2 marathons in 2 months?


I have a question on training for two marathons which are 7 weeks apart in Autumn next year.

I completed my first marathon (Dublin) this year in 3:54 and loved it (apart from the last 5 miles, during which I swore I'd never do it again!). I used Hal Higdon's Novice 2 training plan, which was great although I did feel maybe 18 weeks it was a bit long - the first 4 or 5 weeks were pretty much what I would I would have been doing anyway.

So I really want to do it again in 2013, but I also really want to do the Dingle marathon 7 weeks beforehand, which is a lot tougher (I think it's pretty hilly!).

My question for all you experienced runners is do you think I'm taking on too much, being a novice marathonner? I did recover really quickly from Dublin this year and felt really fit and strong afterwards. Plus I'm now doing lots of intervals and strength training to try and get strong for next year.

Also, what would be the best way to approach the training for the 7 weeks between the two marathons? Any advice would be really appreciated!




  • Well done on 3:54 for your first marathon, I ran with some one from work and got her round in 3:47 so we wasn't that far in front of you as this was an easy run I tried to keep the crowd going......

    I did Barcelona and Belfast 6 weeks apart a few years ago so used Barcelona as a training run I did this some 15 mins slower than Belfast but it was also a flatter course. I only tapered for two weeks rather than the usual three and took a couple of days off than started to build the miles over the next three/four weeks so the long runs went 26.2, 10, 14, 18, 20, 12, 26.2. For the first two weeks I did no speed work and after that only did tempo runs. This worked for me hope it has been of use.
  • Brilliant! Dublin was fab wasn't it, I was so pleased it was my first marathon experience, the crowd were great. I love that you describe it as as an "easy run"!!!!

    Thanks so much for the training advice, it's really helpful to hear from someone who has done two fairl close together. I'm confident that I can do it now I have a bit of experience and know what I'm in for!

  • Hal Higdon's website has some plans for training between multiple marathons with gaps of various sizes. IIRC 5 weeks is the shortest that allows some kind of training in between rather than just recover and taper. You should be fine.
  • As Dublin was your first and you now seem to have the bug it's well worth doing some reading I can recommend Advanced Marathon Running  By Peter Piftzinger and Scott Douglas and The Art of running Faster by Julian Goater both have marathon plans and plans between marathons. A lot of people who run Sub 3 hrs use the P&D plans, I ran 2:58 and am aiming for 2:50 at London and don't let age get in the way I'm 51image

  • Wow, fantastic times. I was kind of thinking I'd aim for sub 3:40 for my second marathon, I think being realistic I won't do much better than that at this stage! Sub 3 hours feels completely out of my league but you never know... One day!

    Thanks so much for all the recommendations, I will get reading! I hadn't realised Hal's site did plans for multiple marathons, so will have a look.

    I also just ordered the Hansons Marathon Method, any thoughts on that? I love the sciencey stuff but not of sure about 16 miles for the longest run... I like the gruelling 20-milers!!

    Reading up on plyometrics this evening, and have been doing strength and speed work on the treadmill and trail runs due to the icy conditions outside... There doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to do all the stuff I want to try!
  • Getting off road on to the trails and using a treadmill helps I've done a few 20's on treadmills but would rather run on the road, sorting out what time you can put into training is a big must, is it 4,5,6 or even seven days and what about double days where you run in the morning and evening. What weekly mileage are you aiming for in know the some plans are very light on miles compared to others, I only made the break through to sub 3 hrs by putting in more than 75 miles a week. The good thing is you have 10 months to get some super training in.
  • Dingle's great - I ran the marathon 2011 and an returning this year for the Ultra. 

    It is moderately hilly, a killer one about mile 23, but all in all well worth the run.  It would great preparation for Dublin and a confidence booster - I did the same double in 2011 and ran a PB in Dublin.

  • Brilliant! i'm so happy to hear Dingle is a good one, a bit nervous about the hills to be honest! I'm hoping to do the same, planning to take it easy in Dingle and then get my sub- 3:30 for Dublin.

    most impressed you're doing the ultra! I am half thinking about maybe doing an ultra but at the moment it feels a bit daunting!

    Might see you in Dngle then!image

  • Make sure you pre-book accommodation in Dingle. When I ran there 2011 the 'no vacancy' signs were up and accommodation was at a premium. 

    Keep up the training and the hills will be fine - try beetroot juice in your diet, works for me image

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