I'm a cyclist looking for a new challenge. In a nutshell, I'm giving myself a year to nail a good marathon time. I haven't been for a run in about 4 years, and I've just entered the Chester marathon in October 2020 (no goal, no motivation, that's the way I work
). I'd really appreciate some advice at the outset in terms of how to structure the months ahead.
A bit about me:
35yr old bloke. Been riding and racing competitively for 4 or 5 years, to a fairly good level (national road races, multi-day stage racing, European gran fondos etc). I have a solid cardio system and really strong VO2 max. Very light, about 57kg.
I got into cycling via triathlon, so I have trained for running (albeit not with much structure) in the past. I did an Ironman in 2013 and clocked 4 hrs dead for the marathon (I was 10kg heavier and obviously this was at the end of a long endurance event). But I haven't run for about 4 years.
My rough plan:
Whilst I am super fit from a cardio perspective, I completely appreciate that my legs will be totally useless initially. I will have very little strength and conditioning in terms of muscles and tendons used when running, and accept I will need to be patient building that up. I'm so tempted to go and smash a parkrun or 10k at the weekend and see where I'm at, but I know that's stupid and I'd end up needing a stairlift for a fortnight. So very roughly, I am thinking of aiming for something along these lines...
November/December - plenty of unstructured, easy jogging to get the legs accustomed to running again. No speed work or intervals, nothing too long, don't look at the clock, just run easy.
Jan/Feb - more of the same, with some structured work in Feb as I look to run a half in March.
March - half mara, good chance to see how I'm progressing [target time?]
March-July - focus on building endurance, increasing weekly mileage dramatically (but sensibly).
August-Sept - more structured work to finesse for mara in Oct.
October 4 2020 - Chester marathon, goal sub-3 hours.
Initially I'm thinking 3 runs per week, balancing it with some zone 2 cycling (don't want to give up the bike altogether).
Would be really grateful for thoughts / advice / reassurance that my plan looks broadly sensible (or not!). Of course, if anyone has any more specific suggestions, like individual sessions or sensible mileage, that would be mega.
Thanks very much. Excited to be back on 2 legs!