Any training advice to prepare for first time Half Ironman?

  • kwzkar

    Posts: 4

    Jan 26, 2009 1:45 AM GMT
    Have signed up for my first half Ironman in August 2009. Any advice for a first timer? Will complete at least one sprint tri before the big race. Was a competitive swimmer until 18, run multiple marathons and last summer got the cycling down. Now just need to put it all together. Will be competing with some friends so that is good, but just seeing if anyone wanted to share training advice.

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    Jan 26, 2009 6:08 AM GMT
    In addition to competing in a sprint distance, I'd suggest competing in an olympic distance tri as well. Olympic tri is 1.5k swim (~1 mile), 40k bike (~25 miles), 10k run (~6.2 miles). Training for a 1/2 is pretty similar to olympic distance because its just over double the distance for the bike and run.

    My advice: get a good base down before working on speed. This means being able to ride 75+ miles and then running a half marathon the next day for training (yes... with shot legs). There are a lot of websites online with rough training guidelines for what distance you should be getting in at what week in your training, etc.

    As for your first sprint tri, have fun, take time if you need to in transition, and make sure both shoes are unclipped before you try to dismount *fun*

    (Look on for local olympic-distance triathlons if you're interested. Smaller ones usually cost a lot less. For example, Wildflower costs over $150 when I last checked, and a local one will only cost maybe $80.)

  • kwzkar

    Posts: 4

    Jan 27, 2009 4:15 AM GMT
  • Atriathlete

    Posts: 70

    Jan 27, 2009 8:41 PM GMT
    Make sure to throw in brick workouts so you get used to running after biking. Although I hated doing them, my coach gave me double (and triple) brick workouts last year. They were quite effective.

    You don't say where your race will be, but chances are, if it occurs in August, it could be hot. One way that half ironmans differ from olympics is that the run occurs later in the day and usually puts you in the worst heat. Depending on your speed, the start time, chances are you'll be running sometime between 10 and 1. You will need to get used to running in the heat of the day. Eagleman last year was over 90 degrees and 90% humidity by the time that the run started.

    Here are my favorite strategies for dealing with heat in race conditions:

    1) Wear a hat. It keeps you cooler. Put ice in the cap at every aid station.
    2) Wear a jersey with a back pocket. Put ice in that back pocket.
    3) If it's really hot, put ice in your shorts. This can be a quite effective cooling mechanism.
    4) If there's any opportunity to run off of blacktop, take it. Asphault is much hotter than grass.
    5) Monitor your heart rate. If it starts spiking, slow it down. Walk if you need to.
    6) Use electrolyte capsules.
    7) Stay hydrated, but make sure to avoid hyponutremia.
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Jan 29, 2009 5:12 AM GMT

    has the best coaching and programs
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 737

    Feb 08, 2009 3:18 AM GMT
    Good advice given already. I agree to get in an Olympic race or two before your half. Each race you learn something new that helps you for the next.

    Build your base and strength over the next couple of months and then get on a regimented schedule by April. Get a coach, find online resources or talk to guys on RJ to get input for putting together your training schedule. Following a well laid-out plan will help you reach whatever goals you set for yourself.

    Great that you have marathon experience. Many triathletes struggle in the last part of the run for a half. Your marathon training should help you understand pacing so you can pass others and finish strong!

    Push yourself but have fun. You'll do great. Enjoy the journey!

  • kwzkar

    Posts: 4

    Feb 08, 2009 3:20 PM GMT
    thanks for the advise...