Switching from Ironman Plan into Marathon Plan | 80/20 Endurance

Switching from Ironman Plan into Marathon Plan

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  • #9069

    Hi Matt,

    I have been following the IM Plan Level 2 (from the 80/20 Triathlon book).
    I really liked it and while I have been running for ~5years or so (with running being where I am best v. cycling/swimming), I still saw good running improvements via an Ironman-dedicated plan … With 5k PB going down from 17’40 to 16’20 ..! Guess the magic of finally doing 80/20? 😉

    I was due to race in 2weeks for that Ironman but it just got cancelled.
    So I’ve entered into a Marathon which is 4weeks from now.

    I was thinking about switching straight from that IM Level 2 to Marathon Level 2?
    The 80/20 Running book (just received it yesterday 😉 ) is mentionning CrossTraining so might use those slots for a bit of cycling & swimming (as a maintenance for those 2 sports..) as well as because I am quite injury-prone in running (3 stress fractures already …) so there is a limit to how much mileage I can do safely!

    Do you have any tips or things I should be careful of before switching from IM Level2 into Marathon Level2?



    David Warden

    Thibaut, you’re smart to ask. A sudden increase in running volume is a prime cause of injury. A safe guideline is no more than a 20% week-over-week increase. So, let’s look at the numbers in your plans:

    – The IM L2 just had you peak at 4.5 hours of running, a peak which you hit several times in the L2 plan.

    – That gives you a safe increase to 5.2 hours (20%) over your 4.5-hour peak.

    – The final 4 weeks of the Marathon L2 plan has you peak at up to 6 hours, but all you would need to do is to take advantage of one of the cross-train options that week to bring your running down to 5.3 hours for the week. That’s close enough.

    – I do recommend that you perform the RLMS in week 15 of the Marathon L2 plan, and the entire week 15 as written, which would be next week for you if you are completing the final 4 weeks of the plan.



    Many thanks David – will do as you advised!

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