Should I race a half ironman before a full ironman?

This may be crazy, I know. But in the recent hype of signing up for my first half ironman, I’ve been recently entertaining the idea of also signing up for a full ironman distance event in 2016. My reasoning is that my 70.3 is in June next year, which leaves plenty of time to do a full Ironman distance event in the Fall. That seems like it would be plenty of time to train for both, and since I’d be “halfway” there in June, why not continue my training for a full ironman? I wondered how far apart these two events should be if I ever wanted to do both. After, some Internet searching, I came across an article that answered this question very well.

My Takeaways from the article:

  • 12 weeks out is fine, 6 weeks out is not recommended
    “12+ weeks out = totally fine. ~7-10wks out = “mostly” fine, but you’re getting into the yellow zone. You must get back onto your regularly scheduled Ironman® programing the week after the race. >6wks out = no go. You will compromise your Ironman-specific critical volume and rehearsal opportunities. – See more at: http://www.endurancenation.us/blog/training/racing-a-half-ironman-before-a-full-ironman/#sthash.MJ40DtE0.dpuf
  • Don’t race a half ironman as a “rehearsal” to a full ironman
    “…there is very little you can learn about Ironman® race execution by racing a half Ironman, if done at Ironman® pace, or even if raced as a half Ironman. The distances, and therefore your intensity level, are just too different.  Add to this the high cost of registration, travel, etc, and you’re basically paying a lot of money for a race rehearsal that is not as good, frankly, as what you could do for free from your doorstep. – See more at: http://www.endurancenation.us/blog/training/racing-a-half-ironman-before-a-full-ironman/#sthash.MJ40DtE0.dpuf

Based on my Raleigh 70.3 race, I have a few drive-able options for a full ironman 140.6 race:

  • Ironman Maryland (5hr 45 mins hours away from home – Early October 2016)
  • Ironman Louisville (6hr 41 mins away from home – Oct. 9, 2016)
  • Ironman Chattanooga (5hr 30 mins hours away from home – Sept. 25, 2016)