1) Between Marathon Schedules 2) Mismatch between Half and Full Marathon Results

by Magnus
(New York)

Between marathons and half marathon prediction :

"Hi Marius,

I have two questions:

1) I just finished my second marathon, and my next one is coming up in April. I am considering how to organize my training before starting my next program. My idea so far is try to do build up with a lot of easy running (35-50 miles a week), and then the occasional race to have some part-goals along the way (and have some fun). In this way I believe I will prepare my body for the physical demands of the next marathon training program. Do you agree with this approach?

2) The marathon I just did was my second one. The first I did in 2011, and I improved my time from 3:57 to 3:47 over those two years (they were pretty comparable in terms of difficulty). However, my half marathon PR set in March this year is 1:36:34 - which should indicate a far better time than 3:47 for a marathon. The half marathon I did 4 weeks before the marathon was at 1:37:40 (and was flatter and in better conditions than the one in March). My 5K and 10K test races were also below my PRs. So something did not go exactly as planned. I used the 3:15 plan because the number of sessions (5) fitted my schedule better than 4 or less. However, looking back, I felt pretty tired during the harder weeks and I reckon the tapering period before the marathon just wasn’t enough to get me back at full strength. What lessons should I learn from this (except for being better at listening to my body), and what kind of advice would you give going forward towards my next marathon in April?

Thanks, Magnus"

Answer:Hi Magnus and thanks for your questions.

1) in terms of training between marathons, you really have two approaches : you can either use the 100 day plan but without the marathon specific weeks and then the variety of this schedule would be a good match between marathons. The other option would be what you suggest : a more mileage approach (but I would go higher in mileage vs. what you suggest ; maybe 50-60 miles weekly)-

Which leads us into questions nr 2 : I've seen runners in your situation that have a faster half marathon vs. marathon benefit from a little higher mileage approach. So what you may do for your next marathon training is to up your mileage a little bit (in addition to increasing it between the plans as suggested) and ALSO hold back a bit more in the marathon specific weeks. You should be tired in these, but not worn down.

Try this approach and hopefully you'll get your full potential relased in the full marathon as well.

I wish you all the best,

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