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2018-02-04 2:58 PM


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Subject: Vacation During IM peaking
Hi everyone,

I've read a lot on this forum, but this is my first post. I was hoping I could get some advice on an issue I will have this year.
I am signed up for IMMD on 9/29/18 (first ironman), and my family and I have a 2 week vacation to Costa Rica booked the last week of July and first week of August. This coincidentally lines up almost exactly with my first 2 weeks of peak phase.

Any ideas of how to handle this (besides canceling the vacation)? I will likely be able to run and also swim in the ocean but won't have access to my bike. I also think that my wife will be tolerant of of runs up to about 2 hours a couple times per week and swims, but I don't think I'd be able to "sell" 5-6 hour bike rides on our family vacation, so it won't matter that I won't have a bike anyway.

Should I start my whole program (base, etc) about 2 weeks earlier to account for this, which would push the start of my peak phase two weeks earlier, and then just hope to maintain my fitness through run/swims on vacation, then continue with the program when I get back....any other ideas? I am planning to use the Be Iron Fit competitive program.

Thanks in advance for any help/ideas.


2018-02-04 11:11 PM
in reply to: ericinpa

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Subject: RE: Vacation During IM peaking
Most plans do a 3 or 4 week build followed by a recovery week. I'm guessing yours is the same. I like your idea of starting your plan early so that at least one of the weeks that you are on vacation is a recovery week. Also, you might check with your lodging to see if they have a gym with a spin bike... then you could spin some without taking your bike. Enjoy your vacation and don't sweat it too much... being 2 months out from the race, you'll still have lots of good workouts.
2018-02-05 2:03 AM
in reply to: ericinpa

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Master
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Subject: RE: Vacation During IM peaking

Interesting.  I am also doing IMMD this year, my 12th Ironman.  I took a break and haven't raced one since 2015.  I'm also doing the Be Iron Fit competitive program.  This is a 30 week training plan, so if you're following it then your training starts Monday 3/5 (ironically, with a rest day), and ends 30 week later with race week of 9/24.

The plan calls for you to have a half IM race 8 weeks before, which is August 4th or 5th.  I chose the IM 70.3 in Boulder which that weekend.  You say your vacation is through "the first week of August" so yes, you're missing the first two weeks (week 21 and week 22).

Do you already have a plan for your HIM?  I think your best bet is to start your race plan 2 weeks early, race your half IM in mid-July just before your vacation starts, and then take your 2 week vacation and restart the plan.  A 2 week gap is not going to kill your training if you keep runs and swims.  Think of it as active recovery. 

How old are your kids?  Vacationing with little ones and leaving your partner behind to take care of them while you go for a 2 hour run is a well-known bad idea.

2018-02-05 6:45 AM
in reply to: brucemorgan


7

Subject: RE: Vacation During IM peaking
Thanks guys,

Yes, I am planning to start the program on 2/19 to account for the 2 week bump up. I live outside of Philly and grew up in MD, so IMMD is ideal for me for a first course. Flat, etc. Family and friends can come easily, travel is only about a 3 hour drive for me so no flights, etc. My parents live on the water on a river similar to the choptank about an hour south, so I can visit them for a couple weekends in the spring/summer and get some swims in there, and do some rides too.

My plan for the HIM is not ideal, but I'll make it work. I am doing Eagleman in the middle of June. It's on the same/similar course as IMMD. Ideally it would be a month later, but I should be able to make it work.

Here's some background for my training: I ran a HM in November and kept my running fitness up, so my long runs are 2 hours weekly (I do two other runs each week at 1 hour each so total of 3 runs weekly), my bike is up to 1.5 hrs (limiter was a saddle issue which I think I just got resolved with an ISM), I also have 2 other 1hr bikes weekly, so total of 3/wk) and I swim 3x weekly. I basically had to learn how to swim, but hired a tri/swim coach to work with me back in September. She got me to the point that she said I don't need her anymore, and I've had some masters swimmers look at my form while I'm swimming and they say I'm in pretty good shape. My longest unbroken swim is 1,000 yds at this point.

So, While I'm going to do the Be Iron Fit Program, I'm already well into the base period already. My plan is to keep the running at current level and bringing up the run and swim workouts so that at the end of the base period, they should all line up.

Make sense?
2018-02-05 6:47 AM
in reply to: ericinpa


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Subject: RE: Vacation During IM peaking
Sorry- my 3 boys are 8, 5, and 19 mos. So my plan is to get up early and do the runs. Swimming would be while we are all at the beach and the kids are fooling around in the shallows. My saving grace is that we are bringing my 18 year old cousin with us to help with the kids!
2018-02-05 1:15 PM
in reply to: ericinpa

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Subject: RE: Vacation During IM peaking

Originally posted by ericinpaSo, While I'm going to do the Be Iron Fit Program, I'm already well into the base period already. My plan is to keep the running at current level and bringing up the run and swim workouts so that at the end of the base period, they should all line up. Make sense?

I think you should reduce the running and increase the biking, because:

  • Your 2 hour long run is much more than Fink calls for in the base period.  I think I see his first 2 hour run at week 20.  2 hours in early February is a lot of running an IM in September; you're doing more like marathon training.
  • Your 90 minute bike is low.  That's week 2, and it just gets longer than that.  Week 10 ends with a 3 hour ride.
  • A 1000 yard swim is 20 minutes.  Reasonable in February.

A strong IM is really all about the pacing on the bike.  You have to swim well enough to get out of the water ready for 112 miles, so 1:25-1:35 is fine.  But the 112 miles is very tough on the less prepared. Many people overdo the bike on race day, riding harder and faster than their training.  They get to race day with one century done, and a bunch of 5 hour 80 mile rides.  And the last 15 miles blows them up and their run suffers.  Worse, many runners intentionally train hard for the run and intentionally undertrain the bike.  They do 60 mile and 80 mile rides, and then experience a 7 hour sufferfest and can't deliver the run performance they had planned.

Further, training plans like Fink's are not intended to be glideslopes you can intersect.  You should be aiming to complete the full long core workouts per the book, every week.

So I suggest you cut back your long run and put another hour into the bike.



2018-02-05 4:14 PM
in reply to: ericinpa

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Subject: RE: Vacation During IM peaking
That's a tough one!

Do you have access to a spin bike on vacation? You can get a lot done with an hour here and there on a spin bike. Not the best, but better than nothing.

Hopefully you negotiated some long rides once you get back from vacation?

Without seeing the details of your plan, I'd hit a high load week before and after the trip and use the trip for recovery with low volume/high intensity sessions. Could be a great time to pick up a few more Watts/mph on the bike and shave a few seconds off the min/mile before adding longer work back in.
2018-02-06 5:44 AM
in reply to: ericinpa

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Subject: RE: Vacation During IM peaking
If you have been consistently training up to this point and will be after (and you aren't planning on chasing a KQ/overall win/etc..) then my suggestion is to have a good vacation, run / swim when you can, adjust your plan to account for the lessened volume (don't jump right back in with a 20 mile run when you get home) and not sweat it too much. I used to train through my vacations at a reckless pace... and all I got for it was a stressful vacation.

I'm not saying sit on your butt for two weeks and do nothing. But it is vacation. If you're consistent and prepared for an IM overall, two weeks of lessened volume/intensity won't make/break you.

Just my opinion of course.
2018-02-06 2:37 PM
in reply to: ericinpa

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Subject: RE: Vacation During IM peaking

Get up in the morning when everybody else is sleeping in and do the runs.  That will go a very long way to maintaining fitness (and running is the first to go), and you won't be stepping on any toes.

Yeah, you might get some swim training in while the kids are frolicking.  Probably not.  Don't sweat it.

Forget about the bike.   As stated, if you attempt to get your 'proper' bike training in you will just ruin your vacation and probably not get very good bike training anyway.  If you're already well-prepared otherwise, it'll be fine.  You're not going to blow the lid off the race, but was that your plan anyway?

2018-02-06 7:32 PM
in reply to: Experior


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Subject: RE: Vacation During IM peaking
Thanks everyone,

My goal is just to finish in a respectable time. This will be my first IM, so I am not trying to place in my age group or KQ. I just wanted to get people's thoughts about what I should be doing on vacation, and making sure that I'll be able to maintain my fitness. The way I see it is, if I can get my long bike, long run, and swim to the point they should be after vacation, before I leave for vacation, then I can just try to maintain fitness to the best of my ability while I'm away and hopefully won't miss much (maybe a week of progress on the training plan) once I return.

Anybody have other thoughts/ ideas? I will not have any access to spin bikes, etc because we will be renting houses there, not staying at hotels.

Thanks.
2018-02-09 12:41 PM
in reply to: ericinpa


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Subject: RE: Vacation During IM peaking
Originally posted by ericinpa

Thanks everyone,

My goal is just to finish in a respectable time. This will be my first IM, so I am not trying to place in my age group or KQ. I just wanted to get people's thoughts about what I should be doing on vacation, and making sure that I'll be able to maintain my fitness. The way I see it is, if I can get my long bike, long run, and swim to the point they should be after vacation, before I leave for vacation, then I can just try to maintain fitness to the best of my ability while I'm away and hopefully won't miss much (maybe a week of progress on the training plan) once I return.

Anybody have other thoughts/ ideas? I will not have any access to spin bikes, etc because we will be renting houses there, not staying at hotels.

Thanks.



I'm down with what Leegoocrap posted above.
Yah, for the old "confidence" angle, you might want to rearrange so you don't miss that one ultimate peak week.
But, I think you'll find that you will be doing SO MUCH before and after that week, that a week off isn't going to stop you from finishing. You can always have a few mornings for a good long run.

I was fortunate. We went to a beach, so swimming was no problem and I brought my bike. I had one long ride. One puny run and a few swims. Got a stomach bug that week too, so good....(and bad!) timing for a stomach bug.

I know many of us are into this sport so we can let our obsessive flag fly, but try not to. You're going to have so many cool experiences of distance "PRs" and "total hours of exertion PRs"...and that's before you even toe the line to conquer your goal. Save the obsessing for the logistics of the race week/weekend itself. Careful planning around that can mitigate stress. Follow the plan as best you can, and a disruptive week will have little-to-no-impact on finishing...even if it's that far into the plan.

You got this thing.






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