Marathon Training - Resolving schedule clashes

After reading another poster's thread about juggling a marathon training schedule, i wondered what your experiences were of dealing with holes in your plan. e.g. I plan to follow the P&D 18wk 55mile program for a spring marathon, but taking a quick look at my diary I can see one weekend in March when I know I won't be able to do a long run, and I think it's one of my scheduled 20mile runs, which at my pace will take over 3 hours.

I like to run my long runs on a Saturday, fits in with my schedule much better to then rest on Sundays. But on this particular weekend I'll be away and will be unable to spare the 3 hours plus prep/afters etc. Because of travel and commitments that weekend I'm basically on a running hiatus on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The weeks either side of this weekend look like this (w.c Monday)

7 miles, 11mile tempo, 12 mile, rest, [5 mile, 20 mile, rest]

8 mile intervals, 12 mile, rest, 5mile, 6 mile fast, 17 mile, rest

so somehow I need to squeeze the 20 mile Saturday run into the week before or the week after, and push up the other sessions accordingly. If i have to drop a run, i'll drop the 5mile recovery run on the first Friday, but just popping the 20 miler onto the Thursday after a 7, 11, 12 doesn't seem too wise.

Any ideas? I'm sure most people could take a look at an 18 week training plan and find a time in it that is going to clash with other commitments so i'm intigued about how you resolve this type of thing.


  • I would definitely keep the long one in aand do it on the friday ........if you can't do it on the friday at all ( might be an option to gte up 3 hours earlier) then i would do it on the thursday night and i would drop the wednesday run........

     other uns to me just aren't as important as getting the long run  in

  • Start the schedule a few weeks early, then if you're ill / injured / busy you've got some time to play with.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Its a training plan. Not a run based guarantee,recipe.

    Does it ever occur to anyone on these schedules that they are just made up up by other people?

     Do what you can and if you can't because of other commitments then either you've chosen the wrong race distance or in some cases, sport.

  • I would swap the following week over so if anything you miss the 17 miler.  Whilst not ideal I did once read somewhere that as you long as you complete 90% of the schedule you'll get the same result.

    Good luck image

  • BirchBirch ✭✭✭

    Hi AG - why not make the Wed run a 6 mile easy/recovery, after Tuesday's tempo, then do the long run on Thurs - you could even make it a 22 - you may find this tough, but you then have a nice 3 day rest period, which would do no harm at all if you've had a few solid weeks leading up to that point. 

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I find the long runs the most important so if I have a limited window in a week I make the long run the priority. If I miss a couple of the other sessions it won't matter as much.
  • Hi,

    I would agree with millsy1977, the long run is one of the most important runs of the week so try not to sacrifice it!

    All the best with the training, and hope you stay injury free!
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