Marathon Training In Parallel With Training Plan

So I’m considering a Marathon early next summer, I’m just wondering the best way to combine it with a Trainerroad plan? I’ve looked at the Triathlon plans, and just considering deleting the swims, but not sure if that’s the best way to do it?

As a complexity I’ve got a big event (multi day gran fondo, not a race) in January, which means I need to peak for both at different times.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Need more info… what is your running history? Age? Current fitness level? What are your goals (time, mileage, etc.)?

Thanks, I’m 39, general fitness very good but it’s much more cycling fitness than running. Couple of years of running pre Covid, HM PB was 1:49, then that took a back seat (running was a no no because we were shielding at the start), and have started to re-establish. I have zero goals for the marathon other than “don’t walk”. I want it to be credible (i.e. acually “run” a marathon) rather than a time.

In short, I would treat me as someone who’s very fit but a relative novice at running.

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First, there is a thread about running in the forum, there is a ton of good info there.

Now, you sound like a fit person with cycling…if your goal is to finish you just need running volume with little of actual running workouts. You can probably start by adding miles until you get to about 45 miles per week. Make sure you have few long runs in there. I would run 4 to 5 days a week and do 3 rides. If a ride day is the same as a run, you can do a off the bike shorter run or do a double…like one in the am and one in the pm…

Back in 2018/2019 I trained for a marathon doing what you want to do. Was doing 3 rides and 5 runs… And topped about 55 miles per week.

I did running workouts tho. In my case I was trying for a Boston qualifying time…


I’m currently in a similar boat as you and have been mulling over what to do. I was thinking about submitting an AACC podcast question since I think it’s a fairly common question

My background: I ran a standalone marathon this last spring and for the most part didn’t do any riding (other than commuting) for 24 weeks so I could build up from 10 to 50 miles per week. I only ran over 50 miles per week for 4 for those weeks but it was enough to achieve my goal time.

The downside of dropping my riding for this time is my FTP dropped 30+ watts and moreover I lost a lot of ride endurance. Before I stopped riding I had was able to maintain good watts for really long rides (ie a 4 hour workout with 4x 30 min at 4 w/kg). After 3 months of TR plans/workouts I’ve gotten my FTP back to where it was but my ability to hold watts for long rides isn’t where there yet (did a 2.5 hour workout with 2x 28 min at 4.2 w/kg and was completely shot at the end of interval 2)

I’m doing a marathon this coming April and was planning on maintaining riding for two reasons:

  • Post marathon I want to switch over to biking and try and hit some ride goals in September (ride with the front pack at 100 mile/10k ft elevation Fondo, do a 200 mile ride). I figure if I maintain some biking it will be easier/faster to get back into riding shape.
  • I find that doing rides helps with my fitness without beating my legs up. ie Running 50 miles and biking 100 miles a week feels better than running 70 miles a week. Sure the latter might make me run faster. But for this race I’m ok being a little bit slower if it means I’m less likely to get beat up along the way

Here’s the options I see:

  • Pick the 70.3 or Full IM plan and drop the swims. This makes sense in that the running sets you up to complete a marathon and they balance the bike and run work so you should be able to achieve both. My open 1/2 marathon PR actually come while using the 70.3 plan a month before my 70.3. That being said, I think if the focus is a marathon you’ll want to have more miles and run more frequently than what the plans has. It might be hard to do this since the plan has a ton of biking and your legs might be too trashed to run much more.
  • 5 runs a week (1 long, 2 medium, 2 easy) + low volume SSB. Doing SSB would keep your riding at a pretty good level while just committing 3.5 hrs a week to riding. This leaves a lot of time for running. However with this strategy I think you’d have to keep all your runs in Zone 2 since you are getting a lot of intensity on the bike. This isn’t necessarily problematic since marathon training can be done with no running intensity. Still, trying to do a 2+ hour run the day after a SSB workout could be a challenge even if running slow. So this could be challenging once you get to 40 or 50 or more miles per week. However you could make it more sustainable by putting in a lower ftp or using lower levels for each workout.
  • 5 runs (1 long, 2 medium, 2 easy) + low volume tradition base. I am currently doing a modified version of this. I do two 1 hr rides a week and one 2 hr ride a week. All of my running is Zone 2 stuff for now though I might throw in one running workout (ie marathon pace or tempo paced run) once a week once I’m closer to the race and over 40 mpw of running.

My schedule currently looks like this:
M: Short Run
T: Medium Run; 60 min TR endurance ride (separated by my 10h work day)
W: Short Run
Th: Medium Run
Fr: 60 min TR endurance or recovery ride
Sa: long run
Su: 2-3 hour unstructured outdoor ride

Depending on my work schedule for the week I’ll move around the M-F schedule a bit. I also try to fit in a short gym session 2x a week for injury prevention

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I wouldn’t use a triathlon plan, because that plan is still going to prioritize the bike more than you’d want for a stand-alone marathon.

It sort of depends on how much time you’re used to training. You could do a mid-volume plan for the fondo and slowly add in frequent small runs to build up the mileage, then switch to a low-volume cycling plan and spend that extra three hours a week running.


I’m currently 2 weeks out from my first ever marathon (aiming for sub 3hr, have a 5k pb of 18:20, 10k in 38:20 and 1hr24 half. )

I was a cyclist for several years and was ok but 3 years ago started running (focus on shorter events - 5 and 10k) so I could do duathlon which I really enjoyed and did ok at. This involved 3 runs and 3 rides a week and 1 rest day

This year I thought would try a marathon. Done a 16 week training program, 3 runs a week (1x long run, 1x tempo/10k pace/threshold type run and 1x speed intervals) maxing out around 30-35 miles. The 2 faster runs and both similar to I did previously but the longer one has been extended (done 5x 20 mile runs). I’ve cut rides down to 2 rides a week and 1 extra rest day and mainly doing sweet spot, threshold, bit tempo and some longer endurance rides, just mix of everything really to keep cycling ticking over.

On course for 3hr or damm close marathon. This is obviously much lower weekly running miles than most suggest but works for me. Loosely following the Run Less Run Faster plan.

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Plus the running workouts are not great either…