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advice on run walk strategies for ironman
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so I've read some different run/walk strategies for ironman run and trying to get straight my potential options. I'm doing IM chattanooga this year for the 2nd time. I did it two years ago and walked many of the aid stations as I was fatigued (not as part of a run/walk strategy) but I ran the hills (which sort of feels like a mistake).

from what I've read there seem to be maybe 4 methods
1) run/walk on a set interval (ie run 4 minutes/ walk 30 seconds)
2) walk the aid stations
3) walk the hills
4) some combination of the above

wondering what others experiences are.

if you do option 1, do you also walk the aid stations and hills. I can definitely see the simplicity of a plan of just walking every aid station. I'm just wondering if I would benefit more walking the biggest hills rather than being stubborn and running them.
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [mickison] [ In reply to ]
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Hey there! I'll be there at Choo as well. 3rd time racing, first time as IMU Certified Coach head coach.
All that to say, I know the course...

If it was a flat course, I'd advise walk all aid stations for sure.
Choo being so hilly, it's hard to recommend that as some aid stations are mid hill.

I also ask, not to be mean, but do you think you will be able to hold up a plan like that for the entire run?
I ask, because for one reason or another, I have been reduced to walking different sections regardless of what my plan was.

2014 I cramped at mile 14 and had to walk a mile to get them to go away. I walked every aid station as well and "ran" between them. I had to walk some of the steep hill sections.
2018 I had stomach issues and walked all hills and jogged what I could. Had to stop when the stomach was retching. TMI I know.

2019 my plan is to run between aid stations. Walk the aid stations. Be very conservative on the hills.
BUT, I am gearing up more on the bike than any other IM I have done to allow more energy during the run, so that should help as well.

Ryan
http://www.SetThePaceTriathlon.com
http://www.TriathlonTrainingDaddy.com
Sample 70.3/140.6 Training Plans
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [mickison] [ In reply to ]
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Walk the aid stations. Dont overbike and you will run more then walk.

___________ https://www.instagram.com/toothengineer/ https://www.strava.com/dashboard https://slfmotion.com

2019: IMTX, Rookie, 70.3 Worlds, Lifetime Oly
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [TriJayhawkRyan] [ In reply to ]
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TriJayhawkRyan wrote:
Hey there! I'll be there at Choo as well. 3rd time racing, first time as IMU Certified Coach head coach.
All that to say, I know the course...

If it was a flat course, I'd advise walk all aid stations for sure.
Choo being so hilly, it's hard to recommend that as some aid stations are mid hill.

I also ask, not to be mean, but do you think you will be able to hold up a plan like that for the entire run?
I ask, because for one reason or another, I have been reduced to walking different sections regardless of what my plan was.

2014 I cramped at mile 14 and had to walk a mile to get them to go away. I walked every aid station as well and "ran" between them. I had to walk some of the steep hill sections.
2018 I had stomach issues and walked all hills and jogged what I could. Had to stop when the stomach was retching. TMI I know.

2019 my plan is to run between aid stations. Walk the aid stations. Be very conservative on the hills.
BUT, I am gearing up more on the bike than any other IM I have done to allow more energy during the run, so that should help as well.

well two years ago was my first IM at Chattanooga. I walked a few minutes right before mile 10 but after that I ran everything and walked the aid stations. I actually wouldn't call what I did running. But the other issue I had was my watch died very early in the race so I really could only judge my pace by feel. I always take RPE into consideration but also at least like my watch to play a part in my plan execution. So I sort of underperformed as being my first IM I wasn't completely sure what I would be feeling so I didn't dial things up as much as I feel I normally would.

I'm just getting some ideas and have to review different options with my coach. I'm certainly trying to sort out if walking the hills, at least Barton Ave, would benefit me as some of those hills are killer.
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [Toothengineer] [ In reply to ]
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Toothengineer wrote:
Walk the aid stations. Dont overbike and you will run more then walk.

Thanks. I may be one of the few who tend to be a little more conservative on the bike. I definitely tend to dial it back just a tad as I know that run will bite me whether it’s half or full distance.
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [mickison] [ In reply to ]
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I ran all the hills on the first loop in 2014 and felt it lead to the cramps at mile 14.
So, I would recommend a good plan for them. Going down can also cause issue if you land too hard causing trauma to the legs as well.

Ryan
http://www.SetThePaceTriathlon.com
http://www.TriathlonTrainingDaddy.com
Sample 70.3/140.6 Training Plans
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [TriJayhawkRyan] [ In reply to ]
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I've definitely read race reports for chattanooga where people talk about their quads screaming due to the steep downhill sections
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [mickison] [ In reply to ]
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mickison wrote:
Toothengineer wrote:
Walk the aid stations. Dont overbike and you will run more then walk.


Thanks. I may be one of the few who tend to be a little more conservative on the bike. I definitely tend to dial it back just a tad as I know that run will bite me whether it’s half or full distance.

But then again what's the fun in that!!! Test you limits!!! Bike to the edge and see how long you can hold on for the run!!!! Screw holding back! Worse case you will get to learn the mental burden of pushing on legs that are dead, but makes for way better stories after.

___________ https://www.instagram.com/toothengineer/ https://www.strava.com/dashboard https://slfmotion.com

2019: IMTX, Rookie, 70.3 Worlds, Lifetime Oly
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [mickison] [ In reply to ]
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Gordo had pretty good success with it in his day
good read for you
http://www.coachgordo.com/gtips/publish/
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [Toothengineer] [ In reply to ]
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Toothengineer wrote:
mickison wrote:
Toothengineer wrote:
Walk the aid stations. Dont overbike and you will run more then walk.


Thanks. I may be one of the few who tend to be a little more conservative on the bike. I definitely tend to dial it back just a tad as I know that run will bite me whether it’s half or full distance.

But then again what's the fun in that!!! Test you limits!!! Bike to the edge and see how long you can hold on for the run!!!! Screw holding back! Worse case you will get to learn the mental burden of pushing on legs that are dead, but makes for way better stories after.


Ha! Fair enough. I actually was planning to be less conservative on my upcoming half meaning really focus on hitting my watts unless things REALLY feel like their going south on the bike which probably isn’t likely for that distance.
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [mike s] [ In reply to ]
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mike s wrote:
Gordo had pretty good success with it in his day
good read for you
http://www.coachgordo.com/gtips/publish/

Thanks. I’ll take a look
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [mickison] [ In reply to ]
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Mickison,


There are already some great answer on when to walk, so I'll just weigh in on how to walk, whenever you choose to do it. It's been my experience that most runners and triathletes who spend lots of time, thought, and money on their equipment and coaching put zero thought into their walking, even if they plan to include walking into their marathon strategy. Walking is very well suited to covering a lot of ground at a slow to moderate pace; it is not well suited for moving at faster paces--say under 4 mph/15 mins. per mile. If you're a faster runner, that's a pretty substantial drop-off. Not to say the breaks aren't helpful--they are--but wouldn't it be great to be able to walk comfortably at 12 or 10 mins. per mile rather than 15 or 18? I coach racewalking, but I'm not going to got there. I will, however, suggest adding just a few elements of the Olympic technique if you want to pick up your walking pace without increasing your risk of injury.
Whether walking or running, your speed is a product of stride length and stride frequency. To go faster, increase both, right? Until you try it... You'll soon find that trying to maximize your stride length inevitably results in a reduction in stride frequency, and trying to maximize stride frequency results in a reduction in stride length. The key is to find ways to increase stride length without inordinately reducing stride frequency, and vice versa. Here are three:

1. Use your feet for a longer more powerful stride! Most people simply pick up their feet and plop them down again when walking. But active feet can be a great source of propulsion. Land on the heel, then as the foot begins to drop (plantar-flex) begin pushing through the ball of the foot, after the body starts to pass over it. Continue pushing all the way to the tip of the toes. Practice while walking around during the day. Pushing against some resistance (like when pushing a full shopping cart, for example) gives a good demonstration of how much power you generate by simply using your feet.

2. Bend your elbows! A long pendulum is a slow pendulum. Swinging the arms fully extended or nearly so, results in a pendulum with a very long period--the amount of time it takes for a pendulum to swing out and back. Simply bending the elbows near 90 degrees will result in a faster, more powerful swing. Focus on driving the elbow back behind the body, which will help send more power to the foot pushing off on the other side of the body. (Driving the right elbow back will help help with toe-off on the left foot.) Keep the arm swing short in front of the body to prevent over-striding, which puts the brakes on forward momentum.

3. Think shorter/faster rather than longer/slower. Using your feet and driving your elbows back behind the body will help to create a long powerful stride behind the body. Your job now is to increase the number of those strides per minute by focusing on fast feet. I'll often tell athletes to think long and powerful with the arms, short and fast with the feet.

If you want to get down below 9-minute miles I can get you there, but that's going to require actually racewalking. (And I'm not going to go there!) ;-)

Dave McGovern
America's only 8-time Olympic Track & Field Trials qualifier
http://www.racewalking.org
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [rayzwocker] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks. Those are some good tips. I definitely want to go with a plan and not just completely “stroll” when I walk.
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [mickison] [ In reply to ]
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As a run-walk guy, I do it as a time interval. At an IM I also walk the majority of any aid station, seems like I usually hit them on a walk interval anyway. I go very conservative on hills, and don’ t fret if I need to walk those too. The ratio, and how much really depends on your fitness and how well you manage the bike. My observation of having done three IMs and having followed countless others, is except for pros, and top (podium) AGers, most everyone walks some. And most would do better with a strategy as opposed to run till they crack the hobble in. If you set your ratio too conservatively you can always run more toward the end, and have a kick ass negative split. Train with some different splits on hills and see what works for you.
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [stevecycles200] [ In reply to ]
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A friend of mine did the same thing. He trained to run 26, 1 mile intervals and walked the aid stations. He had a pretty fast marathon doing that.
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [Scottxs] [ In reply to ]
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Scottxs wrote:
A friend of mine did the same thing. He trained to run 26, 1 mile intervals and walked the aid stations. He had a pretty fast marathon doing that.

Define pretty fast.


and related to OP. If you have to plan how you are going to be walking during an IM - perhaps you should skip the race - and train a bit more - so you can plan to not only "run" the marathon, but "race" it as well. I can understand if someone bikes or cranks to heavy or has some nutrition malfunction or injury and they have to walk day of because of it - but planning to walk....that is like me entering a 200 free swim event (which technically can be any stroke) but most do front crawl because its fastest - and deciding to doggy paddle.
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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Twinkie wrote:
Scottxs wrote:
A friend of mine did the same thing. He trained to run 26, 1 mile intervals and walked the aid stations. He had a pretty fast marathon doing that.


Define pretty fast.


and related to OP. If you have to plan how you are going to be walking during an IM - perhaps you should skip the race - and train a bit more - so you can plan to not only "run" the marathon, but "race" it as well. I can understand if someone bikes or cranks to heavy or has some nutrition malfunction or injury and they have to walk day of because of it - but planning to walk....that is like me entering a 200 free swim event (which technically can be any stroke) but most do front crawl because its fastest - and deciding to doggy paddle.


Please tell me you are joking? Your analogy makes no sense...did you just compare a short distance swim event to a long distance endurance event???
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [cdoug55] [ In reply to ]
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cdoug55 wrote:
Twinkie wrote:
Scottxs wrote:
A friend of mine did the same thing. He trained to run 26, 1 mile intervals and walked the aid stations. He had a pretty fast marathon doing that.


Define pretty fast.


and related to OP. If you have to plan how you are going to be walking during an IM - perhaps you should skip the race - and train a bit more - so you can plan to not only "run" the marathon, but "race" it as well. I can understand if someone bikes or cranks to heavy or has some nutrition malfunction or injury and they have to walk day of because of it - but planning to walk....that is like me entering a 200 free swim event (which technically can be any stroke) but most do front crawl because its fastest - and deciding to doggy paddle.



Please tell me you are joking? Your analogy makes no sense...did you just compare a short distance swim event to a long distance endurance event???


I see you are observant as one can be. Yes I did - but clearly you are not naive enough to be thinking the comparison was in distance but rather the approach to completion of a task that was not designed for said task.
Last edited by: Twinkie: May 1, 19 10:41
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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Hahaha thanks for the laugh. Never realized "walking" isn't designed as an approach to completing a task which involves a person moving there body, including their feet over a prescribed distance. Look I get you, obviously running is the idea here, but I don't think your advice to simply ditch out of the race because the OP has elected to use a run/walk method to complete the marathon is not your perceived way it should be done. Last I checked run/walk strategies can still be considered racing...it's all about the fastest time isn't it.
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [cdoug55] [ In reply to ]
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cdoug55 wrote:
Hahaha thanks for the laugh. Never realized "walking" isn't designed as an approach to completing a task which involves a person moving there body, including their feet over a prescribed distance. Look I get you, obviously running is the idea here, but I don't think your advice to simply ditch out of the race because the OP has elected to use a run/walk method to complete the marathon is not your perceived way it should be done. Last I checked run/walk strategies can still be considered racing...it's all about the fastest time isn't it.

haha yea - I mean if the fastest time is the goal - then should not the fastest method be employed? Now if the "fastest time" is your own personal fastest time - then yes one could argue that any method to make you faster than your previous best time is the "best method".

I also certainly give credit to anyone racing one. They are long AF! However, I just feel like one should be properly trained in order to complete the tasks as they were designed. Someone should not enter one if they have to float on their back every 100m in the swim to complete it...will it work? yes. Should they? no. Same concept for the run.

lol but I am the peanut gallery so there is that
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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Twinkie wrote:
cdoug55 wrote:
Please tell me you are joking? Your analogy makes no sense...did you just compare a short distance swim event to a long distance endurance event???


I see you are observant as one can be. Yes I did - but clearly you are not naive enough to be thinking the comparison was in distance but rather the approach to completion of a task that was not designed for said task.

Last edited by: Twinkie: May 1, 19 10:41
Hmm.. life in the van got you a little salty?
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [ripple] [ In reply to ]
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ripple wrote:
Twinkie wrote:
cdoug55 wrote:
Please tell me you are joking? Your analogy makes no sense...did you just compare a short distance swim event to a long distance endurance event???


I see you are observant as one can be. Yes I did - but clearly you are not naive enough to be thinking the comparison was in distance but rather the approach to completion of a task that was not designed for said task.

Hmm.. life in the van got you a little salty?

I don't pay rent - or for water haha or really anything. Im like the opposite of salty lately lol Im just naturally a bit of an a$$hole lol
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Re: advice on run walk strategies for ironman [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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Twinkie wrote:
Scottxs wrote:
A friend of mine did the same thing. He trained to run 26, 1 mile intervals and walked the aid stations. He had a pretty fast marathon doing that.


Define pretty fast.


and related to OP. If you have to plan how you are going to be walking during an IM - perhaps you should skip the race - and train a bit more - so you can plan to not only "run" the marathon, but "race" it as well. I can understand if someone bikes or cranks to heavy or has some nutrition malfunction or injury and they have to walk day of because of it - but planning to walk....that is like me entering a 200 free swim event (which technically can be any stroke) but most do front crawl because its fastest - and deciding to doggy paddle.

We watched Jan Frodeno win Kona walking the aid stations, so you CAN do it pretty fast. The goal is to cover 140.6 miles as fast as you can, and for a lot of people walking portions can be an effective pacing strategy. It is better to walk the first aid station and every aid station thereafter than to run 20 miles and walk the final 10k.
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