Mixing duathlons in marathon training - good/bad idea?!

8 messages
12/12/2011 at 22:16
Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone has any experience of mixing in other events into a marathon training plan? I have a cycling background and doing my first marathon in April (London) and I'm really keen to do one of the Human Race winter duathlons in January or February.

However, according to my training plan I should be doing 2 1/2 hour runs on the weekends of the duathlons (3rd w/e of Jan and 2nd w/e of Feb respectively) - if I swap it for a duathlon with a total run of 12-15km will my running training miss out? Should I try and get a long run in after work that week instead? Is it less risky to do the January one than the February one?

In case you wondered I'm still cycling to work and sneaking in the odd weekend ride so the cycling part shouldn't be a problem - and is easy on the joints

Many thanks in advance!

PSC    pirate
12/12/2011 at 22:29

there are a few of us doing London who are also very seriously considering doing Ballbuster in the spring.  Like all B races don't over do it and you will be fine for your A race.

*caveat - I'm not a coach, just another nutty forumite

13/12/2011 at 08:50

Hi Abby

I know the dilemma well - I'm wondering if I can finish the cross country season and train for a marathon at the same time (ASICS 26.2).  

I did 3 duathlons last winter/spring just to mix up my training a bit and have had a really good season. Again I'm no coach but as long as you're getting those 3 good quality runs into your training you should be ok.  Have you seen this set of schedules: 

FIRST 3 day training


seren nos    pirate
13/12/2011 at 08:56
this year I did marathon training as well as ironman and some ultra training.............managed to do 5 runs a week with 2/3 bikes ( 1 long )and the occassional swim........

the long run I backed up with a 8/10 mile recovery run...........the cross training really helped.......
I smashed my marathon time
13/12/2011 at 22:35
In 2009 I had a niggling groin injury that took a long time to clear up, so when I couldn't run I took to the bike, the result was on return to running I improved all my times, just wish I could still fit it in
15/12/2011 at 22:58
Thanks all for sharing your experiences, it's really reassuring! I think the trickiest part is the diary management rather than exercise overload! Now I just have to pick which duathlon to do.

A friend also invited me for an 80 mile cycle sportive mid-end of March, but as it's my first marathon I think I'm going to turn it down and focus on my second-longest pre-race run that weekend. Once I've been through the plan from start to finish and completed the race, I think I'll be more confident playing around with the schedule a bit more.
16/12/2011 at 05:52
I did a big mix of triathlons (olympic and half ironman), marathons, half marathons, 10ks and sportives (100 mile plus) over the last year. I had no specific time targets for aything as I had not done any of these events (bar the sportives) before and was just testing them out and trying to enjoy myself. I achieved reasonable times in all events on minimal training (due to work) and had a great time trying out new things. I dont think it would be an issue at all as it's all going to increase your stamina and the cross training will reduce your chances of injury. I had no specific trainign plan as they dont work for rotational shift workers anyway. I just did what I felt like each week and tried to do atleast one run, one ride and one swim per week.
Cheerful Dave    pirate
17/12/2011 at 11:06
I've been doing duathlons in the spring before a marathon for a few years now, up to a couple of weeks beforehand.  I do them rather than do the usual pre-London 20 mile or half marathon races, but I still try & fit in the 20 mile runs.  Training plans should be flexible anyway, so if you need to shift a long run to do a duathlon then do it, it won't harm your marathon at all.

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