General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Difference in participants 70.3 Rss Feed  
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2015-05-19 4:24 PM


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Subject: Difference in participants 70.3
So, just wondering here....
I'm not freaked out about it, actually (I thought I might at some point, but I don't think I will)....

On a 70.3, is there a noticeable change in the participants between that and say Olympic length?

I fully expect to see some top-notch performers. You see them at just about any race...sprint/Olympic/in-between.
I'm 40-45 age group. For Olympic and in between:
Let's say:
swim: 72 percentile (sprint, maybe 75-78 percentile)
bike: 65 percentile (sprint: maybe 70 percentile)
run: 48 percentile (sprint: same)

I assume, though at that distance, that there's some loss of folks who can knock out a sprint or Olympic on fairly minimal training or levels of fitness.

Anyone care to take a stab at what that could translate to on a 70.3? Just a mental exercise. Not looking for anything definitive. Just the wisdom of the crowd. Yah, I think you guys have some wisdom. I like numbers, data, and mental exercises.

My prediction:
swim: drop maybe to 53rd percentile
bike: 42nd percentile
run: 36% percentile

Sure, I've been swimming regularly, running a TON more than I ever did...and generally following what appears to be a decent plan for a guy like me. But, I'm assuming that a fair percentage of people in a 70.3 are doing the same.
Again, I won't mind finishing last....I want to finish. But, I don't WANT to finish last. Not finishing last isn't even a goal, but it'd be nice.


2015-05-20 12:32 PM
in reply to: jhaack39

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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3
I can't really offer any generalities, but I did a sprint, olympic and a half-IM all between 12/4014 and 3/2015 and here were my results in terms of percentiles (these are overall results as opposed to age groups).:

Key West Triathlon (Olympic) December 2014
Overall: 29/263 - 89%
Swim: 19/263 - 93%
Bike: 82/263 - 69%
Run: 23/263 - 91%

Naples HITS Triathlon (Half-IM) January 2015
Overall: 42/215 - 81%
Swim: 23/215 - 89%
Bike: 72/215 - 67%
Run: 28/215 - 87%

Bayfront Challenge (Sprint) March 2015
Overall: 10/140 - 93%
Place results weren't broken down by discipline

So yes, there was a bit of a drop for me in the longer races. I'm sure there are a 1,000 other factors to take in, so I don't know how much this will be applicable to extrapolation, however, for what it's worth, here you go.
2015-05-20 12:45 PM
in reply to: jhaack39

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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3

it's pretty much the same unless the course plays to your strengths, then you might see an improvement overall.

2015-05-20 12:48 PM
in reply to: 3mar

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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3

I suspect it will depend far more on the popularity of the races being compared among the distances, as that will often determine the depth of the field (and perhaps even the quality - i.e., how many "fasties" show up - perhaps there is a draw to big/brand name events for folks who are putting in time to get to the pointy end?).

I know I've raced events - both tri and definitely run-only - where I could overall podium in one with a time that put me well off the podium just in my age group at other events.  All due to who showed up.  Definitely have seen this most with shorter running races (think local 5k or 10k compared to the Cap10k I ran recently with something like 6 thousand or so runners), but seems true in my more limited experience with triathlon.

I haven't raced enough HIM's to know how variable they are, but in looking at the results from a few I was considering and the few I've done, there was a VERY wide variety (for similar level difficulty courses) of times to finish across the board and even at the pointy end (maybe once you got past the top few finishers, as it seems the winners are always FAST). 

And you're welcome for the not very satisfying answer (sorry!).

Matt

2015-05-20 12:52 PM
in reply to: Clempson

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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3
Originally posted by Clempson

it's pretty much the same unless the course plays to your strengths, then you might see an improvement overall.




^^ this and it depends on who shows up/ how big of an event it is.
2015-05-20 1:14 PM
in reply to: jhaack39


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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3

In a similarly sized field, you'll get roughly the same results in Oly vs 70.3. Don't expect a huge difference.

 

The main difference is if you're a regular podium finisher - the podium gets progressively harder as you move to bigger events, especially if you come from a place where triathlon isn't well attended. But as for your overall % finish, you'll find it pretty similar for your fitness and training for Oly vs 70.3



2015-05-20 1:52 PM
in reply to: yazmaster

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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3
I see a lot of mention of making the podium, which I've done on the last 2 of my 3 races (in my age group), but the races have all felt pretty small to me. Is there any rule of thumb regarding how many people in your age group there should be for top 3 being impressive? Don't get my wrong, I was both shocked and ecstatic to hear my name called but when I saw how many people I beat out online after the race, I have a hard time gauging where I really stack up.
2015-05-20 2:03 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3
I've only done one of each so I'm a bit short on data. I was "really close to last" when I did my HIM rather than merely being "far down the order" for my olympic. It's hard to compare with such variety of events, but I suspect the weekend warrior factor is bigger in the shorter events. So I would expect to be slightly down the order for your HIM (but not significantly).

Edited by 5Sigma 2015-05-20 2:05 PM
2015-07-12 3:15 PM
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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3
Updated after Muncie

Held court in the swim:
75th percentile
36 minutes

Bike:
36th percentile
2:54

Run:
31st percentile
2:27

Held court in the swim with my shorter distances.
A bit below, even, on my guesstimates for bike/run.
Then again...in an AG with 10 to even 30 or 40 in a smaller race vs. 200+, a few spots can make a huge difference. So, certainly not a lot of data.
The swim is the area where I had the most room for improvement. Decent-ish swimmer to begin with (in that I wasn't starting from scratch), but I had never worked at it until November.

Not a runner. Never was. I was within in my "If I can do it in this range, I'll be more than satisfied, not thrilled to the moon, but very happy" range.
Bike...there's just a lot of fast cyclists out there. I'm on a road bike, not that I think that would make any real math difference.

Next thought is "I could do sooo much better in a shorter race these days." I've worked harder on each discipline and learned a lot in doing so and gotten faster at each.

Maybe that'll be my next fun with numbers.
"Now that I've trained for and completed a 70.3, finishing feeling strong and happy with my performance....how much better can I do in shorter races?"


Edited by jhaack39 2015-07-12 3:35 PM
2015-07-12 4:20 PM
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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3
IME, yes, the field tends to be deeper in long course racing versus short course, depending on the race. Of course, there are also some sprints and Olys that are quite competitive, and there are some smaller halves that aren't. Edited because autocorrect is stupid. :-p

Edited by TriMyBest 2015-07-12 4:21 PM
2015-07-12 5:19 PM
in reply to: jhaack39

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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3
Well, since this thread got revived, I've got another data point and it follows that same progression:

Sprint 10/140 - 93%

Olympic 29/263 - 89%

Half-IM 42/215 - 81%

Full-IM 588/2,600 - 77%

These were all over the past 8 months.



2015-07-13 7:42 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3
IME there is a huge difference in local Olympic races and big brand 70.3 races. Go to the race report sections. You will regularly see people podium at local races. How many podium at IM 70.3 races ? Not many.

Some OLys like Alcatraz, Tempe, AG Nationals, AG worlds .... will attract deep fields. As deep as big brand 70.3 races.
Many local races will have a stud or two, but the field is nowhere as deep.

Challenge and WTC/IM brand 70.3 will have a deep field.

Take your Oly times and you can probably figure out an approximate 70.3 finish. Then go to last year's results for the race and see where that puts you.



Edited by marcag 2015-07-13 7:43 AM
2015-07-13 8:18 AM
in reply to: marcag


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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3
Originally posted by marcag

IME there is a huge difference in local Olympic races and big brand 70.3 races. Go to the race report sections. You will regularly see people podium at local races. How many podium at IM 70.3 races ? Not many.

Some OLys like Alcatraz, Tempe, AG Nationals, AG worlds .... will attract deep fields. As deep as big brand 70.3 races.
Many local races will have a stud or two, but the field is nowhere as deep.

Challenge and WTC/IM brand 70.3 will have a deep field.

Take your Oly times and you can probably figure out an approximate 70.3 finish. Then go to last year's results for the race and see where that puts you.




I think this response is the best one to the original question. Field size plays a part certainly but it can skew results in either direction. Big races attract great athletes but they'll also pull in a lot of one timers that fill in the back and boost your percentile. A good example of this is a race on the west coast of Florida, St. Anthony's. Tons of great athletes, but a lot of locals who are marginally fit will do it for fun. Also, you can find some small local races that don't register on those same people's radar but maybe the local tri groups dial into that race as a B race and all the sudden you've got a "small local" race that has a lot of competition in it. Like this poster I'm quoting said, the best way to do it is project your time and go through prior year's results and see where it places you.
2015-07-13 11:14 AM
in reply to: Gatornate

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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3
To add another wrinkle, I found a huge difference in quality between my local sprint, and oly distance races, versus a name brand IM race. Quite frankly there were lots of folks in the big name brand 70.3 that were just there to bag an IM event for bragging rights at the office or whatever, judging from the lack of good race pacing/strategy versus the local races. There were several dozen guys that blasted by me on the bike that I passed on the run after they blew up.

So my conclusion was they are many more "bucket-listers" or one-timers in a big name 70.3 than in your usual tri racing circuit. They could skew your numbers a bit by pushing you down a bit in the bike, but then again you could push back in the run.

Just throwing that out there.
2015-07-13 11:21 AM
in reply to: NewDiz

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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3
Originally posted by NewDiz

To add another wrinkle, I found a huge difference in quality between my local sprint, and oly distance races, versus a name brand IM race. Quite frankly there were lots of folks in the big name brand 70.3 that were just there to bag an IM event for bragging rights at the office or whatever, judging from the lack of good race pacing/strategy versus the local races. There were several dozen guys that blasted by me on the bike that I passed on the run after they blew up.

So my conclusion was they are many more "bucket-listers" or one-timers in a big name 70.3 than in your usual tri racing circuit. They could skew your numbers a bit by pushing you down a bit in the bike, but then again you could push back in the run.

Just throwing that out there.


I don't think that is specific to the IM 70.3, I saw that a lot on the full IM. I'm not a great biker, but I was passed all the way to the end of the bike leg, then, when I started the marathon, I probably passed 100 people in the first mile. These are folks that finished the bike and swim at the 7:30 mark then never took a single step running. That just killed me. They were hoofin' it on the bike too, and not to be judgemental, but I was looking at a lot of them passing me, like, no stinking way are they gonna make the marathon at anything respectable...little did I know they were haulin' buns through the bike and swim just to stroll a 26.2. And I certainly wasn't smoking the marathon either, my ave pace was a 10 MM.
2015-07-13 2:23 PM
in reply to: #5116734


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Subject: RE: Difference in participants 70.3
If I have an injury that prevents me from running, I'll go all out on the bike because I don't have to save myself for a run that won't be good anyway because of injury.


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