Posted by: Joe English | June 26, 2007

Training: how do you prepare for a multi-leg relay like Hood to Coast?

Coach Joe English

Coach Joe English

I’ve received a number of questions about preparing for a relay like the Hood to Coast Relay. In these events, runners are expected to run multiple legs over the course of a one or two day period.

The tough aspect of running in these events is not so much the distance, but rather the short recovery time between the runs. Added to that is the fact that most runners will run too fast, especially in their first leg, which means they will be especially tired going into their second or third runs.

Let me provide some tips that will help runners prepare for an event like Hood to Coast and then also add some practical tips for the race itself.

Most runners mistakenly believe that they need to focus on the total distance of their legs as an endurance target in preparing for a race like Hood to Coast. For example, the thinking might be that if a runner needs to run a combined 18 miles (6 miles x 3) they should really get in at least an 18 miler prior to the event. While that endurance base might be helpful, what is really more important is to run a fair amount of mileage at your target race pace and focus on running that pace for a distance slightly longer than the longest of your race legs. So if you’re running a 4, a 5 and an 6 mile leg, then you want to be able to comfortably cover 7 or 8 miles at your race pace.

To continue reading, click here.


  1. Thanks for very informative posting! Since many of the legs involve inclines and declines, do you recommend incorporating this into the 3-6 mile runs or should you devote one workout to running intervals on some decent sized hill?

  2. […] I previously published an article on the training aspects of preparing for a multi-day relay like Hood to Coast. It may be a little late to implement some of the training suggestions, but for a discussion of pacing considerations during the race, you may want to check it out anyway by clicking here. […]

  3. […] Preparing for a multi-leg relay like Hood to Coast […]

  4. Reblogged this on Sasquatch Relay Blog and commented:
    Good tips for prepping for the big run!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: