Extending beyond the first marathon of the season

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    My fall marathon schedule this year is the following:

    – NYC Marathon (11/5) – B Race

    – Space Coast Marathon (11/26) – A Race

    – Disneyworld Dopey Challenge (5K, 10K, Half & Full over 4 consecutive days – Jan 4-7)

    These will be my 10th-12th Fulls. I’ve used the Galaway & Peloton Marathon training programs in the past, but this time decided to do the 80/20 Method. I’m just finishing up the Level 2 Pace-based Marathon plan in preparation for NYC Marathon next weekend.

    I’ve got two questions for the assembled wisdom:

    1) How should I train between races?

    2) How should I target my pace on my B race, with my A race just a few weeks later?

    My thought on the training was to basically take a week of recovery after each race, and then do the last n weeks of the plan I’m finishing now. So specifically, after NYC, do a week of recovery and then the last two weeks of the Level 2 Marathon plan. After Space Coast, do the week of recovery and then the last 5 weeks of the Level 2 Marathon plan before Dopey.  Does that sound right? If so, how exactly should I program the “recovery week”?  Recovery runs of increasing length or something more sophisticated?

    On the pacing, I’ve been training in hot & humid Florida with a 11:00 MP (my lactate threshold in these conditions is about a 10:10 … yes, I’m slow AF 😉 ). My thought was to go out in a much cooler NY at an 11 min pace for the first half, and then slowly push things a bit faster in the second half if I”m feeling good. My goal for Space Coast would be to target a 10:30 pace, which (if all goes as hoped) should get me a PR.

    Any thoughts or opinions are greatly appreciated. If there’s additional info I can provide to get a better answer, just ask!

    Thanks very much!

    – Jim


    Hi Jim,

    I tried to reply when you posted this but there seem to have been some problems with the forums. I hope NYC was good and that your upcoming Space Coast is a success. For training between races you might want to look at the varoius “Bridge Plans” that are avaliable from 80/20 on trainingpeaks. They vary in length from a few days to multiple weeks to help you keep that fitness. This is what I would have done after NYC.

    With the bigger gap to Dopey my thought would be to reapply the level 2 training plan with the end date on your Dopey marathon. Then cut off the first few weeks so it fits the calendar. I’m in almost the same exact position. I finished the Level 2 Pace plan and ran my marathon yesterday. I’m taking this week off completely and will try maybe a 30 min recovery run near the end of the week. Then slowly ramp back in as I prepare for a february marathon. By putting the Level 2 plan back on my calendar I ended up cutting off the first 5 weeks or so which still has me in the “preparation” phase of the program and will still be a reduction in overall volume and allow me to ramp back up properly.

    Hope this helps…good luck with your upcoming events!


    This is almost the exact situation I was about to post about as well. I am finishing up the level 2 pace plan and after my upcoming marathon assuming a week of rest I will have 13 weeks until the next marathon that I just found out I got into.

    While not a coach your train of though is the same as mine. For the long gap. I’m likely to do weeks 5-18 over again much like you would do just the last 5 weeks for your build up for Dopey.

    For the shorter gap between NYC and Space Coast you might consider the bridge plans like this one.




    My best suggestion would be to look at some of our Bridge plans for the time in between your marathons in the next few weeks.  Those plans are designed to help athletes in the same situation you are in with a few weeks between events.  Our Bridge plans are available in a few different durations so you should be able to find something that fits well.

    Something else you could try would be our Masters run plans that work on a 9 day cycle.  That might also be a great option since you have several races in a short period of time.

    The plans I have mentioned can be found here:
    <div style=”color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>https://www.<wbr />trainingpeaks.com/training-<wbr />plans/running/?language=en&<wbr />sort.field=soldCount&sort.dir=<wbr />desc&keyword=80%2F20+Running+<wbr />MASTERS&index=10</div>
    <div style=”color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”></div>
    <div style=”color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>https://www.<wbr />trainingpeaks.com/training-<wbr />plans/running/?language=en&<wbr />sort.field=soldCount&sort.dir=<wbr />desc&keyword=80%2F20+Running+<wbr />Bridge&index=0</div>
    I hope that helps!

    Coach Anne


    Hi Jim!

    Sounds like you have quite the race plan ahead of you. I was actually about to ask a very similar question as I’m in a very similar situation. For me I will have 13 weeks between marathons this time around. I am also wrapping up the level 2 pace based plan (taper starts next week!).

    I think your idea abou repeating the last 5 weeks before Dopey sounds resonable. I’m planning on doing weeks 5-18 over again.

    However for your 3 weeks between NY and Space Coast have you looked at the bridge plans? There might even be longer bridge plans for that 5 weeks before Dopey as well.


    No matter what you choose to do I’m sure you will crush it. Good luck in NY this coming weekend!

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