How Soon Can I Run My Next Marathon?

Finishing a marathon.
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Regardless of how hard you ran it, running 26.2 miles takes a toll on your body and it's important to take the proper steps for recovery. Follow a "reverse tapering" schedule, where you slowly ease back into running.

Pacing Yourself

If you took it easy during the marathon and ran it at least 90 seconds per mile slower than you could have run it and you don't have any lingering pain, then you should be OK to run another marathon in about 4-6 weeks after your marathon. If you really have your heart set on running another one a month later, you don't need to do another long run before the race. Take it easy for two weeks and then follow the two-week tapering schedule you did for the previous marathon. If it's more than four weeks, make sure you take it easy for at least two weeks, and then pick up with your marathon training schedule for the remaining weeks.

At Top Speed

If you ran your marathon all-out, at your full potential, based on your current fitness level, it's best to wait another 4-6 months before racing another one. You would want to take at least three weeks to let your body recover (no hard workouts or really long runs) before you start another marathon training schedule. Ideally, runners really shouldn't run more than two marathons a year.

Of course, some runners do run more than two marathons a year and have absolutely no problems, but that doesn't mean it's not risky. Listen to your body and talk to running coaches and/or medical professionals to determine whether it's safe for you to attempt running marathons frequently. You may be better off sticking with some shorter races and then doing another gradual build-up to a marathon that's several months away.

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