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Marathon Training Advice For Your Second Marathon

So you’ve already run marathon #1, but what about marathon training advice for your second marathon? Join the Running Coaches Corner Link Up!

I love #running coaches corner! @running_onhappy @loramarie03 @coachdebbieruns #runchat Click To Tweet

Running Coaches Corner is a weekly Wednesday Link up with your cohosts Lora, Rachel, Debbie, and myself. We are continuing with the theme of summer running! Don’t miss my other Coaches Corner Posts and link ups!

Marathon Training Advice for Your Second Marathon*

Marathon Training Advice For Your Second Marathon. Make your second marathon better than your first and join running coaches corner link up!

*or third, fourth, etc

Why should newbie marathon runners get all the love? (Newbs, you guys are fantastically amazing and you know that I have ALL the love for you, buuuut…) I love training first time marathoners, but I also love working with those who already have a marathon under their belts, a marathon that may or may not have gone exactly as they wanted, and are ready to go to the next level. Here is my marathon training advice for your second marathon.

Pick a New Goal, a Next Level, to Aspire to

As I predicted in my letter to first time marathoners (and half marathoners), YOU SURVIVED. You’ve also taken some time off (hopefully) to recover mentally and physically. Now you are back for more (insert evil laugh here), so why not take your training and race to another level? That next level might be as going after a new goal time or getting through the training cycle uninjured and not burned out. Pick a reasonable and attainable goal, but one that also pushes you a bit. New time goals push us for obvious reasons; goals like finding a way to make running and training a sustainable part of your life push us for other reasons. Seek out expertise and go for it!

Share Your Experience*

*But a) don’t scare newbies and b) remind them that you have only done this once before.

Again, YOU SURVIVED and are living proof that people can survive running marathons! Share that! Share what it was like to cross that finish line, how hard everything seemed at the time but how you grew to believe in yourself. Think about how much that meant to you to hear that the impossible actually is possible. Share the perspective of the long arc of training and other marathon training advice, like BODY GLIDE EVERYWHERE. Not only will it help inspire and encourage the new trainees, you will also reinvigorate yourself. 

Get New Shoes

Like I said a few weeks ago, you should be buying new shoes for your new marathon training cycle, and then buying another new pair a few weeks later so that you can rotate them (see my strategy for rotating running shoes during training). You should know from the first training how important it is to have good, fresh shoes for the long training cycle ahead, and if you show up to training in the same shoes that you ran your last marathon in… I will slap you with an insole. A smelly, used, insole.

Solve the Problems of the Previous Marathon Training Plan

What didn’t work last time? I knew for my second marathon that I needed to pull back on the number of days per week that I ran, and I need to do way more preventative strengthening and exercises. Some runners realize that they really need to do more speedwork the second time around, or that they need to be more careful of scheduling other big events during marathon training (as able).  Did you run too much and get burned out? Or run too much and get hurt? Maybe you need to hire someone to help you create a customized plan, or you need to do more yoga. Whatever it is, figure it out and fix it!

Get Freaking Excited for What is To Come

Don’t be scared; be excited. You are older, wiser, and more experienced. You know more about the resources at your disposal, where to meet other runners, and what your weaknesses were the first time around. You know what to expect: a long, mental and physically challenging training leading up to a stressful and exhilarating weekend that will transform your life. 

Live Beyond Expectation, everyday. After the 2015 Chicago Marathon, when I finished my secon sub 3:30 Marathon in a year. Running coach and personal trainer services at!

Basically, you are getting married and or having a child. And weren’t those days amazing and totally worth it? 

I’ll leave that as a rhetorical question just to be safe.

What marathon training advice would you give to second time (or first time!) marathoners?

2nd marathon? Coach @suzlyfe's advice for your best yet #running #runchat Click To Tweet

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Also linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and Nicole from Fitful Focus.

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  • Reply lacey@fairytalesandfitness

    I am so bad at rotating shoes. I usually only have one pair throughout my whole marathon training cycle. I need to change that in the future. I’m sure that would make a difference.

    May 25, 2016 at 5:29 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I bet it would–they wouldn’t wear out quite so fast.

      May 26, 2016 at 1:13 pm
  • Reply Jules

    I like your advice: don’t scare the newbees! Very informative post.

    May 25, 2016 at 5:32 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Definitely don’t scare the wee ones! let them GROW!

      May 26, 2016 at 1:13 pm
  • Reply Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

    Marathons scare the crap out of me. I’ve always been perfectly content with halves. I’m somewhat thankful for my bad hip giving me a reason not to do one otherwise I fear I would push myself.

    May 25, 2016 at 6:16 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I tell everyone never to run a marathon just for the hell of it. That is like having a kid for the hell of it!

      May 26, 2016 at 1:12 pm
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    What great tips! I’m not sure I’ll ever get to my second marathon, but these def applied to my second half!!

    May 25, 2016 at 6:44 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      All marathons, half or full!

      May 26, 2016 at 1:11 pm
  • Reply Michael Anderson

    First, I love the focus on shoes – I think that half- and especially full marathons are a great way to figure out everything that is wrong with your shoes, socks .. oh, and chafing!

    The other thing you highlight is to ‘sort out your shizzle’ … figure out what worked, what didn’t, and so on. It is important that you get a bit of distance to have perspective. How did the whole process go? What would you change? Do you want to do it again? What still hurts a week later? … and so on.

    One thing I would add is – seek and *listen to* feedback.

    The overwhelming majority of us are not alone, and our marathon training has an impact on significant others, family, friends, work, socializing, and on and on. All of those awesome people who supported us … give them a voice. What did it cost them in terms of not just money but also time, changes, hassles, covering for you, etc.

    May 25, 2016 at 6:47 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Definitely hitting the nail on the head here with seek and listen. Like, were you an insufferable human being during the course of it? lol

      May 26, 2016 at 1:11 pm
  • Reply Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    I”m so glad I did that second marathon. That was my chance to redeem myself after my disastrous first marathon. Oh the lessons I learned from that one. It was back to the drawing board with a whole new approach to training. And isn’t that the point?

    May 25, 2016 at 7:02 am
  • Reply Emily @ My Healthyish Life

    I went into my first marathon so nonchalant about what was to come (how would I have really known if I had not experienced it?). Ironically, I think it worked in my favor because race day went off without a hitch. It was during the second marathon when I started overreacting and getting worked up before I needed to (aka before the race even started).

    May 25, 2016 at 7:07 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And for this marathon, everything will be totally different as well 😀

      May 26, 2016 at 1:09 pm
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    Great tips! I would add to prioritize injury prevention as much as the first time, if not more, especially if you’re aiming for higher mileage. I’m really eager for my second marathon but we will see when that actually happens!

    May 25, 2016 at 7:27 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      For SURE. Boo on that stupid foot for being stupid and postponing your second.

      May 26, 2016 at 1:08 pm
  • Reply Lisa Selby

    I love training runners for a second or third marathon. Usually they still have a ton of room for improvement, but also have begun to recognize what does or doesn’t work for them! For myself, I made the mistake of jumping too quickly into training again after my first marathon and ended up injured. I learned my lesson quickly from that experience!

    May 25, 2016 at 7:29 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I totally agree–they have some perspective and knowledge!

      May 26, 2016 at 1:08 pm
  • Reply Annmarie

    LOVE all this advice. IF I ever sign up for my second marathon (maybe next year) I will totally be following it! Thanks so much for linking up and sharing 🙂

    May 25, 2016 at 7:32 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Right now you have a business to grow! That is plenty for now 😀

      May 26, 2016 at 1:07 pm
  • Reply Rae

    I never rotate shoes. I just get a new pair, break ’em in, wear ’em out, and get a new pair. I’m bad. And cheap.

    May 25, 2016 at 7:34 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And also, we have a tough enough time finding shoes that work for you, period.

      May 26, 2016 at 1:07 pm
  • Reply Erin @ Erin's Inside Job

    My advice is to stick to a half marathon bc that’s the best distance haha.

    May 25, 2016 at 8:04 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You don’t even like those, you ninny.

      May 26, 2016 at 1:05 pm
  • Reply Ellie

    I’m running my first marathon in a couple days and so soon I’ll be able to use the info in this post! I really hope I enjoy the race, I can’t wait to be a marathoner 🙂

    May 25, 2016 at 8:20 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Good luck! Have an amazing time.

      May 26, 2016 at 1:05 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    Great tips! I always say no more marathons, but somehow always end up trying again! It’s the challenge to go back and tweak things in order to get a better outcome!

    May 25, 2016 at 8:37 am
  • Reply Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    I wish this was relevant to me 🙁 I think I am still about 10 years off my first marathon.

    May 25, 2016 at 8:40 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You are doing a marathon yourself right now with that baby!

      May 26, 2016 at 1:03 pm
  • Reply Jen @ Pretty Little Grub

    I love that you wrote for someone other than first timers. My perspective and training completely changed my second and third time around compared to my first.

    May 25, 2016 at 8:45 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Rarely do you meet someone who has done 2 marathons. Usually, you are already planning your 3rd by the time of your second!

      May 26, 2016 at 1:03 pm
  • Reply Janelle @ Run With No Regrets

    These are awesome tips! I am not even a first-time marathoner yet as I will be starting training for the Philly Marathon this summer, but I pinned this article for future reference, assuming I’ll be crazy enough to want to run another marathon!

    May 25, 2016 at 9:11 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hope you are crazy enough 😀

      May 26, 2016 at 1:02 pm
  • Reply Suzy

    HA HA HA HA! Rhetorical question just to be safe. That was awesome.

    May 25, 2016 at 9:21 am
  • Reply Sarah @pickyrunner

    I’m planning to start marathon training in the next month or two so this came at a perfect time. I definitely learned some really hard lessons the first time around and planning on using those as a “what NOT to do” for round 2. It’s a little less scary and a little more scary at the same time- the first time around, I just wanted to finish but I didn’t know what to expect. This time, I know I’ll finish, but I have some serious goals. It’s all about not obsessing.

    May 25, 2016 at 9:53 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I agree. I think after the first marathon you either start to obsess or you realize that there is no reason to!

      May 26, 2016 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply Nicole @ Fitful Focus

    I remember finishing my first marathon and thinking it was cool, but I probably wouldn’t do another full again. Yea…. that didn’t last long…

    May 25, 2016 at 10:01 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Haha live and learn, right?

      May 26, 2016 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs

    I think I took a day following my first marathon hating everything about it, then I started planning how I could do it better :-). Great advice!

    May 25, 2016 at 10:15 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That’s when you know you are hooked!

      May 26, 2016 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply Mar @ Mar on the Run

    I still haven’t recovered from my first marathon and am so likely not to do another. I thought I’d get the itch but I’m content with the half distance for now. What I learned though was to be 100% healthy before training for a full. Know your body before you begin!

    May 25, 2016 at 11:04 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That is definitely key. It is hard to recover from something when you are doing one of the most strenuous activities.

      May 26, 2016 at 12:59 pm
  • Reply Sam @ PancakeWarriors

    I love the “you survived” the first one 🙂 That would be enough encouragement for me!! Great tips. I love that you mention getting excited as well. I feel like your first race is always crazy hype but then you just kind of “go with the flow” for the next few. Every race should be something you are excited about, after all most runners could never even imagine a 5k when they start!

    May 25, 2016 at 12:24 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I was definitely one of those runners!

      May 26, 2016 at 12:52 pm
  • Reply Shawna

    i loved training for and RUNNING my second marathon — the experience was better the second time around for me, especially the actual race itself. i was more relaxed, gave myself more rest days when i needed them but also pushed myself when i knew it was good for me, tried not to stress about it, and had the memory of being able to run one prior to motivate me. and i loved it SO MUCH MORE.

    May 25, 2016 at 2:04 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I honestly think that each marathon is better than the last. Even if the experience isn’t perfect, you just have so much more perspective about the whole thing!

      May 26, 2016 at 12:51 pm
  • Reply Eric

    I feel like you are timing these posts for me, hahaha. I’m about ready to pound the pavement. Came back too quick though. I waited 26 days (2 10 milers in that time with a faster pace, a 10k that I did fantastic on 6 days out of the marathon) and started hitting it again. Of course then I get a good ol case of runners knee (again), AND now have a severe cold. Going into my next Half on Sunday, and I’m wondering what my performance is going to look like (resting my leg by cross training when I’m not hacking up a lung).

    However, I’m looking at my next Marathon at the end of October, a destination one for fun (Niagara Falls International Marathon). We will see how training starts back up again in another month or two (one half marathon beginning of July for fun again in Portland, ME).

    May 25, 2016 at 2:46 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m glad that you are already up for your next! Not that I every doubted that you would be. And do your best, but don’t let that perfectionist brain take over if you need to relax a bit!

      May 26, 2016 at 12:50 pm
  • Reply Lauren

    I love all these great tips for running your second marathon…I think alot of runners are in that one and done mentality but it is so great to learn what did and did not work and tweak your training if you need to! I was a total hot mess for my first marathon!

    May 25, 2016 at 3:12 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Haha Weren’t we all?

      May 26, 2016 at 11:43 am
  • Reply Emily

    The excitement is #1… :)))) And you just vibrate that excitement Susie. I think that picking a new goal, such as a time goal or training goal or a different marathon/race really helps me when training for the same distance.

    May 25, 2016 at 3:58 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I just echo the excitement that is around!

      May 26, 2016 at 11:42 am
  • Reply Ange // Cowgirl Runs

    Great tips! Especially learning from what maybe didn’t work. I think tweaking a plan takes a lot of time, but it can be done and will make us all better!

    May 25, 2016 at 4:09 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hey, finding a good training plan is like those perfect jeans (as I’ve been known to say!)

      May 26, 2016 at 11:42 am
  • Reply The Best Injury Prevention Exercises for Runners -Happy Fit Mama

    […] up with Wild Workout Wednesday and Running Coach’s Corner this […]

    May 25, 2016 at 8:08 pm
  • Reply Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    I think every marathon is different. You learn something new from each one. Hopefully, you fix the mistakes and improve on the oh no, I shouldn’t have done that missteps! The biggest thing I learned from my first to the second is that the marathon is no walk in the park. It is serious business!

    May 25, 2016 at 8:13 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Ain’t that the truth!

      May 26, 2016 at 11:41 am
  • Reply Christine @ Run Plant Based

    Great information, thanks! I’m excited to try my first this year and hopefully a second soon. I am bad at rotating shoes too, it seems expensive and complicated to keep and track mileage on different pairs. Thankfully that’s gotten easier with RunKeeper shoe tracking.

    May 25, 2016 at 8:49 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      What helps you figure it out, go with it! Good luck with training!

      May 26, 2016 at 11:41 am
  • Reply Kerri Mcgrail

    Love the tips Suz! I definitely am a fan of rotating shoes during training as well as lots of yoga! I definitely am going to be sharing my experience on my blog as soon as I have more than a couple spare minutes. Definitely agree with not planing big life events during marathon training – or immediately after like me – hello moving apartments two days post marathon oops !

    May 25, 2016 at 9:33 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe


      May 26, 2016 at 11:40 am
  • Reply Kimberly Hatting

    I spent almost the entire training cycle for my first 26.2 with the mindset of “one and done.” But then as I was running those 26.2 miles, I know I had a goofy smile on my face because it was just such an awesome feeling to actually be RUNNING A MARATHON. Granted, I was very lucky to have a near-perfect experience, so it was only natural to want to do it again..and again…and again…

    May 25, 2016 at 10:13 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I had a one and done attitude until I started training and then I was taken. And then before the marathon I was like, never again. And then I ran it and was like AGAIN

      May 26, 2016 at 11:40 am
  • Reply Kristy @ Southern In Law

    This is such a great post because you’re so right – all the posts tend to be geared towards newbies! Even if you’ve done 5 marathons you could still do with some tips!

    May 25, 2016 at 11:56 pm
  • Reply heather @Fitncookies

    I’m not running any marathons… but I do need a new pair of running shoes!!

    May 26, 2016 at 1:23 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Well who DOESN’T need new shoes (running or otherwise)

      May 27, 2016 at 4:16 pm
  • Reply Friday Favorites 5/27/16 -

    […] Advice for Second Time Marathoners […]

    May 27, 2016 at 4:32 am
  • Reply Lauren

    Great advice even for 2nd, 3rd, or 4th marathons! Shoes and being sure not to overtrain for your body is key. I haven’t done a super high mileage plan and felt great through training!

    May 31, 2016 at 10:30 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Overtraining is such a key. it can be such a fine line, too! And sometimes high mileage plans are perfect, other times, life gets in the way. You just gotta see where you are.

      June 1, 2016 at 9:31 am

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