Striking in a balance

Hi Folks,

As a novice runner who has just committed to his first half marathon, I’m seeking some advice on how best to prepare for this HM whilst not sacrificing other activities that I want to maintain.

I’ve only really dabbled with running in the past and never committed to it. I have ran the odd 10k race in recent years, but it’s not something I do regularly.

I mainly focus on cycling through the summer (on average 100- 150 miles per week), but this year when I put the bicycle away during the winter I want to maintain a higher level of fitness through those long winter months.

My ‘problem’ is that I usually play 3-4 competitive squash games per week. I find it very difficult to fit in regular running around this and stay injury free. At the moment, I’m struggling with tendonitis in my knee which I’m trying manage. I also get in one game of 5-a-side and one 0.5-1 miles swim per week.

I ‘m prepared to cut back to 2 games a week to realistically fit in the running and manage any injury.

Basically, has anyone experienced the same problem with managing running alongside squash (or similar) and cross training?  Any advice would be most appreciated.

Thanks all.

My Background – 31 years old, male, 78-79 KG, 6ft. The odd 10k race per year, which I train with 2 or  4-5 mile runs 8 weeks in advance.


  • Yes, I mix and match my training. Usually try to swim 3x a week which over the summer was 2 sea swims and 1 pool swim. Hockey once a week. Run 45 - 50 miles with long run 15 miles. I also cycle commute to work.

    An example
    Sunday: LSR 15 miles; hockey practice 1 hr; Sea swim
    Tueday: Easy run 6.5-8.5 miles; 15 mile cycle; pool swim; 6.5 mile run

    I work relief shifts which includes nights, I cycle commute to work.

    You could probably get by with 2 or 3 runs a week so long as you do your long slow run. The squash will help with interval training a bit as it will be working the fast twtch muscles as will be the 5 a side. Swimming -  depends on what you do in the water, but could help with core and overall fitness.

    You might want to have a look at HITT - this will give you a lot of fitness gains for very little time input. (If time is the issue).  If it's just energy then your 2 4-5 mile runs plus one longer run building from 5 miles up to approx 12 miles will see you through.

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