Marathon running is a grueling, challenging sport, yet it’s a hugely popular activity and it is one of the most widely practiced sports all over the world.
According to statistics, nearly 60 million Americans participated in some form of jogging, running, or trail running in 2017.
With so many people taking part in and completing marathons these days, there are many amateur athletes who are looking to push themselves one step further with their running, either to generally improve their performance or just for the satisfaction of knowing they can.
This has led to people wanting to run marathon distances more frequently to see how many races they can complete in as short a space of time as possible.
But is it really wise to run a marathon every month?
Can You Run A Marathon Every Month?
This is a question that has left a lot of people divided, with some saying you shouldn’t run more than 2 marathons per year, whilst others say it’s possible to run a marathon per week.
Our opinion is that the latter is true, provided you’re already in great shape and you’ve got previous experience, but it’s not really recommended if you want to seriously compete and consistently beat your PB.
It’s definitely not recommended if you’ve never run before.
After running a marathon where you really pushed your pace in order to reach your highest potential and beat your existing personal best, it’s best to follow the former advice and to allow a longer period of time to pass before throwing yourself into your next marathon race.
If you are planning on running a marathon every week, your priority in between each race should be recovery, as your body will need a chance to rest and to repair muscle damage, although that’s not to say that you can’t complete some shorter, easier runs too.
We’ll go into what exercise you can do between marathon runs more a little bit later on in this article.
Planning your marathons in advance is a useful tip as this allows you to plan and create a training schedule around each race, making sure to leave enough rest time for recovery.
As you progress within this challenge, your fitness levels will improve, so you may find that you need to adjust your training routine with the more marathons you complete.
Can You Run A Marathon A Week?
Running a marathon distance every week is a challenge that many do face, and some even succeed, provided they’re not overly worried about their finish times, but it’s not something that you should attempt if you’re a beginner or if you’re not already in good shape.
In order to avoid straining your muscles or the risk of a more serious injury, you should already be a practiced runner with several marathons under your belt, as you really need to understand both your body and the demands of an activity like this before undertaking it.
If you are planning on running a marathon every week, it’s also recommended that you don’t run at all in between your long runs to give your body enough time to rest and recover.
Muscle inflammation and soreness can last for about seven days after running a marathon race, so you might be feeling recovered enough to go again.
However, to fully recover and repair your muscles it will take between three and twelve weeks, hence why it’s important not to push yourself too hard when it comes to your finish time or you risk doing serious muscle damage.
Even professional athletes will take two weeks to have a break from running and recover in order to prevent injury, so don’t feel bad about taking the time off to look after your body.
How Much Should You Run in Between Marathons?
Being in between marathons doesn’t mean you can’t run at all, but you should shift the focus from pushing yourself harder to allowing your body to recover, which means only going out on less challenging runs so as not to overwork yourself before you’ve had time to rest.
Even if you’re not feeling overly sore or achy, running a marathon will really put your body through its paces so it’s important that you’re sensible about not overdoing it in between.
If you’re struggling to work out a good running routine for the weeks or months you have before your next race, it could be worth talking to a running coach who can advise you about the best time to leave between races and what you should do in the interim.
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to stick to light, easy runs that won’t put too much strain on your muscles between marathons.
You can set off around three to four times a week, but try to mix this up with some other exercises and some moderate strength conditioning.
What Should You Do in Between Marathons?
When you’re taking a break from marathon running, there are still elements of your training that you can continue to do in between your runs to stay active and in shape.
Exercise such as cycling, the elliptical machine, yoga, and swimming are all excellent activities that you can do alongside consistent, medium-intensity strength training and conditioning.
Combining these exercises can help to prevent overuse injury in the future.
You can also incorporate three to four easy runs into your training, allowing at least one full day of total rest, and doing light-moderate intensity strength and conditioning training on a different two days.
Running multiple marathons one after the other is a massive challenge to undertake, and we take our hats off to anyone even attempting such an impressive feat.
However, even the more advanced runnings might struggle initially or have to review their training routine.
To avoid burning out and having to duck out of the race early, remember to take those rest days when you’re supposed to. You’ll feel much better for it and your body will thank you!