The Road to Comrades 2011

Training for Two


I saw the article on the Half Ironman programme in Modern Athlete and like the challenge, but I have started training for the Soweto Marathon in November. How do I combine the training for these two events? The Ironman programme only has running twice a week and the long runs are short. Any suggestions? – DANIE STEYN

Combining the two training programmes is possible, but it is important to understand that your performance in both events will suffer to some extent. Here are some suggestions:
 Your Saturday morning run should be much longer than the tri programme. Your distance should move up weekly peaking at about 32km three weeks before the Soweto Marathon.
 This will allow you to do your long cycle training on Sunday. Most cycle clubs prefer to do their long rides on a Sunday due to the less congested traffic conditions.
 Turn one of the other training runs during the week into a long training run of about 15km. You will now be getting in three runs a week of which two are of reasonable distance. I would suggest dropping one of the swim sessions for your extra run. I say this because you are likely to drop the least amount of time overall in the swim leg of the tri if you are slightly under prepared. By sticking to the cycling part of the tri training programme, you will now protect a bigger part of your overall time. You should be even stronger in the run section due to your marathon training.
I spoke to Derek Marcisz, author of the Tri Training programme and he agrees that it is not ideal to train for two very different events that essentially need their own training programmes. However as a marathon runner, participating in a triathlon could be a lot of fun.

Modern Athlete Expert
Running coach with 33 years’ experience and has run 38 consecutive Comrades Marathons. His PBs include 1:17:21 (21.1km), 2:39:30 (42.2km) and 6:29:22 (Comrades).