Hal Higdon: Multiple Marathons (4 weeks between)

Average Weekly Training Hours 03:52
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 03:52
Training Load By Week

Hal Higdon: Multiple Marathons (4 weeks between): This is one of several programs designed for runners planning to do two or more marathons with minimum rest between. This is my Multiple Marathons Program for runners with four weeks between their marathons. I also have interactive programs online for those whose marathons are 2-8 weeks between marathons. Be sure you pick the right program. Each day I will send you an email telling you what to run and offering training tips. For more information, visit my website at halhigdon.com.

Sample Day 2
0:20:00
2mi

Love is lovelier, the second time around.
Just as wonderful, with both feet on the ground. Frank Sinatra sang those words a long time ago, but they prove true today when it comes to running multiple marathons. Marathons can be lovelier the second time around too.

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
3mi

With only four weeks between marathons, you really don't have time to do much training. Nevertheless, run 3 miles today at an easy pace. You define what easy is. In terms of nutrition, maintain the same high-carbohydrate diet between marathons 1 and 2 that you did before the first. It's also a good idea to schedule a massage 48 to 72 hours after the first marathon.

Sample Day 4
0:40:00
4mi

You ran 2 miles on Tuesday and 3 miles on Wednesday. Today, go 4 miles at a gentle pace. You may want to do as much walking as running in the workouts between marathons. Don't worry about pace. You are still in recovery mode.

Sample Day 6
1:00:00
6mi

The 6-mile run suggested for today very definitely should not be fast. In fact, you might want to leave your watch at home when you head out the door to run. Despite your hard effort last weekend, you should be able to cover a half dozen miles today as long as you don't push the pace. In fact, most of my 5-week marathon recovery programs have a run of this distance scheduled the weekend after the big race.

Sample Day 7
1:30:00
9mi

Well, you are a long distance runner. And I assume you are not a newbie if you scheduled two marathons in this short a time. So it's not unreasonable to tell you to go for a long run today. But I don't want to prescribe miles; I would rather prescribe time. Make today's long run 90 to 120 minutes. Two hours max! I really don't care how far you run during that timespan.

Sample Day 23
0:20:00
2mi

A day of rest yesterday signals an easy week. You are ready to begin your 1-week taper for this weekend's race, your second marathon in a single month. Although I'm not sure taper is a word we can use conveniently in this program for 2nd-Time marathoners. The entire four weeks might be considered a single taper between two races. Run 2 miles today at an easy pace.

Sample Day 24
0:30:00
3mi

Run 3 miles today. And while doing so, consider this fact. A survey of V-Teamers reveals that many run two or three marathons a year. They succeed by maintaining a training base near 25 miles a week year-round, which allows them to ramp up to 50 weekly miles during any marathon build-up. My training programs run 18 weeks. Do the arithmetic (3 x 18 = 54), and it does become possible to squeeze three marathons into a single year.
But there are probably more efficient ways to run multiple marathons, particularly since you don't have to back all the way down to the first (low-mileage) week each time you set your sights on a 26-mile race.

Hal Higdon
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Hal Higdon Communications

Hal Higdon is a Contributing Editor for Runner's World, that magazine's longest lasting writer, Hal's having contributed an article to RW's second issue in 1966. He also is the author of more than three dozen books, including Marathon: The Utimate Training Guide and the recently published Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Training and Run Fast (3rd edition).