Monday, June 23, 2014

Guest Post - Back to Back Races

Hello Be the Change Readers!

I’m Danielle and I blog over at  Carlee and I connected on social media in the past year not only because of our love of running and Disney, but we both have adorable red mini dachshunds as family members!

I was excited when Carlee asked me if I’d be interested in guest posting on her blog and after chatting a bit we decided the perfect topic would be “Running Back-to-Back Races” since we both have a few back-to-back races on our upcoming race calendars!

I began running a little over 3 years ago and have since completed a handful of 5 & 10k’s, over a dozen half marathons and 4 full marathons, my most recent one as part of the runDisney Dopey Challenge.

If you’re not familiar with the Dopey Challenge it consists of running a 5k, 10k, half and full marathon over 4 consecutive days for a total of 48.6 miles (as if running a marathon wasn’t hard enough!). 

Having done several back-to-back races, there are a few things I’ve learned along the way that really helped to keep my legs fresh and my body ready to race on consecutive days!

If you’re planning to run back-to-back races, you should train with back-to-back runs!  runDisney provides some great training plans by Jeff Galloway on their site for each of their races including the back-to-back race challenges.  Even if you’re not using Jeff Galloway’s run/walk method (or doing a runDisney race!) these plans are a great template to build your personal training plan off of.

When I was training for the Dopey Challenge I would build my mileage and do “mini Dopey” weeks where I would run 4 days in a row increasing mileage.  Come race weekend my body knew what to expect and was ready for it!

If you’ve trained for any sort of distance race before, you know how important it is to fuel and hydrate properly before, during and after your race.  If you’re doing back-to-back (or back-to-back-to-back-to-back!) races it’s even more important! 

Be sure to practice your fueling and hydration plan during training and then follow through with your plan come race weekend so that your body has enough energy to get you through each race – think of it like making sure there’s gas in your car before a long road trip!

When running back-to-back races it’s particularly important to allow your body to recovery between races!

You can read my full post on R.I.C.E. (Roll. Ice. Compression. Elevation.) for Runners on my blog (HERE), but here are a few added tips for R.I.C.E. between races:
                 Roll  – spend some quality time with your foam roller after each race, and if you’re traveling, invest in a travel size foam roller or massage stick, there are plenty of options available and you’ll be glad you have it to work your legs between races!
                 Ice – ice bath or spot icing can really help keep any inflammation at bay when you have another race coming up!  (Hotels make this even easier since most have an ice machine on each floor!)
                Compression – never underestimate the powers of compression socks &/or pants!  (I shamelessly wore mine around the parks last year between Dopey races.)
                Elevation – lie with your legs up the wall for 10-15 minutes for a gentle stretch and some easy muscle recovery and relaxation!

Making sure to allow your body plenty of rest leading up to and between races is key to completing back-to-back races!  This can be especially challenging if you’re racing at Disney with the early morning wake up calls and wanting to spend your non-racing time at the parks, but getting in bed early or making time for a quick nap will help your body recover and have you ready to go again the next day!

I hope some of these tips will help you if you’re training for a back-to-back race challenge or even for any long distance race! 

You can find more from Danielle at or on Twitter & Instagram at @dnardi710.  This year Danielle’s race calendar includes the Dumbo Double Dare, the New York City Marathon, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon and the Goofy Challenge.


Heather said...

Great post! I really need to get into foam rolling... I bought the M80, but am having trouble figuring out how to use it properly, even after studying the videos. Is there a way to know if you are doing it right? I feel like a fool haha. I'm definitely keeping these tips handy as Dopey training starts July 1 - thanks Danielle :)

The Silent Assassin said...

Good post! Like all the tips. I was planning on putting the RW hat trick on my tour for next year. Hmmm, I might have to do this dopey challenge.

Meridith said...

Read this post with great interest as I'll be doing my first back-to-back race at the Dumbo Double Dare. Thanks for the tips, Danielle!

Danielle said...

Hi Carlee, thanks for letting me guest post! Good luck to everyone running back to back this year!

Carlee McDot said...

Hey Heather. I finally got around to getting my Foam Rolling post up! Check it out when you get a chance and see if this helps :)

Diana B said...

Great tips! I'm doing the glass slipper challenge for princess weekend in February, so these tips will come in handy during training.