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Racing a Half Marathon and Full Marathon Back-to-Back

BY Hal Higdon

The Goofy Challenge at Disney World requires racing a half marathon and full marathon back-to-back. If you're training for this event you'll want to check out Hal Higdon's intermediate and advanced training plans.

Have 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.


Do you have any training tips to share for running a half marathon and full marathon on successive days? In January, I plan to run the Goofy Challenge at Disney World.


Indeed, the Goofy Challenge does feature a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday. And for runners who truly want to go to extremes, and pick up some extra bling, they can accept the Dopey Challenge, which begins with a 5-K on Thursday and 10-K on Friday leading into the Saturday/Sunday double. Do you truly need to be “goofy” or “dopey” to accept such challenges? My lips are sealed.

I designed most of my marathon training programs long before someone at Disney, perhaps Cruella de Vil, came up with the Goofy and Dopey Challenges, but my intermediate or advanced marathon programs actually provide perfect preparation. That is because my programs at that level feature pace runs on Saturdays followed by long runs on Sundays. The peak Week 15 (before tapering begins) offers a 10-mile pace run followed by a 20-mile long run, the perfect springboard into back-to-back races.

For those doing Dopey, I also have a training program that peaks in Week 15 with four consecutive days of running. You can find a free version on my Web site.

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About 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 over a quarter of a 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 on his website.