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2009-10-30 9:37 PM

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Subject: I am getting ahead of myself?

I am getting ahead of myself? I have never done a triathlon of any sort but I really want to complete the Chesapeake iron distance triathlon on 9/28/10. The only organized race I have done other then a couple 5K’s is the Baltimore Marathon and that took me 4:45. I do ride my old tank of a mountain bike (late 90’s Gary Fisher Big Sur) semi regularly usually for about 25 miles. I do swim semi regularly (when my rotator cuff isn’t acting up) in a 75ft pool usually for about an hour continuously. I do realize that 25 miles on a bike is a lot different then 112 miles & swimming in a pool is a lot different then open water & running a marathon by itself is a lot different then doing it after swimming and biking those extreme distances. I think at my current fitness level I have the stamina to complete any of the 3 legs individually at a BOP pace. I guess my questions is do you think 11 months is enough time for me to build on my current fitness level to a point where I can FINISH the race or should I wait until 2011? This is obviously based on the assumption that I am completely dedicated, train hard and get a new bike. I really want to do it in 2010!



2009-10-30 10:25 PM
in reply to: #2490372

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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?
Plenty of time if your goal is to finish
2009-10-30 11:10 PM
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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?
If you are motivated enough to put in the training (esp. on the bike, given your background), you've certainly got plenty of time to get ready.
2009-10-31 6:16 AM
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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?

ChrisM - 2009-10-30 10:25 PM Plenty of time if your goal is to finish

 

x2.  Find a plan and train for it and enjoy the journey!

 

~Mike

2009-10-31 8:15 AM
in reply to: #2490372

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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?
Go for it !

I did the AquaVelo distance this year and really enjoyed it. Bob Viggarito puts on a great race
2009-10-31 12:23 PM
in reply to: #2490372

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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?
You didn't really let us know what your current fitness level is.  Although it is likely possible to train and finish in 1 year, if I were you I would probably shoot for 2 years.  One reason is that you haven't done any triathlons, so it would be good to have some experience before taking on the big one.  The second reason is that although some people can build endurance quickly, others run into injury if they try to build up too quickly.  Also, if you gave it two years, you would be able to build up endurance the first year and then build some speed up the following year.  

The younger you are the faster your body will bounce back from long workouts.  The more experience you have in any of the sports the easier it will be to build in that sport.  You have already mentioned a shoulder issue that will limit your swim time, and may result in a slower build up for the swim.  

Bottom line, I wouldn't, you can if you want to, my feeling is 2 years would give you enough time in the sport to nail down nutrition, build up systematically and then be able to finish without having to worry about the time limit or your body falling appart in training as much.  My 2 coppers. 

Personally I took the 2 years, went sprint, oly, HIM, HIM, IM with 5k 10 miler, half mary, 30k trail run, full mary along the way.  

   


2009-10-31 2:38 PM
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2009-10-31 2:47 PM
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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?

Do you have a coach? It might be a good idea to enlist the services of a coach, and take their advice at each step along the way. Heap of people on here are amazing and know so much about this stuff that it blows my mind (I'm not one of them, I might add), but I'm in the same position as you, aiming for an IM with little other tri experience, and the major advice given to me by everyone was to get a coach.

That way, your programme will absolutely fit you and you might be able to get straight to focussing on the right type of training right away, rather than perhaps starting a programme that might be geared for an athlete with a different set of strengths? If you feel comfortable with doing so, a great first step would be to talk to a coach. They'll take your wish to do the distance seriously and you'll get good answers from them.  Good luck!

2009-10-31 5:39 PM
in reply to: #2490956

Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?
PennState - 2009-10-31 12:38 PM On BT, these exact sort of posts come up several times a month.

There are two 'schools' of answers.

1. Encourage almost anyone regardless of the individual's fitness, time, risk for injury etc.
2. Caution... ie; try it in 2 years with slowly ramped up training.

There are pro's and con's to each approach, so to avoid passing judgment, I would say:

It's up to the OPer to decide which is the way to go here...


I'm usually of the "what's the hurry" school, but there's been recent posts that BT is so "discouraging" to newbies asking this question.   So this time I gave a plain vanilla answer.  I believe most anyone can "finish" on  that training.  Whether it would be fun, enjoyable, or stir a continued interest in tris, that's another story.  Personally, I wouldn't do it.
2009-10-31 7:02 PM
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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?

Geno19 - 2009-10-30 9:37 PM

I am getting ahead of myself? I have never done a triathlon of any sort but I really want to complete the Chesapeake iron distance triathlon on 9/28/10. The only organized race I have done other then a couple 5K’s is the Baltimore Marathon and that took me 4:45. I do ride my old tank of a mountain bike (late 90’s Gary Fisher Big Sur) semi regularly usually for about 25 miles. I do swim semi regularly (when my rotator cuff isn’t acting up) in a 75ft pool usually for about an hour continuously. I do realize that 25 miles on a bike is a lot different then 112 miles & swimming in a pool is a lot different then open water & running a marathon by itself is a lot different then doing it after swimming and biking those extreme distances. I think at my current fitness level I have the stamina to complete any of the 3 legs individually at a BOP pace. I guess my questions is do you think 11 months is enough time for me to build on my current fitness level to a point where I can FINISH the race or should I wait until 2011? This is obviously based on the assumption that I am completely dedicated, train hard and get a new bike. I really want to do it in 2010!

 

I am of the school that 'almost always' recomends going for it  as Pennstate posted.  Your post was easy to respong to becuae: 

1.  You have done a marathon.  Many people do their first IM having never covered 26.2 miles on foot.

2.  Your stated goal is "FINISH"

3.  You currently "swim semi regularly ... for about an hour continuously".  I never swam an hour in my life till I was 3/4ths into my first IM training.

4.  You regulary bike 25 mile - a good start.

5.  You have 11 months and are "completely dedicated" and will "train hard"

6.  You're gonna get a new bike (which makes one morally obligated to ride it often).

If you think it would help you to do a triathlon or two before the IM, you have plenty of time to find some local sprints or Olys.  11 months is more than enough time to safely ramp up your volume so I don't see any issue there.

You sound motivated and anxious now and...well, hope deferred makes a heart sick.  So I don't think putting it off for the sake of maybe doing it a little faster a couple of years from now is worth it.  Doing one will give you experience and give you an idea of what it will take (training-wise) if you want to set a specific time goal for your next one.  Or you may find that IM training is 'too much' and drop by to HIM or Oly or sprints. 

Good luck with whatever you decide and welcome aboard!

~Mike

2009-10-31 7:15 PM
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2009-10-31 9:07 PM
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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?

To just finish anyone with the right drive can do an IM in 11 months, probably a lot less.  When you put the numbers together and the total time up to 17 hours is a lot of time to just finish.  The question is do you want to just finish or do it well?

In my life with family, work, special operations rescue team work, etc, I knew I'd have one opportunity to do my IM with the best possible result and have trained that way and have built to this point over the last two years.  The wife and I are dropping some serious coin on this IM trip and want it to be the best it can be.  It may be a few years before I get a chance to do an IM again and when the sun rises next Saturday morning I know I'm ready for a good day, not just to finish but to enjoy the entire experience.

So what do you want to do?  Survive or finish strong, then you'll have your answer.

Good luck with whatever you decide.  It's one heck of a journey and I hope I have a decent ending next week.

 

2009-11-01 5:20 AM
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2009-11-01 6:46 AM
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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?

Please don't think 'just finish' will be a grueling, agonizing experience and you won't enjoy the day or the experience.  My goals for both my IMs were "just finish" and they were both wonderful experiences and, without a doubt, the most fun I have ever had in any triathlon or marathon.  I finished my send IM with a 'just finish' time of 14:30.

But don't think it's all about the finish line either.  You will see many IM finishers here with signature lines or banners on their blogs that say the IM is about the "journey" and that is so true.  From the time you sign up until the time the starting gun goes off IM will never be far from your mind.  It can consume you at times.  You will find yourself in meetings at work daydreaming about your IM and calculating your bike pace and how much margin you can give yourself on the run etc.  Instead of listening to the Sunday sermon you will be checking the splits on your watch from your long run that you did that morning at the crack of dawn.

During peak training months, you will find most of your free time is spent doing s/b/r...and even when you aren't training, you are too tired to work in the garden or take the boat to the lake or do much of anything.  You might find days where you swim in the morning, run at lunch and bike in the evenings.  You mightl chuckle when you take your shower after getting off the trainer at night that this is the 3rd shower you've taken today!  At times you will be floating on endorphine highs and think you will spend the rest of your life doing this and other times you will question  your sanity for ever signing up for such an undertaking.

But it's all good.  :-)  It's part of the 'experience' that people talk about.  Race day is the celebration....the summit at the end of a long climb.  People talk about the cost of an IM being $550 but the real cost of an IM is the time commitment, the mental commitment, the physical commitment and the emotional commitment.  Likewise, the reward is not the finisher's medal or certificate with your time, it is the memory of nearly of a year pursueing a goal.

~Mike

2009-11-01 9:05 AM
in reply to: #2490372

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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?
I'd be willing to be that anybody who is racing an IM is in survival mode at the end.  Some people define that as 15:00/mile, others as 7:00/mile.  They're both 'surviving' at that point.

Mike (Rogillo) wrote this:  "Doing one will give you experience and give you an idea of what it will take (training-wise) if you want to set a specific time goal for your next one."

x2.  That is exactly one of my motivations for during my first quickly (15 months from absolutely no athletic background to IM -- so more time than OP, but far less initial fitness).  My other motivation was similar to OP's -- instant infatuation with the idea, and I do think that this can carry one a long way, assuming it's true love and not a crush...

2009-11-01 2:00 PM
in reply to: #2490372

Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?
Just my n=1 experience, but I was not in "survival" mode at the end.  I saw a lot of people that were (i.e., walking zombies).  I saw a lot of people running comfortably.   Did it hurt?  Sure.  Was it hard?  yup.   But I wasn't "surviving."  Perhaps I didn't go hard enough, but I am totally happy with my experience.  

I don't think that anyone can say what you (the OP) will experience based on 11 months of training, or 4 years of training, or going 9:11 or going 16:59.   See below.   You will experience what you experience.  Nothing more, nothing less. 


2009-11-01 10:01 PM
in reply to: #2490372

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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?
You can finish an IM strong if you properly train, pace and hit your nutrition.  For my first IM I progressively increased my speed from mile 20 on with a decent kick the last 3 miles.  Granted it was a 12 ish hour effort, but no reason to not feel strong at the end.  

I can agree that a prior marathon, if it were within the past year would be helpful.  Regular swimming is a definite bonus and well the bike is just going to take a lot of work.  So, can probably be done, but again it will come around again in 2011, so maybe see how the training goes and then make a decision 4-5 months out if that is an option (assuming registration is not different at 5 months than at 10 months out.)    

Edited by Baowolf 2009-11-01 10:02 PM
2009-11-02 12:47 AM
in reply to: #2491626

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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?
Rogillio - 2009-11-01 6:46 AM

Please don't think 'just finish' will be a grueling, agonizing experience and you won't enjoy the day or the experience.  My goals for both my IMs were "just finish" and they were both wonderful experiences and, without a doubt, the most fun I have ever had in any triathlon or marathon.  I finished my send IM with a 'just finish' time of 14:30.

But don't think it's all about the finish line either.  You will see many IM finishers here with signature lines or banners on their blogs that say the IM is about the "journey" and that is so true.  From the time you sign up until the time the starting gun goes off IM will never be far from your mind.  It can consume you at times.  You will find yourself in meetings at work daydreaming about your IM and calculating your bike pace and how much margin you can give yourself on the run etc.  Instead of listening to the Sunday sermon you will be checking the splits on your watch from your long run that you did that morning at the crack of dawn.

During peak training months, you will find most of your free time is spent doing s/b/r...and even when you aren't training, you are too tired to work in the garden or take the boat to the lake or do much of anything.  You might find days where you swim in the morning, run at lunch and bike in the evenings.  You mightl chuckle when you take your shower after getting off the trainer at night that this is the 3rd shower you've taken today!  At times you will be floating on endorphine highs and think you will spend the rest of your life doing this and other times you will question  your sanity for ever signing up for such an undertaking.

But it's all good.  :-)  It's part of the 'experience' that people talk about.  Race day is the celebration....the summit at the end of a long climb.  People talk about the cost of an IM being $550 but the real cost of an IM is the time commitment, the mental commitment, the physical commitment and the emotional commitment.  Likewise, the reward is not the finisher's medal or certificate with your time, it is the memory of nearly of a year pursueing a goal.

~Mike



Well Mike, let me ask you... when you "just finished" and IM... what was your fitness background? Were you in the same spot at the OP?

Just curious.


2009-11-02 12:50 AM
in reply to: #2490372

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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?
Geno, I don't know you. It's not my job or my right to discourage you from your dreams.

I will say this, if a close friend who trusted me and my opinion came to me and asked me what you asked here, I would encourage him/her to wait. I would tell them to do a couple of sprints... and at least one half ironman... then make the decision for an IM. Only by doing shorter stuff do you get a feel for what distance you like and/or what you want to do in the future.

I know I was contemplating another IM in 2010 and after my HIM last weekend ( my second one) I realized that a HIM was good enough and I won't be doing another IM in 2010.



Now you aren't my close friend and I don't know you or your fitness background or history... so do what you feel is right for you.

Good luck!

2009-11-02 6:18 AM
in reply to: #2492605

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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?

KSH - 2009-11-02 12:47 AM

Well Mike, let me ask you... when you "just finished" and IM... what was your fitness background? Were you in the same spot at the OP? Just curious.

 

I can tell you this, he is currently more fit right now than I am and if I was inclined to do an IM next year I would not think twice about it.  11 months is a long time!  He has trained for an completed a marathon so I think he knows what it takes to build up to martathon fitness.  He swims an hour continuously now and I'd guess if he "had to" he could swim 1.5 hrs and complete the 2.4 miles right now.  Certainly w/ 11 more months he will be in great IM swim shape.  So really it comes down to biking and 11 months is way more time than needed to get into biking shape.

Karen, you suggested he do some shorter races first and he certainly has time to do that if he thinks that will help.  Personally, I do not that is necessary.  I can't think of anything that you are gonna learn in a sprint or oly that you can't do for the first time in an IM.  IM transitions are nothing like sprints or Oly trans.  Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see what doing shorter races does to help one finish an IM.  He might learn something from a HIM that might help him mentally but frankly, if you look at the training volume for a good HIM plan vs the training volume for an IM plan, they are not that different.  So do the race your really want to do.

To the OP...look, there is no way we can read a few lines about you and predict how you will perform or enjoy an IM.  Everyone is different and we all have different levels of commitment, financial situations, goals, amount of free time, family commitments, genetics.....I could go on and on.  So we tend to answer questions like this based on our paradigms.  You asked if you can finish an IM with 11 months of committed training and the answer is yes.  Should you wait?  That is a decision you'll have to make for youself.  You've got a little more information now and you can see there is no consensus among IM wheter you should do it now or later.

Side note...being a student of life, I find questions like yours interesting.  I think one of two things is usually true.  1.  You already know you are gonna do it and are searching for confirmation of your decision.  or 2.  You are truly 'one the fence' and looking for something to push you one way or the other.  Either motive is ok and nothing wrong with either.  I hope you found what you were lookng for.  :-)

~Mike

2009-11-02 11:42 AM
in reply to: #2490372

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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?

I want to thank everyone who posted a response to my question. I found all of the input very useful. Apparently there is no true right or wrong answer and it is a decision that I have to make on my own. I just completed my marathon on 10/10/2009 and for 2 days after the race swore I would not do another. On the 3rd day I started looking for a ½ IM for next year and started training for it 9 days after the marathon. While training for the ½ IM my mental images and motivations are of completing a full IM and that is my ultimate goal. I think like Mike said my mind was already made up and I was just looking for confirmation when I posted my question. I am going to do it, so let the journey begin! I am sure I will be a regular on this site now and will try to use my very limited knowledge to help anyone who could benefit from it. Thanks again!



2009-11-02 1:35 PM
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2009-11-03 5:28 PM
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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?
Sign up for the IM...you need to do this a year out anyway.  Train for a HIM and do that.  MOre so for the learning you get there.  During the HIM you can check you nutrition, your paces, etc.  Then You have a solid base going into the final 20weeks before a solid IM plan.

I just think the HIM is valuable learning.  I did 2 this year in prep and learned huge lessons in both that I hope to have corrected now going into IM.
2009-11-05 1:44 PM
in reply to: #2496097

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Subject: RE: I am getting ahead of myself?
I was thinking along those same lines. The HIM (Eagleman) I would do is on the same course as the IM (Chesapeakeman) which would obviously give me a real good idea of what to expect. The problem is the HIM is 6/13 and the full is on 9/25. Is that enough time between races? If it is how would incorporate the HIM as part of my IM training?
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