Running Back To Back Marathons

Oops, I did it again!

But this time I did it by choice as opposed to leaving it up to fate!

I officially registered for the Philadelphia Marathon – which will be held on November 20, 2011 – 3 weeks after the Marine Corps Marathon which I am running on October 30th.

I think I have Marathon Fever again!

I am really excited to run a marathon where I live. The course literally goes right by our apartment which is awesome – but I am not excited about the last half of the race which goes out to Manayunk and back. I experienced part of that when I was a Philadelphia Marathon Superfan this past Fall and it didn’t look like too much fun, but hopefully I will power through!

How can I NOT run a race that runs by my front door??


I have been asked a few times how my experience was running back to back marathons – let me just tell you that it was an amazing one. I loved running 2 marathons in a month because I was training and had my goals set for running my first marathon in Chicago. After running Chicago I had run my longest run 3 weeks prior to NYC race day, so after that, it was all about small mileage maintenance from then out.

chi 1978

I kept my running to a minimum in between races because I was weary of injuring myself – I knew I was putting my body through a lot of hard work – but I wanted to keep my endurance up at the same time. It was a bit of a balancing act but very doable.

The best thing about running a second marathon only 3 weeks after running my first marathon was knowing that I was already trained to run 26.2 miles.

For me, running Chicago was a big deal because it was my first journey to the marathon distance. Training for a first marathon is hard mentally because you may only go up to 18 or 20 (or in my case 21.5) miles depending on your training plan before the race – and that last 6.2 miles are tough! But after just knowing I could run 26.2 miles 3 weeks prior, I felt so much more comfortable and confident in my abilities for NYC – and it really showed in my time!


Last year, running back to back marathons worked well for me and I hope to do it again this upcoming Fall. It’s a great way to be able to run 2 amazing races on the same training plan, without too much extra time spent on long runs. But to run back to back marathons you really have to listen to your body, train smart and respect every mile.


How do you feel about running back to back marathons? What is the closest time frame you have run similar races?

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  • Reply Becky July 27, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Hey Leslie, I’m also doing back to back marathons this year, each 3 weeks apart! Your amazing NYC Marathon last year really made me much more comfortable with my decision! Good Luck.

  • Reply Daniel Jarvis September 29, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    It was nice to hear about your back to back marathons. I just ran the Air Force Marathon on Sept 17, 2011, and signed up for the Baltimore Marathon on Oct 15, 2011 and the Marshall University Marathon on November 6, 2011. I am looking forward to it. I know that I just completed a full marathon and that gives me confidence. Thanks sharing your experience with back to back marathons it gives me a boost of needed confidence. Good luck

  • Reply mmv October 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Leslie- I really enjoyed reading your NYC Recap 2010. I will be running NYC on Nov 6. This will be my first marathon and I’m a bit nervous. I’m in the green I will be running in the lower level of the bridge…I will be watch out for the yellow rain 🙁 Good luck on your back to back marathons!! 🙂

  • Reply HK October 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Was searching for back to back marathon info and came across your blog. I ran Chicago last year as well and am also signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of this month. Then of course after I had signed up for MCM I got into the lottery for NYC. Still haven’t deferred my entry for NYC. Kind of considering doing both marathons on back to back weekends! Nice to know I’m not the only crazy one out there LOL

    • Reply Dave November 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      Like Daniel, I ran Air Force this September, and am looking forward to running Marshall on Sunday morning. In between, I ran 3 legs totaling 16.6 miles of a 200-mle relay event (The Bourbon Chase), and last weekend the Marine Corps Marathon.

      This week, for recovery from marathons in back-to-back weekends, I have done no running, only walking the dog for limited exercise. Legs feel pretty good. I am planning to wear compression leg sleeves to help with calf tightness that become very prominent in finishing MCM.

      HK, good luck with NYC. I ran it last year and loved it.

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