4 marathons in 4 days

I have stupidly entered the Great Barrow Challenge in September. It's 4 marathons in 4 days. Mostly off road on trails. Quite a few hills. I intend to plod round at an easy pace.

The question is how would training differ for this than for a normal marathon? Should I do back to back long runs? I have found lots of ultra schedules which tend to look like a 15 miler on the Sat and a 20+ miler on the Sun. I can't find any schedules for this sort of event. I thought I might be better to do a 12 on the Sat, a 20 on the Sun and a 10 on the Mon.

I should add I have just done 2 marathons this year, I have a 3rd in June and a 50km in July.


  • What sort of mileage do you average weekly?

  • Hi Sean. I started a new thread to see if it got any more attention!

    I usually run between 40-50 miles a week.
  • I will tell you were I am and what I will do......

    I have been running approx 50 to 60 miles a week (average) for the last 4 years or so. Ran 17 marathons and 1 ultra last year (ultra was a double marathon). The only "special" training for the double-marathon was back to back long runs (Sat/Sun) of 13 miles each day 5 weeks before, 15 miles each day 4 weeks before and 20 miles each day 3 weeks before. Got around in under 8.30 very comfortably.
    Ran 2 marathons on consecutive days last Nov (a track marathon the Saturday in about 3.50 and the Rutland Water marathon on the Sunday in about 3.45).

    I had no injuries, no DOMS from either event but went with the sole intention of competing the events with time being very secondary.

    Personally, I believe that once you get X amount of training/miles/racing in your legs and maintain a "basic" level of fitness you can pretty much turn your hand to anything that is similar without needing to ramp up the training.
    Obviously, "racing" the event over 4 days would be a different kettle of fish to just "getting around" and enjoy the experience.

    My last spring marathon with the South Downs in June (8th marathon of the year) and then a gap until early Sep where I will run 3 or 4 (on consectuive Sunday's) before the Great Barrow event. I don't plan to do any back to back long runs at all.

    This is going to be my approach based upon what I have previously achieved. I doubt it will work for everyone and may not work even for me

    Sometimes less can be more!

    What are running in June? South Downs? Boddington?

  • Sounds good Sean.

    I have never run an ultra and have run 6 marathons and around 15 half marathons in the last 4 years. This year I have done 2 halfs and 2 marathons so far.

    I am doing Poppyline Marathon in June, and Fairlands Valley Challenge in July. I will jog round both of these. I am not interested in time at Barrow. Just completing the 4, preferably without too much pain!

    It sounds like I can probably get away with not ramping up the training too much then which would be good.
  • Have you done Fairlands before?

    Hope that you are good at multitasking -  reading instructions, navigating and running simultaneously!

    I did it a couple of years ago......never again!

    Don't intend to ever run a self-navigate course again. However, I think that there will be a degree (hopefully a very tiny degree) of self-navigate at Barrow.

  • It'll give me an excuse to keep stopping image
  • .....or run an Ultra! image
  • Ive signed up for the great barrow this year how was it?

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