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2013-06-16 6:38 PM

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Subject: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
I am jumping to the HIM distance after almost a dozen sprint and oly distance tris. Race is August 24. Best advice? Ready, set.....GO!


2013-06-16 6:48 PM
in reply to: KatieLimb

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
don't underestimate the nutrition needs during a half IM. It is significantly longer than a marathon (if you have done one) and you will need more calories over the course of the race than you would need in a marathon.

(I bonked in my first half from not realizing the nutrition requirements.)
2013-06-16 7:03 PM
in reply to: KatieLimb

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
also things like:

- re-apply sunscreen - you are out there a LOT longer (most people 5 - 6 hrs)
- chafing
- blisters

and over cooking the bike segment !!
2013-06-16 7:15 PM
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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
At least for me -

1. I wish I knew that I was ready for 70.3 distance wayyyy earlier than I thought. Meaning that I waited a good 2-3 years of Olys before diving in HIM despite having a solid background for decades in marathon running.

If you can knock off Olys no problem, a HIM is definitely doable in the very near future. Yes, you do have to take it seriously and train more for it, but it's not that dissimilar to Oly training.

2. Also - while nutrition is important, you can do yourself a disservice by reading too many forum posts about complicated HIM nutritional strategies. It's actually not hard - you should be practicing whatever you're going to do on your long bike ride (2.5-3hrs ish) regularly, and that requires minimal modification for the run. Frankly, a lot of people here and elsewhere attribute lack of training or pacing blowups to race day nutrition, when in reality, your gut isn't as fragile as it seems. If you've done it in practice week after week, race day nutrition will be no big deal at all, and you don't need some crazy complicated scientific plan for it.

3. Your single best race day move you can do as a HIM rookie in race #1 - Underbike the bike. Not talking sandbag easy, but keep it on the easy side the whole way on the bike. You'll avoid the far more common error of overbiking, and have a great chance to finish the race strong, which will probably give you your best race result, even with the underbike.

4. Don't be afraid to train hard on long bike days. You won't be racing like this, but you should be training like this. For me, a 50-60 hilly bike ride is typically close to as hard as I can go to maintain the highest possible average effort for the whole ride. It's still ends up being mostly zone 2-3 HR, but it's far, far from a chatty social ride, and really is as close to a long-distance hammerfest as I can get short of a TT race.

Edited by yazmaster 2013-06-16 7:20 PM
2013-06-16 7:24 PM
in reply to: yazmaster

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
Originally posted by yazmaster

3. Your single best race day move you can do as a HIM rookie in race #1 - Underbike the bike. Not talking sandbag easy, but keep it on the easy side the whole way on the bike. You'll avoid the far more common error of overbiking, and have a great chance to finish the race strong, which will probably give you your best race result, even with the underbike

This. I felt good coming off the bike but didn't realized I used up too much. The second loop of the run was just survival.
2013-06-16 7:31 PM
in reply to: Duanerice

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
Be aware of the temp for the run. I had time goals for each leg, and neglected to take into consideration that I would start the run around noon in the heat. Adjust accordingly if necessary!


2013-06-16 8:09 PM
in reply to: trishie

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
Don't underestimate bike fitness.
2013-06-16 8:11 PM
in reply to: trishie

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
Don't start the run to fast. I personally get so excited to be off the bike, that I run way too fast the first 2 miles, then my run is a horrible sufferfest.
2013-06-16 8:39 PM
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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
Originally posted by peteweb55403

Don't start the run to fast. I personally get so excited to be off the bike, that I run way too fast the first 2 miles, then my run is a horrible sufferfest.


So instead, trying to keep easy pace when start running or just walk for few minutes?

Edited by Lynn00 2013-06-16 8:54 PM
2013-06-16 8:40 PM
in reply to: KatieLimb


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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
Bricks: make sure you do these and know what it feels like to run after a fairly long bike ride. Vary the plan, one week longer bike ride and shorter run. Next week , shorter bike ride and longer run.
2013-06-16 9:01 PM
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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
1. Doing almost all your training solo during the hottest season in the tropics is not the smartest or most enjoyable way to do it. (In retrospect, should have chosen a late summer race. Actually, I ended up doing that anyway. (see advice 2)

2. Choose your event carefully. I chose my initial attempt mainly because it was close to home. Didn't consider the wacko early "summer" weather in Oregon. It would have been very challenging--cold swim, tons of climbing on the bike, altitude, but I trained hard and think I could have managed. but the bike ended up being cut in half due to snow at upper elevations of the course, and I switched to the dualist minute when I simply couldn't
handle a swim with water temps in the high 50s and air temps in the low 40s. I ended up having a great race a month later on a fairly tough course but in warm, dry conditions.

3. For me, training-wise, the biggest challenge was by far the bike. I was comfortable with the swim and run distances and found that running long after the bike wasn't as bad as I thought. But I'd never done a training ride longer than two hours, and usually not more than 90 minutes, before I trained for the HIM. I'm not a fast biker, so 90-100 km is a LONG ride, especially solo, mainly in circles around an industrial park, in the tropical heat. I'm glad I started building up my bike miles early (seven months out).

4. Be comfortable with your bike and familiar with basic repairs. I had a number of bike fiascos leading up to the race and I had to stop and put the chain on several time since I was unfamiliar with the quirks of my newly replaced gears. And I think if I'd gotten a flat, I'd have never finished.

5. The race itself wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. I felt strong throughout despite a few cramps in the last few miles. No problems with hydration or nutrition. I used only my own stuff, that I was used to in training, and It worked well. I probably took in less nutrition than most on the site would advise, but it had worked for me in training and it worked in the race.

6. Enjoy the race.....I wouldn't set a time goal, just try to finish.


Edited by Hot Runner 2013-06-16 9:02 PM


2013-06-16 9:54 PM
in reply to: #4777958

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
Awesome advice and many things I hadn't thought of! Keep it coming!
2013-06-17 3:33 AM
in reply to: KatieLimb

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
This thread is great. My first HIM is in exactly 6 days and I'm starting to get nervous. The swim worries me a lot; before starting triathlon I couldn't swim, so it'll be quite the challenge. A guy from my LBS said that I'd be surprised how easy the swim will feel, but he's a 9-hour ironman and I'm worried he might have lost perspective, haha :p

I've done two sprints and made the transition mistakes I had to make. My first T1 was laughably bad. Glad I got that out of the way :p

2013-06-17 4:34 AM
in reply to: KatieLimb

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
I echo those who have already said to not underestimate the importance of the bike fitness.  I'm not a strong biker so I didn't expect much on that leg and took it a little slower.  Even with a more moderate pace, the fact that I didn't have enough miles and long rides in ended up also killing my run.  And the run is normally my best leg.  I had to actually stop and walk it out through aid stations which has never been part of my plan for any running race.  Those 56 miles made that run miserable for me.  Clearly I had undertrained the bike portion.
2013-06-17 7:04 AM
in reply to: KatieLimb

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
I just did my first 70.3 two weeks ago, i did 4:55 (40m swim, 2:29 bike, 1:38 run)

based on my learning from my only 1!
-dont neglect your week leg in training. I neglected the swim and it showed.
-bike hard but not too hard. Sustainably hard
-in training, build the volume in running. Helps you go the distance at pace.
-Taper atleast 10 days
-Nutrition: im a diabetic so i could 'see' any bonk coming, but its important. Gels, etc whatever works in training, use on the day.
-Temper your run at the start. Pace yourself from the get-go.
-Enjoy it! Dont worry the negatives if you have had a bad leg or lap or km etc. Just enjoy it out there
2013-06-17 7:38 AM
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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?

Originally posted by Billyk Bricks: make sure you do these and know what it feels like to run after a fairly long bike ride. Vary the plan, one week longer bike ride and shorter run. Next week , shorter bike ride and longer run.

 

Not the best advice.  OP isn't a newbie.  OP isn't training for a sprint.  Bricks are almost completely worthless for long course training/racing.  The only time I advise doing bricks in HIM or IM training is if the athlete is time crunched and needs to pack the workouts in to fit their time schedule.  I do a lot of hour bike/hour run workouts in the morning because my work and family life dictates I do that.  It's not the optimal way but I gotta do what I gotta do.  If I could workout when I wanted I would ALWAYS separate my bike and run workouts.

I always liked how Jordan Rapp articulated things so I'll just quote Rappstar...

Running off the bike is a neuromuscular skill. Basically, you train your body to quickly make the switch from the neuromuscular firing pattern for cycling to that of running. This is why bricks are more important for shorter events and why, over time, the more experienced you are as a triathlete, the less you actually need them.

Nobody needs to practice running sh*tty (running on "tired legs"); the point of a brick is the exact opposite, to practice running WELL (with good form) after cycling.

If you understand this, it will help to explain when to run off the bike, and also what you are (or should be) trying to achieve with that workout.

It also shows the value of the severely underutilized (for some obvious reasons) brick: the swim->bike workout.

The point is to learn to run correctly. And then to train and race/pace appropriately such that you can maintain good form. 

There is some skill involved in running correctly. And there is some skill involved in running off the bike effectively. But running off the bike effectively necessarily requires all the skills that are required for good running. Practicing running off the bike a lot without the required skills is like trying to learn calculus without knowing algebra. 

Learn to run well. THEN learn to run well off the bike. But no matter how you look at it, running off the bike is ONLY a skill. Running - in any context - is certainly a skill, but it's also overwhelmingly fitness-reliant (like swimming). So the best training is to do whatever will allow your run training to be most effective. And that's NOT going to be running when you are tired from cycling. 

Same reason that a pull buoy, paddles, etc are so useful in the pool. They help you take good strokes even when you are tired. Likewise with running, do what you can to help your running - if you're shelled, run when it's cool, or run where it's flat, or use a treadmill to help with turnover, etc. 

You don't need to practice your Ironman shuffle. Your body is very capable of figuring out how to simply get from A-to-B.

 



Edited by GMAN 19030 2013-06-17 7:39 AM


2013-06-17 7:54 AM
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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?

Originally posted by yazmaster

2. Also - while nutrition is important, you can do yourself a disservice by reading too many forum posts about complicated HIM nutritional strategies. It's actually not hard - you should be practicing whatever you're going to do on your long bike ride (2.5-3hrs ish) regularly, and that requires minimal modification for the run. Frankly, a lot of people here and elsewhere attribute lack of training or pacing blowups to race day nutrition, when in reality, your gut isn't as fragile as it seems. If you've done it in practice week after week, race day nutrition will be no big deal at all, and you don't need some crazy complicated scientific plan for it.

3. Your single best race day move you can do as a HIM rookie in race #1 - Underbike the bike. Not talking sandbag easy, but keep it on the easy side the whole way on the bike. You'll avoid the far more common error of overbiking, and have a great chance to finish the race strong, which will probably give you your best race result, even with the underbike.

Points 2 and 3 are spot on.  The #1 reason why people have bad races is poor bike execution, which generally correlates to biking beyond their bike fitness.  That obvious overexertion leads to less blood flow to their digestive system which leads to stomach issues as their body can't absorb what's in their gut properly.  People will always look to blame the Perform or Gatorade or Infinit or Whatever They Ate or Drank for their cruddy run and not look at the real reason why their race fell apart.



Edited by GMAN 19030 2013-06-17 7:54 AM
2013-06-17 8:27 AM
in reply to: KatieLimb

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
If you've done that many races previously, you likely know what you need to know; but like the other posters said, HIM requires a more thorough nutrition plan. I have always been a runner and nothing prepared me- not even good long bricks- for what running would feel like after those first 2 distances in swim/bike. Take it easy first couple of miles on run, get in rythym etc.
2013-06-17 8:30 AM
in reply to: GMAN 19030

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
This is a great thread and very timely. I just completed my 2nd HIM on June 8th, very happy with a 5:06 time, but I suffered on the run again...... I truly believe it was a bike fitness / nutrition on the bike issue. I held back my pace as much as my body would let me but it's hard to do that when someone in your AG rolls by you. :-)

Common theme with my problem in a HIM is the bike. I don't have another HIM scheduled this year but IMAZ is my last race of the season so I'm planning on ramping up the bike training tremendously over the next 5 months.

Good luck and keep tri'ing

2013-06-17 9:19 AM
in reply to: KatieLimb

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
Lots of good advice in here already, and it matches my (limited) experience well. I've done two HIMs, and the main thing that I've learned is the importance of not getting carried away early in the race (like, anywhere before the last hour). Due to the effects of air resistance, it can take a lot of effort to make small time gains on the bike. But if you fall apart on the run you can lose a whole lot of time very very quickly. And take to heart Trishie's point about the time of day that you'll be doing the run - if it's hot and exposed, the run will be a lot harder.

My first HIM had a relatively fast and flatt-ish bike course, and I rode at what I thought was a sensible effort, and hit my time target. I felt great for the first half of the run, but then suffered big time on the second half of the run. I was amazed by how quickly I went from thinking "this is great - just one more lap, and I'm full of running" to begging for mercy. My second HIM was Savageman, which has bike and run legs that command respect, to put it mildly. On that one I held back a lot on the bike, and approached the run with much trepidation, but I had a blast throughout and finished it full of running.
2013-06-17 9:57 AM
in reply to: colinphillips

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
I wish I'd know the wetsuit in the ocean was gonna have me bobbing like a cork resulting in motion sickness and vomiting. I should have made a practive swim with the wetsuit the day before....then I'd of know I was gonna get sick and could have taken some Dramamine.



2013-06-17 10:13 AM
in reply to: yazmaster

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?

Originally posted by yazmaster  4. Don't be afraid to train hard on long bike days. You won't be racing like this, but you should be training like this. For me, a 50-60 hilly bike ride is typically close to as hard as I can go to maintain the highest possible average effort for the whole ride. It's still ends up being mostly zone 2-3 HR, but it's far, far from a chatty social ride, and really is as close to a long-distance hammerfest as I can get short of a TT race.

This is huge.  I wish I had done this for my IM training as well.

2013-06-17 10:13 AM
in reply to: metafizx


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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
Originally posted by metafizx

and over cooking the bike segment !!


Hi, can you clarify? What does this mean?
2013-06-17 10:26 AM
in reply to: FloridaGreg

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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
I agree on the bike training and time of day suggestions - all very good. In terms of nutrition, I agree with aslot of what others have posted. That said, from my experience (2 HIMS to date) nutrition *and* time of day need to be addressed together.

For a typical oly race, you probably start at 7am-ish and finish by 10am-ish before the day gets too hot.

For a typical HIM, you'll finish by 1pm-ish - and depending on the weather that day, you could be under the hot baking sun for 2-3 hours. So, yes, you'll have to think about your nutrition (obviously increased from an Oly race), but if you're under the hot sun, perhaps you'll need to increase the amount of salt tabs/electrolytes that you take during the race. In other words, don't underestimate the impact of race day weather, especially if it's hot and sunny. Each person is different, but I learned this lesson the hard way on my first HIM.

Also, in the same vein...sunscreen. You might be able to get away without it during an Oly, but not on a HIM.

Good luck.
2013-06-17 10:48 AM
in reply to: FloridaGreg


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Subject: RE: What did you wish you knew before jumping to 70.3?
Originally posted by FloridaGreg

Originally posted by metafizx

and over cooking the bike segment !!


Hi, can you clarify? What does this mean?


If you over cook something you can burn it. Pushing (cooking) to hard on the bike you may burn out and not have any resources left to complete your run segment.
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