New To Racing


Got a question about running? You’re in the right place. Every Tuesday, world-renowned coach, author and athlete Hal Higdon posts and answers athlete questions here. You can submit your question by joining the discussions on Hal Higdon’s Virtual Training Bulletin Boards.


I just completed my very first half marathon this past weekend using your Advanced program. My time was 2:26. I had a lot of fun both training for and running the race. I have been running for many years (30-35 miles weekly), but I’m new to the racing scene. I plan to run another half in February and hope to improve my time. I would like to also run my first marathon in April. My plan is to use yourAdvanced 2 marathon and make adjustments on Week 11 as that is when the half is scheduled. Does this sound like a good idea? I also just found out that there is another marathon in March two weeks before my April marathon. I really, really would like to attempt both marathons. Would that be asking for trouble?


Although TrainingPeaks labels you (on my Bulletin Boards) as a “Newbie,” because you only have posted a few times, it seems you are more than that–as a runner if not a racer. Could you run two marathons that close together? I’ve done it. Others have done it. I also have Multiple Marathon training programs for races 2-8 weeks apart. But if your goal is a fast time in either or both, you risk not reaching that goal by spreading yourself too thin. You need to ask yourself, which marathon is more important? If the first, you can run that hard, then hope you will recover fast enough to run the second, comfortably. If the second, you can float the first and hope that two weeks is enough recovery. If only interested in “fun,” run both at a pace slower than you might if going for a PR or a BQ.

About the Author

Hal Higdon

Hal Higdon is a Contributing Editor for'Runner's World'and author of 34 books, including the best-selling'Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. He ran eight times in the Olympic Trials and won four world masters championships. Higdon estimates that more than a quarter million runners have finished marathons using his training programs, and he also offers additional interactive programs at all distances through TrainingPeaks.Hal uses'TrainingPeaks'to power his interactive marathon and half marathon training plans.'Check out more of Hal Higdon's training plans here'or on'his website.

View more posts by Hal Higdon