Break between plans

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  • #7870

    Hi David,

    I have a Marathon plan 2 starting on Sat 19 July for a November marathon.

    After completing a Half Marathon Plan 2 I’ve been doing a maintenance plan without any break between the 2 plans. The maintenance plan finishes Sat 20 June 4 weeks prior to the Marathon Plan starting.

    What would you recommend for the 4 week break. I did see another post that you suggested to take a couple of weeks off between plans. Not sure if I could not run at all. I do ride my bike to work so could also just do that? 20 min ride.

    I was thinking of doing some low zone 1 runs like MAF runs or should I do some repeat maintenance weeks or just take a break but I think it is a little long and shouldn’t I be prepared and be running a distance before starting a Marathon plan.

    Sorry for above being so wordy.


    David Warden


    When deciding how to implement a break, these are the criteria to consider:

    1. Don’t train formally and at medium to high volume (8+ hours a week) for more than 6 months at a time. Breaking up your training periodically ensures that you won’t run the risk of over training and burnout.

    2. 1-2 weeks “off” is usually enough to meet that criteria. By “off” we mean switch to exercising, but not training. 2-4 hours a week of as-you-feel exercise. You can even bend the 80/20 rule!

    3. The “no running” is not a requirement. We want to give athletes permission to stop running for a period of time and not feel guilty. If you want to run continue, but an hour a week is plenty.

    4 weeks off is no problem either! I would increase the volume to 6 hours a week for 4 weeks off, 1.5 hours of running and the balance with other sports.

    For you specifically, I’d recommend 1 week “off”, switch to Maintenance for 3 weeks, then start the plan.



    Hi David,

    Thanks for the advise. Shall I repeat the last 3 weeks of maintenance plan rather than the 1st 3 weeks.

    Thanks in advance,

    David Warden

    Last 3 weeks.

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Auckland, New Zealand, Runner

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