Multiple Marathons | 80/20 Endurance

Multiple Marathons

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  • #13383

    Hi Matt/ Dave
    Is it possible to do two marathons within a gap of three (3) weeks at a full racing pace and try and achieve two PB’s? I know it’s crazy, but I want to do well in both!

    I have seen several forums online which I have read, but how would you go about the three weeks between the two marathons? I was thinking of a very light training week after the first, running 2-3 days for about 20- 25mins each, the second and the third week using the taper weeks schedule. Currently, I’m using the level 2 marathon plan.
    This year, I have run two marathons already, one in April and two weeks ago, both PBing my time ran the last one just over 2:57.

    #13400
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Craig,

    No.

    IMO, those events are too close together for the second to be performed at full fitness. An all-out marathon requires at least a week of recovery, and two weeks are preferred. At one week recovery, you are immediately turning around and starting the second taper.

    But, prove me wrong!

    I’ve also invited Matt to chime in. Whatever he says is right.

    David

    #13402
    Matt Fitzgerald
    Moderator

    Luckily I have a blog post for every question:

    Are Bounce Back Marathons a Bad Idea?

    #13404

    Thanks again Matt & David. A couple of follow on questions
    1/ Would a half marathon after three weeks be doable?
    2/ What would you say the minimum time would be between marathons?

    Craig

    #13410
    Matt Fitzgerald
    Moderator

    The only way you’re going to develop as a marathoner will be to space out PR attempts by at least 16 weeks and complete a full, largely uninterrupted training cycle before each. You can certainly get away with racing more often (assuming you’re durable), but doing so will slow your development. It’s really a question of, “Do I want to run faster marathons or do I want to run a lot of marathons?” You can’t have both.

    #13411

    Thanks again Matt, it’s a fascinating point, and it is something that I need to give some serious thought to; currently, I’m just enjoying running in races after COVID last year. I have only been running seriously since July 2019, running my first marathon in October 2019 with a goal of Boston qualification time and achieved a 3:19 time then Covid hit when preparing my second one in July 2020 after stop-start running my second one virtually in September with a time of 3:01 using the 80/20 program. The third one was April this year with a shortened program of 13 weeks due to racing in January achieving my goal of a sub 3 hours (2:59:54) then I have again turned around after 10 weeks to run a couple of weeks ago, achieving a 2:57 time my next one is in 11 week which I’m joining at week 8 of the level 2 marathon training program. My question is, how much do you feel that I could gain by completing an 18-week program? Is there any time that is not doing a complete training cycle appropriate?

    #13412

    Thanks again Matt, it’s a fascinating point, and it is something that I need to give some serious thought to; currently, I’m just enjoying running in races after COVID last year. I have only been running seriously since July 2019, running my first marathon in October 2019 with a goal of Boston qualification time and achieved a 3:19 time then Covid hit when preparing my second one in July 2020 after stop-start running my second one virtually in September with a time of 3:01 using the 80/20 program. The third one was April this year with a shortened program of 13 weeks due to racing in January achieving my goal of a sub 3 hours (2:59:54) then I have again turned around after 10 weeks to run a couple of weeks ago, achieving a 2:57 time my next one is in 11 week which I’m joining at week 8 of the level 2 marathon training program. My question is, how much do you feel that I could gain by completing an 18-week program? Is there any time that is not doing a complete training cycle appropriate?

    #13413

    Also, read your post on Heart rate variability and signed up using the HRV4training yesterday and really interested in the data that will come through in the future to determine running dynamics to improve running performance.

    Thanks for these articles and it is one of the reasons I use your running program.

    #13414
    Matt Fitzgerald
    Moderator

    You’ll always run your best marathons after a full build. After completing this process and the “A” race it culminates in, a durable athlete can usually get away with running another solid marathon a few weeks later. I call this “milking the peak.” But after that second marathon it’s time to regenerate, give away some fitness intentionally, and start a fresh build.

    #13417
    dcollins25
    Participant

    Hi … how about 2 marathons 7 weeks apart? Is it okay to complete one, take a week off, then jump back into the plan at week 12 to prepare for the second?

    thanks,
    Dan

    #13418
    dcollins25
    Participant

    Sorry … I reread and saw # 13410 above. I will go for the 2 marathons but will have to choose which one to aim for a PR and which to just complete. I suppose first for completion and second for the PR (?).

    #13419
    Matt Fitzgerald
    Moderator

    Not necessarily!

    The Art of the Marathon-as-Workout

    If it were me, I would prioritize the race where I felt I had my best chance to run faster based on course, weather, and my fitness.

    #13421
    dcollins25
    Participant

    Thanks, Matt! I enjoyed the article. I am just attempting my first marathon, so I think I will just aim to complete the first, then improve during the second.

    Hopefully, I won’t get over-excited in the Long Island (9/19), so I can save up the training effort for the NY marathon (11/7).

    #13422
    Matt Fitzgerald
    Moderator

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

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