Brighton 1st ever marathon, then Edinburgh 7 weeks later

Hi, I'm doing my 1st ever marathon in April 2014, then my 2nd ever marathon...7 weeks later. I've already been told it's a bad idea and I'm mad (I started running 7 years ago, but had to totally stop 2 years ago with bad hips during pregnancy, and only started back up again Jan this year), but I'm going to damn well try anyway.

But I need advice on training. I've got a shedule all worked out, but some of the runs are longer than the mileage I do with the running group I'm part of. E.g.They do 4 miles on thurs....but I need to do 7. Running club is not something I want to stop... so can I run say, 3 in the morning and 4 at night? Is that too long a gap?


  • Hello Beeza, shame you had to stop during pregnancy.  I have been doing a lot of double run days in the summer, and I find its a great way to fit in mileage with everything else going on.  Its still important to follow the hard/easy rule though, so ifyour run club sessions tend to be quite taxing, make sure the morning run is an easy recovery run.  Is it not a possibility to tag on the extra miles after or before your running club runs though?

  • If a 3 mile morning and 4 mile night run is all you can do, then OK.  But it really is not the same a 7 mile run. You spend the first mile or two getting your systems moving... especially on easy runs.... and a last mile should be easing off a little too.  You need some quality miles in the middle. Can't you just start your run 30 minutes before club, and meet up with everyone to do the final 4 together?

  • By the way, the Pfitzinger and Douglas book 'advanced marathoning' 2nd edition has a section with specific recommendations about how to do 2 marathons 7 weeks apart.

  • Great, thanks Angela and Runny Knows for the advice, and running book suggestion (I will def be buying that). It's tricky as it's getting dark now, and as I'm fairly new to the area and get freaked out running on my own at night, I'd rather not run on my own before the session. Unless I run on my treadmill at home, then quickly drive down to the session (it takes 15 mins), and run with them? None are really ideal though. It's only for 1 session a week though hopefully.

  • Hi Beeza,  it's a great idea and you are not mad.  You can do whatever you put your mind to! I started my marathon running with the plan of running 12 in 12 months 

    my only regret is that I didn't do it earlier in life.image Good luck to you.   

  • just to be clear  (from memory), the section I referred to isn't massive - but it does give specific suggested weekly schedules for situations where there are 4,,6.8.10 & 12 weeks between your marathons. And a rationale behind these programmes. And a comment how to specifically adjust them if the time is 5,7,9,11 weeks instead.

  • And...also to be clear, whilst 7 miles isn't the same as 3 + 4....I was talking technically.

    The reality is that it isn't a bad compromise at all, and I personally wouldn't worry if that's all I could fit in


  • Could you ask if any else in the running group would like to do a few extra miles before or afterwards? 


  • Other than that, I would bother doubling up for the sake of 3 miles.  I'd just add it onto one or two of the some of the other days.

  • /members/images/756400/Gallery/8_week_between_races.jpg



     This is what I found a few weeks back, and it sounds similar to what you were talking about Runny knows. Any good? I really appreciate the advice, thanks.

    Right, I will ask if anyone fancies starting early, and if not will either add on miles to other runs or do the extra miles in the morning/just before I go out for the group run. Thanks Lou!

    WOW Paulie B! 12 marathons in 12 months sounds amazing! Huge kudos to you! I always thought that if Eddie Izzard could do it every day, why couldn't I do just two?!! I was quite suprised as I got quite a few negative responses from people at my club. I know they were just looking out for me, but I guess I was hoping for 'it'll be really hard but we will keep an eye on you' kind of response?! I'm just going to try and get around them both, with the second one a bit faster than the 1st if I can! If I can do them in 4.30, then I'll be happy!

  • My 1st and 2nd marathons (Tokyo 2010 & London 2010) were also 7 weeks apart, and while the last 6 miles of London were physically and mentally quite tough, its certainly not impossible. Different people have different methods, but heres mine:

    Ive always found that the midweek runs can be mixed up to suit your own schedule, so if you do 4 miles with the club one day, do the 6-7 another day in the week when its more convenient, but the most important thing is the long runs at the weekend. Stick to a rigid schedule for those and dont deviate! If you miss a midweek run now and again, its really not the end of the world, but miss one of the long runs and you'll be making it very hard for yourself.

    After the first race, give yourself enough time and rest to fully recover (I think I did absolutely nothing for 2 weeks!), and then try to keep yourself ticking over until the 2nd race. If you do too much in that 7 week period, you'll pay for it in the race. Its a balancing act, but listen to your body. And good luck!

  • If you have a lot of 20 mile long runs behind you, you will find your recovery time from the first marathon is much quicker than the average runner. I've done marathons with 1 week apart, 2 weeks apart, and am in the middle of a 5 week gap.

    Without the miles behind you I would imagine you will need to leave much longer for recovery. As there are only 3 things you can do (Recover, Train, Taper), the longer recovery will squeeze out any potential time for training. Then it becomes a battle to recover and hang on to the fitness that you already have.

    With the 1 week, and 2 week gaps, the only thing I considered was recovery. On this 5 week gap I have managed to create a 2 week training window before tapering down again.

    As this is your first venture into marathons I would allow 2 to 3 weeks of recovery  (easy running) before contemplating anything too serious.

    Is it a bad idea? Who caresimage

  • Hello I'm doing the Brighton marathon in April too! It's going to be my first one! I am also seriously considering doing Edinburgh( 9 days until normal entries close So need to decide pronto) Edinburgh is my local marathon so thats why I'm keen to do it! I signed up to Brighton as I'm not usually free on the Edinburgh weekend. And now that I am free I want to do both. Is this bonkers? I'm aiming for a 4 hours 15 run round Brighton. 

    Anyone else doing 2 marathons so close. if I do Edin as well I would take 2 weeks off after Brighton and then hopefully just pick up with training in time for Edin. This sound alright? Obviously I have never done a marathon before so no idea what the pain/ recovery is like but I'm pretty determined!

  • I meant to say thanks for all the advice! I did Brighton marathon, I was injured half way through Edinburgh (bad hips), but still finished, then 10 weeks later did a 60k ultra! It can be done! I'm now addicted to Hal higdon training plans, so thanks for that!

  • Course you can do it. I've entered Paris and London (2 weeks apart), with Edinburgh five weeks later. Not ideal, but as long as you accept you're not going to get a PB at all of them (or probably any of them), it must be possible. There's plenty of people who run Boston and London, which are only a week or two apart. I suspect the main thing is general fitness and base going into the first one - if you've put in the miles, you should recover reasonably quickly and be ready to put yourself through it again soomer. Good luck!

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