Football and Marathon

by Gudjon Johannesson
(Asker, Norway)

Combining the 100 day plan with football (soccer) training/games :

"Hi Marius,

Thank you for awesome training program. I am currently using your 3:15 plan for my first marathon ever (Oslo marathon).

I am in week 7 of the plan and there are coming up 4 football games, one every other week before the race. One football game is 2x30 minutes and I have estimated that I’m running 5-8 km in total with short and longer sprints 50-100 meter on effort 5+ and in between I am jogging on effort 1 or walking.

Can I replace any of the sessions with playing football and if yes, which one is best to replace. And can you say something wise on football and marathon training, something in general. Maybe it doesn’t fit together at all?

Thank you,
With kind regards,
Gudjon Johannesson"

Answer: Hi Gudjon and thanks for your question.

In the case of a very intense weeks of football/soccer games - meaning 2-3 practices/games a week, I would actually stay away from all other running sessions except from easy runs (effort 1) and one session of 45/15 (45 sec running and 15 sec recovery - done 15-20 times)

The injury risk is too great with combining the sprint off/on during football and specific marathon training.

In a regular training week (like in your case, where you have occasional football practices/workouts) I would say this : if you are doing 1-2 football practices/games a week, this is probably ok, but you want to space these as far away from the hardest/longest marathon specific workout that week. You do not have to replace any running workouts do to this. IF you want to replace any running workouts, take away the shortest ones - those with the shortest number of minutes run at the highest intensity.

In addition to this, the last 3 weeks before the marathon I would steer away from football workouts entirely.

I wish you all the best,

kind regards,

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