Training for marathons

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Nov 2020
9:04am, 18 Nov 2020
20,038 posts
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I'm not a biologist, but I've worked on the theory that, fundamentally, the cardiovascular system doesn't know the difference between an easy 20 min run and an 20 min cycle. Obvs its not as good for the muscular development required to run a marathon, but it's still CV work.

For my first couple of marathons I followed a plan as written with only running, but when I added cycling to and from work into the mix it really improved my times.

Have you run a marathon before? If so/if not, what's your aim this time? If it's to get round and put down a marker for future performance, I'd maybe try to follow the plan as written, certainly in terms of long runs and any tricky sessions midweek, but not be too precious if I need to recover by dropping midweek easier sessions in preference to spending a similar time on the bike.

Of course, bike in run out/run in bike out is a wonderful option if you can make it fit.

Or there are plans that include cross-training by time that might be worth a look.
Nov 2020
9:46am, 18 Nov 2020
2,064 posts
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Oscar the Grouch
For a first time marathon, the 'must not miss' session is the long run. For more experienced it might be long run plus a longer midweek run (10 miles or so), which might have some structure in terms of 'effort' i.e. you might do 10 miles including 6 x 5 minutes at your marathon pace or above.

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Maintained by Kingsholm
Im thinking about starting a marathon training plan , I'm currently cycling to work every day w...

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