Marathons

My brother is set to run a half marathon next weekend, one at the start of September then one in October. He is 32, fit enough to have run a half marathon before and continues to train. Is there any reason why running 3 half marathons so close together is bad for his health in any way? If not, are there any training methods he should use in addition to normal half marathon training? Thanks in advance for any help. After speaking to others on the web, I found the answer. I'll start with a personal note about my running. I try to run a race every month and these can be 10k, half or full marathons, what your brother is doing is a similar regime to mine – 1 a month. I pick races that look interesting, are local or where I can have a good weekend away. Sometimes I do 3 half's in 3 months, sometimes there will be a marathon in there too. Over the past 4 or so years that I have been doing that I haven't suffered for it. Some halfs have only been 2 weeks apart, and the times for both have been similar. When he runs a half marathon he has a level of fitness to enable him to run that far, and between races all he has to do is to maintain that fitness – which is easier than getting fit to start with. As a result the training in between half marathons can be lighter than normal and so better for him than his current training. I would suggest he keeps his normal half marathon training schedule going up to the first run. The week after the runs he should take it easy – a day or 2 off then light running during the rest of the week. The rest of the time in between races he could do 3 runs during the week of 6 to 8 miles. In between the half he could do a couple of longer 10 mile runs as well just to top up his fitness. Make sure he rests well the week before the half marathon and he should be fine. That will keep him at the level he is currently at and he should improve his times a bit. He might want to also work on going a bit quicker in which case he can do any short runs – half hour sessions – where he just runs fast to build up his speed. One thing I have found usefull is to do any strength training as well – whole body conditioning helps prevent injuries Hope that helps a bit.

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8 Replies to “Marathons”

  1. Well I know people whoever run halfs every weekend. But if he gets hurt while he runs and its hard for him maybe do one every 2-3weeks but running 12 halfs is probably not possible. But unless he is getting hurt while running and its simple for him he can do as many as he wants. So september through now is not a short period for some people is what im saying.

  2. It depends on how hard he runs them. Some people run full marathons regularly, sometimes two or three in a month. Sometimes, they run two marathons in the same weekend. When Bob Fletcher turned 50, he ran a marathon all week for 50 weeks in a row. (You can read about it in his book "Spaghetti Every Friday. &quot However, people doing this know it is important not to race these events. They intend to participate in them using an effort that is equivalent to a training run. If they were to race a marathon all month, they would soon burn themselves out. There is a rule of thumb in distance racing: "For all mile of the race, avoid racing for a week. " Following this rule, someone racing marathons at his/her best speed would run about 2 marathons per year. Half-marathoners, such as your brother, would race no more than 4 marathons per year. If it looks like he'll not be racing between his October half marathon and next spring, I suspect he would be OK. He might even be able to race all three, or run all three hard. However, he should monitor himself for signs of overtraining syndrome. (He can do a web search for it. ) If his pulse rate starts to increase, or he has other signs of overtraining, he can participate in the following half marathons, but he would slow down, and treat them as slower training runs.

  3. If he's fit enough, then he should be able to do it, I found that when I did too many races my times started to get worse, but that was over a period of about 6 months. In general, you should recover for 1 day for each mile raced, so a half marathon should have 13 days recovery before serious training. Of course, if he's fit enough then he will be doing recovery runs during those 13 days, and should be able to do good times in all 3 races. I'm sure that in the past I've done that many half marathons in that sort of time span, and that was when I was in my 30's. Hope this helps.

  4. A lot depends on how well he's trained in general and how fit he is, and how hard he runs the half marathons. If he's a recent beginner, that might be too much too soon. If he's been running a while and in decent shape, run a half before to know what to expect, and generally knows what he's doing, he shouldn't have any significant problems. He might simply need to beware overtraining and be ready to ease up at times if his body is telling him to do so. If it was me, I'd simply likely plan to make one of the September / October races less of an all-out effort than the other. There's likely one that's going to be in tougher weather, or has more hills, etc. , and it might be good to save just a little and put it into the other if he's going for PR's or something. If he's typically running the events for completion and not trying to play speed demon in all of them, all the less reason to be concerned. I'd think the main thing is to be sure he takes adequate recovery days here and there, and that he eats, rests, and perhaps cross-trains appropriately for recovery as well. Sometimes people who race regularly don't feel like they can really let down in their training as they should, and it's perfectly fine (and healthy) if he takes some days off after the first half next weekend, for example. It's generally better to err on the side of going into races a bit undertrained than even slightly overtrained.

  5. Your brother sounds as though he's good to go so long as he doesn't over train. It's really important to make certain that your body is rested and repaired before any race. I pounded the payment for year, ran thousands of mile and ran hundreds of races. I was lucky and over the years with one exception I never sub-stained any serious injuries. The only piece of advice I can offer your brother is to not run any race any differently than the way he trained for it. To many runners push themselves far beyond their ability when running a race. If he sticks to his plan he'll do fine.

  6. It depends on how hard he runs them. If he's just going out for a 13 mile jog and not looking to set a land-speed record, he could probably run one mostly all single weekend. June, then September, then October is no problem if he's halfway fit and is training for them. In fact, October might be his best race since he'll be trained up and physically ready to go. Good luck on that guy.

  7. If he doesn't have any medical conditions, then it should not be a problem. But it all depends on him. People run all the time, and longer then that. So technically he should be fine. But again, if he does it smart way. I'm guessing he is not asking that questions because he is sure he will be fine and can do it and you are just concerned. . .

  8. Lol, your brother is on his way to becoming a half-marathon maniac. = ) he'll be fine to compete in events so close together, as long as he's medically safe & diligent about his training. Congrats to him, the world of half marathons is a gateway to the real deal. He'll start to crave 26. 2 in no time. . .