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Training for ITU London and London Marathon

Hi, I have a place on the London Marathon 2015 and also the ITU Triathlon in London a month later...I am signed up to race the Olympic distance.

I have been running and racing halves and Duathlons solidly for over a year now so running and cycling is fine. I am currently doing a Tri swim club session every week in the pool but this is by far my weakest discipline simply due to lack of time spent in the pool. London will be my first full Marathon and ITU will be my first Triathlon.

Has anyone got any plans or tips for training for the Tri whilst also maintaining my marathon program?

Cheers all.



  • Andrew4Andrew4 Posts: 190

    Well, its safe to assume your run training will be in good shape as long as you get a brick in each week (I would do an easy run post your long ride).

    I would suggest you need to treat this as training for an olympic triathlon but doing the run sessions for an ironman (at least from mid feb onwards).

    Also don't stress loads if you think you are sacrificing running for riding. Both build the same cardio fitness and, whilst you aren't going to challenge Mo with this kind of cross training most of us mere mortals don't overly suffer from mixing our training up a bit. Just don't neglect the swimming... it sounds like it isn't you're cup of tea and you might be tempted to ditch those sessions and swim time is free time (+ no-one ever claimed they bonked because they swam too hard but they have trying to make up time on the bike)

  • Hi Andrew and thanks for the response. I think you're absolutely right in what you have said. Actually though despite the swim being my weakest discipline I don't want to and will not shy away from it. I am really enjoying it and as I live by the sea in Devon I intend to get some training done in the sea too, at least whilst I can anyway.

    I've gone and entered the ballot for the Berlin Marathon too so unlikely as it is that i will get a place I want to maintain marathon training after the VMLM, even if my Tri's are Olympic. I've got an eye on IronMan 70.3 Mallorca 2016 too.

    I do have this mental thing at the moment though where I think if I drop a run session from the marathon program for a swim or ride I will suffer for it but I agree with what you've said. As long as it's not a long run I drop than I am sure it'll be fine.

    Thanks for the advice mate, much appreciated.

  • Hi

    I can't see that swapping one run session for a swim session would be detrimental to your training, if anything I feel it would help both physically and psychologically! Maybe work an open water session after a long run as it will give your legs a bit of a rest. I did the London Marathon in 2005 and am doing the ITU Triathlon Olympic distance next year also (I am new to the triathlon scene but am hooked!!). Are you local to London as I know that Swim4Tri do an open water session in the Serpentine, I am Essex based and use a company called RG Active who have been extremely helpful for me as a newbie!! Good Luck and have fun!!
  • Hi Nicola, no I'm in Devon. I've joined my local Tri Club and have a coach who is hopefully writing me a plan, I say hopefully as he is based in France. If that goes according to plan then I am sure he'll sort the schedule out. I posted this before finding him via a friend.

    Thanks for the reply and good luck to you too. I am really looking forward to Hyde Park. I've also entered the London Tri, you doing that?

  • No, unfortunately I am away that weekend, I did it this year, it was my 1st Tri and the one that got me hooked!! I then did Eton Dorney and Hever Castle!! I've signed up for 4 next year as well as the LondonSurrey100, my husband thinks I'm having a midlife crisis (I hit 40 last year) but I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoy them, the atmosphere is fabulous and everyone is so friendly! Enjoy your training.


  • Sounds like you have the bike and run training covered - and doing lots of miles for the marathon will help your overall endurance, so you shouldn't have a problem with the distance of the Olympic triathlon run or bike section

    Where you'll need to focus on is your swim section, and here you have to consider - do you want to get faster, or are you happy to just get to the finish of the swim so you can get on with your bike and run?

    It sounds like a cheeky question, but it's not meant to be!

    On one easy/recovery swim a week, you can gradually increase the distance / duration of your session so that you're covering, say 2000m during an hours swim session, and know that you'll be capable of easily completing the swim section. This will fit in nicely with your marathon training and will actually act like a free massage for your tired muscles - as long as you swim easy, not trying to go flat out

    However, if you want to be competitive, or are harbouring ideas of actually 'getting faster' - then you'll need to commit to swimming at least two and ideally three times a week for a period of 3-5 months before your event.

    Obviously if you want to do that, then you're looking at a pretty serious time commitment (although I'm a big believer that any extra swim is better than no extra swim, so even if you can get in the water for 20 mins then I'd advise you do it)

    So for example, you'd look at doing your club swim for an hour, plus two 20 min sessions during the week. Sometimes this works well if you can run to the pool, swim, and run home again.

    Hope this helps!


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