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  • Writer's pictureLibby Jones,

Double Marathons, Novice Training Plan

The Coach

Jennifer Kimble is a certified running coach through the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) and has a level two personal trainer certification from the Cooper Institute. She has been coaching runners in groups and individually since 2004, and is the training coordinator for Run On!’s distance training programs. Jennifer has run over a dozen marathons and more than 10 ultra marathons involving distances from 50K to 100 miles.

Jennifer is accepting new clients if you are looking for a run coach to help you achieve your goals.

A note from Jennifer: Feel free to contact with me to let me know how your workouts are going or to ask questions. Remember that this schedule is not written in stone and can be modified as we go along to adjust to training adaptations, weather problems, life issues and the like. I can be contacted at

Intro to the Plan

This is a general schedule for those training for the New years Eve/New Year’s day double-double, with the expectation of finishing. You should be coming into this schedule with a long run of 13-15 miles, and a weekly mileage of 43-45 miles. Most runs should be done at an easy pace, in order to avoid injury as you build. Starting in week 5, you can add a hilly route to your easy runs to increase strength.

EASY DAYS are noted and are to be run at an easy conversational pace. These should be run at an effort level of 65%-75%.

LONG RUNS are noted and should be run at a slightly slower pace than your easy pace. Don’t run faster on these runs as it will just wear you out without stimulating the intended physiological responses of increasing your aerobic enzyme stores and fat burning capabilities.

In order to prepare for two marathon days in a row, you will see a long run followed by a “mid-distance” long run on the schedule. It is important that you do these runs on back to back consecutive days to simulate running on “tired legs”.

OFF DAYS are to be non-running days. It is fine to do cross training activities on these days such as weight training, biking, swimming, rowing, walking, yoga, Pilates and similar activities. Avoid “impact” type activities such as aerobics. Also, try to keep your effort level in these activities at no more than a “moderate” level similar to the effort of running at your easy pace (i.e. conversational). This will still give you a break from running and let you recover by engaging in “active recovery”.

STRETCHING: Be sure to stretch the “Big 4” after each run: Quadriceps, Hamstrings/Glutes, Hip Flexors and Calves.

REST AND RECOVERY: Use some of the wisdom and experience you have gained from your previous running experience to listen to your body and pay attention to it. Listen to what your body is telling you, and get some rest when you can. There are specific rest days built into the schedule. They are there for a reason; use them to rest and recover. During these rest periods your body actually responds to the stresses you put it through, and rebuilds stronger than before. If you don’t allow for recovery, your body will not get stronger – it will break down.

The Plan

Words of Caution

You accept this training plan at your own risk. You understand that any fitness plan should not be undertaken without the guidance and supervision of your doctor. These plans are provided as a tool for general guidance.

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