When to Return to Training After a Marathon, Resources, and Marathon Training Plan

When to Return to Training After a Marathon, Resources, and Marathon Training Plan

We at RunDoyen are professionals in all things running, and we are here to advise you throughout your training, recovery period, and return to the races! 

If you are an amatuer runner that is thinking of stepping up your game to tackle a marathon, then RunDoyen has got you covered! We have professional coaches that are experienced for all levels of athletes. As a beginner, running a marathon, a full 26.2 miles, is a daunting thought, but it does not have to be. Even more, our experienced coaches can take the thought of running a marathon and change it from daunting to a reality. 

We have well designed training plans that any beginner can take on and excel with. Our beginner marathon training plan is designed for runners with prior experience running shorter distances, and it is intended to help you make it through a marathon without walking! However, we also offer other training plans for other experience levels and training intensities. We offer a 16 week marathon training plan, a 20 week marathon training plan, a 12 week marathon training plan, and a Boston marathon training plan. Whatever your need and ability, RunDoyen has a training plan that can teach you how to optimize your performance!

Take care of your body

Taking care of your body is essential when it comes to athletics, and this process includes more than properly exercising and paying attention to your diet. If you are an athlete that neglects to rest or does not give yourself a post-race recovery period, you run the risk of injuring your body and impairing your performance. Luckily, RunDoyen has professionally trained coaches and perfectly-calibrated training plans that will help you keep your body in peak condition while allowing for plenty of rest!

When to Return to Training After a Marathon

Running a marathon is an enormous undertaking, and you will push your body to limits that you may have not known even existed. With that being said, you are taxing your body to the extreme, so, afterwards, you should be allowing yourself plenty of time to rest and recuperate.

Completing a marathon is a big accomplishment. But while a lot of effort is put into the preparation leading up to the race, what happens afterward is usually an afterthought. Rarely do we consider how to approach training after a marathon.

Yet, to avoid injury, illness, and overtraining, post-marathon recovery should be an essential part of any good marathon training plan.

From what happens to your muscles to a detailed three-week marathon recovery plan to get you back on track, here’s exactly what you need to keep in mind following the completion of your big race.(1)

Your exercise and running workouts should be extremely limited during the first week post-race. Your runs should not exceed two miles, your cross-training should remain easy or non-existent, and you should take time from exercising to devote to a hot tub soak and stretch. Your weak and restoring muscles will thank you!

The second week post-race should still find you limiting your distance and workout intensity. Your runs should be within three to six miles, including some 4 x 20 second strides, but you should mostly take it easy. This week will also be a good time to do some light cross training.

Finally, you should be settling back into four to eight mile runs during the third week post-race. While you are still in recovery and need to emphasize rest and stretching, you should be doing some heavier cross training workouts and incorporating 4 x 20 second strides in your runs.


Is it OK to take a week off from marathon training?

Many athletes may feel queasy to think about deviating from their marathon training program, but, more importantly than following a series of workouts and runs, runners should listen to their bodies! If your body is telling you to take it slow for a few days or to take a day off and rest, then you should not push yourself to stay on track with the program. Pushing yourself to keep up with your plan will likely end in injury, setting you back weeks in terms of progress. 

Should you workout after a marathon?

Taking it slow after running a marathon is definitely the best rule of thumb, but that does not mean that you should stop moving entirely. While it is not advised to immediately begin training for another taxing race, it is typically helpful to get a few light jogs in during the week alongside some light cross training workouts. For more personalized information, look into RunDoyen’s marathon training programs and connect with a professional coach to help you stay in peak condition from start to recovery!

Should you run day after marathon?

While getting back into lightly jogging within a few days of running a marathon is a good idea, embarking on a run the day after a marathon is not typically advised. The day after running a marathon is typically best spent resting, focusing on nutrition, and stretching your sore muscles. In fact, going for a run may do more damage than good when it comes to loosening up your muscles after running an extreme distance.

When should I take a break from marathon training?

If you are an avid marathoner, then you know that it is a struggle to keep your enthusiasm for running alive while you are also struggling to stay on top of your training program and balance your personal life. If you are at this stressful crossroads, then it may be time to take a break from marathon training. Ideally, you will be able to take a three to four week break at the end of marathon season, allowing your body to heal and for your mind to rest. Never feel guilty about resting, and do not push yourself beyond healthy limits out of concern for injury!


Training for a marathon is about more than just making it to the finishing line. It is about reaching a feat that you may not have accomplished before, pushing yourself to improve your performance, and remaining healthy throughout the entire process. That is why it is important to give attention to your post-race recovery. Give yourself time to heal, rest, and replenish before beginning to intensely train again.
This recovery period should typically last three to four week and contain light jogs, shorter runs, cross training workouts, and plenty of stretching. If you have more questions about our marathon training programs, then contact RunDoyen today, or take the Coach match quiz and begin training for your next marathon as soon as possible. If marathons are not for you, then RunDoyen has got you covered with training programs for all races and nutritional services. If you are a runner that has high hopes of improving your performance, then you should want to run with RunDoyen! 

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