Marathon Training after 70.3 | 80/20 Endurance

Marathon Training after 70.3

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    Hi there!
    As the season/year unfolds and things are moving more towards normality (hopefully) I have to adjust my race plans. I was initially planning on participating in a second 70.3 in fall but for business and personal reasons I will be unlikely to make that happen (travel for work, etc)
    I was therefore thinking for participating in a Marathon instead.
    Now my question: I will finish my 70.3 Level 3 plan with the Steelhead HIM on June 27th. I was initially planning on a recovery week without running but very little swimming and cycling. Slowly ramping up the week after by adding 2 slow runs. And jumping then back in into the 70.3 plan in plan week 10 for a race early October.
    As I cannot make the early October 70.3 I’m thinking of running a Marathon instead as running is rather easy to plan and do even when travelling for work etc.
    I would want to run a Marathon on November 14th, which is 20 weeks after the 70.3 in June.

    1. what Level Marathon Plan should I shoot for after the 70.3 Level 3? I never ran a full Marathon….but would consider my fitness to be quite good. Especially after the Level 3 70.3 training 🙂
    2. Triathlon will remain my main focus/sport. I don’t want to drop cycling and swimming completely while training for a Marathon. How can I incorporate that into the training?

    Thanks again for your help! I feel bad to ask that as it feels like I make this a moving target.



    + cannot find a power based plan?

    Curry Gallagher


    For what its worth, I have been in similar situation in past. I enjoy biking too much to stop it all together just to run train. Swim is a nice recovery workout too.

    So what I’ve done in past is work in one bike and one swim per week to my run training. The swim was usually a Monday recovery workout. The bike would be either a Tuesday fast group ride OR a long weekend ride that replaced a long weekend run. Not both bikes in same week though.

    I usually worked out 6-8 times per week. When run training I rarely did two a days, not like with triathlon. If you are doing more volume/more workouts, you could add more bikes/swims I suppose. But if you weight train 1-2x per week then time available starts to disappear.

    I think one bike and one swim per week is just enough to keep you connected to those disciplines while still trying to train for a marathon.

    Good luck at Steelhead. I was very close to doing that but ultimately chose Des Moines over it for a few reasons. Lots of friends doing it.

    David Warden

    Curry, great advise! I’m aligned, and it’s very consistent with our formal Cross Training recommendation in Understanding Your 80/20 Run Plan where we recommend how to add other sports to your run plan.

    winoria, I think the Level 2 plan is appropriate for a well-trained 70.3 athelte looing to do their first marathon.

    Marathon power plans are on TP at



    Thanks guys!


    This is interesting. I’ve got a similar issue but less time between a 70.3 and marathon.

    Doing my first 70.3 in early July following the level 1 plan. Then running the London marathon 12 weeks later.

    Would you suggest picking up a 16 week plan 4 weeks in? I will be up to distance by then and dropping back to those first weeks of a plan seems like a drop in volume?

    David Warden


    Of course, you’ll be in great shape after the 70.3 and can pick up the marathon plan with 12 weeks remaining. I’d take it one step further and take a week off after the 70.3 and perform the last 11 of the plan.

    Regarding the drop in volume, it probably won’t be a drop in running volume. My guess you’ll go from a peak of 3.5 hours a week in the 70.3 plan to 4-5 hours in Week 5 of the marathon plan.

    Additionally, it’s necessary to drop in volume 1-3 times a year. The only alternatives are 1) to stay exactly the same volume same forever or 2) continually increase until you are at 100 hours a week. You have to rest at some point and reduce volume to lower than you were doing before, and between a 70.3 and Marathon is a great time to do that.



    Thanks David. Makes sense. I look forward to the rest week

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