Thursday, October 17, 2013

My thoughts on running back to back races...

Disclaimer: I am NOOOOOOOO running expert and the majority of the REAL running experts would say to NOT run races back to back - to at least give yourself a few months to recover. 

So when I am told I can't do something - what do I do? DO IT!!!! #rebel - yeah... not really...

Half-Marathon Fall 2013 Racing
IVS Half Marathon - Peoria, IL - 09/08/13
Fort4Fitness Half Marathon - Ft. Wayne, IN - 09/28/13
MO Cowbell Half Marathon- St. Charles, MO - 10/06/13
GO St. Louis Halloween Half - St. Louis, MO - 10/13/13 (sorry no race recap yet)

Four halves in six weeks. I did it... Did I die, nah... but I do have a few thoughts...

Prepare to be exhausted - mentally and physically. Your body will ache and mentally you are telling yourself to keep going, going, going... Know you CAN push through the exhaustion, but it will be hard. 

Scale back on the runs during the week. Get some mileage in but don't push it. This was hard since I am consecutively training for the marathon in December. I learned after Illinois to listen to my body - when it is tired, rest. 

Eat and hydrate well. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate... your tired, sore, swollen muscles need it. Your body needs healthy nutrition - not White Castle. I noticed when I ate bad I ran bad - it was harder to get myself going the morning of the races. Fort4Fitness, when I got my PR, I ate well the week of, the day/night before, and the morning of and BAM... that race all the starts aligned.

Massage those muscles post race. I have found a new love - going directly to the Medical tents upon finishing to get stretched. Why have I never done this before - helloooo? I stretch the night of the race and I am always sore for the next two days, so I massage my calves, hamstrings, etc... I am also a big fan of my procompression socks for recovery. Massage and compression help me - haven't done the ice bath yet - that just flat out scares me. 

Read the race information. Familiarize yourself with packet pick up, directions to the start line, THE COURSE ITSELF, finish line, what will be given at the finish line, etc... You will be spending a ton of your time picking up race packets and that can be a challenge in itself - less anxiety when you know where you are going and what to expect. 

Know the course beforehand. If you are running back to back, you might change your goals per each race. It might not be PR, PR, PR for each one. For instance, the cowbell was NOT about PRing for me - it was about getting in the mileage, supporting a friend, and enjoying the scenery.

Recruit others to run, support, and keep you going. Knowing you have someone at the finish line to hug can push your tired legs further. Seeing friends/making friends on the course can make time go by faster. Having those around you support your running craziness, makes all the difference in the world. 

Run for a reason. A certain charity that resonates with you, to support those first timers out on the course, to see new places, make new friends, etc... Run with a purpose - it keeps you going.


Any other back to back or racing questions you might have? Please feel free to comment below and I will email you back. Make sure if you leave a comment you are not a no-reply blogger or else I won't be able to chit chat with you... I email everyone back and want to make sure I get to converse with you:)


FYI... Tomorrow will NOT be about running - I promise:) I feel like I sound like a broken record lately.


  1. I personally like the broken record talk, but I am a running addict. Lol. I'm so darn proud of you girl. Seriously when I feel like ehhhh I just read your posts and it makes me excited about running. Great job girlie. Good luck with the big M training:)

  2. Did you margarita on Jesushalfday?

  3. Wow- so amazing, really! I just started C25K, so I am a very, very long way from this level of running/accomplishment, but you are an inspiration! Thanks for your honest insights.

  4. Great post! And you are amazing! Definitely logging miles like that back to back to back will make you feel run down and exhausted(I haven't been racing- but I feel it)- BUT I also think you may have REALLY helped yourself in the long run for marathon training. You are going to be tired and exhausted and have to get through x many more miles.....its all in the plan baby! Are you doing a long run this weekend? I have 18 on schedule.

  5. It's cool to see someone dedicated to their goals. I can talk about throwing and relate it to running because only a psycho would want to run a marathon or half and only a psycho would work so hard to squat 300 and bench 200.

  6. Mel, you qualify as a Half Fanatic now. You can find more info at

  7. After running several 1/2s I JUST started taking a look at the course, and checking the elevation map. Talk about being able to really mentally prepare myself. I'm kicking myself for not doing such easy pre-race prepping sooner!

  8. You are such a beast! I have to agree, eat bad = run bad

  9. I don't necessarily have questions about racing but I've been running for about four months now and I'm still struggling with breathing. Do you have any tips? Should I be breathing out of my nose because I am breathing so hard I can't help being a mouth breather.

  10. the ice bath is SO helpful. I finally took the plunge after a 10 mile run one day, just doing the coldest water from my faucet (I don't have any ice maker). It felt good in kind of a hurt-so-good way. I felt a million times better after and had NO soreness the next day. It REALLY does help!!! Test the waters ;)