Multiple marathons in the 100 day plan

by Morten
(Oslo, Norway)

What is the best way to run multiple marathons with the 100 day marathon plan - within those 100 days ?

"Hi Marius,

I was challenged to run ING New York marathon last year. I had never run any competition or distance like that. Of course I started hard, and got injuries. Left with only 80 days to race day when I got well again, I had to pay my trust to the “100 day marathon plan”. I found myself completing the race 9 minutes before the plan, on 4:21, after having had the best time of my life. Therefore I believe that the “100 day marathon plan” got all the answers :-)

Now I have planned to run two marathons with less than 100 days between them. How do I use the plan? I have Marathon du Medoc coming up 11 of September (121 days ahead) and ING New York Marathon 7 of November (178 days ahead, but only 57 days between Medoc). The ultimate goal is New York, so I will prioritize that event.

..and is it possible (recommended) to include a half marathon 15 days after the first marathon?

Morten – New born as “the marathon man” :-)

Answer: To answer this in general so that others can relate to it as well:

It is crucial to respect the first 2-3 weeks after a marathon. In that period the elastic elements of your muscular system is still down after the marathon effort and running a half marathon so close is not advisable. Preferably, you want to wait at least 4 weeks to race thereafter - and then at the most a 5-10k race. A half marathon should wait 6-7 weeks out.

In regards to multiple marathons within the 100 day plan :

After the first marathon, take 2-3 weeks of the recovery weeks. Then you want to count the number of days backwards from the second marathon and run the schedule from there. It is not ideal but it is the best way if you are determined on more than one marathon within that time.

So say you run a marathon, then you have 80 days until the next. You take say 17 days from the recovery weeks, then you start with the program again 63 days counting back from the marathon day in week 15. That will take you there in time, the best way possible.

I wish you all the best with your training,

Kind regards,

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9 weeks marathon training

by Bengt, answer by Marius

I have only 9 weeks until the marathon. Is it ok to jump to week 7, or what do you recommend?

Answer: Yes, you can do this. Otherwise you can adjust is according to what I explain in Chapter 5 (a bit down the chapter there) Both these solutions would work nicely. You'll have plenty of time to prepare !

The reason for that, is that you'll still make most of the marathon specific work, that are planned from week 7 and onwards. So there is nothing to worry about, just jump right in there. But do be extra careful and listen to your body on the way as you are making the jump into the schedule.

I wish you all the best with your marathon preparations.

kind regards,

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5 weeks between 2 marathons

by Fred
(New York)

Back to back marathons close together :

"Dear Marius
Thanks for a great program, which works as I ran my first marathon last week, and with less than 100 days of your program I managed to run sub 3 hours!!

I am planning to run another marathon in just 5 weeks and I just wonder if I should complete the recovery weeks and than go straight into the last 3 weeks of the marathon program, or if I should skip the recovery and follow the last 5 weeks?

I also have pain/injury in my Vastus Lateralis and the knee, as well as struggling with inflammation in my Achilles. Should I take anti-inflammatory drugs, inject cortison and/or do eccentric training/stretching?

Thanks again


Answer: Congratulations on the sub 3:00 !! Fantastic job, great to hear.

I've touched on the "back to back" marathon a bit here Back to back marathons, but in your case it is a bit closer together than what I talk about there.

I would :
1) take two weeks with the recovery weeks
2) take the last three weeks of the 100 day plan

That should make you all set.

In the case of your injuries, DO NOT use cortisone on your achilles (no matter what any other doctors may tell you - I'm giving you this advice as a doctor and runner : using cortizone on your achilles WILL injure it, in many cases permanently. It is the only place you absolutely do not want to use cortisone)

The best is a combination of eccentric training plus sleeping at night with anti-inflammatory cream wrapped with plastic foil around it. That works much better than tablets on the achilles due to its little blood supply. So you want to go local on it.

I wish you all the best with your next marathon,

Kind regards,

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Back to back marathons

by Ruben

How to do back to back marathons :

" Marius, first of all let me tell u that this has been an exceptional training that I completely enjoyed...since I noticed my PR's improved on test runs.

My final workout, pre Marathon which is on Sunday, was today. A 40 min. easy jog. This will be my first marathon and feel confident. I trained using your 3:15 plan but was wondering if I should run the marathon conservatively. My ultimate goal is to Qualify for the Boston Marathon. My best time on the 1/2 marathon has been a 1:39. I did feel that my start was too conservative though. I plan to run a second marathon on Feb 14, next year. Should I use Sundays Marathon as a test run and pursue a better time on Feb, or should I go all out on both? My concern has always been running out of gas and hitting the wall. Considering my 1/2 marathon time I am right over what is needed to Qualify for Boston, which is 3:20 for my age of 43.

Marius how do you think I should go about my training to qualify for Boston in Feb. after this Sundays marathon?

Thank you Coach, your guidance throughout is greatly appreciated. Ruben"

Hi Ruben : This is how you can solve this : use your half marathon time (1:39 - or say 1:35 if you ran it conservatively). Then put it into the formula I provide in the 100 day plan. IF you hit the wall then you'll know for your February marathon where you should start pace-wise. There is no need to be afraid - since you have another marathon coming up. Therefore I suggest you go full speed on both and use the first as a "semi-experiement" - meaning use a calculated half marathon passing time that is about right but try to keep up the last part with full effort.

To run back-to-back marathons, simply take 2-3 weeks easy after the first (see the recovery weeks) and then start the 100 day plan again (if you are then 8 weeks away from the marathon, do week 8-9-10-11-12-13-14 and 15) This will work you well as the tapering before the first marathon gives you variation before another short marathon cycle.

Wish you all the best !


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Short Turnaround Between Marathons

by Lisle L.
(Los Angeles, CA)

How should one deal with short turnaround between two marathons ?

I just finished one marathon on the 4:00 program, and I have only six weeks until my next marathon. How should I balance recovery, training, and tapering in an interval of less than 100 days? Thanks for your advice!"

Answer: Hi Lisle, I'll give you a simple answer to this and it should work really well.

First, do the first two recovery weeks as noted in the 100 day plan (post marathon phase). Then, you start again in week nr 11 and take the tapering period up until the marathon once again. That wil balance everything real well and make it possible to extend this shape from the first training cycle.

I gave the same advice to another marathoner that did 3:03 in the first marathon but wanted under 3:00. The next time around she dipped 3:00, six weeks later using what I outlined above.

Best of luck !


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8 weeks marathon training

by Christine Goldsmith
(NSW, Australia)

It is advisable to add more training if you have 8 weeks until the half marathon/marathon ?

"I have 8 weeks until a 32km (20 mile)race - I last ran this distance 12 months ago.
On 14 February I commenced your training plan (for under 4hour marathon)- starting at week 7.

In the past, 7 weeks before such a race I would train 6 days a week and average 4 x 11km; 1 x 15km and 1 x 20km at this stage before the race before building up to 3 hour runs.

Is it advisable to add a couple of sessions each week - if so at what effort and distance should be considered?

Many thanks"

Answer: Hi Christine, thank you for the question.

The general answer to this goes like this :

I would keep the hard workouts in the schedule like it is. They are carefully planned to fit eachother and I would not add any distance or effort to any of them. The same goes for the easy runs - the longer ones.

However, if you'd like to do a bit more training I would add some easy Effort 1 sessions, about 45-60 minutes. That's it.

Point is to keep you fresh for those really hard ones - and this is an important (and often missed) point to running success. The effect of say running the easy runs a bit longer and harder is minimal compared to getting it all together through well planned hard sessions.

So, adding a few easy runs is ok (to make it 6-7 runs weekly). Other than that, stick to the plan and you'll see the results from it.

I wish you all the best with your 32 km race (and future marathons)!


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Two Marathons With the 100 day Plan

by Alan
(St Kilda Australia)

What are the options if you want to run two marathons with the 100 day plan yearly ?

"Hi Marius - I am planning running the Berlin Marathon in 2010 I've already registered. What are your thoughts on training for a 4 hour pace for the first 100 days then 3.30 (or faster) for a second 100days?

I'm a reasonable runner (average 5.00/km pace), 40 yrs old, good condition, though I could lose 5Kgs.... I've done a few 1/2's in 2009 (1.54 & 1.58) along with many other 10Km + runs.

What do you think?


Answer: Hi Alan, and thank you for your question. You have several options here, as I touched in this response back to back marathons and here back to back marathons

In your case - since you are already are in good condition and especially as the Australian weather probably lets you run in stable conditions year through (vs. icy Norwegian winter roads!) I would probably do two rounds of the 100 day plan. First 4:00 and then the 3:30. That will also give you a chance to "get used to" the plan before running in Berlin. Berlin is probably the fastest marathon in the world so it will be a great chance for you to set a pesonal best !

I wish you all the best.

Kind regards,

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3 weeks between marathons

by Eric Hart

What to do if you haev three weeks between two marathons :

@I ran 4 full marathons in 2010 always between 3:45 and 4:00...going for 3:30 this year! Going for 4 more this year.

Last year I ran in Feb, May, Sep and Dec. This year my schedule only allows me to run the first two just 3 weeks apart. What do i do in those 3 weeks?"

Answer: Hi Erica, I touched this slightly here : 5 weeks between marathons

With even less time - three weeks, I would take 10 days where you just follow the post-marathon training (what you find after week 15 in the plans) and then repeat the last 10 days before the marathon as planned in the schedule for your goal time. So you basically split those three weeks into two : half for recovery, half for tuning in again with the "normal" schedule. Also, so some self massage and the ice/warm baths that I talk about in the 100 day plan !

All the best with your marathons,


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