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Post Marathon Training Guide - Novice Schedule, Week 3

Monday: You deserve a day of rest after a slightly longer run over the weekend. There is a subtle increase in mileage this week, so you want to make sure that you're well-rested as you continue your post-marathon training. It's now been three weeks since the marathon, so most of the obvious residual damage should be gone. Nevertheless, there's probably some underlying trauma that even the scientists can't measure--so don't overdo it!

Tuesday: Four miles easy. This is about the time following a marathon when runners start to think, "Hey I'm feeling pretty good. Let's bust one!" You want to be cautious about what you bust.

Wednesday: Five miles. This is half of your Wednesday peak during the 18-week marathon buildup. Think about it. There probably was a time within the last half year when you considered 5 miles as representing a lot of running. Now? A piece of cake! Nevertheless, don't take too big a bite from that cake yet.

Thursday: Four easy miles. It seems that all I've been saying for the last several days (and several weeks) is: "Take it easy! Take it easy!" Well, it's true. That's exactly what you should be doing.

Friday: Over the previous days, you've run 4, 5 and 4 miles for a total of 13 miles in three days. That's a good bit of running, about half the distance you did in the actual marathon itself. For that reason, it's a good day to rest today. Time to stay out a little later on a Friday night? Okay, you have my blessing.

Saturday: Today's run is 60 minutes. This weekend, I'm giving you no options. I want you to put in at least an hour of running. Now that you're in good shape, that should be almost the minimum time for any future long workouts you do in training. I don't care how fast you run, just spend the time in motion.

Sunday: Similar to your run training, don't do anything in the area of cross-training that will push you too hard. Keep the bike ride gentle. Swim more to loosen your muscles, not strengthen them. Walking remains a good off-day exercise for runners. Begin to think about strength training.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Beginning in 1974, Jack H. Scaff Jr., M.D. supervised the Honolulu Marathon Clinic, a group that meets Sundays in Kapiolani Park to train for that marathon. After watching his group's recuperative efforts after the race, Dr. Scaff commented: "The runners felt so good about their achievement, they would bounce back too soon. We finally canceled the clinic for three months following the marathon to try to get the runners to take it easy."

Post Marathon Training Guide, Novice Schedule: Week Zero | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

To purchase an interactive version of Hal Higdon's Post-Marathon Training Guide, click here