Marathon Training - Holiday Interuption


I am going on holiday for 3 weeks, 7 weeks before a marathon and I am concerned what affect it will have on my performance.

I am training for the Barcelona Marathon on March 17th. It will be my 3rd marathon and I plan to run it in and around 3 hours. My training is going very well. I recently ran a 1:24:51 half marathon, a 36:47 10k and a 17:57 5k. All of which are PB's. I have been training for the marathon for 8 weeks and have been running 50-60 miles a week and have already done three 18 mile runs, a 20 mile run and a 21 mile run. As of Saturday I will be on holiday for 3 weeks and envisage my weekly mileage dropping to around 20 - 25 miles. They will all probably be short high tempo runs as I will be in a busy metropolis with not much open space.

Does anyone know how this will affect my performance in the marathon and what type of training will be best when I am away (speed, slow, etc)? I arrive home 4 weeks before the marathon and plan to taper down with 2 weeks to go not the usual 4 weeks. Is this a good idea?




  • Why should a holiday interrupt training?  Pack your trainers, scale down the hours perhaps ...

  • I'll be in a built up area visiting family so I won't be able to get out and do as much running as I would like hence me asking for this advice. When I said I will be running 20 -25 miles a week as opposed to 50 -60 was it not obvious I would be taking my trainers and scaling down hours?

    Thanks for your comment though. Really helpful. image

  • No, thats my fault for not reading properly

    You can still get some good runs done in a metropolis  image

  • isn't there a park that you could find to run around....might be boring to do lots of laps but i would still try and get a longish run in 


  • Being in a town needn't stop you doing long runs.

    Have a look on and search for runs in the area you'll be visiting.

    Would any of the family you're visiting be able/willing to come out with you on a bike?

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    You sound well preapared for the marathon already, but can't you squeeze in at least one long run during the holiday?  You could get up early, and if you're unsure of venturing too far you could do laps (e.g. 4x 5 mile loop).

    I agree you don't need a long taper before the marathon - as the three week taper assumes you've been training at a high intenisty for a couple of months to that point.  So, hopefully at the end of your holiday you won't be as tired if you'd continued running 50+ miles per week. 

  • Hi Billy,

    If the limitations you'll face are strictly time based (ie. spending time with family, etc.) I would suggest focusing the little time that you may have on tempo runs and speed sessions (mile intervals, etc.)

    When you get back I would do a 21 miler as soon as possible and then a final 18 miler with a MP finish at least 15 to 20 days before the marathon so you have an appropriate taper.

    If the limitations when you're away are mainly urban I would go to Map my run and find a safe 6 to 10 mile route or even search for a sports centre with a running track. Some cities have college facilities anyone can use for a modic price.

    Good luck with the training and welcome the slight decrease in mileage. It might end up doing you more good than you might think.

  • You've done so much training, how on earth can you even consider interrupting it?! Cancel your holiday immediately!

    Really though...  surely New York is a pretty big metropolis, and yet there are thousands of daily runners there. 

    Maybe you'll have to find a 2 mile park circuit, and suffer the boredom of doing multiple laps, but there MUST be places to run, and it would be such a shame to spoil your schedule.  Personally, I find holidays are a great time to catch up with training... but I suppose it depends.

  • If family don't mind, and you're not in a high risk area, then surely there is a way aound it. I would be wanting to maintain a medium long run as a minimum in addition to some of those shorter runs. If family mind, then I would get up early.

    Where is the built up area - someone on here may be able to advise some good place to so ??

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