Posted by: Joe English | April 3, 2013

Training — Preparing for the Dumbo Double Dare

running-advice-bugOne of the coaches that I am advising came to me with the following question regarding an event called the Double Dumbo Dare, which combines a 10K on day one and a half-marathon on day 2. First the question and then I’ll share with you my thoughts on preparing for such an event.

“I was just assigned a group of people who are doing the Dumbo Double Dare (10k Saturday, 1/2 Marathon Sunday). What should I do differently in coaching a half-marathon training program to handle this so that they are prepared for the extra challenge?”

First, you have to love the name: “Dumbo Double Dare.” I thought that “Goofy Challenge” was funny, but Dumbo is really saying it, isn’t it! We’ve written about the Goofy Challenge in the past. Goofy involves a half-marathon on Saturday and a full-marathon on Sunday. That’s no small challenge. The Dumbo Double Dare is a shorter in distance, but still presents a significant challenge, especially for those that aren’t used to running longer distances.

There are two skills that are at play here for which you are preparing participants. These skills are 1) the ability to run when fatigued and 2) the ability to pace properly to avoid over-running the first race (and thus killing oneself in the second).

As a side-note, preparing runners to “double” itself isn’t a new thing. In track meets, the athletes often have to run 2, 3 or even 4 times over a couple of days. In an event like the Olympics, the runners will have to run qualifying heats, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final events — all of these are their maximum speed. But often in these situations, the distances of the events are the same for each heat. So the twist here is that the two races are different distances and thus this puts a wrinkle in learning to pace the two events.

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