How to train for marathon and cycling race that are 6 days apart? (Read 1229 times)

    Hi All,


    I'm currently training for the Paris Marathon 2010, which will be in April. This will be my third marathon; I ran the Rio de Janeiro marathons of 2008 and 2009.


    My training plan required running 5 to 6 days. However, I joined my work colleagues in the challenge of riding the Amstel Golden Race (Netherlands). We signed up to the 100 km race. And it's only 6 days after the marathon.


    I have little experience with cycling and never raced. How do you recommend that I split my trainings between running and cycling if I don't have more than 1 to 1.5 hours a day during the week and up to 4 hours on Sundays to train?







      Or, you could just do the marathonand not tax your body by riding a bike 100km less than a week after.....


        I am not a multi-sport athlete (or really an athlete), so take this with a grain of salt....


        I would almost approach it like you're training for a duathalon (sp?)....Look at some plans that treat the events like they occur on the same day.  You don't have to worry about working on the transitions from one event to the other, but I would think the training could be similar.

        Marathon Maniac #6740


        Goals for 2015:


        Run 3 marathons (modified:  Run 2 marathons--Lost Dutchman 02/2015 and Whiskey Row 05/2015)

        Run a 50-miler (Ran a 53.8 mile race 11/14/2015)

        Run 1,500 miles (uhhh...how about 1,400?)


        Stay healthy

        Princess Cancer Pants

          Along the lines of what AZ suggests, maybe look at an Iron Man plan, but omit the swim workouts.

          '18 Goals:

          • Recover from 2017

          • Surgery in March

          • Continue showing Cancer that it's not welcome back. Ever.

          • Rebuild to racing and big running & biking miles in 2019


          Getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to

          remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.    

               ~ Sarah Kay

          A Saucy Wench

            which means more to you?  how much time do you have?



            You cant peak for both events - which one is the one you are doing for fun and which one is the one you are doing to race? (realizing that by trying both you will optimize neither)


            If it is marathon you are racing, I  would replace 2 of your runs (one mid length and one easy) with cycling and possibly add a cycling double here and there but keep your quality running workouts. I suspect since you havent cycled much before you probably care more about the run. 


            If it is cycling, find a good cycling program and add running to that. maybe alternating long run weekends and long cycle weekends.


            If its to do some balanced optimization (which is what triathletes try to do - improve the combination) maintain the sport you are best at, focus on your weakness.


            I think - having done both on stupidly low amounts of training - it's easier on the body to "just finish" a 100K cycling event than a marathon if you end up undertrained in one.  I'd focus on the running and add the cycling enough to feel like I wont die. 


            I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets


            "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

              Thanks for all the answers so far!


              @james33693 - No, I wouldn't miss this race for the world. I just have to train properly for that (thus my question).



              @azredbirds052 and zoom-zoom: The duathlon training plan is an interesting idea!




               I'm doing both for fun, but  I'd like to make a new personal best in the marathon, while the cycling race will be my first one and I'll be happy if I finish it well. Having said that,  your advice that I'll definitely keep in mind is:

              "If it is marathon you are racing, I  would replace 2 of your runs (one mid length and one easy) with cycling and possibly add a cycling double here and there but keep your quality running workouts. I suspect since you havent cycled much before you probably care more about the run."



                How little is your cycling experience? While 100k isn't that big of a distance, it could easily take you 3 - 4 hrs, which is not a joke...


                I would definitely add in cycling asap. Don't need to drop the running any, ease into the cycling. Start with some 1 hr sessions on your non running, or low mileage days. Give yourself as much between workouts as you can (for example, I rode 1 hr this morning before work, and plan to run at lunch). Build it up so you are getting at least 3 hrs / week. Then when you can add in some easier longer rides to get used to time in the saddle.


                I usually have an easy run saturday and longer easy bike. Then sunday I might have a short easy bike and long run.


                When doing both in one day, it's definitely easier to run then bike, rather than bike then run, but you'll get used to both. I wouldn't advise doing them back to back. Not much to be gained in brick workouts for you.


                Structure your cycling like your runnnig... you'll want some speedier interval sessions (mile repeats, fartleks, hills) once a week, a long easy ride, some recovery rides, steady state. It's much like running - just the sessions are generally longer.


                Good luck!


                - Oh, and the week after the marathon, and before the bike race... No running. Recover the best you can. Do some easy spin rides just to stretch the legs. That week should be all about recovery. Nothing you do that week will help you get any better on the bike, so minimize the risk of injury by recovering properly!

                Webike.us - I'm not just a runner.


                  Based on your Log my advice would be to choose one race and do that, but you already said you would do it regardless. 

                  You have several months to get consistently solid weeks but you can't let off at all. 


                  The biggest things I can think of are.

                  A. Time in the saddle of a bike to prepare for a 100k

                  B. Time between the two races creating a very high risk of injury. 


                  A. For Cycling:  Do one ride a week as an interval speed training type ride, and a 40-60km ride on the weekend.

                  Running just needs to be consistent with a long run on the weekend on the day other than your long bike ride.  This means they both must be at very low intensity.


                  You need to run 4 days per week, and ride 2.  If you could manage the long run and long ride on days other than the weekend then use the rest day to seperate them. 


                  B. A marathon creates microtears in your muslces.  Typical road biking requires high rpms that might really create some issues there.


                  In order to minimize the likelihood of this you might consider setting very conservative goals for both races. 


                  Maybe since your pr in the marathon is 4:00 you should shoot for 4:15.  Then in the bike race since you have no previous races in that event I can see I don't know time goals, but just finishing might be a good goal considering the marathon being just a few days previous. 


                  Good luck,

                  and keep your log updated carefully then get more feedback closer to the events.


                  Sounds like a lot of fun, and is certainly doable but just not advisable.  You can't always do what people think is best, so believe and it will happen.

                  2010 Races: Snicker's Marathon(2:58:38), Scenic City Trail Marathon(3:26:36), Laurel Highlands Ultra 77(19:13:44), Ironman Louisville(13:07:07) 2011 Races: Mount Cheaha 50k 5:22:47, Tobacco Road Marathon, Mohican 100 Miler

                    Lots of good advice here. Unlike a tri du, or time trial, you'll most likely be riding in a pack. Doing this efficiently and safely is a skill. I'd recommend finding a group ride at your expected pace and practice drafting, keeping your line, and group dynamics. You'll learn a lot. If your goal is to enjoy the race you might want to conserve as much energy as possible and just "sit in." If you are fresh in those last few Ks knock your self out.

                    This fall I did a Duathlon the seven days before running a Marathon. I sacrificed one run a week and got most of my bike miles by commuting. I'd take longer routes home for extra miles. If you can, I recommend commuting for base miles. They'll add up and soon the ride wont feel like a workout, just transportation. The commute also leaves the option to run the same day.

                    Personally I'd focus on racing the marathon and completing the bike race. I've done both types of events and the marathon requires much deeper reserves. Check the Amstel course profile. If it's going to share the same course as the Amstel Gold pro race you better start riding hills. Holland's not so flat in those parts. Good luck!

                      Is the bike race actually a pack race? It's unclear to me what kind of race it is or if it's actually a race. If it's a for real bicycle road race I agree that to prepare you should get out and do as much group road riding as you can and do some training races (in my area there are weekday bicycle races that are a kind of practice for the more serious races on the weekends). The learning curve for riding a bicycle in a tight pack is very high and you're pretty likely to cause a crash if you have limited experience. On the other hand if it is a pack race and you don't have that kind of experience you won't be able to stay in the pack for long anyway unless you're just a naturally strong rider.


                      I'm betting this is more like a ride than a race. The Amstel Gold Race is a pro road race so maybe this is a ride that is run as a part of the whole festivities of the pro race. In the US we'd call this a metric century ride (sometimes they'll call these races but it's akin to calling a 5k running race a marathon) and it would definitely not be run like a race (indeed, I've never heard of a 100km race for newly licensed racers). Under the assumption that this is a ride and not a race I would just be sure to get plenty of time on the bike. You've got to be comfortable in the riding position for 100km/several hours (just like time on your feet is important to a marathon).



                        Yes, lots of good advices here! I'm now more confident that it is possible and am aware of the risks. The proposed training plans are also great.


                        As well noted by kirkroy, the 100 km cycling race is not really a race, but a ride. It's an event that happens on a Saturday, while the actual race for professionals is on Sunday. I'll probably be riding with my work colleagues. I just want to make sure I will be able to complete the 100 km well. I'll be doing two to three rides a week, as recommended by most of you guys.


                        T1dawk  suggested that I set conservative goals for both events. I'll keep that in mind. But the personal record for the marathon will still be a target. That's because it will be in Paris, which is flat and has a favourable weather, while my two previous marathons were in Rio de Janeiro, with a hill in the middle and is very hot. My target will be 3h40 to 3h50. But, for the cycling ride, my target is just to finish well. So, xhristopher's advice of  "focus on racing the marathon and completing the bike race" is what I'll do. I'll rest well between the two, as suggested by mrtrik.


                        Thanks all!