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Marathon Training and Cycling

4 watchers
Jan 2016
7:29pm, 2 Jan 2016
474 posts
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Just wondered if anyone had any experience incorporating cycling into their marathon training schedule. After a good part out of running last year, missing VLM I am now starting to train for this years London and think it might be beneficial to add some cycle sessions as either part of a recovery session or, perhaps as an 'add-on' to a long run. I'm sure there is no substitute for running miles but I'm sure with a balanced approach I could get there fit and ready. My injury last year was piriformis syndrome and sciatica (3months no running at all and most of the rest of the year on reduced mileage but increasing cycle mileage - I've been cycling regularly for just over a year.


Jan 2016
7:31pm, 2 Jan 2016
4548 posts
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It helps me- less impact but still a cardio workout and strengthen s the quads- wouldn't overly do it like
Jan 2016
7:40pm, 2 Jan 2016
2317 posts
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The virginmarathon site has training plans written by "Marathon Guru" Martin Yelling and he has one day a week set aside for Rest or cross train. Core & stretching. so would imagine it is fine. Each to their own as long as you are getting your long runs and base miles cant see the problem.
Jan 2016
8:09pm, 2 Jan 2016
602 posts
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Lesley C
I am training for an ultra on 3 runs and 2 cycles (on the turbo at the moment) per week. Am also including some core work on top of that. I am running 7/8 miles Tuesday and Thursday, bike Wednesday, long run Saturday and bike Sunday. As Hackett says as long as you are getting the base miles in then you should be fine.
Jan 2016
8:34pm, 2 Jan 2016
7403 posts
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See the FIRST training. They recommend three runs a week plus loads of cycling.
Jan 2016
8:44pm, 2 Jan 2016
549 posts
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I've always done a fair bit of cycling in my marathon plans, in some ways it probably isn't quite as good as running but I reckon it's helpful in avoiding injury. I count an hour of cycling as 40 mins running as per Jack Daniels.
Jan 2016
9:33pm, 2 Jan 2016
33238 posts
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I've run several decent half marathons, and a 10-mile PB at age 50, off training that was almost all road cycling with just enough running to keep my body familiar with how to run. In October 2014, I ran my third fastest marathon ever (3:47:something) and highest marathon WAVA off training that was predominantly on the bike and without doing any proper long training runs.

I cycle rather than run for domestic reasons (to keep my husband company since he can no longer run), not because I have to limit my running volume to avoid injury, and I cycled *instead* of running rather than to augment my running or to sneak in extra training on "rest" days. I didn't bother constructing a training plan or calculating mileage equivalents, but was able to predict my marathon time quite accurately beforehand.

I'm not sure how well this would work in someone who didn't have a long running history, or whether I'd have run a better marathon if I'd plodded out my 20+ mile training runs, I'm just chucking my It Worked For Me story into the thread :)
Jan 2016
9:50pm, 2 Jan 2016
867 posts
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The see-inside here cites some research on cycling for runners (p.194 - it lets you preview loads, although there are some gaps) and is in favour.
Jan 2016
10:36pm, 3 Jan 2016
475 posts
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Thanks for the replies, interesting point, re: Jack Daniels, I'll look that out.

I'll certainly be doing the base miles with at least one club session a week, I was thinking that it might be a second cl u b session that I substitute.

Thanks again.

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Maintained by iPaul
Just wondered if anyone had any experience incorporating cycling into their marathon training schedu...

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