Toonks asked how I feel about racing back to back races. I’ve been thinking for days what to say on this because really it is a very slippery slope.

Here’s how I feel…..

Racing back to back is NOT a good idea for most. In fact it’s almost impossible to race back to back and have your best performances. Racing back to back increases your chance of injury. I plan on running for forever. I plan on being the sole 80 year old woman at a race. I also pray that in heaven there are tracks/marathons/races and that I get to keep doing what I love for eternity. I keep this in mind in all the running decisions I make now. Running is cumulative sport – the mistakes you make now can haunt you years from now, even decades from now.

I do however believe there are a very small minority of people who can race back to back with no problem. I happen to know that Toonks is being humble and did not mention that he is done oh about 150+ marathons! Back to back works for him.

I ran Freedom’s Run Marathon(PR), then Marine Corps Marathon(PR), GCF 1/2 Marathon(PR) and then Veterans Day 10k(PR) in less than 2 months. This I do not recommend. However it works for me. I haven’t ever had a running injury in my life. I take care of my body. i.e. I only ran twice last week in order to recover from the 1/2 and gear up for the 10K – both were very easy runs. I pay attention to what I eat (though I do still struggle with food), I make sure I sleep 9 or more hours a night (this meant that at 8:30 last night I turned out the lights and was asleep in minutes). If I ever feel sore from running when I wake up – I try to just take the day off. I push myself in some areas and not in others and so racing back to back works for me. I do believe however(will discuss this more in length later) that I am addicted to racing. I run a marathon. It’s not enough. I want more. I run a 2nd. It’s not enough. I want more. If I PR then I want that feeling again. If I don’t PR I want to somehow make up for it. It’s never enough.

I believe for most people you must make the decision between QUALITY or QUANTITY. Some people like Michael Wardian can combine both. But people like that always leave me wondering if they gave up some of the QUANTITY would they have more QUALITY. I’d never however tell him that. This goes back to my judge less post. Who are we to judge what other runners are doing? Yes we can advise them as coaches, on what might happen if they make bad judgements but ultimately those judgements are up to them.

To me I compare it to a race. At the starting line I know that I will get sucked out too fast if I try to keep up with the others around me. I know that I should let them go in the first mile because I will inevitably beat 1/2 of them(even if they are faster than me). Most people go out too fast and die. They say oh I was on target for this or that. That means nothing to me because I believe in negative splits. I believe in starting out slow and finishing strong. I will advise people of this. In the end though if they want to sprint their first mile, beating me for a little and then die only to let me pass them then that is their decision. After all this is the USA and we have the freedom to do whatever we want when it comes to how we run! I don’t judge them for this and I continually tell myself in my head during a race “run your own race” – “run your own race” – when I do, I see my best results.

I guess this was a very long way of saying I don’t recommend back to back racing for most people but I’ll probably continue to do it till my body tells me to stop.

*Have The Confidence and the Courage To Rest*

What are your thoughts on back to back racing?? Do you do it??


  1. merrymishaps says:

    I'm signed up for the Baltimore marathon and MCM two weeks later. But I expect to not be racing MCM. It'll be a training run for the 50K I want to do two weeks after that. Good idea? Probably not … but I guess we'll see what happens!

    I usually don't expect to actually race for time (vs run a race for fun) so close together, but I did manage to 10-mile PR last summer on a Saturday and then 10K PR the next day!

  2. Bemmons says:

    I am in the middle of going back to back to back with Disney 1/2 and full Jan, National marathon in March, and Florida 70.3 in May…right now I am feeling it! Obviously I fall into failed negative split at National category and was among those that you did fly by (looking very strong at mile 20 BTW), also one that says I was on Target…problem is I ran Disneys first 1/2 1:35 and did not die nearly as much as I did at National…was it because of racing back to back? Pre race weight gain during a trip to Israel? Poor training (actually felt better)? Probably a combination of it all…plus I have only been running for three years! For me races motivate me to train, while others are motivated to race because of their training.

    After the 70.3 I will probably run 2 or 3 half marathons and set my sights on destroying the marathon PR in January…all that to say the jury is still out on this on in my opinion!

  3. Bekah (runtrackmind) says:

    I agree that it may not be for everyone, but I have just finished 6 races in 5 weeks and never felt better. After running my 2-5K's, a 10 miler and 3 half marathons, I decided to take a 4 day recovery break from running which was when I started to feel aches and pains. I need running to feel healthy and young.

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