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If I understand Julia’s timing, she is lated to do her practice HIM this weekend! Thus you still have time to provide your feedback or motivation 😉
Thankfully Romain took on his own self motivated HIM and was able to provide some insights. Let’s talk through them so everyone can learn and Julia can pick up some tips.
- Bike: Obviously you weren’t in an actual race so some athletes find it harder to pace properly without the momentum of a race. However some people pace too hard because of the momentum of a race environment. Thus it’s good to know where you land. By doing so, then you can practice differently in training (progressively longer tempo intervals on the bike) or race differently (another plug for a thorough understanding and execution of heart rate (and power) zone training)!
- Run: And the same concepts apply to the run. If you push too hard early on, it becomes a harder day out there as you work to ‘survive.’ Learning how to execute ideal pacing is better learned now during your practice race versus your big dance.
- Balancing the bike and run. Hopefully what you did learn is that by not overcooking the bike, you had more energy to run (as long as you are executing the run properly). Thus it is really is finding that perfect balance between ‘optimal’ output on the bike and optimal, consistent speed on the run. It’s a fine balance that often takes a lot of practice. Great work learning now so you are better prepared for next time.
- Swim: You did it on the trainer? Not sure what this entails but you do need to make choices from a logistic standpoint. If this worked for you, great! If you do want open water, this is where I recommend to Julia to ensure you do some fool-proof (as much as it can be) planning.
- Nutrition: Yes, nutrition is always best learned by doing and doing a practice race will open your eyes to the need and value of your nutrition plan. And it must be a plan, planned in advanced and tested in advance. Romain, do you mind sharing some numbers for others to hear? Approximately how many ounces did you drink per hour on the bike? On the run? Also, approximately, how many calories did you take in per hour on the bike? On the run? Did you have long lasting energy at the end of the bike transitioning to the run? How about at the end of the race?
- Tapering/Recovery: Even if you are doing a practice race, proper recovery is recommended. It’s easy to just say it’s a practice race. However it’s a half Ironman. Again, another good plug for rest, recovery and sleep.
As a recovery from your practice race, I would recommend that you take off several days. Recovery varies for everyone. However it’s really the mental recovery that you want to focus on. Thus a few days recharge will be helpful. If you are willing, why not take the full week off and enjoy some other activities before you hit it hard again? As always, gradually ease back into your routine after a few days off.
Does anyone else have a practice race on the calendar? Or has anyone done one (even a shorter distance)? Any tips or feedback to share? Great motivation Romain! Go get it Julia!