Balancing marathon and trainerroad training

I’m running a marathon next April and keen to improve on my PB and do myself justice by running the best race that I can. I want to keep things going on the bike as I’ve been using TR for the past 4 months and seen some great improvements, but could do with some guidance on how to balance enough running while continuing to tick over on TR.

I was thinking that I’d follow the sweet spot base low volume blocks a couple of times, while following my running plan, before then upping the intensity on the bike once the marathon is behind me. Does this sound a sensible way to balance things?

I’m in the same boat, training for my first marathon (late November). I did exactly what you did, starting out with a low-volume plan while starting out running a few times a week. I think starting out with a low-volume plan as the base should be fine, don’t think you would need to repeat it.

I would say, be smart about how you line up your workouts - I try to avoid having back-to-back tough days, especially when one of the tough days is a long run. Not so much a fatigue concern but an injury concern; I’m new to running and am trying to be very careful to not end up hurt.

If you’ve already been running for a bit, you may not need to be that concerned about it!

Good luck for the marathon!

I’ve been running a while and currently averaging around 30 miles a week currently (across 6 runs) while doing a low volume build phase. It feels okay currently and no sign of any niggles or injury, but then I want to up my milage to around 50 miles average and not sure I’d be able to keep up with the build phase with that amount of running.

How about using one of the Full distance triathlon plans which includes longer run training for the 26.2 miles part of the triathlon.

You could ignore the swim and brick sessions.

Although it would also depends on what your cycling goals as the programme will be more focused on getting to the longer distances


You might want to look into the various ‘Maintenance’ plans. Generally the goal with those is not to induce so much stress that you improve, but to hold on to your existing fitness while other things take priority. Since the fitness you really want to improve is running fitness at the moment, it makes sense to put bike performance on the back burner (but not ignored or forgotten!).

There is some, but not a lot, of carry over between run fitness and bike fitness anyway. If you keep the legs turning over pedals a bit while you focus on your running, you may come out the other end ready to take improved cardiovascular fitness and turn it into more speed on the bike, too.

I agree with this approach. I’m going to be doing something similar for my training over the winter. I have a half marathon at the end of April followed by a 100k MTB race 4 weeks later. I’m going to take a 1/2 Ironman Plan and replace the swim workouts with low instensity bikes/runs depending on how I feel at the time.

I haven’t committed to a spring marathon yet, but I’m dabbling with the idea. I’ve built up my mileage to 50mpw for the first time ever and now I’ve started bringing the bike training in again - - I think the low volume plans are the only way I’ll be able to keep my run mileage up while still getting some consistent bike training in at the same time, while getting appropriate recovery time in. I’m doing brick runs after the rides to keep my volume up and my run streak alive, but I could/should split them up more often by getting up early for morning workouts during the week… :sleeping::joy:

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