RayCun wrote: »
I think you have to factor in experience and mileage.
If you've been running for a while, and have run several marathons, it's easier to control your effort and not get caught up in the race, even just a bit.
And if you are a regular high-mileage runner, 26 miles on a training run is not too far off the norm. Krusty or dublinrunner have done plenty of 100 miles weeks, and plenty of 20 mile plus runs, so a marathon in training doesn't really stand out. But if you usually run less than 50 miles a week, and have only done a handful of runs over 2.5 hours, a marathon is a very big session.
Running a massive session, and probably too fast, three weeks out from your goal marathon, is a bad idea.
But if you do your goal marathon first, it doesn't really matter how well-recovered you are when the second one come around.