How to Train with 5 Weeks Between Races

With one marathon on the books in early October, I had 5 weeks until my next marathon. I found this 4-week plan to follow on Hal Higdon’s website—a blend of recovery, build-up, and taper. It looked doable.


Two weeks after completing approximately zero of those runs, I e-mailed the race directors to switch my distance from full marathon to a half marathon, and mentally chopped the workouts in half.

With a more manageable goal, I’d start running again. I was sure of it.

I didn’t.

X’s represent workouts I did not complete, O’s represent workouts I did complete.


I jogged on the treadmill a little, sometimes. I attended various classes at the gym.

But I could not make myself follow this schedule or any schedule. Folks, this is called running season burnout.

Obey the burnout. Take some time off.

Looking forward to race day this weekend, and then NO MORE TRAINING PLANS for a while. Yippee!


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