Fitting in the VLM and Fink for Outlaw

Any experience of this?

1 to 20 of 32 messages
16/07/2012 at 15:13
My plan is to do the Outlaw in 2013 and have been devouring Fink ahead of starting training at the end of this year. However, I am also in the ballot for the London marathon. Fink alone would not be enough to get me to marathon level for April and the thought of doing even more running than Fink requires scares the bejesus out of me. Has anyone had this issue before and how did you approach it. I really don't want it to be one or the other but I can't see an alternative?
Tired Badger    pirate
16/07/2012 at 15:35

Would training for a autumn marathon be an idea, then transfer than running capability into April. Thats my plan anyway...I'm also in the ballot for London and plan to follow Fink.


16/07/2012 at 15:43

There are lots of alternative viewpoints on spring marathon and summer IM.

As I see it, if you need to train for London, Fink won't cut the mustard and you have to build two peak phases, with two tapers, into your training if you want to do London justice. There's a lot of tinkering to be done and it's no longer a straight build.

Personally, I don't think that works. I think a spring marathon takes too much out of you for the IM and that they are conflicting A races.  I think you can use London as a training run but I wouldn't do that either.

However, that is just me, there are lots of other variables, not taking it all too seriously etc etc etc.

My last caveat (just so that I can get back on the fence) is that it might be easier to mix the two if you are a more accomplished and/or experienced athlete. So I can see that some of our pirates would be able to cope with it, but it's not for me.

Am sure other people will have completely different opinons to me.

Iron Pingu    pirate
16/07/2012 at 15:56

I did VLM and Outlaw this year, but I don't follow any training plans (too difficult to fit in around real life I find).  What I did find was that the training for the April marathon did mess up building up the big miles on the bike.  You have to focus on the running, then you find yourself trying to play catchup on the bike. 

The other thing that was a pain was you have to take into account the taper period and then the recovery period for VLM which really did eat into the training time for Outlaw.  If you run a marathon hard and you're not used to them you can take a good few weeks to recover.

Tbh though, I suppose it depends if you're really chasing a time at Outlaw.  I loved doing both so it didn't really make much difference to me, but then I'm not super speedy

... and, if you're in the ballot for VLM theres a very high chance you won't get a place!

16/07/2012 at 16:12

Another 'I don't think you can do both well' here.  I did a 'proper' P+D schedule for MK (week after London) this year and then smacked the bike mileage up afterwards (3 century+ rides) for Outlaw.  I would say I just about 'got away with it', but I've got several years experience and came off a very solid back end of 2011 (IMW and then marathon mid-October).   

Iron Pingu    pirate
16/07/2012 at 16:45

Ah yes, that's a good point FF, the training for IMW (September) was probably still there in the legs!

Mr Zuvai    pirate
16/07/2012 at 16:55

interesting question!

I achieved the objectives that I set for MK and Outlaw and generally saw both as a success, but at the same time can't help feeling that i perhaps didn't fulfil quite as much potential as i could in both.Just planning next year & giving serious thought about not doing a spring marathon next year... 

16/07/2012 at 17:17

Hi Stanners (and Mr Z).  I couldn't disagree with anything anyone's said.  I'm in the same camp as Ferret and Mouse in that I don't think you can do either race justice if you do both.  I know some people would say that was a load of tosh, but people do under-estimate the time needed to recover from big races.  So one of the things you have to factor in is, as Ferret says, how deep is your base, how well do you recover (which will be affected by your age etc) and how disappointed would you be if you didn't really feel you did yourself justice at either race?

I've prioritised summer IM for the last three years - and couldn't face (and wasn't recovered enough for) training for an autumn mara.  It's one of the reasons I've retired from IM.  I want to go  back to marathons.  But then I am old so can't do everything.

If you do get a place in the VLM ballot you can always defer it and focus on Outlaw. Is Outlaw your first IM?  FWIW I think with IM it's better to train hard and race easy. It's too long a day to have a crap time because you're not well-enough prepared.  Focus on Outlaw, train really well - partic on the bike - and have a fab time at Outlaw.  Then you've got lots of lovely endurance in your legs for an assault on a spring mara the following year. Unless you're hooked on IM by then, in which case... you're doomed anyway

Edited: 16/07/2012 at 17:21
16/07/2012 at 17:24

I've done VLM twice before IM races - 2005 and 2010 - and didn't see any problems with it.  my 2005 marathon is still my PB as well.

you just need to get canny with the training to ensure you can fit training for both events in.

get the base training in over summer and autumn, use spring for marathon training  but keep the bike miles high but on less rides; after the marathon, switch the emphasis to bike training and reduce the run miles.   

more experienced people wouldn't see the problem at all

cougie    pirate
16/07/2012 at 18:16

I've run a Spring Marathon for aaaages and then the summer Ironman on top. 

I dont think its a problem as FB says - certainly for the more experienced. My Sunday  rides are always 50 miles as a minimum all year round so that keeps me ticking over - I only ramp the distance up once the marathon is out of the way. Still leaves you with 8 weeks of increased milage on the bike ? 

FBs ideas seem sound. I've never done Fink though - probably why I'm a crap ironman !


16/07/2012 at 20:35

What about a wider gap? Brighton is in mid April and Challenge Henley is mid September? Some 20 weeks enough?

Also, when mara training to do something vaguely reasonable (for me c.8.30mm would be a decent target I think) how many times a week will you be running? Does it exclude any bike training? I'd always understood that bike training helped run training, but not the other way round? 

I could start my base training tomorrow....

16/07/2012 at 20:49
I knew you two would be along soon! I would break if I did both. But as you say, it's about how deep your base is and how good you are at recovering and although FB is very old, he does have a deep endurance base because he's been at it for years. And doing at least 50 miles a week year round is going to give you a great cycling base.
Edited: 16/07/2012 at 20:50
16/07/2012 at 21:02

In the same boat, really interesting to read the replies. But it's the ballot so the chances of getting in are pretty slim.


16/07/2012 at 22:15
I did two spring maras this year before outlaw and I suffered due to not enough time on the bike and too much marathon specific training. Not convinced that eight weeks rest between the two and the outlaw gave me enough recovery time either. If I had not run the first Nara as a a race might have been easier.
VTd    pirate
16/07/2012 at 22:28

I'm following this thread with intent.  I feel great at the minute, better than I felt coming into Outlaw.  Peaked too late perhaps?

Upshot is that I'm running a marathon this Saturday and considered a long distance tri next month.  What I've decided on is the marathon on Saturday and the half distance held on the same day and venue as the full.  The last thing I want is a flare up of the injury that buggered my run at Outlaw.

Edited: 16/07/2012 at 22:41
16/07/2012 at 23:37

I did some spring maras this year (of which one was raced hard) and also think that had an impact on my ability to perform well at Outlaw,   interestingly enough the year before I pulled out of doing a spring marathon due to a niggling injury but didn't need to recover from a raced marathon,  I managed to put in a reasonable performance at Outlaw that year (which also had the benefit of being 3 weeks later so more potential recovery / specific training time).   For me it's possible to do a spring mara and summer IM but one will be slightly compromised in terms of potential achievement. 
Good luck anyway

17/07/2012 at 06:15

CRAB, PAdams  and CD have all run some pretty fast marathons in IM build up, maybe not as fast as they would have run with a run only build up, but so what ? With due respect they are not going to win the marathon or the IM so I'm not sure they really care.

If you hold back a little bit on marathon day then you shouldnt lose much training at all, and long runs are needed for IM training anyway.

Iron SwissBobby    pirate
17/07/2012 at 06:36

I have done a number of Spring marathons and then an IM the closest I have been was Paris then IM Nice.

I treat them as a long training run...

In winter I substitute the Wednesday run for a Spinning class at the gym... and the Saturday run becomes a bike and then a short run. or a second long spinning session.. depending on the weather.

Actually where I live I can do very little on the bike till Easter anyway... so putting my efforts into getting the running sorted works well for me... then I ramp up the biking and keep the running ticking over...

meface    pirate
17/07/2012 at 14:16
I did it this year. Mara was A race with Outlaw being a fun day out with friends. Not certain you can ace both and it is unlikely the Mara will help the IM but it can be done. Outlaw ended up 20 mins slower than last year which disn't have a spring Mara.

An autumn Mara? Well I have a place in New York!

As most have said it depends how much base training you have done, how quickly you recover and how mentally solid you are. I could wing an IM almost any time of the year - wouldn't be quick or pretty but it could be done.
17/07/2012 at 14:32
Artful Hen wrote (see)
although FB is very old, he does have a deep endurance base because he's been at it for years. And doing at least 50 miles a week year round is going to give you a great cycling base.

errm - I may be old but my endurance base in 2005 wasn't that deep - that was my 2nd marathon and my 1st IM year.  however I was very focused and had done a huge amount of bike training over the previous autumn.  

and in 2010 I blagged it on a lot less training overall (for a number of reasons) but on the back of 5 years of pretty solid training LD training which helped

perhaps the key is not to stick to a rigid plan like Fink??  I've never used a published training plan (bar for my 1st marathon back in 2003 and trying the FIRST plan for my last marathon - which got me injured!!) and have gone on my own plans which have worked for me.  my plans have science and madness but can also cope with variables as they are meant to be flexible - as long as I can get the key sessions done, the rest falls around them.

and if you look at the training plans of some of the faster IM around these parts like Mellifera (who won the Outlaw ladies race), and 10' (9:28 at Roth), then you'e be crapping yourselves with fear.   they put in huge training loads and their taper weeks are well above what some on here are doing at peak training.  Ok, they now have bags of experience behind them but it's still impressive to see that hard graft brings rewards.

I personally don't think there is anything to fear with a spring marathon and a summer IM - just think about what your are doing and apply yourself to the task.  and if you don't try, you won't know will you???


Edited: 17/07/2012 at 14:38
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