General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Distance for 1st tri? Rss Feed  
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2012-09-11 1:34 PM

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Subject: Distance for 1st tri?
I don't have a race picked out for next summer, but it would be my first tri, and I wonder if doing a HIM is reasonable. I am doing a marathon this winter, and running is my best sport, so I am not concerned about the run. I swim 2-3 times a week for an hour, mostly laps but I have gotten a couple of OWS's in. I do about 2500 yards in an hour without getting tired in the pool. I ride twice a week, with my long ride around 2 hours, with a lot of climbing- typically 2000-3500' on my long rides. So I am working out 7-9 hours a week total. I will never win anything, I just want to finish and do my best. Is my base adequate enough to consider a HIM for my first tri, especially if I have at least 6-8 months to formally train?


2012-09-11 1:37 PM
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Subject: RE: Distance for 1st tri?

considering your goals of just finishing absolutely yes!

I also did a HIM as my first and I had no running experience until I committed to the race. You seem way better off than I did and as long as you take it easy and listen to your body I am sure you will surprise even yourself

2012-09-11 1:44 PM
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Subject: RE: Distance for 1st tri?

So you are training for a marathon?  Swim for an hour without getting tired 2-3 times per week?  And Bike 2 hours with 3,000 feet of climb?

What's the question again?

Dude, that is a great foundation and with 6-8 months of dialed in training, you will smoke a HIM.

 

 

2012-09-11 1:50 PM
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Subject: RE: Distance for 1st tri?
I would still do a shorter race before your main race to go through motions of transitions. Etc. can you do it, sure, but it would be best to do at least one race first.
2012-09-11 2:02 PM
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Subject: RE: Distance for 1st tri?
taylorz' advice is good.  While it may be pretty impressive to debut at the 70.3 distance, why not make the half your "A" race next summer, and warm up with a sprint to get a feel for transition?  I can't think of any disadvantages.
2012-09-11 2:33 PM
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Subject: RE: Distance for 1st tri?

fishwallop - 2012-09-11 2:02 PM taylorz' advice is good.  While it may be pretty impressive to debut at the 70.3 distance, why not make the half your "A" race next summer, and warm up with a sprint to get a feel for transition?  I can't think of any disadvantages.

Plus you can work out your gear, upgrade/decide on what to wear, nutrition issues, transitions, just generally be a better/more experienced triathlete before diving into your big race. I have no question you can "do" the race, just could " do it" better with these things considered.



2012-09-11 2:35 PM
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Subject: RE: Distance for 1st tri?

Let me put it this way and I'm sure many will agree- the leap I made between my FIRST tri and my next race was huge. I found out some better ways to do things, set up transition, do transitions, what to wear, fluids/nutrition, OWS on race day in a crowd- all those things you'll be finding out for the first time in your "A" race.  Those new Tri shorts you think are great, may rub you wrong way in a sprint- God help you in a HIM if something goes wrong!

Do some tune ups. You'll be glad you did.

2012-09-11 3:12 PM
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Subject: RE: Distance for 1st tri?
Thanks all, that is all good advice. I just did not want to be naive in signing up for a HIM, but since they fill up so fast, seems like one needs to commit far ahead of time. I think working out the bugs in a sprint make sense.
2012-09-11 3:32 PM
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Subject: RE: Distance for 1st tri?

definitely jump into a sprint...you'll do much better with your strategy if you build from the short one, then go Oly and then HIM.


There's nothing stopping anyone from doing even a IM for their first, but I wouldn't advise it. Sprints are quick and easy to figure out the basics, work out the bugs. Then go for the longer ones.

You'll be able to focus on the goals of a longer race with your experience of the shorter ones. IMO

2012-09-11 3:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Distance for 1st tri?
I agree with the sprint or oly first for the above stated reasons also keep in mind the big difference in those races compared to a HIM/IM is you do not have to worry too much about in race nutrition and in your HIM you will.  So get used to swim starts, transitions, nerves , practice nutrition but it sounds like you are on your way for success
2012-09-11 4:27 PM
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Subject: RE: Distance for 1st tri?

The first race I ever signed up for was a sprint.  I signed up in March for a July sprint (Toronto Triathlon Festival, 750m/20k/5k).  When I signed up for the race, I was on the couch end of a couch-to-5k and had not been in a pool for fifteen years.  In the past year I'd gone for a 20-mile bike ride two or three times, and had some shorter rides, all on my trust hybrid.  The one thing that I had going for me was a substantial weight loss in the previous six months from diet and dedication to the elliptical trainer, but it's fair to say that I was less prepared for triathlon than the OP.

After about two weeks of training, and reading a lot about the sport, I decided that I wanted the sprint to go smoothly, so I registered for a sorta-local try-a-tri (400m/10k/2.5k) in early June .  I am super-glad that I did.  I learned a lot about the swim (wetsuits make a difference, murky water means you have to rely on proprioception and not vision to control your stroke, sighting is a skill that must be developed, etc.), about the bike (it's easy to work to hard when you're busy thinking "I just want to pass that one person ahead of me" all ride -- in my case there's always going to be "that one person ahead of me") and about the run (I have no intrinsic sense of pace without my watch).   Let's not even speak of transition zone setup.

Jonathan, your experience is going to be different, but I guarantee that when you complete your HIM, you're going to be thinking: "I am so glad that I did that Sprint a month ago, because without it, I wouldn't have known to ________ and today would have been a little less awesome."



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