Two races in a week.....

I'm new to this forum and just wondered if anyone can give me some advice. I'm currently training for Edinburgh marathon in late May and touch wood all is going well. My dilemna is that I'm also planning to do my hometown 1/2marathon which I do every year and it falls the weekend after Edinburgh.

I know this is by no means ideal and that a longer rest period is the norm but any thoughts/experience on whether it's possible to do such a thing and get a decent level of performance only a week after a marathon race? Also, how I should deal with the week in between in terms of recovery/training?


  • Advice would be similarly welcome here - I've got an off-road half marathon two weeks after the Windermere marathon that I'm starting to feel a little concerned about.

    For what its worth, my plan for those two weeks is not to do any 'training' as such, figuring that the strength necessary for the marathon will see me through the half if I can get to the start line. I will, however, aim to get out a few times just to get everything moving again. Might even treat myself to a massage as well as eating and drinking lots.
  • A Half a week or 2 after a marathon is perfect you will fly through it as you do not need to worry about distance pace etc etc it will feel great to run at a good pace after the slower marathon its the perfect time for a PB.
    If 1 week active recovery gym session swim couple of short recovery runs 4 miles or so generally take it easy. If 2 weeks I would do similar but get a slightly longer run in the middle weekend 8 or 9 miles just to stretch the legs, massage during the first week or middle weekend so legs are ok before half.
  • Are you taking the p***, Loon Dod?
  • L.D. could well be right. I am slightly beyond P.Bs. these days but a few years ago I ran London in a P.B. and four days later ran a P.B for a four mile race. You just have to believe in your own ability
  • Not a good idea at all. Your cardio fitness will be great but your muscles and tendons will still be recovering from the marathon and likewise your joints will be bruised and still mending. These two factors combine to encourage you to run too fast and injure yourself.

    The only way it would work would be if you are very fit and treated the marathon as an easy paced long run, in which case there's no point in paying the entry fee for the marathon.

    In my experience racing within 4 weeks of a marathon a) risks injury b) delays full revery from the marathon and c) generally results in a race where you start too fast, feel crap for the second half of the race and record a disappointing time. If you do record a good time it just means you could have run a lot faster in your marathon.


  • PS for "revery" read "recovery"

  • Back when I was young (fortyish) and foolish I did once run 3 races in 4 days. A 15km on the Thursday, castell dinas bran 7 on Saturday (43rd) and a race for your life 10 on the Sunday (2nd). I didn't injure myself but then none of the races was a marathon. The length of time on your feet means that the marathon does serious damage and has to be treated with respect.

  • maybe I should change my pseudonym to Boring Old Fart.

  • Speaking purely for myself and from personal experience.

    I couldn't even run for 3 month after my first marathon (I am assuming this is your first full marathon) never mind do a half the next weekend. A lot will depend on what you expect from the half. Do you want a pb, to do well or just finish?

    Also the full marathon could throw up something unexpected, I had blisters the length of my feet (heel to toe), despite all your preperation.

    The distances can be done together, ask any ultra runner, it's just a matter of how you want to do them.
  • I still say distance running is an attitude of mind. The Tour of Thameside which is unfortunately no longer on the callender was two marathons in seven days. Also as a younger runner (40s) I ran a half marathon every weekend from June to October. and never went above 90 mins in any of them. Go for it young man and enjoy.
  • No not taking the piss deadly serious.
    I have been running for 25 years so have done similar many times.

    I have Cape Wrath challenge in may 5 races in 6 days starting with a Half and finishing with the Marathon three weeks later I have the Devil O the Highlands 43 mile race. Thats 3 weeks active recovery plenty time.

    If you have run 1 long run of 18 miles in prep for the marathon sure you will be bolloxed after marathon and fit for nothing but if you have followed a sensible marathon training schedule and have a good solid training base you will be fine.
  • Well, what a mixed response!!

    Thanks to all for your comments. To clear up a few things, this is my 2nd marathon. My first was in Amsterdam last October for which my preperation was distinctly average and resulted in a time of 3.49. For Edinburgh I have knuckled down since the turn of the year and been loosely following the runners world sub 3.30 plan to try and up my game a bit. I've done 2 competitive races in the last month - a 10mile in 68.16 and a 1/2marathon in 1.31.46 so I'm hopeful that I'm on track.

    I absolutely take burnt outs point that it is not ideal, but I guess that was my reason for posing the question in the first place. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't consider doing a 1/2 so soon after but I have a great affinity for the race which is in my hometown so legs permitting I am planning to go ahead with it. As to the question about what I want to get from it, well I guess I want more than just getting round, but acknowledge the fact that a pb is very unlikely. I would certainly hope to get a 'decent' time, but I guess time will tell!!
  • Seems like you have made up your mind to do both anyway, I can't say as I blame you. It is all right asking advice like you have, but only you really know what you are capable of.

    Good luck to you, hope you find both runs relatively easy (as easy as one can expect anyway) and may you have no problems.
  • RC2

    Good luck. I think the secret is to listen to all the advice and then make up your own mind. That is exactly what you are doing. Hope all goes well. I certainly haven't always taken my own advice in the past.

  • Yeh!!! Go for it man and good luck. If you do feel too knackered after the marathon you can always give the half a miss but my bet is you will be OK.
  • Sounds like you already had the answer before asking for advise!

    In my experience, the best way to find out is to do it! Then you will know what works for you and what does not.
    You maybe fine, I certainly would not be, but I like certain gels that others on these threads cant stand, so at the end of the day do it and then you can advise others on how you coped, but at least you will know for you in future.
  • In response to your comment rennuR daM, I didn't really have the answer before asking for advice. If you look at my original question I was merely trying to obtain the thoughts/experience of others who might have tackled 2 races in a short timeframe to see if folks thought it was possible and get some advice on the recovery period in between. I've certainly always been planning to go ahead with it but wanted to gauge the reaction of other potentially more experienced and informed opinions.

    So as I said before, thanks to all for your responses, they have given me plenty food for thought.
  • Hi Richard
    Its all about what you want out of the sport, and life. I couple of weeks back I drank to much on Fiday night raced a 5 miler on sat. Then a half marathon on sun. No PBs no records broken but a fun weekend spent with friend doing what I love to do. Enjoy.
  • Richard,

    I did not mean for you to take offence, sorry if it came across that way.

    Please just enjoy both, but tell us how you got on afterwards, and maybe others will learn from your experience as I appreciate you were trying to do.
  • For anyone who is interested, I managed to do the 2 races in the space of a week and whilst it was fairly tough I have thankfully emerged with just a few aches and tight muscles for my efforts. Races were Edinburgh marathon on 27th May (3.28) and Stranraer 1/2marathon on 2nd June (1.32).

    With hindsight it was by no means ideal but it is doable if you are fairly well prepared and are willing to take the risk of injury.
  • Well done good job.
    So what are you doing this weekend ??? LOL
  • Haha, well I did the copious amounts of beer thing on Saturday evening so will prob be back at the old training again!
  • Well done Richard! Now you know.

    Intrested how you approached both? Did you run easier in one etc. How do your very good times for both relate to your pbs etc.
    How was the second race, did you feel good or like....
  • To be honest I just went for it in both of the races!

    For the marathon my training was geared towards getting under 3.30, my only previous marathon being 3.49 last year so it was easily a pb. Whether I could've run it harder had I set out faster....I doubt it as for the first 6m or so I followed the 3.15pace setter but eventually settled back into 8min miles and then lost the couple of mins I'd gained early doors over the last few miles as I slowed a bit.

    I was concerned going into the 1/2 that I would give it a go and collapse half way round! I set out fairly quick(for me) doing the first few miles under 7's but settled into 7min miles for the most part. I have to admit that I slowed over the last mile resulting in a time of 1:32:32, which was just outside the pb I got at Alloa 1/2 earlier this year (1:31:46). I was surprised I managed to maintain the pace as long as I did but I certainly wouldn't say I felt great throughout.
  • WaboWabo ✭✭✭
    well done richard!!
    possunt quia posse videntur - we can because we know we can 
  • Thanks for the info.

    Great job, well done!
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