Marathon and half-Ironman less than a month apart?

Ok, I’m trying to plan out 2010 by working backwards. I’ll do the full Ironman in Panama City, Florida in November. In June, I’ll do the half-Ironman in Boise. But before that, I want to get a marathon in, because I’ve never done one and feel like I need to have that under my belt. But I would prefer to do the half-Ironman after the marathon, so that once the marathon is over then I can focus on all three disciplines rather than focusing on all three, then running, then back to all three.

The thing is…that gives me two options as I see it. I’ve got the Salt Lake Marathon on April 17th, or the Ogden Marathon on May 15th. But the SLC marathon is managed by Devine, who has a horrible reputation for event management. I did the SLC half marathon last April, and while it was fine for a half-marathon, I hear they ran out of drinks for the marathoners on the course, and they ran out of food at the end as well. I know I had to fight to get more than one popsicle at the end, which seems ridiculous after paying $80 for entry. C’mon, you can’t afford to give me two popsicles? But I’ve heard great things about Ogden, plus they appear to have a lot more nutrition at the aid stations in the form of Gu, Clif bars, fruit, etc.

However, what about the dates? Between the Ogden marathon and the Boise half I’ll have less than a month to recover from the marathon and get back in shape for the half…is that just cutting it too close? I have a feeling my coach is going to say “yes”, but we’ll see. After all, I’m not trying to do anything amazing on the half. On the other hand, I’ve already finished one so I want to do more than “just finish”. But is there any reason do a good job on both?

  • http://WannaTri.com Seth@WannaTri

    It takes at least a month to recover from a marathon. A lot of that depends on how hard you run the race, and how tough the conditions are. If your marathon training plan doesn’t incorporate a lot of cycling, then a race that close to Boise could impact that race as well. For a half-IM, you should really be riding at least 3 times a week, including a longer ride on the weekend.

    If you could find a marathon earlier in the year, that would work better for Boise, however you may not have time enough to train for an early 2010 marathon like the Rock’n’Roll Marathon in Arizona in January.

    Enjoy your blog! Good Luck.

  • Joshua

    Thanks for reminding me Seth that yes, I am willing to consider marathons outside of Utah (California, Arizona, Nevada, etc.) that fall into the March-April 2010 date range. I just don’t know anything about them, so if anyone has any recommendations that would be great.

    Also, I do plan on continuing to bike and swim while I’m doing my marathon training, so I’m not overly concerned about my abilities in those two areas when it comes to finishing the half, but I am concerned about recovering properly in time to run the half. Then again, doesn’t Finman do marathons the day after his full Ironmans? So who knows what’s possible!

  • http://bob.com bob

    why not think about doing a marathon later on down the line like aug/sept ish? seth is right, it takes a while to recover from a marathon. not to mention the fact about doing a 1/2 and a marathon within 2 months at the very beginning of your season? that’s a lot to take in, in my opinion. by starting so early for your ironman training you risk burnout and worse-injury.
    that’s my opinion from someone coming out of an injury by starting out too strong in the off season, but what do i know?

  • http://WannaTri.com Seth@WannaTri

    The other thing you could do is change when you would race your half-IM. There is now a half-IM in Boulder, CO on Aug. 8. Plus there is the Mountain Man half-IM distance race in Flagstaff at the end of July, early Aug. Or there is always the SOMA half-IM in Phoenix in late Oct.

    That would give you a marathon in the spring that you could hit as an A race, and then a half-IM to hit as an A race later in the year. That way your schedule is not front loaded.

    You’re less likely to get burned out this way — plenty of recovery time between two large goals, and you can add smaller less important races between those two.

    There was a half-IM distance race in northern UT, southern ID near the end of this past summer. I can’t remember the name of it!

  • Joshua

    Maybe the CO would work, oh darn, it’s on a Sunday and I don’t do events on Sundays. Same goes for Mountain Man in Flagstaff. And I’ll be doing my first full IM in November so a half IM in Oct wouldn’t fit too well.

    I guess the Utah half will probably be August 14th, right bob? Man, August? Does that really work? It’s dang hot here in August.

  • http://bob.com bob

    vikingman half ironman

  • http://bob.com bob

    utah half is good. yes, it is very hot on the run. lots of shade though on the run running along the provo river trail. the bike is relatively flat considering we’re in utah.
    training for arizona i did the utah half in august then did the top of utah marathon in september.

  • Joshua

    Ha, well maybe I should do the Utah half in August, the Top of Utah marathon in September, and then the Florida full IM in November? How would that be for stacking everything together?

  • http://WannaTri.com Seth@WannaTri

    Given what I’ve read in your other posts, it sounds like you are a little burned out. I don’t think stacking the marathon and half-IM are a good idea, regardless of the time of the year. would you basically be forced to not train after your marathon in Sept. until your IM in Nov?

    If you do go with the above schedule, I’d be mindful of injuries and illness. You may have better luck doing a marathon in April, and the half in Aug, and the full IM in Nov. That way you at least have some time between the half and full to continue training and plenty of time for a good taper.

  • TeKoi

    In my opinion, Seth, I agree and disagree. I think Josh right now is a little burned out and needs to take a good couple months off and do whatever he wants to do. From now until the beginning of Spring he’d be working on long endurance training that is very low impact. To start training for a marathon in April requires a good 4-5 months of preparation, unless you’re doing just to do it with little thought of a PR. That means you’d be training for 10 months of the year, and you’re last race was just 2 weeks ago.
    By waiting a little while longer and starting your ‘official’ IM training you could have a good, solid, strong base to be able to do something (I’m not saying to do it), like the Utah Half IM, 6 weeks later a marathon then 6-7 weeks later an IM.

  • Joshua

    Actually, I’m chafing to do something. I was burned out for one day, last Monday, and since then I’ve been dying to get signed up for something because I want to get out and train with a purpose. I don’t do too well when I’m not signed up for something. If I’m not signed up for something then I won’t do anything at all. I’ll just sit around and not get out, because there’s no pressing reason to get out. I just took a year off, basically, and have only been back into triathlon for two months.

    I’m not saying I need a marathon in April, but I need something that I can be training for right now, and sometime next year I need to do at least a marathon and the full IM. The half is really optional, I suppose, but it seems like a good idea to get another one under my belt prior to the full.

  • http://bob.com bob

    sign up for the painter’s half marathon in jan in st. george with shaun and i, then come do the moab 30k trail run (it’s only 18 miles) with shaun and i again. it is absolutely gorgeous down there…

  • Darrell

    I think the one in Ogden is the one for you. That’s the one I’m doing, and it will be good for me to try and catch you.

  • http://tripikapp.blogspot.com TriPiKapp

    I’m not going to try to talk you out of it, but I did something similar last year. I did a HIM and a marathon 3 weeks later. The HIM went great: the marathon training did wonders for my running leg and I got faster as the run went. I PR’d by over an hour. The marathon comes and I felt fine going into it, but was tired at mile 12. The recovery just wasn’t there. I melted to a 5:30 and was humiliated.

    Bad idea, man. Bad idea.

  • http://stan.com stan

    eu acho que voce vai fazer bem. nem escute pro os outros!!!!!