Combining marathon and triathlon training

Last year I had an entry for the FLM, but got injured and had to pull out. It was too much too soon and I got ITB, to which I am still susceptible, but I keep under control with ice, stretching ibuprofen etc. I want to combine my triathlon training and running for a marathon. This can be base building stuff, I have no illusions about anything faster than 3:30-3:45.

With swimming, biking and weights to do over the winter I won't be able to do the 5 sessions/ week stuff that most people will. Max 4 runs a week will be what I can do and realistically I may do three many weeks. I presently run up to 10 milers. I've run up to 17 miles in the past.

I intend to concentrate on swim technique, easy bike miles and reasonably heavy weights, and intend to start serious training in November, after a month of easy training/rest following the tri season.

My biggest worry is getting injured again. Any suggestions on how I can structure all this for best results would be very much appreciated.


  • Chris,

    The way I do it is to have 4 key running sessions that I do every week when training for a tri and marathon. You really dont have to do any more sessions than this to get a decent time for the marathon.

    1 - The long run
    2 - The tempo run (run at around target marathon pace)
    3 - Speed session (Intervals etc...)
    4 - Brick run (Run off the bike)

    I try to do the long bike on the Saturday and the long run on the Sunday, which is hard, but I think it builds great mental strength, and if you get used to running on tired legs, it all becomes much easier when you are fresh. Over the winter just concentrate on building your base level fitness up on the bike by clocking up the miles.

    As for injury I think it helps in training for three sports, particualy as swimming and cycling are considered "zero impact" sports. You have 8 months till FLM so just build up the weekly mileage gradualy.

  • Thanks. I think the brick is a good option all round. I'm very much aware that I don't do enough at the moment.
  • Gareth's right. John and I do Ironman training throughout the winter, and you can easily get fit enough to run a marathon by doing long bike rides and long runs at the weekend and shorter sessions during the week. Gareth made a good point about running on tired legs - if you do a short run after your bike ride it pays great dividends.
  • I am finding what you're saying helpful, I plan to run London aiming for the magic 3 hours, however recently I have started doing triathlons only sprint ones for now, but am planning on running 4-6 times a week, swimming 2-3 and biking once, using the brick thingy you're on about on a wednesday. After Christmas I was going to do more running with the swim and bike as x training on occasional days
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