When to run two 5k’s in one weekend

Racing two 5k’s in consecutive days isn’t what I’d consider smart training or racing, but it worked out in my favor this time.  This is why I attempted to do this and in what situations it’s ok for you to try too.

I went into this weekend needing to race – it had been a while since my last race and I wanted to see where my fitness was at.  I also wanted to test myself and run a solid and smooth 5k as I head into my last few weekends of available weekends.  


Saturday’s race – the Bone Run 5k – is very competitive, so I knew that a top 5 finish was unlikely.  My goal was simply to see how fast I could run by running even splits and not going out fast and getting carried away.  If I could run my race and not worry about placing high, then I’d have a good idea of what kind of 5k shape I was in.

Sunday’s race – the JCC Katz 5k – is low key compared to Saturday, but the goal was to feel good and, if possible, win.

When you should attempt this double

  • If you’re not looking to PR
  • If you want to run hard (or fast) on tired legs
  • If your objectives are to work on a specific part of racing – like pacing or being competitive
  • If your Saturday race goes well and you aren’t sore, tired, or injured after the race
  • If your Saturday race goes bad and you need redemption

Weekend’s Objectives

Saturday IMG_4108

  1. Run a smart, even paced race
  2. Place high
  3. Recover fast enough to race on Sunday


  1. Run a smart, even paced race
  2. Be top 3 (but really, win)
  3. Don’t get injured

How Coach Marc’s double 5k went

Saturday’s 5k was a very positive experience for me.  I settled into my expected pace (5:20 per mile) and while the lead pack was about 100 meters in front of me, I kept my composure, my pace, and my form through the mile mark.  5:17.  By this point, I was completely alone and ran this way through 2 miles (5:26; 10:45) and 3 miles.  It was some point after 3 miles that I got passed by the only runner who was near me in the entire race.  16:21 for 5k – 8th place overall. 5:25 average. Race results.

Sunday’s 5k was close to home which added to the appeal of running back to back 5k’s.  I knew that there was prize money offered to the first 3 runners.  This too added to it.  The race started about 10 minutes late – which is a tiny bit annoying – but I didn’t let it bother me.  The gun went off and 2 runners sped to the front and led the race for about 600 or 700 meters.  Dave Welsh (owner of the Haddonfield Running Company) and I swiftly passed them and led side by side for the next 1.5 miles. *I forgot my watch, so I don’t have splits – rookie mistake.  At 2 ¼ miles, I kept pace and Dave couldn’t match it.  We made the final turn onto the main road and with half a mile to go, I powered home to a short victory. Race results.


Have you ever run two 5k’s (or any race distance) in one weekend? How did it go for you?

Need more stories about 5k’s, training, and racing?  Sure you do! Not neglecting your speed, Getting a running coach, Celebrating being a runner

3 thoughts on “When to run two 5k’s in one weekend

  1. Hey Marc just read your artical, I too did back to back 5ks this year. It was tough but wanted to see how I handle it. My 1st 5k I ran 19:06 and placed 3rd, my second race on Sunday I placed 2nd overall with time of 19:37. I ran well started out to fast so I slowed it down to finish strong in my second race..um how do u recover quick in order to prepare for 2nd 5k race.


  2. I agree that it was tough. I can say that I’m not totally sure how I managed to run both well. I’m certainly not in the shape that would allow to me recover fast enough to do this. Prior to the Saturday race, I thought I was in about 16:30 shape – and wanted to run even 5:20s. That’s all I knew for certain.

    Typically, after a hard day, I take the next day completely off from running. That being said, I felt so good after my Saturday race (as if I didn’t race) that I gave myself the go-ahead to race Sunday.

    I’ll write up a post for next week about the best ways to recover from such an effort. Stay tuned!


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Location Cherry Hill, NJ E-mail trainwithmarc@gmail.com Hours Weekdays: 3-10 pm; Weekends: 7 am-10 pm
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