Rest days

Hello there I have just started training for my first marathon. I'm a competent 10km runner and have done a couple of half marathons. Up until now I have been a keen gym goer, particularly for two circuits classes which focus mostly on strength building for the legs. I am using a marathon training plan from the Bupa website which has me running four days a week with three rest days. What I'm wondering is if it is a good idea to keep up my circuits classes as well as doing my four days running a week? One class would be on a run day and the other would be on a rest day. Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


  • You'd be fine, if your training for a marathon you'll need to get up to 5 to 6 days running.  Keep up the circuits thats not a problem i do 5 spin classes a week as well as running.  Even if you feel like running make sure you have your rest days as these are just as important as your training days and help prevent injuries..


    Good luck

  • It depends.

    Maybe you can cope with the circuits as well as the running - maybe you can't. As the miles start to build up you might find you need more rest. I'd look to drop the circuits if you even think that's starting to happen as I presume the marathon is your primary goal ?

    I'd also think that spinning is easier than circuits. I do 3 classes a week and I find them much easier on me than circuits.
  • I would keep some form of strength builiding in such as the circuits, or alternatively replace with a hill repeats run session.  One class / hill run a week would be plenty. As for cross tranining at the gym, no problem if it is not affecting your ability to do your key run sessions.

  • Do your circuits on same day as your easys if possible and trays keep your rest days directly after LSR's and speed work days.
  • If the marathon is your current goal then from that perspective you're asking can you jump to a 6 times a week training schedule. As Cougie says, it depends. When a marathon plan plans in a free or recovery day, it means just that. They are just as much training days as the others: they are the days when your body reconstitutes and builds up so that the next steps in the plan can safely be done. By doing other strenuous activities you could be jeopardising the marathon plan, or at least you are not having the benefit of an integrated plan.

    If I wanted or could handle more I would consider say a 5-day-a-week marathon plan, with a mixture of interval, speed and LSD sessions, with recovery days planned in. If you are careful with the order of the sessions I suppose you could integrate one gym or strength session as Also-ran suggests, but try to fix it so you don't have two hard days in a row. I agree with Spark that the most important recovery daya for me are typically after the gradually-lengthening long run, and after any interval session the plan might call for.

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