How Should I Train Between Marathons? Coaching Call With Pam Rountree

We’re doing a coaching deep dive again this week with another of our athletes, Pam Rountree.

Pam recently completed two marathons with seven weeks of training in between, but no significant improvement in her time. She would like to reach her goal in her next race, but feels the 24-week program she used last time is too long.

She wants to to know how she can maintain fitness and then ramp up for race.

Coach Jeff provides context for post-race recovery and maintenance training prior to jumping into a marathon build-up and how long that build up should, and maybe shouldn’t, be. He also explains how to leverage the time between races to arrive at the start of a marathon training cycle even stronger without much additional effort.

We hope you enjoy listening to this conversation and find some takeaways that help you in your training. We would also love to know what you think of this podcast format as well as any suggestions you have for Run To The Top in general.

Questions and topics Pam and Jeff discuss:

4:10 Pam: What level of training do I need to maintain in order to keep my fitness level if I’m running a marathon a year or 2 every 3 years and how do I prep for each race?

6:06 Jeff: What was your last training program like?

8:58 Jeff: Here a some different approaches to take between goal races.

12:31 Jeff: What training challenges do you have between marathons?

13:26 Jeff: How long do you have before your goal race?

15:15 Jeff: Tips for building in flexibility with training schedules and arriving at marathon training with a great foundation.

21:15 Jeff: Leveraging shorter races during training.

22:24 Jeff: Working on non-marathon energy systems between marathon training cycles.

25:00 Jeff: Setting up a year or two-year training plan.

29:18 Jeff: The importance of scheduled down-weeks.

Quotes by Pam and Jeff:

“The training between races is just as important as the specific training segment for the race that your doing.” – Jeff

“Looking at a training plan and just repeating it can be a mistake. The stimulus needs to change in someway.” – Jeff

“It’s taxing on me mentally when I have a day where I’m supposed to run 10 miles, say, and I don’t get to and then to try to shift it. I like to follow the plan as it is.” – Pam

“The time between marathons is when we actually need to look at working on the energy systems that we DON’T use in the marathon.” – Jeff

“I’ve kind of discovered this marathon thing and I really like it and I can do it and it’s fun and I want to keep doing it. If I’m going to do it, then I need to figure out how to do it well” – Pam

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