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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So let's say I am going to do my first 70.3 this year. I want to do the full as an encore. How much time would you consider is enough to move on to the next level?
 

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We need more information. What is your background? What are your goals for the half Iron, and perhaps more importantly what are your goals for the full Iron distance. Therein lies the answer to how much time you'll need.<br><br>
Me, personally, I'd look at it differently. If your ultimate goal is the Iron distance, then set up a schedule that takes your fitness to that level. Most plans are about 4 months to 9 months, depending on ability, with the average person siding closer to 9 months or even longer. Plans often assume a meager but sustainable base. The implications, though, are more than most plans let on. So you'll want a semblence of base coming into it.<br><br>
Set up a schedule for yourself that includes a half Iron distance race. Because to do Iron distance, you will be training right through the distances required of the Half. In this context, you might have a few months, or even only one and a half, between events.<br><br>
This assumes that you are not truly racing, because to race either of these events, you will need much more time. Racing is truly a different category over doing the event to complete, and each distance (the half and again the full) has its own levels of racing. Just completing is very different.
 

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Basically, Snooze and I signed up for the Half IM in August (Timberman). I think that as long as we are halfway there, let's just do it and go for the IM. We have no children, it wouold be the slow season at work after July 4th. We just want to do it to say we've done it. We are 27 yrs old with 5 years of marathon experience but this is the beginning of our first Tri season. We do all our training together as a couple and we are looking to start a family in the next year or two.<br><br>
I feel like I am pressed, like do it now or you won't get to until the kids are quite a bit older. I am ready to enter the family stage soon-- not like in a rush but I would like to start before I am 30.<br><br>
I am currently logging about 12 1/2 hours of Cardio a week right now on a weekly basis-- I teach Group Fitness, am training for a marathon and also beginning the whole swimming and biking thing. Snooze is steadily increasing his training and really improving quite quickly in the swimming and Biking arena. The running is not an issue.<br><br>
How's that? Enough info ??? <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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I think it depend on your goals for the IM.<br><br>
If your goal is to <i>finish</i> it - then sure, go for it. What's the worst that could happen? You don't finish. But that's the same "worst case" that you'd have if you waited longer.<br><br>
If your goal is to <i>race</i> it, you might give yourself a little more time to gain some long course experience.<br><br>
My perspective going into my first HIM last year (coincidentally at Timberman), was to see how that went and then decide if/when to do a full IM. I had a reasonably successful race there but decided I wasn't ready to step it up yet and wanted another year of training under my belt before I considered the IM. I'm going back to Timberman again this year with the same plan - see how it goes and then make a call.
 

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Friend of mine started running a few years ago and within a couple of months did an HM as his first race... thinking he might lose interest in this running thing anyway in a few more months. He finished it and needed 3 months of physical therapy. But he's still running after all these years.
 

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The training involved makes the 70.3 much closer to the olympic distance than an Ironman. Actually that was one of Craig Alexanders first comments after Hawaii.<br><br>
BUT by that I don't necessarily mean the volume, from my limited experience its more at learning to train a bit differently in order the finish the distance and the nutrition is much more complicated, so you need a lot of time practicing nutrition. When I say differently, if you want to run a strong marathon after riding 112 miles you have grow your aerobic base substantially. I'm not actually sure you can "race" an IM. The more you raise your LT will dictate how fast you can go in IM, so that just means lots of training. You just can't keep going in zone iii and above or you are just going to tank, its too long. The only racing occurs in the last six miles of the marathon (so my coach keeps telling me, and I believe him as he's gone sub 10), if you have stuff left in the tank.<br><br>
But of course again I believe anyone can do it with the motivation, and flexible schedule as I'm proof of that, but I would really study the training involved, become a student, and probably start with "Going Long" which is a book dedicated to IM.<br><br>
And here I'm giving advice and I missed my long ride today.. oh well there's tomorrow.<br><br>
By the way, the Silverman course on my computrainer seems to indicate that course has more elevation gain than any IM course. Website indicates close to 10000 feet of elevation. Pros to that, is that there will be some steep downhills!
 

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It really depends on your goals and your sanity. My DH and I are having kid conversations more frequently and part of me thinks that I HAVE to do an IM before that...the other part of me thinks wouldn't it be even more impressive if I did it after I have a kid? As you can see I'm still undecided! lol<br>
Weigh your options of time, money, level of enjoyment and make the decision that best suits you and your lifestyle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the input everyone, although I think I am even more confused as to what I should do. Regardless of the decision, I will let you know the outcome. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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The interesting thing about IM races is that it seems like the age group n's are much higher in the 30-50 range - to me that says that an IM after kids is certainly not out of the question.<br><br>
I have only one child (she's 5), am going to be 39 this year, but if I ever do an IM it won't be until 40 or later. Having a child doesn't eliminate all doing things like IM's or whatever, it just makes it so that you need to be more careful in planning, and perhaps be willing to put in workouts at odd hours until they're a bit older. When she was younger that 3, I didn't do much other than run races here and there (shorter ones at that), but as she gets older, her schedule is a bit more predictable, so I can gear my workouts around that.<br><br>
I guess I'm trying to say (probably not that clearly) is that don't rush to do the IM now just b/c you don't think it will be possible after kids - it may end up being a less than positive experience for both of you. My dd sees that fitness is a huge part of my life now, and I think that's setting a very positive example - can you imagine what a great experience it would be to have your child(ren) seeing you cross the finish line of your first IM?
 

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I agree with Looki. I'm doing a HIM this year. I have 3 kids ages 6, 6, and 2. Will it be hard to fit it all in? Yes. But DH supports me, and I know I can do it. I have seen others on here do it while working full time. You do have different priorities once you have kids (your kids come first), but you can still fit training in. You don't have to rush the IM unless you just want to. I'd do the HIM and see how you feel after that (what LRR said). I wouldn't commit to an IM until after that. You may change your mind. Personally, I don't know if I'll ever do an IM. I'm thinking maybe one day when my kids are grown and I have nothing to do but train. I am enjoying the shorter distances right now, and the HIM will be my BIG race for the year. I probably won't do another one for a while, though. I was swimming next to a woman at my Masters class who basically did that. She is probably close to 50 and had tons of time to train, so she did a HIM then an IM the next year.<br><br>
You have your whole life ahead of you. You will go through different phases. When you have kids, you can still race, but you may have to stick to the shorter distances. It doesn't mean you can't do an IM (or several) on down the road. Don't feel like you have to do everything now before you have kids. You just can't. DH and I did a lot of traveling before kids because we knew that would come to a stop for a while, but we didn't try to go every place we ever wanted to go. We'll do more traveling later. If you do everything now, what will you do when you're 50? <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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To be a Mom Ironman is quite an impressive title! I'd go for the kid then do the race <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
I have a six year old. Multiple kids would be tough. I've always tried to get up at insane hours and get workouts done before people get up. Luckily I have a supporting wife who is now getting into triathlon. On the weekends when I get back, then she goes out, and I always have a rest day on the weekend (unless I'm in peak mode or something).
 

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With respect to training for an IM following a HIM...the only thing I would caution you about is an IM may be double the distance of a HIM, but it is definitely more than that in terms of training/effort/fatigue/body limits/nutrition/raceday strategy. I remember finishing my first HIM and wondering how the heck I was ever going to be able to do two of them back-to-back. When I did the full IM, I realized that comparing the two was like comparing a half-marathon to a full marathon - a completely different race (on many levels).<br><br>
If you've already signed up for a HIM, then like someone else said...you could do it and see how you feel about ramping up your training significantly to do a full IM. You may decide after the HIM that a 70.3 is enough! A couple of things to consider, ramping up for a full IM after the HIM means quite a bit over a short period of time - you would need a bit of recovery time following your HIM, plus you would need a bit of taper time before your IM...thus leaving you with even less time for building your endurance for the longer distance. Of course, you also need to reflect on increased training and potential for injury.<br><br>
But, if you have your heart set on an IM-distance race later this year, you could treat the full IM as your "A" race and train accordingly...then, just build the HIM race into your training schedule along with some other shorter distance tri's to test your fitness, practice transitions, practice taking in nutrition during a race, etc.<br><br>
Finally, if you don't have a coach, it's definitely a worthwhile investment to give you the best shot at arriving to the start line race-ready.
 

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Ok, so I'll put out an opinion, take it for what it's worth. Wait 1 yr.<br><br>
First of all, you've only done "short" stuff before (ya know, like them little marathon thingies :p) and IM is a 12-16 hour deal.<br><br>
so you have the fitness thing and the aerobic base to consider, which is huge, but you also have nutrition, pacing (for 3 sports now, not 1), and a million more oppurtunities for "what ifs" that are best experienced and digested first hand. You're going to ramp up training like nothing you've ever done. The biggest concern I would have is if you can adapt to the swim/bike portions and do ok, that way when the marathon comes, you're not completely toasted. An IM marathon ain't like no other marathon you've ever done (or so CC keeps telling me).<br><br>
So, if you really feel you "have the time" to train this year, this winter, next year - then I think a 1/2 this year, work on your limiters over the winter, and then rock out of full, will leave you will a better overall "experience" than if you try to just rock it out right now. It sure seems like w/ 3mo you are just begging for injury or burnout, or both. but then again, I don't know your fitness, so YMMV<br><br>
If you don't have the time to wait, then most people with a solid base (ala marathoners) can "finish" a full - if you can meet the cutoffs for swim/bike. But it doesn't mean you will finish well and you may be physically beat to crap by the time you finish.<br><br>
When I reach for a full - I'm not going to just finish, I plan on drinking lots of beer and having a good time and truly absorbing the "event day". I wanna be off my ass and screaming encouragement for the folks coming in at/past midnight. I wanna be ready.<br><br>
But that's me. YMMV
 

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I've known very experienced athletes with years of racing background who can jump up to the IM distance pretty quickly and pop a 9 1/2 - 11 ish hour finish, around here that usually involves a trip to lake placid. These are people who do long workouts of some sort of a weekly basis for years, so running a few 20 milers and adding some long bike rides is no big deal.<br><br>
For a person who has to bild from the ground up, the process is very time intensive and will pretty much burn up most of your free time, and then some. If you are up for this and have decent health and biomechanics, then you can get prepped for the longer race, given time. Mostly it's a matter of sitting with a calendar and a training program and working backwards, maybe takes a year, maybe 6 mos, depends on your present fitness and experience.
 

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I've similar goals - probably (!) - but I'm thinking about three years as a sensible (for me) timeframe.<br><br>
I have a goal to complete a HIM this year, my first year in MS.<br>
At this stage my aim is probably 2*HIMs in 2009 to do a couple of cool looking locations and to have achieved more base and gained more experience of training. I also think a stand-alone marathon is something I will do before going for an IM and a Marathon should also be a tgt for spring 2009.<br>
2010 - IM. on the proviso that it makes sense (ie. I retain enthusiasm/health and that my lifestyle continues to afford me the time to train properly).<br><br>
I am not attached to any of these as targets for now - will just put the next one out there after this one is finished. Who knows though - I may be relatively more competitive at the Oly distance. If I discover that to be the case this season it may be that I want to focus on that distance for a whole season next year or the year after.<br>
I'm fairly cautious - I'd feel under pressure to have decided on an IM target on the calendar before I knew how HIM had gone - but if you feel ready to commit to it then GL.
 

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Really only you know if this is a reasonable goal for you. Has it been done before I am absolutely sure it has.<br><br>
In my training group is a woman training for IM Louisville, she has not yet done one triathlon. Is this the best approach? I doubt it but she believes she can do it. Within our group 9 women finished IM Florida last year on 10 months of training with most never having a done a race as long as a half marathon.<br><br>
If you choose to go ahead with your plan I agree coaching is a good idea and nutrition is a big factor as other have said.
 

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Now that is a very good explanation of the difference between a lifer and a newbie. The ramp up for someone who's been active on the extreme side is very quick. Not so for a newbie. This is also why first-time Ironmen and women often put in an outlandish number of miles that borders on overtraining, and it's almost because they HAVE TO -- for their body's AND they psyche.
 
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