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Marathon Training Advice Please

Morning All,

Having got a couple of tri's under my belt I've been planning next years races which will involve a couple of Olympic distances and a few sprints.

I may live to regret it but I've also signed up for the Marathon de Paris next April. (still 20,000 places available if anyone's interested)

What I'm struggling with is the demanding marathon training programme and keeping the swimming and cycling going throughout the winter and spring months to get me up to competing olympic distances.

Any advice on this would be appreciated as I'm not sure I should be training 7 days a week for that long.



  • RobRob Posts: 209
    Hi Wella, it all depends on what you want to achieve at the marathon distance. I did my first marathon three weeks ago &, to get the time I wanted in the mara, something had to go, so I dropped the cycling completely & cut the swimming down to once a week. It's a case of how many hrs you can devote to training & whether you want to 'just finish' the mara, or go for a good time. Seven days a week for that long without a break would kill me.
  • WellaWella Posts: 188
    Rob, I think it would kill me too.

    At this stage I just want to finish the thing. I'm not a natural born runner but I've learnt to enjoy it a lot more as part of a triathlon so I'm hoping that the marathon training will benefit my sprint and Olympic distance runs. I find cycling easier and use the bike daily to get from the station to work so dropping the long bike days seems to be the logical choice.

    Also, I plan to enter a half-ironman in 2008 so I'll be interested to use this martathon as a means of guaging how I adapt to longer distances.

    Thanks for the comments.

  • RobRob Posts: 209
    Wella, I trained on the basis of a sub 3.30 mara & was putting in 4.5-5.5hrs/week, around 35-40miles/week, maxing out at 45 miles during the 'big run' week. If you go on the Runners World website they have training plans for various time targets. Follow this for a 'get you round' schedule: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/news/article.asp?UAN=108. If you can't see the page you may have to sign up on the RW website.
  • Wella

    You have just finished your Tri seaason and are therefore good and fit, you now need to begin to build on that fitness for the marathon. The earlier you can start your marathon training the better and the safer. You have 5 months clear in which to raise your long run from where it is now to 20 miles, the longest run you do should be 3-4 weeks before the marathon. Hopefully you can now run 8-9 miles at one time and so the slope works out to around 1 extra mile added on your long run every other week. Try and fit a half marathon in early in the year, to check your pace, don't worry if this is not your 13 mile run fortnight the race pace will make up for that. If you are tempted to finish your long training with a race such as Worthing 20m then don't race it, use it only as an aclimatisation session, learn from it and be ready for the big on 3-4 weeks later.

    Along with the long run you would normally want to add three other runs, but that's silly if you are base training for Tri next year. You must incorporate at least one good run of perhaps 6 miles, close to tempo, certainly half-marathon pace or above. If you can fit in a brick session as well that would be good.

    The fact that you have a sound multi-sport base on which to build is great, but you must keep up the training volume, having said that rest lots.

  • Wella

    Having just read you reply to Rob, i would alter my advice. 70.3 2008 - marathon training will burn you out if you are not a good runner. Use 2007 as a year of Olys and half marathons (run train upto 15miles max), keep working on speed training with just the one long run every 1-3 weeks. The short work will keep you sharp and raise your speeds. Keep up the longer bike ride through the off season (40-50m) as you will need to endurance base for the 70.3 then reduce them and increase the speed of them for the season.

    Keep focussed on the goal - 70.3 2008,

    2007 Olympic distances + half marathon races(2-3)

    2008 Olympic(several) - 70.3 + half marathons(1-2)

    2009 Ironman?!

  • WellaWella Posts: 188
    Thanks David.

    I should have been clearer. The Paris Marathon is a one off challenge for next year but I want to use it as a means of guaging how I adapt to longer runs. Once completed (hopefully!) I'll get back to more familiar tri training.

    As you've stated, I've got a couple of Olympic and a few sprint distances lined up. 2008 will be a 70.3 and yes, I've pencilled in a full Iron man for 2009. Although its years away it actually seems worryingly close.

    Thanks for the advice.

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