Translating fitness from cycle touring to running a marathon


I am keen to run in a marathon next year, and didn't get in to the London Marathon, so am thinking about running in Paris in April. I am currently on a cycling trip around Asia, and can comfortably cycle around 80-120km a day, cycling for a couple of days, and then a day or so rest. I'm going to keep on doing this until early February, and then I return home. I thought that it would be good to run in a marathon while I'm fit from all the cycling - I'm hoping that as I'm fit enough to cycle long distances, it won't take me as long to get fit enough be able to run in a marathon. If I'm going to run in Paris then I would need to start training pretty soon, but I don't know if I'm going to be able to go running as well as doing all the cycling - I think I'm going to end up knackered all the time! Do you reckon it's possible to translate the fitness from cycling to running??!

(The furthest I've run before is 10km)




  • your general cardio stuff and endurance should be fantastic for marathon running ...if anything marathon will bea bit shrot for you ;)


    running uses the muscles in your legs in a rather different way from cycling, a few months of specific training may be enough to turn this around.


    the main stumbling block is likely to be this: your fitness will be sufficient to let you go knock out 40miles plus a week (i reckon) but your joints/tendons/muscles won't be used to the impact of running. If you are (very) lucky it will be fine and you won't get injured. The recognised wisdom is only to increase mileage slowly to give your joints etc. time to strengthen and adapt to running, and in this case i'm not sure if there is enough time.

    that said...

    people (i.e. me) have done sillier, riskier, more ambitious things and got away with it. just now and look out for the risks.

  • that sould be 'just KNOW and look out for the risks.'

    (and there's a shrot instead of short early on too)
  • I agree with Ed - give it a try but I'd be surprised if you can get to run marathon distances by April without injury

    go for it, but pay close attention for signs of injury

    why the rush? - why not just aim for a september marathon instead, and wean yourself onto distance running while you are still cycling
  • I have been cycling for 20 years but only running for 5. From personal painful experience I'd recommend that you start running as a complete beginner would. Your heart and lungs are fit enough to lull your legs into a false sense of security and you will injure yourself! Running is totally different to riding (bloomin' obvious statement I know, but take it seriously!!)

    I have had enough injuries to have learned my lesson! I am OK now and even ran 21 miles cross country last Saturday then a 17 mile mountainbike race the following day. My legs were tired from the run but it did not affect my bike race.

    Also I have found that you might lose your top bike speed a bit while you teach your legs to run.

    good luck though - as it opens up so many more events and possibilites when you can do both well.

  • I agree with Phoenix. Similar background of cycling - I took up running in the summer and ran London about 8 months later. A slow build up is necessary - but you have such a headstart cardio-wise over most.

    I ran about 20 mins on my first run, and then couldn't walk for a week. The new muscles were killing me.

    Take it easy !
  • Yeah I've been cycling and running a while and last weekend I thought while I'm at the beach I'll just get a quick channel swim in.

    Now bugger my boots if me arms haven't plum fallen off.
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