Cross Training with Marathon Plan | 80/20 Endurance

Cross Training with Marathon Plan

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    I couldn’t see an obvious answer to my question scanning the titles of other topics here.

    Currently training towards an Olympic distance in June. After this I’m switching my attention to my first marathon in October. I’m already comfortable with half marathon distance and will be doing a B race in the lead up to the Olympic, so confident I’ll have enough base fitness to switch to the marathon plan after the Olympic.

    I’m keen to keep cycling to a degree through the marathon prep as cross training/cycling maintenance. However, I don’t want to compromise the key run workouts. If I was to go with the Level 2 Marathon Plan, are there obvious opportunities for adding in a couple of bike sessions a week or would I be better to substitute some of the runs (or a mix of both)? Alternatively, would it make more sense to go with a 70.3 or IM Plan and either modify the run/bike up or down?

    In terms of the type of bike workouts, I was thinking one foundation ride and one cruse interval per week (or alternating the type of interval workout each week). Any thoughts on this also greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Andrew

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Hi Andrew,

    I recommend that you go with a straight marathon plan and swap out as many Foundation Runs for equivalent rides as you like. If you can handle higher volume, go with the Level 3 plan and do all the “doubles” and the Monday Recovery Runs as easy rides. No need/benefit to doing anything above Zone 2 on the bike unless your ability to run in higher zones is limited somehow.

    Coach Matt


    Thanks, Matt!

    Appreciate the quick response and helpful input.


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