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2013-10-06 12:09 PM

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Subject: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
Ok so this year I am going to try to do 2 IMs in one year. I have done an IM each year for the past 4 years and have done HIMs and Marys along with those. My IMs are approximately 3 months apart. I am open to any advice as to how to either build enough for the first IM to not squash me, possibly even running both IMs not as hard as I might otherwise and am not quite sure how to recover and rebuild in 3 months... which may look more like do what I can and survive the 2nd race. I am not concerned about time very much this year, I just want to get the two do so I have a feel for whether it is too much for the following year.


2013-10-06 6:05 PM
in reply to: Baowolf

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice

I did IMC and I'm doing IMFL in four weeks.  10 weeks in between the two.

I didn't do a full build for IMC.  I only did an 8 week training program because I knew if I did 12-16 weeks and then had to ramp up again for IMFL that I would've mentally checked out.  I used IMC as a Big Training Day.

I did nothing for two weeks after IMC except get a couple of massages.  Then I did some swimming and cycling in week 3.  Then it was back to the routine for week 4.  Everything has been fine with the exception of the long bike rides.  I have zero motivation to go out and ride for 5 hours.  I have been breaking up the rides.  I'm still getting 7-8 hours per week on the bike but nothing really long.  Work has been super busy lately too so that has eaten into both my pool and bike time the last couple of weeks.

I'm doing IMCdA and IMMT next year and they're 7 weeks apart.

Three months apart wouldn't be that appealing to me because it's almost like you have to train again as opposed to sailing into the second one with the fitness boost from the first one.

2013-10-07 6:55 AM
in reply to: GMAN 19030

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
I'm anxious to see the responses from people who have done this. I'm considering it in 2015 and wondering the same thing you are. After IMWI this year I felt great physically a week after the race. For me I think it has been more mentally trying to get myself going again. I agree with GMAN, so far for me the toughest has been getting fired up about a long bike workout. An hour or hour and 1/2 on the trainer has been fine but I have no desire to go out for 5 hours. I was thinking I would do a normal build for the 1st one and then do some shorter intense workouts in between.

Again, thanks for asking and I hope you get some good input.
2013-10-07 7:36 AM
in reply to: GMAN 19030

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
Originally posted by GMAN 19030

Three months apart wouldn't be that appealing to me because it's almost like you have to train again as opposed to sailing into the second one with the fitness boost from the first one.

I haven't done it, but from what I've seen this idea here tends to work. Basically, either far enough apart to recover well (pysically AND mentally) and then build up again later, or close enough that the specific fitness from the first can carry over into the second. How much that is can vary some from one person to the next. Do try to watch out for that no mans land mentioned, where the IM specific training might not carry to but you also won't be built back up enough to get away with not doing it. You have a few IM's, so that can help in understanding the recovery and where you might be in trying to pick it up again.

2013-10-07 8:51 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
I'm considering doing this as well. Possibly IMTX and IMKY. My plan was to use IMTX as a "B" race and not go as far on my long runs. Was thinking of having more of a solid, strong base for my runs and keeping up on the bike and swim. I'm in OH so I'm not sure that I would be able to do well so early at TX with the heat . After the first IM I was going to take one week off completely and only swim the 2nd. I would go on to build from there. My last IM I talked to a guy who was attempting 5 for the year. He was on his 3rd one. Kudos to him! He must have infinity vacation days. Another gal I met did IMLP and she missed KQ by a few minutes so she signed up for IMKY. She missed by 3 spots at KY. She told me the longest she had biked between the races was 3 hrs. I guess Recovery is the key if one attempts this. One of the things I noticed I didn't really do after my past IM was stretch and keep up on my strength training. I think this is going to be a "must" if anyone attempts 2 or more in a year.

IM is so addicting. If I could do one a month I would That's coming from a single athlete here though! Which ones are you thinking of?
2013-10-07 5:59 PM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
Originally posted by brigby1
Originally posted by GMAN 19030

Three months apart wouldn't be that appealing to me because it's almost like you have to train again as opposed to sailing into the second one with the fitness boost from the first one.

I haven't done it, but from what I've seen this idea here tends to work. Basically, either far enough apart to recover well (pysically AND mentally) and then build up again later, or close enough that the specific fitness from the first can carry over into the second. How much that is can vary some from one person to the next. Do try to watch out for that no mans land mentioned, where the IM specific training might not carry to but you also won't be built back up enough to get away with not doing it. You have a few IM's, so that can help in understanding the recovery and where you might be in trying to pick it up again.

Definitely variable to the individual.  The 10 week between races for me right now is too much.  I think 6-8 weeks would work better for me.



2013-10-07 8:01 PM
in reply to: GMAN 19030

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
I wouldn't do two in a year myself, and I don't say this to discourage you, rather is just don't think I would recover properly. If I were to do it I would try to keep them close, even like 4 weeks. 1 week off to recover, 1 to build back in. 1 to train fully and then 1 to taper. Definitely would keep them within 6-8 weeks at their max. Just my two cents.
2013-10-07 9:10 PM
in reply to: Fred D

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
I'm attempting it this year; however, I've already DNF'd the first one. Mine were/are 14 weeks apart. The first one was IMLOU on August 25th. The second one is Cozumel on December 1st.

I went about this is in a slightly different way. Instead of planning ahead of time, I kind-of just jumped right in (pretty much the story of my life). I had already signed up for COZ and didn't even consider doing the other one (LOU) until about 11 or 12 weeks out. I officially signed up at 10 weeks out.

Whereas I think most people "fear" the second one, I was really more concerned about the first one. Unfortunately, my fears were realized when I suffered tremendously from lack of heat training, got sick and ran out of time at mile 20 of the run (SO close!).

Anyway, I have absolutely no regrets about attempting it and I'm certainly more determined to finish COZ in December! I'll have to report back on how that goes to answer the "in between" training questions more specifically. For now, I can say that I took 1 week completely off after LOU, came back into a "recovery" week on my COZ plan (Fitzgerald IM Level 3) and have continued training fairly consistently since.


FWIW....Lou was my 5th IM and Coz will be my 6th. I've done 5 HIM's and 12 stand alone Marathons. I'm a slower athlete, but LOVE the distance.
2013-10-07 9:55 PM
in reply to: marathongirl11

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
Ok the two IMs I am signed up for are CDA and IMLT. Ya not the best races for doubling up on, but it is what it is. I have done both races before. I don't recovery super fast, but do have the mental stubborness to refocus and build again for a 2nd IM. My IMs are Vineman, CDA, Vineman, IMLT. I tend to be run strong, but IMLT killed my so badly on the bike that it also killed my run. Next year I will have a backpack for changing gear in and out on the bike if the temps are sub 30F again. If this works this year I may swap to IMTX and IM Boulder the following year (both flatter races compared to the two I am doing next year). Two weeks out from IMLT my leggs are still iffy. I plan to have a thick base for IMCDA with a bike focused winter. I am not super fast (best IM 11:40:30) and sometimes intensity can tweak my legs if I am not very careful about when and how much I add to it. I will need to be doing about 8,000 to 15,000 feet of climbing a week to have a chance of doing IMLT better next year.
2013-10-07 10:35 PM
in reply to: Baowolf

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
I am with you. I am also doing CDA and IMLT this coming year. last year I did CDA and Canada. Like you I toss in some marathons and half IMs and 13.1s. My times for the longer stuff suffered this year but I had a more long range focus of being able to do both IMs and also the other stuff. Oddly enough my half marathon and half IM times were all PRs but I was not able to keep it all going in IM. I learned a lot about my training to do 2 in a year. This next year I will do better. I am going at it like mentioned above. Use the first as a long training day then work towards the second. To keep me engaged for the full season, especially since IMLT is late in the year. good luck
2013-10-07 11:34 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice

Originally posted by Baowolf Ok the two IMs I am signed up for are CDA and IMLT. Ya not the best races for doubling up on, but it is what it is. I have done both races before. I don't recovery super fast, but do have the mental stubborness to refocus and build again for a 2nd IM. My IMs are Vineman, CDA, Vineman, IMLT. I tend to be run strong, but IMLT killed my so badly on the bike that it also killed my run. Next year I will have a backpack for changing gear in and out on the bike if the temps are sub 30F again. If this works this year I may swap to IMTX and IM Boulder the following year (both flatter races compared to the two I am doing next year). Two weeks out from IMLT my leggs are still iffy. I plan to have a thick base for IMCDA with a bike focused winter. I am not super fast (best IM 11:40:30) and sometimes intensity can tweak my legs if I am not very careful about when and how much I add to it. I will need to be doing about 8,000 to 15,000 feet of climbing a week to have a chance of doing IMLT better next year.

Having done both of those races on different years, my opinion:

1) Make CdA your "B" race and take it easy.  No pushing the run even though it's your strength.  That's easier said than done on race day, but keep LT as your focus.
2) Ride hills, and when you think you're doing that, go find bigger ones
3) Set up your bike with easier gears for LT - possibly to the extent of using a non-standard cassette/derailleur if necessary

Your 11:40 is faster than my PR.  But at LT (and please don't take offense at this): your bike time tells me that's where you need to focus.  Especially if you're going to stack another IM in front of it.  If you spend too much time on the bike, it's going to be hard to run no matter how easy you rode.  More so at altitude.

 

 

Edit: also, I've done 2 in one year - CdA and Western Australia, which are 6 months apart.  Spreading them out like that is good physically, because you can get a break and then train up again.  But I found it tough mentally to get ready for the 2nd one, although I still improved my time on the easier course.


It's going to be different for each person.  You know your body and mindset best.



Edited by spudone 2013-10-07 11:38 PM


2013-10-08 9:31 AM
in reply to: Baowolf

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
I am in the same boat. I am signed up for IM Canada (Whistler) which is on July 27th. I read so much about IM Lake Tahoe and the conditions and I really want that challenge. Between the 2 races would be 8 weeks. I think that is doable.

Good luck with your races.

Dwayne
2013-10-08 11:43 AM
in reply to: DeVinci13

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
Just as some background I had knee surgary in April so didn't have as much time for the IMLT build as I would have liked. I also tweaked some muscles trying to hit bigger hills which resulted in both calves and top of the right knee being so so by the start of the race. The first round of hills probably caused miner pull or reinjury of the top of the right knee (above the kneecap) and to a lessor extent the left knee. By mile 40 on the bike I was already thinking I might possibly DNF on the 2nd set of hills on lap two. On lap two I varied my pedalling stroke and survived, but irritated both calves somewhat. I really limped in that last 12 miles of the bike as the knee was really bothering me, so ya that killed the run. I could have run the run fine, but a couple muscle groups would flare up and reduce me to walking or shuffling. I was hitting a 10 mile hill at 6 % grade every week 1-2x, but that really did not prepare me at all for the 8-12% grades that IMLT hands out. So first I am getting the legs healthy with 6 weeks of no real training and then building up with a more gradual build and at least 2x the hills 4x if I can manage it. As a comparision my CDA bike pace was around 17.8 mph, not great but better and I have hit 20 mph for flatter HIMs.
2013-10-13 12:45 PM
in reply to: Baowolf

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice

Steve, that sounds like a good place to start for the recovery, and see how you're doing from there. For awhile, I'd work on building back up the volume *and also* working on the intensity. I put in a number of blocks (2-4) that are ~20-30' long into several times a week and the intensity will vary from high Z3 up into stronger Z4 depending on what all I have going on. Sometimes having one ~45' long after them. From previous conversations I know you're getting on hills, but are you watching your effort level in a manner like this? I know you use HR instead of power, but the zones are still about the same. You also get on the hills a lot, but can't remember if you're watching the effort like this. Hills don't automatically do something for biking, they just make it easier to push some more as people are more inclined to work harder on them. Take some lap splits when you do these things so that you can see what you did afterward. To make sure you're working where you think you are. You can check your HR average and the graph profile to see how it goes. Put notes on this in your logs to track them better, if you aren't already doing this elsewhere. It can be rather eye-opening. I see next to nothing in descriptions now, just the overall ride time & distance with maybe an occasional note that hills were present, but not how they were taken. Including something like 2 x 10 mi hill, 45 & 48 min each, Ave HR 160 & 163 (or whatever is appropriate for you) is a LOT more informative. Not just for anyone else seeing what you're doing, but you for when you look back over a month of work you can see what you did much better.

And for the shorter steeper hills, from your thread on the pulled calf muscles, those sound like a bit too much, even with the extra gear of the 12-30 cassette. So would stay away from doing repeats on them for awhile. You were getting hurt, cadence was going rather low, and possibly needing to stand(?) so it was too much. Build up for awhile with the other training and then maybe add in a little later. If there is some nice riding out past the steep ones, then sure go over and do it if you feel safe, but don't make a point to do repeats until your conditioning is stronger again.

It's not necessary to have hills to get stronger on them, but it is helpful to be familiar with them to know how to negotiate things better. Right now (and for awhile) just focus on getting stronger. You ride a lot (if not entirely) outside, so you'll be very in touch with your bike.

2013-10-14 1:15 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
Thanks. Ya the bike is really a mystery for me. I have put in some miles but don't ever get faster. I did have the injury at the end of last year when I was starting to feel stronger on the bike and then bam out of it for 6 months with a knee surgery (minor surgery not related to training). I think I will also try to incorporate some strength work into my workouts for calves and the top of the knees, my weak points. Reading about folks getting faster on the bike just sounds like magic to me, but I can't really get faster at an IM without more bike speed.
2013-10-14 10:55 AM
in reply to: Baowolf


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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
I would say this is very doable depending on how you attack each race. I have athletes who have wanted to make similar jumps, and they have succeeded. I am in between doing a similar double (Leadman 250 on Sept 21 and Beach to Battleship Iron distance on Oct. 26). I've seen quite a few people say to take the first as a "B" race and I would absolutely recommend that approach. I'll elaborate on this - you should approach the first IM from the standpoint of negative splitting the bike and the run. Nothing crazy on the back half just take the first half super easy (it's a lot easier to recover from a 6 hr bike if you split it 3:05-2:55 vs. 2:55 - 3:05...that's also assuming even terrain front and back half). A better way to monitor is by watching power or HR throughout. The run I would try and negative split as well, but also have a run/walk plan for the first IMset firmly in place prior to the start. this will keep you feeling good longer and ease recovery. Most ultrarunners subscribe to a 5 min run - 1 min walk plan for long runs and I would suggest treating the marathon of the first IM the same way. That 1 min walk won't slow you down a great deal at the beginning but will allow you to stay mentally fresh much deeper into the run.


2013-10-14 12:13 PM
in reply to: Baowolf

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
I am attempting that this year. I did Challenge Penticton Aug. 25 and will be doing IM Cozumel on Dec.1. I did not push hard at all on the run...I actually think I negative split it , but that is easy to do when you walk most of the first half and run the last half !! LOL I was disappointed with my run however my Coach was happy that I ended up doing the run that way as I saved myself a couple of weeks of recovery time. I recovered for about 2 weeks and then eased back into training. 7 weeks out and I am at a peek week in training for this coming week.....which will include 3 swims, one 4 hr bike , and one 25km run , not to mention other shorter workouts. It took me about 2 weeks to feel somewhat "normal" after Penticton. I was shocked at how absolutely drained I was . Apparently it is normal. It is hard to train the long bike hours as it is getting cold here in Alberta and the rides are on the trainer. I waffle daily if this was a good idea to do 2 so close together. I am sure that as I cross the Finish Line in Cozumel and after a few tequila it wont seem so bad. I do find that training after the season is done is hard and somewhat lonely. I'm lucky that my Coach is training for the championships for Ultraman in Kona as we are doing our long rides together.
I think that this is an individual decision....we all do these races for different reasons. For me its about conquering fears, proving to myself how strong I am , being a good role model to my kids and earning that coveted "Ironman " title. I will be in the bottom half of the results and I am facing a long day, but for me its about finishing not my time.
I think that if you are asking you have already decided. Go for it !!! What is the worst that can happen ?
Good luck in your training
2013-10-14 10:01 PM
in reply to: Going4Iron

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
Ya I am going to attempt both, I was just looking more for the how to approach the builds and recovery, etc. Thanks all for the advice. I still need another 3 weeks to get the legs solid before starting to rebuild.
2013-10-15 11:08 AM
in reply to: Fred D

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Subject: RE: 2 Ironmans in one year-Advice
Originally posted by Fred D

I wouldn't do two in a year myself, and I don't say this to discourage you, rather is just don't think I would recover properly. If I were to do it I would try to keep them close, even like 4 weeks. 1 week off to recover, 1 to build back in. 1 to train fully and then 1 to taper. Definitely would keep them within 6-8 weeks at their max. Just my two cents.


I'm doing two back to back HIMs (not IMs), with Rev3 Branson being my first, and HIM Miami being my second one in two weeks. I can say from experience that for this distance 4-6 weeks is a bare minimum for recovery, so I would think that doing so for IMs means you would have an insane ability to recover, including the mental recovery. I would want at least 8 weeks between IMs.
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