Retaining Marathon Fitness?

Completed my 4th marathon in 3 years (2nd FLM) on Sunday in just under 3 hours 20.

In terms of keeping up my marathon fitness and until I decide what my next step is going to be, is there any training programs/schedules out there on maintaining your marathon fitness?

Or for the seasoned marathon runners, what sort of schedules do you follow?

I don't want to loose what I've acheived and start over again in a few months time for a Sep/Oct marathon.


  • Well done on your time!

    Personally I just keep on running doing varying distances, anything up to about 10 miles, maybe the odd half. I don't do longer ones because I don't have to!! I wouldn't continue training at the same intensity that I do when training for a marathon, mainly because I don't think my body could take that constantly. I would not expect to maintain this current level of fitness and would expect it to dwindle until I train again for the next one. I'm no expert but I'm sure I read somewhere that if you continue training like this you end up getting slower and slower rather than improving. If you run regularly you will still be fit and be better advantaged for when you start your next training programme.... refreshed!

    I could be talking rubbish and someone out there may know better but that's how I feel.
  • take a gentle break to relax mind and body after rigours of recent success. After 2 weeks start summer schedule with gentle runs of say 6-8 miles a day plus a gym circuit training session to maintain fitness levels and keep momentum going.
    Running is for life - its tough man!
  • OuchOuchOuchOuch ✭✭✭
    Sean G

    Similar to you run I run a Spring and Autumn marathon. After a weeks complete rest, I find that running a few 10K and half marathons over the summer - say one a month is a great way to keep focus, fitness, sharpness and provide a good base for an enhanced Autumn performance. Thhen start to build mileage up again from August onwards.
  • I did the London marathon (2007) in 4hr 16. Now I want to do the Dublin one as well in October, so I need to maintain the fitness and hopefull increase my speed (badly want to break 4hours and even maybe do it in 3hr 45). If I start a new training plan I'm back to short distances though, so would it be OK to do a 22 miler every 2 weekends say?
  • Hi All
    Deirdre I did London and i am also doing Dublin this year, i finished FLM and said I think I'll stick to halves and by the end of the week i'd entered Dublin.
    I would like to FLM again next year as I should've done a sub 4 this year but I couldn't keep it going the heat affected me as it did most people. So i thought I would like to an autumn winter matathon prior to london as the temp will be cooler and it can only help training.
    I has a tota break from running the 1st week and have eased back into this week, but I've been working alot so only going to get back into some sort of schedule this week.
    I won't be doing 22 milers yet going to build back up again. I don't see the problem with you doing a LSR but I woldn't say you need to do 22 miles every other week as you don't want to burnout, but you've gotta go with how you feel.
    Get your entry for Dublin if you go on the thread theres alot of peopled signing up and the party is good afterwards as you could imagine, its also bank holiday monday, so the pubs will be rocking.
    Apres marathon!!!
  • Deirdre/Sean:

    Dunno if this helps but this is what I'll be up to....

    After doing FLM (my 3rd mara), I'll be doing the same as before:

    By the end of May I would have built up to my first proper long run of 20 miles. I'll be doing 3 long runs a month for Leicester in October and my last long run will be done a month beforehand for a nice early taper.

    I find the 1 week in 4 break does me the world of good and so far have not yet burnt out. I usually get in 10-12 long runs before a marathon and my times are tumbling nicely (3:58, 3:41, 3:38 FLM in heat, sub 3:30 is next target).

    The 3 long runs a month will be slightly different: 20 miler road race pace followed by couple of easy days as that's hard going, 22 miler middling pace off road and 24 miler slow pace.

    I'll also be banging in a 8-10 mile tempo run with club, speed/hill session with club, fast 10k and recovery run each week. As I'm starting early, there's a contingency for the odd slack week if I'm tired or heaven forbid, if I get injured (touch wood, haven't yet).

    Good luck to you all whatever you end up doing, and here's to more PB's! :-)
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