Question for IM Athletes

First of all I will be telling my story soon. It pales in comparison to Greyhound’s but it’s all I’ve got. I figure if he is going to take days to get his story out I can wait a little while longer.

Here is a question that has been on my mind for a while. Not too many IM contenders read my blog but for those who do please riddle me this – why is there so little running in IM training? Compared to trianing distances for people who are ONLY doing a marathon, the IM training seems really light on the running. Is it because you need to spend more time swimming and biking to make that work at all? Is it because you just need to do enough to tough it out for the run when you are already totally used up? It seems like the longest run people training for an IM do is 90 minutes or maybe 15 miles – maybe. So what gives?

Thanks in Advance!

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5 Responses to Question for IM Athletes

  1. WADDLER26.2 says:

    Great question -I’ve always wondered about that also.

  2. nancytoby says:

    Because running is hard.Seriously, a lot of folks getting into longer-distance triathlons already have a fairly strong running base. So the other two areas are where they need most of their work. And the work there pays off in an easier run at the end of the day.

  3. Fe-lady says:

    I think it depends on what coaching program you are looking at. Most of the ones I have seen recommend hours instead of actual if you are a fast runner, you cover more of course. I think the longest run I have seen is 3 and a half or maybe even four hours-easy pace-which COULD be over 20 miles. It’s probably incorporated only a few times during the training cycle as MOST people get injured by running than the two other sports. Just my opinion. And yeah, I agree with Nancy. Most triathletes started as runners and have a base.

  4. Vickie says:

    Personally, not having done an IM but hopefully next year DOING one, I see the same thing you are seeing–not much running. That could be coaches approaches to training or it could just be that people are often convinced they can “walk” the marathon part. But again, from my personal opinion, there is no way I would really want to walk 6-7 hours if I could at least run most of it. I would be afraid I would not make the cutoffs if I walked that much. The Iron people I hang with usually do their training much differently than most I read about–swim and run buildup over the winter (because we can’t bike outside anyway), and start the spring asap with buildup of biking and bike/runs. So actually, most of them do more running than walking during their races (other than at Coeur D’Alene this year). So that’s going to be my plan for next year.

  5. Cindy J says:

    Hi there – your post was sent to me by a friend. I did my first Ironman (IMC) last year and am planning on doing IMCDA next. This year was my “year off” from long distance training, though I ended up doing the Death Ride which isn’t exactly what I would call short.Re: the lack of run training in IM programs. Myself, coming from the camp of “slow and steady”, I believe that all the run training in the world wouldn’t have made my IMC event any faster and it could possibly have caused more injuries, making it slower in fact. My goal last year was to finish in unde 14 hours, which I did with 20 minutes to spare, on very little run training. I had foot surgery in April (plantar fasciitis) and couldn’t even start to run until the end of June – I think my longest run was 13 miles or about 1.5 hours. I did have a few past marathons under my belt, so I knew how to pace myself and I planned to take walk breaks anyway. Because I couldn’t run I spent the majority of my training time on the bike … and some in the pool of course. By the time of the event, I think my body was less beaten up (running is by far the hardest sport of the three for me) and I had a super race, for NOT having run so much during training. Oh yeah, by the way the other tidbit I had heard was that doing lots of “short” bricks is also a good training strategy … since I couldn’t run much I did a lot of those in the two months leading up to the race, and it seemed to have worked. The lack of mega run training did not negatively affect my results, and in fact, I’m convinced that it improved them! I plan to follow a similar training plan for IMCDA in June 07, since it worked so well the first time.Good luck with your endeavors!

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