Mixing Training Plans (marathon and triathlon, etc.)

author : Team BT
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How to use the Beginner Triathlete training plans to combine run training for a late-season marathon with tri training for a mid-season triathlon.

Often triathletes reach the end of the racing season, when it begins to get too cold for open water swims, and find they are in excellent shape and want to complete a marathon or half marathon.

Without factoring in the proper run training along the way, they will find they need to ramp up to enormous run volumes in the few weeks they have before the race. This might work for 20-year-olds, but most of us wisely follow the rule of not increasing run volume more than 10 percent per week, in order to avoid overuse injuries.

So how can you follow a training plan for a triathlon and a training plan for a marathon or half-marathon at the same time?

At BeginnerTriathlete, it's easy. You can choose a triathlon training plan, and then import a running plan over the top of it. This will REPLACE the run workouts from your triathlon plan with run workouts from your marathon plan.

Step One: Get Your Triathlon Training Plan In Place

For example, if you are training for a triathlon in September, you would choose a Training Plan for your triathlon and indicate the date of the race. The Training Plan will then show the correct weeks for training that will have you ready for your tri.

Double check that everything is correct, because you can't do these steps in reverse order. After your Tri Training is in place and imported into your Training Log (so that you can use cool features like "Calendar Sync" and the ability to drag and drop your workouts to different days) you can move on to the next step.

Step Two: Import Your Marathon/Half-Marathon Plan

Go back to Training Plans and choose the marathon or half-marathon plan. Enter the date of the race so that your weeks of training line up for you to be ready for a great race on the big day.

Now click "Import" and you will see that the settings are already selected for this plan to overwrite your RUN workouts, but not your swim or bike. Finalize this and add the run workouts to your Training Plan.

Now you will have the run workouts for marathon training, synced up with your marathon race date, while your bike and swim workouts will still have you ready for race day for your triathlon.

The only warning we have for our users is that this will not work if your triathlon is a full Ironman. In that case, your run training in the triathlon plan would be more rigorous earlier in the season, and you would be overwriting that with run training that is delayed. This will leave you unprepared for the run leg of the Ironman.

However, if you are competing in an Ironman, you don't need to use this method anyway. You will already be fully prepared for a marathon when your triathlon season ends, and you can switch to a marathon-only training plan at that point, if you wish. (But make sure to take adequate recovery time!)


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date: July 30, 2019

Team BT