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12-Week Marathon Training Plan for Triathletes

When most people think of an athlete’s off-season, they think of sunny vacations and lots of naps. But triathletes aren’t most people, which is why so many of us Google “winter marathon” around this time of year. For some, training for a marathon is a way to build run speed and endurance for next year’s races; for others, it’s a goal to focus on when triathlon pickings are lean in the northern hemisphere. Whatever your motivation, this marathon training plan for triathletes can help you prepare.

Though there are a variety of marathon training plans available to anyone who wishes to cover the 26.2-mile distance, most of them are focused on the run; that is, swim and bike are for cross-training purposes only. But what if you want to maintain your triathlon fitness during this run-focused training block? And utilize the swimming and biking to accommodate lower run mileage? That’s where this marathon training plan for triathletes comes in. You’ll build your run endurance while still keeping your multisport skills sharp and ready to go for the spring race season.

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Who should use this plan:

This is a marathon training plan for triathletes aimed at those who sustainably train about 10-12 hours/week, with run volumes in the 20-30 mile/week range. If you’re starting below these volumes, or if a significant amount of time (greater than a month) has passed since they were maintained, it would be recommended to spend 2-4 weeks building up before beginning this program, as sudden jumps in run training load increase injury risk. 

The program is intended to max at about 35-40 miles/week, supplemented with about 3-4 hours of biking and 1-2 hours of swimming per week. 

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