General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Am I ready for a half IM?? Rss Feed  
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2009-05-12 7:29 AM

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Subject: Am I ready for a half IM??
I was down at White Lake, NC this past weekend and was able to catch the tail end of the Half IM on Saturday before my Sprint on Sunday. When I arrived, people were six hours into the race...everybody was into run. Most of the people I saw were really fighting to finish, in fact many were walking. It was hot as hell, and that distance is a beast, so I am NOT knocking those folks at all. What I am thinking though is that the Half IM's are for real. To finish a Sprint is no big deal. To finish the Half is a big deal. It appeared to be sooo much more challenging than the Sprints I have been doing (obviously). I am now wondering if I am ready for a half IM, or can I be ready by the end of the summer??

My first Sprint was last summer (01:33:54). I have done two Sprints this summer - April 18th (01:30:32) & May 10th (01:25:51). I know that I can swim 1.2 miles in the pool having done it a few times during the Sprint training on long days. I've never attempted 56 miles on a bike - seems like a lot! The most I have done is about 24 miles (at a 19.5mph pace). Running, the longest run in my short running career has been 5 miles (at a 9:00m pace).

Am I ready to jump up to the half or should I keep trying to improve my Sprint times?? Any advice from folks who were once in my position?


2009-05-12 7:45 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
I think you could certainly complete an HIM, but it depends on what you are looking to get out of it as to if you would call yourself ready.  If you just want to have fun and finish, yes you could do it.  You might end up taking long transitions to rest a bit and walking some of the run, and if this is alright with you then go for it.  If you want to be more competitive you would have to step up the training big time.  I wouldn't ramp it up too quickly due to risk of injury, so pick an event that gives you enough time to prepare.  My $0.02 anyway...
2009-05-12 7:51 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
I don't really see much information about your training - which would be your best guage as to whether or not you're "ready."  I myself have done 2 sprints and 2 marathons, my first half will be on June 7th - I've done all the distances during my training so in my mind, I know it's possible/that I can do it.  Personally, that's what it comes down to for me....if I've done the training, I'll be ready.  I used that same mindset for both of my marathons and I raced both of them comfortably & successfully...I plan to do the same for my half and my full IM this summer...basically, I think you can accomplish anything as long as you put the time into it.
2009-05-12 7:51 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??

like posted above it depends what you mean by "ready."  I might recommend doing an olympic distance first and re-evaluating yourself from there.  i have only done sprints before, and am doing a HIM this Sunday, and i really regret not racing at least a few olympic distance races first

2009-05-12 7:57 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??

I am pretty much in the same place as you. I did two sprints last year after being out of the sport for 13 years. My goal is to do the Muncie Endurathon half on July 18th. My workouts are as follows.
Monday run in the morning 6-9miles and swim at lunch 2800-3000
Tuesday bike 20-30 in the morning
Keeps going that way until the weekend when I just Bike on Saturday and Run long on Sunday.

I know that I will still be on the edge to complete my HIIM on July 18th. But I am just looking at it for a fun day and a learning experience.

I believe that you can do it. What HIM are you looking at?

2009-05-12 8:00 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??

I was in a similar position to you in that I started off doing sprints but knew that I wanted to move up to the 70.3 distance.  I would say based on what you are telling us that you could do the distance on race day.  Is it going to be enjoyable for you?  Probably not.  But everyone sees enjoyment and fullfillment differently.  However, based on what you are saying it seems like you don't want to be one of those guys that's suffering on the run at the end of the race.

What are your goals?  If it's racing the distance comfortably...then train more. 

My advice would be, slowly begin to ramp your riding and running miles up.  Get a nice consistent base of 70.3 distance training under you and then sign up for a race.  In the mean time you can still do sprints and OLY dist races. 



2009-05-12 8:12 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
gadzinm - 2009-05-12 9:00 AM

My advice would be, slowly begin to ramp your riding and running miles up.  Get a nice consistent base of 70.3 distance training under you and then sign up for a race.  In the mean time you can still do sprints and OLY dist races. 



x2.  Saying any distance race is "no big deal" depends on the athlete.  To some, finishing a sprint is a huge deal.  To others, simply finishing a HIM isn't a big thing.  I'm sure you can do a half.  Complete at least one olympic distance race prior to signing up, so you have more of a feel of what you're getting yourself into.  But expect the training time and milage to increase dramatically.
2009-05-12 8:24 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
Well, you are ready to start training for a half.  I would give yourself 6 months of training though given that your longest run and bike lengths are pretty short.  
2009-05-12 8:24 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??

Find a minimum 3 month plan and go for it if you really want to do it.  You're not ready now, but if you set out with the goal of a HIM, and follow a plan designed for HIM then you'll be ready.  I'd probably go with a four month plan at least since your longest run is at 5 miles.

And for the record, I've feel the same at the end of sprints as I did at the end of my HIM.  No matter what the distance is, I want my gas tank to be empty when I cross the finish line.  All distances feel the same to me at finish line, the only thing that's different is how long I'm out there.  It's the increase in duration of training that is the biggest difference.  So really, you need to ask yourself, "Am I ready to train for a HIM?



Edited by sesh 2009-05-12 8:24 AM
2009-05-12 8:56 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
jesse_d - 2009-05-12 8:24 AM Well, you are ready to start training for a half.  I would give yourself 6 months of training though given that your longest run and bike lengths are pretty short.  


Stole my answer!

mramazon - 2009-05-12 7:29 AM  To finish a Sprint is no big deal. To finish the Half is a big deal.


Every thing is relative. To many of us here finishing a HIM is "no big deal." To others finishing an Ironman is "no big deal."
2009-05-12 8:59 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
What I am thinking though is that the Half IM's are for real. To finish a Sprint is no big deal. To finish the Half is a big deal. It appeared to be sooo much more challenging than the Sprints I have been doing (obviously). I am now wondering if I am ready for a half IM, or can I be ready by the end of the summer??


Really confused by your comment about finishing a Sprint "no big deal".  For many, it is.  Also, and this is a personal and individual decision - what is your plan & goal?  Some pick a distance because it is comfortable for them.  Other work to be competitive at that distance.

I have run 3.1 mile and 10 mile races.  I am exhausted at the end of each.  I run differently in each distance.  Thus, the 10-miler is not inherently more difficult for me than the 3.1 mile distance, it is all in my approach to the event.

Since you have not gone beyond a 5-mile race, I would strongly recommend stepping up the distances in order to realistically consider the longer race.  And that will mean a significant time commitment for training.  Try a 13 mile run, and a 56 mile bike.  Can you do it?  Can you do one after the other?

Lastly, while I have some running background my first Tri is this weekend.  My current plan is to continue to work on my swimming (especially, as my weakest), biking and running after this weekend and for the rest of 2009.  For 2010, pick out a longer distance Tri to test myself.  Then, if all goes well and I can continue making the training time commitment, to do a HIM in 2011.
Could I get into shape for a HIM sooner?  Yes.  But, I am not able to make that time and work commitment right now - stepping up my workout to seriously build myself into shape to compete in a HIM event.

My two-cents worth, anyway.



2009-05-12 9:21 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??

joeyg - 2009-05-12 8:59 AM
Try safely working your way up to a 13 mile run, and a 56 mile bike.  Can you do it?  Can you do one after the other?

 

Modified to protect the innocent.

Bleh, can't fix the quote failure.



Edited by wingsfan 2009-05-12 9:31 AM
2009-05-12 10:05 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
joeyg - 2009-05-12 7:59 AM
Really confused by your comment about finishing a Sprint "no big deal".  For many, it is.  Also, and this is a personal and individual decision - what is your plan & goal?  Some pick a distance because it is comfortable for them.  Other work to be competitive at that distance.

I have run 3.1 mile and 10 mile races.  I am exhausted at the end of each.  I run differently in each distance.  Thus, the 10-miler is not inherently more difficult for me than the 3.1 mile distance, it is all in my approach to the event.

I understand his comment perfectly. I did two sprints and two HIMs in my first season back doing tris in 2008. True, I was tired at the end of each but there was just no comparison in terms of the abuse on my body. After sprints I can do a light workout the next day and be pretty much completely recovered in two days. After the HIM, I couldn't train at all for about 4 days. Then I did an easy long trail run and it caused a 102 fever as my body wasn't nearly ready yet for training. I was forced to take a week off all training after both HIMs. Running 13.1 after a 56m bike at race pace is not an easy thing to do and it's far more difficult than doing those distances separately.

IMO, a Sprint is "no big deal" to complete for most people who have done minimal training.

Concerning the OP question. It's impossible to know since you don't log your workouts. From the information you gave I'd stay you're not even close but as others have said, you're ready to start training for a HIM.
2009-05-12 10:28 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
Agree that you are ready to start training, agree that it would be great to train for an Oly first in say 3 months, agree with 6 months being a decent window to get there with a proper training plan for a HIM from where you are.  Granted we have really limited info as you have no training data in your logs. 

I went Couch to Sprint (3 months), sprint to Oly (7 months) Oly to HIM (3 months) and will be doing HIM to IM (10 months).  But that is without a single unplanned restday, travel day or sick day for 2 years and the HIM still took me like 
6:48:xx (but was on a hilly course with temps topping out at 105 F).  

Anyway just to give you an idea of my path.  A HIM is a fairly serious athletic event.  It will take you longer than a marthon should take you and is generally more fatiguing than a marathon, at least for me.  

You might want to throw in a half marathon race to get the feel for that distance and an Oly this summer and then see about a late fall HIM if you are still game.  (with the right training of course).  
2009-05-12 11:42 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??

Baowolf - 2009-05-12 11:28 AM
You might want to throw in a half marathon race to get the feel for that distance and an Oly this summer and then see about a late fall HIM if you are still game.  (with the right training of course).  

Exactly what I would say too.

 

As far as finishing a race I felt that the HIM was when it got "serious".  Now racing is another matter. I'm still trying to figure that out for any distance!

2009-05-12 2:02 PM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
mramazon - 2009-05-12 8:29 AM I was down at White Lake, NC this past weekend and was able to catch the tail end of the Half IM on Saturday before my Sprint on Sunday. When I arrived, people were six hours into the race...everybody was into run. Most of the people I saw were really fighting to finish, in fact many were walking. It was hot as hell, and that distance is a beast, so I am NOT knocking those folks at all. What I am thinking though is that the Half IM's are for real. To finish a Sprint is no big deal. To finish the Half is a big deal. It appeared to be sooo much more challenging than the Sprints I have been doing (obviously). I am now wondering if I am ready for a half IM, or can I be ready by the end of the summer?? My first Sprint was last summer (01:33:54). I have done two Sprints this summer - April 18th (01:30:32) & May 10th (01:25:51). I know that I can swim 1.2 miles in the pool having done it a few times during the Sprint training on long days. I've never attempted 56 miles on a bike - seems like a lot! The most I have done is about 24 miles (at a 19.5mph pace). Running, the longest run in my short running career has been 5 miles (at a 9:00m pace). Am I ready to jump up to the half or should I keep trying to improve my Sprint times?? Any advice from folks who were once in my position?


As someone who did the White Lake Half this past weekend I have a couple of comments. First, it was friggin hot. A lot of people suffered more than they would (should) have given that 92 degrees in early May is not the norm in NC so maybe you witnessed something that looked more dire than it otherwise would have if it were, say, 70 degrees on race day.

Having said that, I agree, to me a HIM is a serious distance regardless of the weather. What Breckview (sorry if I got the name wrong) said about sprints vs HIM applies to me as well. After my first sprint, I was pretty much able to train the next day or two. After Saturday's HIM I am still sore. I couldn't walk without discomfort on Sunday and did my first "training" session of the week today (light swim). I'm not complaining about it; I'm merely pointing out the differences in recovery and also in what you have to put into a HIM, both on race day and in training. I think you can race a sprint on relatively minimal training but you really need to do quite a bit in prep for an HIM. also, you have to be able to carve out those bigger chunks of time to get your training in. Only you know if you can do that and how the fits with your schedule.

Is there a reason you want to be ready by the end of the summer? You could consider doing an OLY later in the summer (e.g., Pinehurst) and then doing WLH next year? You can certainly push to do an HIM later in the summer but I think my OLY experience and previous malf marathon experience was invaluable in knowing how to react and deal with some of the stuff that came up during the HIM.

If you are serious about it, I would suggest making sure that you can devote a significant amount of time to training and be consistent about it. Gradually work up to the race distances (or close to them) in the bike and run. I think if you take it slow in training and work up gradually there is nothing getting in the way of you successfully doing a HIM. I was in a similar position to you at the beginning of this year except that I had done an OLY as well as a sprint, and had run a few half marathons so I knew I could do that part. Moving up to the longer distance was an awesome experience though. I am still really happy I did it...I was buzzed for days afterwards.


2009-05-12 2:16 PM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
Ready, no.  Will you be ready, maybe.  But it may not be super-enjoyable unless you go out with just the intention of taking it nice and slow and not plan on racing it.

To put it in perspective, I am nowhere near ready for a HIM, but for me, merely finishing it would not be enough, I want to race it.

I have ridden 85 miles at a comfortable pace (17.5-18), ran a half marathon, and I can easily do a swim of 1.2 miles in one sitting.  But putting all of those things together and making it enjoyable requires a lot of dedication and training.  I am planning on getting a solid year of racing sprint/oly distance without blowing up under my belt before moving up to HIM.  Just my opinion and view of my own future first HIM experience.

Really imo, you should be running a lot more than you are.  That is really the biggest hurdle and takes the most time over the long run, because upping running mileage suddenly is a sure-fire formula for injury.  Running 13.1 miles after biking 56 is not fun unless you're properly conditioned to handle it.
2009-05-12 3:43 PM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
I am thinking about the Duke Liver Center Half at the end of Sept - that gives me over 4 additional months on top of the four months I put into these past two Sprints...
2009-05-13 7:39 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
mramazon - 2009-05-12 4:43 PM I am thinking about the Duke Liver Center Half at the end of Sept - that gives me over 4 additional months on top of the four months I put into these past two Sprints...


I've heard that is a very tough race- hot (usually) and hilly...
2009-05-13 7:41 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
louiskie - 2009-05-12 3:02 PM
mramazon - 2009-05-12 8:29 AM I was down at White Lake, NC this past weekend and was able to catch the tail end of the Half IM on Saturday before my Sprint on Sunday. When I arrived, people were six hours into the race...everybody was into run. Most of the people I saw were really fighting to finish, in fact many were walking. It was hot as hell, and that distance is a beast, so I am NOT knocking those folks at all. What I am thinking though is that the Half IM's are for real. To finish a Sprint is no big deal. To finish the Half is a big deal. It appeared to be sooo much more challenging than the Sprints I have been doing (obviously). I am now wondering if I am ready for a half IM, or can I be ready by the end of the summer?? My first Sprint was last summer (01:33:54). I have done two Sprints this summer - April 18th (01:30:32) & May 10th (01:25:51). I know that I can swim 1.2 miles in the pool having done it a few times during the Sprint training on long days. I've never attempted 56 miles on a bike - seems like a lot! The most I have done is about 24 miles (at a 19.5mph pace). Running, the longest run in my short running career has been 5 miles (at a 9:00m pace). Am I ready to jump up to the half or should I keep trying to improve my Sprint times?? Any advice from folks who were once in my position?


As someone who did the White Lake Half this past weekend I have a couple of comments. First, it was friggin hot. A lot of people suffered more than they would (should) have given that 92 degrees in early May is not the norm in NC so maybe you witnessed something that looked more dire than it otherwise would have if it were, say, 70 degrees on race day.

Having said that, I agree, to me a HIM is a serious distance regardless of the weather. What Breckview (sorry if I got the name wrong) said about sprints vs HIM applies to me as well. After my first sprint, I was pretty much able to train the next day or two. After Saturday's HIM I am still sore. I couldn't walk without discomfort on Sunday and did my first "training" session of the week today (light swim). I'm not complaining about it; I'm merely pointing out the differences in recovery and also in what you have to put into a HIM, both on race day and in training. I think you can race a sprint on relatively minimal training but you really need to do quite a bit in prep for an HIM. also, you have to be able to carve out those bigger chunks of time to get your training in. Only you know if you can do that and how the fits with your schedule.

Is there a reason you want to be ready by the end of the summer? You could consider doing an OLY later in the summer (e.g., Pinehurst) and then doing WLH next year? You can certainly push to do an HIM later in the summer but I think my OLY experience and previous malf marathon experience was invaluable in knowing how to react and deal with some of the stuff that came up during the HIM.

If you are serious about it, I would suggest making sure that you can devote a significant amount of time to training and be consistent about it. Gradually work up to the race distances (or close to them) in the bike and run. I think if you take it slow in training and work up gradually there is nothing getting in the way of you successfully doing a HIM. I was in a similar position to you at the beginning of this year except that I had done an OLY as well as a sprint, and had run a few half marathons so I knew I could do that part. Moving up to the longer distance was an awesome experience though. I am still really happy I did it...I was buzzed for days afterwards.


X2.  Overall I would say do it.  I have limited tri experience, but just completed my first olympic a couple weeks ago.  I did not think that was that hard.  My race was the week before White Lake and it was still 90 in Aiken, SC.  Personally,  I did not think the olympic distance was that hard.  Actually, I really enjoyed it.  A sprint is too short, and I am not ready for my HIM - yet.  I put in some decent training and felt I was fully prepared (with the exception of an injury that limited my run time).  If you are looking to do an HIM, go for it.  Mine is in September and I just began my training plan on Monday.  You can get there.  As with most longer training distances, it seems more about the time you are able to put in for training.  Good luck with you decision.
2009-05-13 10:03 AM
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Subject: RE: Am I ready for a half IM??
I just did Kinetic as my first HIM last weekend. I think the longer bricks were a key to getting used to the distance. I intentionally did some in the afternoon last summer to get the sun beating down on me, which helped in the heat last weekend.


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