• Helen Phillips

I'm running another marathon next week ... what should I do?


Helen … HELP! … I’m running another marathon in a few weeks … what should I do?

Day’s after VLM19 and I’m inundated with cries for help as runners realise they’ve got another race to prepare for.

I’ve ran a few marathons, VLM19 was #11, and some of those have been just weeks apart.

I’ve not perfected my ‘second marathon prep strategy’ but here’s what I’d do ...

If you're racing this weekend or next your focus needs to be on recovery, rather than more running!

Rest is best!

Make sure you’re eating well. Replenishing carbs you’ve burnt running, plenty of protein and iron rich foods. And try to get as much sleep as you can.

After a good period of rest get out for a few short, easy ‘jogs’ to get your legs moving again, promote blood circulation to flush out ‘race toxins’. Don’t be tempted to push it too hard or try ‘training’! You need to make sure your body is as recovered and ready as it can be for number two.

Good luck!

If your marathon is a few weeks out, recovery and training becomes a little more ‘complicated’. It’s so tempting … “GUILTY” … to take a week or so of rest, then start blasting out hard and long runs to ‘train’ for #2.

I’ve learnt the hard way!

With 6 weeks between Richmond and Dublin in 2017, after not ideal training for #1, I wanted to use the 6 weeks between races to build running strength and endurance ahead of a hard PB attempt.

Dublin I was knackered!

By mile 5 I could feel my legs and knew ‘this wasn’t to be the day’. I bonked at 24 and it took guts and determination (and a helluva lot of swearing) to get to the finish.

If that’s how to get it wrong Helen … How do I get it right?

First, you should have done all your ‘marathon training’ for race #1. Race #1 might not be your ‘A-Race’ but you need to train as if it was.

It takes about 4 weeks to recover fully from a marathon and by that time you’re in taper!

If you’re wanting a great race or to set a PB time you need to respect your body’s need for recovery and that means gradually ramping up your running after marathon #1, rather than launching into heavy training as soon as the aching subsides.

I now ‘reverse taper’, keep things ticking over before preparing for my second race.

That way I respect my recovery and my body’s need for rest, before a few weeks of more focused training before I tone it down again for race #2.

Hope that helps!

Good luck for race #2!

Helen x

If you're already thinking about your next marathon, maybe you've got a race this autumn or you're entered into one next spring you'll be pleased to hear I'm opening up Marathon Club Hub very shortly.

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