Then finish the final 3 weeks of the Level 2 plan and report results back here!

    David

    #9353
    deanmurley
    Participant

    Thanks David,

    I suspect it will be tough and I think I need to work out in my mind whether they are both A races. The first is on a fast, flat course, while the second is more undulating, hence my dilemma.

    I think I might try your suggestion and just see what happens – I’m always up for an experiment. But it’s months away yet and we all know how much things can change. Whatever happens, I think I’ll book an autumn marathon anyway and get my GFA then.

    Thanks again.

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