I am planning on starting an 80/20 Ironman plan in early December for a race in mid May. At the moment I am working through the maintenance plan with a little extra outdoor cycling here and there.
I now have the opportunity to race a 70.3 (similar course) in about 23 weeks time, 9 weeks out from the Ironman.
Should I stick with the IM plan starting in December and maybe add in a taper the week of the 70.3 race, then just jump back in after a recovery week? Or, should I start a 70.3 plan now finishing on 70.3 race day and then complete the last 9 weeks of the IM plan?
I had a very similar situation this year having an Ironman as my A-race and a 70.3 five weeks beforehand that I still wanted to perform well at.
If you have your focus clearly on the IM, I would absolutely recommend to train according to an IM plan and adjust it to incorporate the 70.3. I basically did exactly what you describe: I added a taper week before the 70.3 and included a recovery week afterwards. After that I proceeded with the IM plan as it was originally.
If your performance on the 70.3 is less important to you, you could also just substitute the longer run and bike in that week with the race and basically “train through the race”.
SCJ, Jonas is right on. With 9 weeks between the two events and the IM an A race, it’s best to keep the IM plan as the primary.
If you’re willing to compromise a bit on the IM plan, you can almost have it all. Loading the 70.3 plan as primary will give you 100% 70.3 performance and 95% IM performance. If the IM is primary, you’ll have 90% 70.3 performance and 100% IM performance (these are estimates). Temptingly close!