When is the ideal time to schedule a 1/2 IM before training for an IM or sometime during an IM, if so, is it in the middle? What do you do about recovery? What have your experinces been?
Thanks in advance!
I don't think there is an exact / specific time to do one. Before my 1st IM I did not do a 1/2 or a tri, it was too early in the season. Before my second one I did a 1/2 one month out and a sprint 2 weeks out (as an equipment dry run, training day). It was taper time, so I didn't over to it.
If you want to do one, I would incorporate it into your training, don't worry if it goes against your training plan, you'll be fine. You can do other races leading up to an IM, no problem.
I think it depends a lot on your experience level.
Is it your first IM? Which one are you doing?!
What are your expectations for the HIM? 'A' race? Training day? Just like racing?
I don't like to schedule a HIM any closer than about 8 weeks prior to the IM. Mainly because it can interfere with your IM training. Specifically losing time on the bike. At that point in training you would be doing 4 - 5 hour bikes and a HIM will be 2.5 - 3 - tho the intensity is higher.
Race paces for a HIM and an IM are different. Tho a HIM will help with nailing down hydration and nutrition. And HIM distances are pretty fun.
I am doing IMWI in Sept. - It will be my third IM. I did a HIM this past weekend, have another in less than 2 weeks and then one 4 weeks after that. That is 8 weeks out till IM for me.
I don't taper for the HIM's - tho I will adjust the training schedule to accommodate it. For me my LR is on Thursday - so I will skip that and do the LR on Sunday as the run in the HIM.
I have a long bike scheduled on Saturday and another on Sunday (usually 1 hr shorter than the Sat bike). So I do my normal LB on Saturday and then race on Sunday and Monday back on the training plan. So I really don't lose any training time.
The 3'rd HIM that I am doing is an important race for me so I will do a mini-taper. Basically I will again move my LR from Th. to Su. (Fri will be a swim) and skip or shorten the Sat Bike. But that is about it. And really not much as far as recovery as the distances are shorter than you would be doing anyways - so pick right back up on the training plan on Monday.
That is the approach that I follow...
This is my first 1/2 and full, I have done multiple races in Olympic and a few sprints. I'm thinking in 2009 doing either Lake PLacid (july) or Florida (Nov) I'm thinking about Louisville (since I live here) however its in August and the heat and hummidity is horrible. And since I collapsed at a race a few years back, I cannot tolerate the heat as well as I used to...sounds sad for a 25 year old! Anyway, those are the races I'm considering, if you all have any other suggestions please let me know. I figure the 1/2 would be determined by what IM I sign up for.
I did a half in late June before my first IM (September), so 2-3 months out or so. There really isn't a Drop Dead date for a half, unless stipulated by your training plan. It depends if you are using the 70.3 as a race to see what your deficincies are so you have time to work on it for the IM, or whether you are just using it as a training day. If it is a race and you need/want time to improve, you'd need to incorporate a taper and recovery and it should be further out from the IM, like 8 - 12 weeks. If it is just a training day, you could use it late in the season with little taper and minimal recovery and just train through it.
Before my first IM (IM CDA in late June 2005) I did the Gulf Coast 1/2IM in May and a local Miami 1/2IM in early June. So I guess I did two 1/2 IMs within a couple of months of my first IM. I don't know what it did for my training (that's unknowable) but it did wonders for my self-confidence.
Agree, 6-8 weeks out seems to work. I just finshed Black Bear HIM June 1 and IMPL is coming up 7/20. Black Bear was a training day within my IM plan and a peek at what I needed to work on, bike!
Taper and recovery will be a personal issues, but if the HIM is scheduled later in your IM training plan and if it's a training race you should be able to maintain your IM schedule both pre and post race without losing too much.
[quote=JLV]When is the ideal time to schedule a 1/2 IM before training for an IM or sometime during an IM, if so, is it in the middle? What do you do about recovery? What have your experinces been? [/quote]
I don't know if there's an ideal time but you should be able to do one at the end of your base period to judge your endurance progress. You won't be particularly fast but you should feel strong. Another closer to your IM to judge your progress again and to work out any bugs you might have with your race. IE, transition, nutrition, etc.
And here's where the group may differ... I believe these races should be done at race pace and not as a training day.
[quote=tsilcyc][quote=JLV]And here's where the group may differ... I believe these races should be done at race pace and not as a training day.[/quote]
Begs the question - which race pace did you mean for the HIM - IM or HIM?
My take is this: If doing a HIM then race the HIM at HIM paces.
Doing a HIM at IM paces basically short changes the training - cuz you would be doing a pretty short day at a slower pace.
Racing it at HIM intensities would be more beneficial.
[quote=RV]My take is this: If doing a HIM then race the HIM at HIM paces.
I did Boise three weeks out from CdA (12 days from now). I think there's logic to justify just about anything....for me it seemed the right peak right before a taper.
I think the "red thread" here is what are you trying to accomplish with the timing of your 1/2? If you are simply treating it as a catered training day, you can schedule such an effort as late as 3 weeks out from your IM. This accomplishes two things. First, it will give you a good proxy as to your fitness and second, it provides a great jump off point to start your IM taper. Additionally, I would not taper at all for this 1/2 and let your recovery blend right in with your IM taper. Best of luck!
RV: So I do my normal LB on Saturday and then race on Sunday and Monday back on the training plan. So I really don't lose any training time.
That's impressive to keep with your training sched, while sticking in a HIM race...
I usually do an HIM three weeks out from an IM. I've only done IMLP three times and go up to Placid and race Tupper Lake which is exactly three weeks out. A huge number of folks at Tupper are going to IMLP also so they use it as a training weekend. Race Sunday, ride the IMLP course on Monday as well as swim and get the run in...the place is just packed that triathletes that weekend. (Much to the growing discomfort of the locals.)
You all have been fantasic at advice, so here is my next question, what IM would you all recommend for a first timmer? I live in Louisville, KY (home of IM Louisville, or IMKY however, you like it). I would consider this one since I could pracitce on the courses, except for the swim, not too thrilled about the Ohio River. The only down side is that it is in Aug. and its ungodly hot and humid here. A few years back I collapsed from heat exhaustion after a race and I don't do well with heat like I used to. So given all of that, what would you recommend? I've heard IMFL is good, but its very late in the season.
I think most people would agree that picking a race you can actually get in for should be the priority. KY probably is the easiest to get into in the US and it's local for you, so you won't have to deal with all the nonsense (and costs) associated with doing one in another city (hotel, airfare, rental car, bike transport, getting two hours of sleep in a crappy bed the night before the race because your hotel neighbors fell asleep while watching COPS on TV). And if you stay local, you could have a bunch of fans/friends out there cheering you on.
IMKY was my first full distance IM. Turned out to be pretty decent weather (luck!), and the swim in the Ohio wasn't bad at all--just practice w/o a wetsuit and get used to the smell of diesel. The bike is on par for most other courses--lots of up and downs, but no real killer hills and the run doesn't get any flatter. Possible heat stroke aside, it's a great first course.
Nobody makes a good point, additional costs do add up traveling to an IM and most IMs sell out so quickly that it forces you to be there for onsight registration the day after the race, a full year before you will run your race, more expense.
With an IM in your backyard why not save the expenses and avoid... bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do, at 1:00a race morning. Train and adapt, incorporate heat training this year and next, acclimate your body to the conditions. You will also have the advantage of training on the course, a real race day bonus. The Ohio River, how bad can it be? I raced in the Hudson River and lived to tell about it, well, if you don't count the tail-like appendage growing on my backside. Your family and friends will have a great time too.
If you already have heat issue IMKY might be a bad one to try for. I think that, finances allowing, you should pick the IM that when you read/hear about it you get the most excited. You'll want that excitement to carry you through your training :)
There is a 70.3 very close to me, and for 3 years I have almost signed up and then not. I just can't get excited about it. Even though it is close and convenient, I want that excitement to be there.
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