I am following the Level 3 Ironman plan. My A race this season is IM California on October 23rd. I am also doing Oregon 70.3 in July. My plan officially begins on May 16th, although I have been copying weeks from the plan since January. The week prior to Oregon 70.3 I planned on substituting in the final week of the plan (it was already a recovery week, so I figured it’ll also give me a chance to test out my taper). I was also considering adding in Muncie 70.3, which is on October 1. My brother is racing in Muncie and I would love to be able to join him. So my two questions:
1. Is replacing the recovery week with the final taper week before Oregon 70.3 the right idea? Or should I just keep the recovery week as is?
2. Should I race Muncie 70.3 three weeks prior to IM California? I’d still have the last big week (19 hours) that following week followed by the two-week taper into the California race.
If your race falls on the weekend of a recovery week then this is similar to taper as it’s schedule volume reduction for where you are in the plan. If might find that the taper week for the end of the program is actually higher volume than a recovery week earlier on in the plan – so in this case you won’ actually be tapering.
For Muncie this is a little close to your Ironman event. we recommend a secondary B race in week 20 of the Ironman Level 3 plan which is 4 weeks out from your event. Without knowing your background, recovery tendencies, training adherence and goals for your Ironman I can’t give you absolute advice on whether to do this event or not. I will say that usually it’s not a good idea as you will need to miss your last key IM sessions, (6hr bike and 1 hr run off the bike) and you will build fatigue from 70.3 race efforts that can carry over into impacting your taper and performance in your Ironman.