3 marathons in 3 days - advice needed.

I am hoping to run 3 marathons in 3 days in the Autumn of next year. So I would welcome your advice. I'm almost 52 and run about 35k a week. I can run a half marathon comfortably in 2 hours and will run my first marathon in April. My plan, once the marathon is over, is to get to the point when I can comfortably run full marathon distance and then do two marathons in two days. To do 3 in 3 days, which I'm hoping to do for my local hospice, what could, should I do? During my run would it be a good idea to have a physio/masseur before and after each run?

Any other advice gratefully received. It might sound a lot to take on but this year I did a 450 mile solo charity walk in 3 weeks so believe that I have the stamina and also the sheet bloody mindedness.

Many thanks.


  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    So - Not run a marathon yet, and you don't mention anything over a half.

    From your half time I would expect a 4:30 marathon, perhaps including a walk.

    I'm not sure the 2 in 2 days is that good an idea, you might need a longer rest after the April run and then build up again before the Autumn.

    I think if you are aiming for 3 in 3 then you will be walking for a fair bit of at least 2 runs, so a walk/run strategy might be best from the start, after all, its not how you start thats important, etc.etc.

    I would recommend


    buy a timer or get an app for you phone and try a 4:1 ratio run/walk, practice taking gels and find out which suit you best and how often to take them (every 5miles is common).

    I would be concerned if you tried to run all three, that you might end up walking most of the third, not much fun, so walk from the start might be the best idea.

    Massage after each run? not for me but can't see what harm it can do.
  • I'd second the above, about not including 2 marathons in two days in your buildup - injury risk. And about the walk-run programme.

    Which event are you aiming for? I did the Atlantic Coast Challenge a few years back - three marathons in three days along pretty tough terrain - and run not much further than you in a week so I can tell you what worked for me.

    I trained largely as usual, ie a steady run and an effort run each of about an hour a week (maybe a bit shorter if doing intervals) and a longer run of up to 2 and a half hours. With a few months to go I developed the long run in two ways: 1. longer and slower with walk breaks from the start, and 2. broke it into two decent runs back to back, one in the afternoon and then again the next morning, 90 minutes to 2 hours each, again walk-run. Slow, slow, slow. This to build endurance and practise starting out on tired legs.

    If you do a single marathon it doesn't matter how trashed you are at the end of the day because you can rest up. But 3 in 3 days means: nutrition, hydration, recovery. So practise eating on the go (you might want something more solid than just gels), and tackling the aches and pains and chafes etc. Your experience as a long-distance walker will be useful here. And in fact, unless you're one of these loony mountain-goat types I suspect you'll be walking a fair bit. Nothing wrong in that, the aim is to finish and not irreparably injure yourself.

  • What you are proposing is possible;


    Mark is an amazing bloke very down to earth, I know he did a lot of training but it must come down to the right pace and mental attitude.

    He is on Facebook and has a new challenge being planned


    Good luck!


  • A girl recently ran all 5 consecutive days of Hell of a Hill marathons (very hard off road event) day 1 was her first marathon attempt, so three is a challenge but not so big as to be impossible just don't go flat out

  • I would also not bother with the two together as a training guide

    I think your walking will put you in a good place to tackle this.......I took a few years to manage a sub 4:30 off my sub 2 hr halves ....

    so I would train for ytpur april marathon.this will give you a good idea of your pace and how you cope and how well you recover.......and use this as a guide..

    I would be prepared to put somer walking breaks into your marathons if needed...

    I would also go with gettining into teh habit of doing a recovery run the day after your long run training.......

    so if you run 17 miles on a long run...then try and run 8 miles the next day very slowly./... putting in a walk if needed....this will help your body cope with recovery......

    but I would also advise doing all your long runs and recovery runs slowly......this will avoid injury and also be best for the type of challenge you are facing

     good luck

  • I know a few did the autumn triple this year

    Beachy head on the Saturday... bristol and bath on the sunday and dublin on the monday

  • Interesting thread, i was considering Jurassic Coast Challenge, 3 marathons in 3 days next year, it looks brutal. I have been running a marathon every month in 2015, with 2 in March and an Ultra in September, so my base fitness level is high, but not sure if my training would be suitable for 3 consecutive marathons, maybe run 25-35 miles per week in training 

  • GeeeMGeeeM ✭✭✭

    Traviss knows a thing or-two about multiple marathons, this post is worth reading...



  • I did 2 in 2 last year, just get 2 or 3 long back to back weekends in training image

    It's all just down to sensible pacing treat the 1st marathon like a LSR just chill and plod. image it's different if you want near PB times each day, but you don't need that, just finishing them isn't to bad.

    Day 2 and 3 it's the 1st 5km that's hardest just relax and get yourself going and it will be fine after that.
  • One thing I did was run a marathon, then go home after and run 5km that evening, that's good training image
  • Mark, I have never run a sub 4 marathon, done loads of halves though.I had a bright idea to do a really tough challenge last year!! So, did 10 marathons in 10 days over the Pennine Way.

    You need to train but a lot is in the mind - check out our page at: https://running10in10.wordpress.com/ 

    Ultimately it depends what your goal is - speed, distance, challenge, race??!!

  • ML84ML84 ✭✭✭
    I ran 5 in 5 days in 2011 for Help for heroes. I'd never run a marathon before I started to plan it either and the only race I'd done was a 10k in 2006.

    My goal was to just complete it so I was happy to just run at a very easy pace. I had no idea on training so entered Edinburgh marathon which was 3 months before to see how I coped with the distance. I bonked massively and crawled over the line in 3.31 mins.

    I then started building up my training by running on consecutive days - wed, thurs, fri, sat, sun. Started around 8 on each day and built it up to 15,15,15,15,15 before a last week of 20,20,26,26 which was about 3 weeks out.

    I was really surprised on just how easy it was apart from some achy legs each morning first thing. I had a cold bath as soon as I got home each day and drank and ate plenty. Winged it pretty much as I had no idea on training etc. far too many people are over cautious with training and don't realise just how far they can push their bodies.
  • Mark Houghton wrote (see)

    I am hoping to run 3 marathons in 3 days in the Autumn of next year. So I would welcome your advice...

    How is your training going? Are you on track?

    I've just signed up for the Jurassic Coast Challenge next March (3 in 3) - looking forward to it!

  • Hi all,

    This is a long shot as can see the thread goea back to 2016 but in case anyone is 'listening' I need help in putting together training plan to run 5 consecutive day marathons!

  • Atye: how long have you got to train, and how much experience? The info linked above http://traviss.co.uk/wisdom/running_multiple_marathons.html is still good - although I disagree with Traviss about the ibuprofen, as it's really not good for your kidneys, particularly when mixed with long-distance running!

    Get used to running on tired legs: run a hard 5K or 10K and then a long steady run (18-20 miles or more) the next day. Or a LSR and then go out for a recovery run of an hour or so the next day (and gradually increase how long that is).

    Run to work and back - or part of the way if that's too long (about an hour each way is good).

    I completed my first 10-marathons-in-10-days having only done one back-to-back marathon weekend previously, and it was fine. But I was good about slowing down, and eating and drinking while running. You -will- find you've got stiff legs as you start day 2 - just hobble to start with if necessary - you'll soon loosen up. I was told that day 3 or 4 would be worst, but I found them okay.

    Good luck - and enjoy!

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