Hi everyone. I didn't know where to post this so I thought I'd start a new discussion and hope you all can help me figure out what to do. Here's my question....do I need to get a Full Marathon under my belt before I do an Ironman? I've had people tell me I should....then there are those that say I don't need to. My concern with doing a Full before IM is getting injured. I did a Half Marathon in April and ran like I was on fire....mainly because I felt good. After I was done I couldn't walk. Found out I bruised my ankle bone, tore something on the outside of my ankle and had a weak tendon on the inside of my ankle (was not able to run for 6 weeks). The doctor said it shouldn't happen again but I get nervous. It's never been a problem since then but I don't want to do something to risk pulling myself out of the IM. So what do you all suggest. Do a Full as a training run? Skip it? Would love to hear thoughts cuz right now I'm stuck.
That's sort of how I feel. I've run a bunch of marathons too and I know that I could not run a marathon as an "easy training" one; I'd want to get the same kind of time I'm accustomed to getting. And putting that kind of extra race stress on top of IM training would do more harm than good, at least for me.
By the way, what kind of run time should be expected in an IM? An hour slower than your stand alone marathon time?
I need to do some thinking on that. In the HIM last summer, my bike time was relatively slow (2:55), but I was working for it; I felt like I left my lower half on the course at mile 50, then went on to run a good run at 1:39. I think part of that was some vigorous brick training in the summer (a couple of my training buddies are great cyclists who push me on their "easy" days).
My marathon last month was 3:34:35 so I was planning on a 4:30 marathon leg in the IM. The weather will obviously be hotter, which will add time too. And the most important thing; I told Debbie this: it will take probably everything I have just to complete the 112 miles on the bike. I've never done a century ride; heck I haven't done 75 yet. Even if the run is my strongest leg in shorter triathlons, I'll be hurting just as much as everyone else in the run leg in an IM.
Woot- the Glass City Marathon!
I completed the St. Jude Memphis Marathon on Dec. 3rd and wanted to share my race report with all of you. A note of interest: I have been dealing with a foot injury for the past 10 weeks and it definitely effected my training and preparation. I had planned on running this marathon with the intentions of breaking 3:45, but because of the lack of good quality training miles, I decided to run with my wife who had a goal time of 4:30. I know everyone is different, but after running this marathon I did not feel that it set back my winter training at all. I ran the race on Saturday, took Sunday and Monday off. I was back in the pool on Tuesday and Spinning on Wednesday. However, my foot injury is not resolved and I have not attempted a run in the past ten days. Anyway, the race report is below, enjoy:
Kelly and I lined up with the 4:25 pace group for the St. Jude Marathon. I loved the way the corrals were organized for this race. The elites went off and then each corral was released every 2 minutes. This helped to ease some congestion. We stayed with our pace group for about the first 10k and progressively put some distance between us and them. All was well up to about the 13.1-14 mile mark. My parents were there with our kids. We stopped for a picture and some hugs and kisses with them. The next mile was one of our fastest, but that is also when I really started to feel the lack of training due to my foot injury. My thighs were starting to protest and I really just dug down as deep as I could, said many prayers and I started to at least deal with the pain. At this point I should mention that my wife is one of the most incredible people I know. If I hadn't made the decision to run with her, there is no way I would have made it all 26.2 miles. She was so encouraging and so strong, I was just in awe of her. Once we hit mile 20 it was a whole new race. We just said "10k,10k, let's do this!" we counted them down and we were actually picking up the pace even though we walked almost every aid station. At mile 25 there were some St. Jude kids on the sides of the course in their pajamas and dust masks, some with IVs. Kelly started to lose it and I did too. I’m not sure if there is anything that can give a person more motivation than that to push through any "pain" they might be feeling. We hit the 2 tenths to go and Kelly starts to dust me. I asked her to hold up and she just says "no". I catch her as we start turning the corner to enter Auto Zone Park. I grab her hand as we come through the outfield wall and we hear our names called out, Sean and Kelly Conard from Washington, IL! Hand in hand and smiles on our faces, we cross the finish line together! 4:16:53 was our official time. It was so overwhelming and I knew it was worth every second and every step. It’s no wonder this marathon was Runner's World's top pick for marathons in Tennessee. You come away knowing you are truly running for a great purpose.
I haven't read all 65 comments yet. Here is my opinion. I went in to IM Cozumel last month with never having done a triathlon, open water swim or ran a marthon distance. That being said I finished in 13hrs. Injuries happen during training for some maybe even most. I think the best thing to do is listen to your body. Know your limits. For an IM a marthon shouldn't be much of a worry. It's 26.2 of the 140.6 that we do in a single day. That being said. My training partner and I were signed up for the Marine Corp Marathon a little over a month before IM COZ this year. I decided against running it because I was afraid I would put too much stress on my body and of course worried about injury. He ran it and didn't officially finish but crossed the finish line at 17hr 20min. I didn't run it and finished in 13hrs. Now is that to say because he did the marathon is why he didn't finish? I don't know. It could be. I like the idea of going in blind. Not knowing what you are getting in to so you don't get in your head. You go out with the attitude that you are going to take everything in stride/stroke and give it all you got. So, would I run a marathon during training? Not if my body told me otherwise. I would say no because you have no idea the affects it will have on your mind, body and immune system. You could destroy your immune system much like IMCOZ did to me and be sick for weeks after, or you could get injured in the worst case. I would stay safe, especially if this is your first IM or if you have a goal of getting a PR. Stick to your training plan and go in to the race physically and mentally prepared. I wish you the best of luck and happy healthy training.
Here is my take on a marathon during IM training... I completed Louisville last year in 13:54 having NEVER run a full marathon and with only an 18 mile training run under my belt. I agree with my buddy Jenna, that having that marathon experience would have definitely been helpful, and like you, I fretted about not having that previously. After completing last year's event I know that the experience would have been helpful mostly from the mental aspect. Physically completing Ironman is like NOTHING I have or ever will do again. At best your legs are going to feel 10 miles into a long run once you come off that bike! In my opinion, if you are following a good, solid, tested plan for training, you are going to have the fitness... don't doubt that! However, the marathon is mental...so work on your mental game as well. Ironman is a long day, and you'll understand that fully after completing Louisville!
The biggest problems I see with a marathon during IM training is the recovery time and the amount of training that marathons take out of you. I know how my legs feel post distance race, and to heal from a marathon you ideally need 2-4 weeks (in my opinion). I wanted to shoot for a marathon this spring myself, but simply can't devote the training time it takes away from triathlon training. By April of last year, I was steeped in IM LOU training, and to have taken a few weeks down time from a marathon would have been more detrimental than beneficial to me. I think having a solid, well rounded program is going to get you to the finish line. My main advice would be to focus your efforts on finishing, having fun and enjoying the journey. Before you know it you will be an Ironman, looking back wondering where the time went. Enjoy the people you meet on the way, train diligently, practice your nutrition, be consistent with your long brick workouts and you will be ready! Best of luck in 2012 - IM LOU is amazing!!!!!