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2017-07-30 5:42 PM


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Subject: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
Why are there so many excellent triathletes at this age. I always medaled when I was 20-29, then in 30-34 it became tougher but I still managed. And now I have improved greatly..but rarely medal because there are so many 35-39 guys in front. At todays rac.e.I came in 12th overall and 8th in my AG....I would have earned a podium in ANY other age group. Yeah I know...motivation to get faster...but it also is somewhat frustrating...this is the 3rd race this year where that happened. I did dominate the 20s at the local races so I too advantage then...but now...have it hard. here are my thoughts..

1.) More money for better bikes
2.) Kids are a bit older at 35 so more time to train and take it serious
3.) People in 20s are thinking parties and women/men as opposed to racing..
4.) People in 20s not as disciplined as 30s.....average not all
5.) People in 20s are thinking about relationships, careers, etc and not as settled as 30s

What are your thoughts?


2017-07-30 8:29 PM
in reply to: Triathlete4770

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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
Haha--45-49 isn't much better for women. I am 48. In some of my local or regional level races, I would still have to be on the overall podium to win AG. I That was ALWAYS true when I was in 40-44. Just crazy. Still remember one of my first Olympic distance races, a pretty major SE Asian event. I was 4th overall and 3rd in AG (admittedly, a somewhat weak field that year due to conflict with another event). A 24 year old friend was nearly an hour behind me, one of the last finishers, and also got third in her AG. I have even done races where a woman in her early 50's made the overall podium, and where over 40's were a majority of the top ten.

I think mainly a matter of having the interest in tri (as opposed to partying), a bit more established in one's career so more comfortable with taking the time to train, and more likely to have some disposable income to invest in tri equipment, race fees, coaching, etc. For AG women, I think the performance "bump" comes even later, in early to mid 40's, even later in some cases, because many woman in their thirties have training time seriously compromised (or don't even consider tri) due to having kids and caring for young kids; then they have more time to train when the kids are older and perhaps getting into sports themselves in middle and high school.
2017-07-30 9:45 PM
in reply to: Triathlete4770

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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
Originally posted by Triathlete4770

Why are there so many excellent triathletes at this age. I always medaled when I was 20-29, then in 30-34 it became tougher but I still managed. And now I have improved greatly..but rarely medal because there are so many 35-39 guys in front. At todays rac.e.I came in 12th overall and 8th in my AG....I would have earned a podium in ANY other age group. Yeah I know...motivation to get faster...but it also is somewhat frustrating...this is the 3rd race this year where that happened. I did dominate the 20s at the local races so I too advantage then...but now...have it hard. here are my thoughts..

1.) More money for better bikes
2.) Kids are a bit older at 35 so more time to train and take it serious
3.) People in 20s are thinking parties and women/men as opposed to racing..
4.) People in 20s not as disciplined as 30s.....average not all
5.) People in 20s are thinking about relationships, careers, etc and not as settled as 30s

What are your thoughts?


A variety of reason, including:

- Because it takes a long time to build an aerobic base. 10 years, 10,000 hours to master sport too!!!
- The guys who are super talented and young usually pursue a professional angle.
- Young kid don't have the income, and also usually not the career stableness to commit to something like triathlon
- Usually the age-groupers are much bigger in terms of participants from 30-50
2017-07-30 10:26 PM
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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34

That is my AG.  

I think that many guys don't have the disposable cash and time to train until they are about 35 years old.  I did 5K's and Half Marathons until I was in the M 35-39 AG.  Putting down a few thousand dollars for Tri gear and then taking travel time (more money) for race is cost and time prohibitive for many younger athletes.  

I was winning first in my AG at about every 5K I went to from age 25-35.  Now that I am doing Triathlon I am no longer the top dog but I am working to get there.  Guys that were winning when they were 20-34 best watch out because in I am going to start peaking and when I do and start passing them at 25 MPH on the bike and then turn in the top AG run they aren't going to know what hit them.  



Edited by BlueBoy26 2017-07-30 10:32 PM
2017-07-31 12:06 AM
in reply to: Triathlete4770


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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34

Originally posted by Triathlete4770 Why are there so many excellent triathletes at this age. I always medaled when I was 20-29, then in 30-34 it became tougher but I still managed. And now I have improved greatly..but rarely medal because there are so many 35-39 guys in front. At todays rac.e.I came in 12th overall and 8th in my AG....I would have earned a podium in ANY other age group. Yeah I know...motivation to get faster...but it also is somewhat frustrating...this is the 3rd race this year where that happened. I did dominate the 20s at the local races so I too advantage then...but now...have it hard. here are my thoughts.. 1.) More money for better bikes 2.) Kids are a bit older at 35 so more time to train and take it serious 3.) People in 20s are thinking parties and women/men as opposed to racing.. 4.) People in 20s not as disciplined as 30s.....average not all 5.) People in 20s are thinking about relationships, careers, etc and not as settled as 30s What are your thoughts?

 

Yep, it's all of the reasons you have listed.  

 

Money is definitely a big factor. I'd say it's the biggest factor, with experience learning all 3 sports being the 2nd. But all the other stuff you listed is def legit - kids, relationships, etc. When you're married, settled down with kids over 8, and with good income, serious triathlon training is a lot more realistic. 

2017-07-31 12:18 AM
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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34

I think Thomas hit on a big part of it......the guys who are in their early 20's who are fast you rarely see in local (AG) races....that's more true now then it was 15-20 years ago.  They are running or swimming in college or doing triathlon on another level.  Give them 10 years, worn out and closing in on being too old to be competing at a higher level....and here they come.  Remember, in AG triathlon especially, but the same holds in running and swimming too at the AG level....."fast" is relative.



Edited by Left Brain 2017-07-31 12:24 AM


2017-07-31 5:53 AM
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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
Also remember that there are people that excel n individual sports (swim OR bike OR run) that decide to come to tri later on and do really well. Take the FOPers at many races and I would bet they have a background in one of the individual sports. They often come to tri later on in life after their college individual sport accomplishments, after they have started their career, after they start getting some disposable income.

Triathletes, even the very best ones are good, but certainly not great in each sport but good enough st all 3. But when some of the top athletes from other sports come into tri, they can dominate (at an AG level) by their relative strength in that one sport. Probably less at the bigger races but definitely at the smaller ones.



Edited by marcag 2017-07-31 6:08 AM
2017-07-31 7:51 AM
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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
Originally posted by Left Brain

being too old to be competing at a higher level....



Jan Fordeno - 35 (set a new world record)
Tim O'Donnell - 36
Frederik Van Lierde - 38
Tim Don - 39 (set a new world record)
Andy Potts - 40

Um....considering 5 of the top 10 highest ranked Ironman Professionals are in the M35-39 AG, I'm going to have to disagree with you.

Now, if all the pros peaked at 24 and all the beer leaguers peaked at 36, then yeah, you might be on to something. But that's not it. So I'd argue that since the pro field is also heavily dominated by folks in the 35-39 range that life circumstances have little to nothing to do with it. It would appear, that for whatever reason, this is the peak time in life for this sport.

I did a race last year that had a couple of college teams and I beat the large majority of them...and I'm not even fast in the AG ranks. A lot of them had really fast swims or runs (a couple with both) but most were dirt slow on the bike.

Edited by 3mar 2017-07-31 8:10 AM
2017-07-31 8:22 AM
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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
To the OP:

When you look at the bigger races (those with 1,000+ participants) you'll see that it's spread between the ages of 30-45 for the peak with not much difference. That goes for the long course pros too. Of the top 10 ranked Ironman pros not one is in their 20's. It just is what it is. I'm in the M35-39 AG too. I really thought I had a chance at getting a podium yesterday at Ironman Ohio 70.3 and was a minute behind the guy who ended up 1st place after the bike but ended up 10th. Why? Because my swim and bike are ok, but my run stinks. It is what it is. In this AG you have to be good at all three (yeah yeah LB..."good" in terms of us beer leaguers) to be competitive. I gave myself an evening to mope about it and now it's back to work...that's just what you've got to do.

Use it as inspiration...not frustration.

Edited by 3mar 2017-07-31 8:24 AM
2017-07-31 8:51 AM
in reply to: Triathlete4770

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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34

At the pointy end, the decline in age-related performance is pretty low.  

Look past M35-39, and there's barely a difference in M40-44 and M45-49.  

Often the decline in physical ability (endurance sports) is more than offset by experience and better race strategy.  

2017-07-31 9:40 AM
in reply to: Triathlete4770

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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
Just did a draft legal race this past weekend. Fastest guys were teens and 20s with Jr Elite/ u23 experiance. I was 9th and 2nd 40/44. All 30/34 & 35/39 were behind me.


2017-07-31 9:58 AM
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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34

Originally posted by marcag Also remember that there are people that excel n individual sports (swim OR bike OR run) that decide to come to tri later on and do really well. Take the FOPers at many races and I would bet they have a background in one of the individual sports. They often come to tri later on in life after their college individual sport accomplishments, after they have started their career, after they start getting some disposable income. Triathletes, even the very best ones are good, but certainly not great in each sport but good enough st all 3. But when some of the top athletes from other sports come into tri, they can dominate (at an AG level) by their relative strength in that one sport. Probably less at the bigger races but definitely at the smaller ones.

Yeah, that's the point I was trying to make.....you said it better than I did.

2017-07-31 10:08 AM
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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34

Originally posted by simpsonbo Just did a draft legal race this past weekend. Fastest guys were teens and 20s with Jr Elite/ u23 experiance. I was 9th and 2nd 40/44. All 30/34 & 35/39 were behind me.

Yeah, if you get in a sprint race with any kid in the top 15-20 of the Jr. Elite circuit you're going to likely get your arse handed to you as an AG'er.  By the time those kids are in their late teens to early 20's they have 20-30 races under their belts and many of them have been in international competitions. If you can't swim a :50 - :55 100 in the pool,  ride in a pack at 25+ mph, and then run a 16-17:00 5K off the bike you can't touch them. And if you can't hit the swim time, forget the rest of it, you'll barely even sniff the top 20 even if you can bike and run with them.. The podium finishers at their events are usually faster then those numbers.  I know I'm preaching to the choir with you bo, but it's funny how many people don't know how fast those young sprint racers are. When they drop down to AG racing for fun it's ugly for the beer league racers.



Edited by Left Brain 2017-07-31 10:12 AM
2017-07-31 10:20 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34

thats interesting, around me the top 10 guys routinely have 5+ guys aged 20-29

2017-07-31 10:58 AM
in reply to: Triathlete4770

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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
In my area, the 40-44 and 45-49 are pretty competitive.

I'm in the 50-54 AG and thought it would slack off some but it hasn't.

My last race for example:

Top Overall finishers (ages)
1st 44
2nd 49
3rd 28
4th 54
5th 53 (I finished fifth overall)

This race didn't have a lot of the collegiate athletes that LB mentioned.

I done some races with collegiate athletes race teams combined with Age Groupers and some of those guys/girls are flying. I do take enjoyment out of passing some of the younger bucks but my overall finish is never as high as the above race results. My bike results are usually in the mix with the top collegiate but they kill me in the run and swim.
2017-07-31 11:01 AM
in reply to: dmiller5

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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
Originally posted by dmiller5

thats interesting, around me the top 10 guys routinely have 5+ guys aged 20-29




I think the disparity is due to small sample size more than anything. I wouldn't look for correlations on any races of less than 1,000.

Go to the IM branded, or other big name races (whatever's left) and you can see how things pan out by age a lot more consistently.


2017-07-31 11:09 AM
in reply to: 3mar

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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34

Originally posted by 3mar
Originally posted by dmiller5

thats interesting, around me the top 10 guys routinely have 5+ guys aged 20-29

I think the disparity is due to small sample size more than anything. I wouldn't look for correlations on any races of less than 1,000. Go to the IM branded, or other big name races (whatever's left) and you can see how things pan out by age a lot more consistently.

I haven't really followed the AG national race since the races from 2013-2015.....but back then, for the sprint race, 5 or so of the top 10 were usually teenagers....all of them had raced in the Jr. elite series.  They destroy local races.....many times winning sprint events by 4-7 minutes.

2017-07-31 11:12 AM
in reply to: 3mar

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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34

Originally posted by 3mar
Originally posted by dmiller5

thats interesting, around me the top 10 guys routinely have 5+ guys aged 20-29

I think the disparity is due to small sample size more than anything. I wouldn't look for correlations on any races of less than 1,000. Go to the IM branded, or other big name races (whatever's left) and you can see how things pan out by age a lot more consistently.

WELL YEAH, if you go to ironman races, which are incredibly expensive and require much more money to train/compete in, there tend to me more older people doing well.  But the vast majority of triathlon is not ironman races.

2017-07-31 12:04 PM
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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
Originally posted by dmiller5

Originally posted by 3mar
Originally posted by dmiller5

thats interesting, around me the top 10 guys routinely have 5+ guys aged 20-29

I think the disparity is due to small sample size more than anything. I wouldn't look for correlations on any races of less than 1,000. Go to the IM branded, or other big name races (whatever's left) and you can see how things pan out by age a lot more consistently.

WELL YEAH, if you go to ironman races, which are incredibly expensive and require much more money to train/compete in, there tend to me more older people doing well.  But the vast majority of triathlon is not ironman races.




But you just can't make any conclusions based on races with 100-200 people. A lot of age groups at those races don't even have enough people to fill up the podiums, so being "competitive" at one AG or another is more a matter of how many people even show up.
2017-07-31 2:51 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
Originally posted by Left Brain

If you can't swim a :50 - :55 100 in the pool,  ride in a pack at 25+ mph, and then run a 16-17:00 5K off the bike you can't touch them.




Not to totally derail the subject, but this is what I find interesting. Looking at those benchmarks, low 0:50's off the blocks SCY is very doable. A group ride of 12 miles at 25+ is every Tuesday night ride with a bunch of us beer leaguers here...heck there's one dude that does it wearing sandals, and we do that a couple times in a row. But that run time is out of the park....stand alone, let alone at the tail end of a sprint. Goes to show how important the run is....or just how off the mark my run is :/
2017-07-31 3:17 PM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
Originally posted by Hot Runner

Haha--45-49 isn't much better for women. I am 48. In some of my local or regional level races, I would still have to be on the overall podium to win AG. I That was ALWAYS true when I was in 40-44. Just crazy. Still remember one of my first Olympic distance races, a pretty major SE Asian event. I was 4th overall and 3rd in AG (admittedly, a somewhat weak field that year due to conflict with another event). A 24 year old friend was nearly an hour behind me, one of the last finishers, and also got third in her AG. I have even done races where a woman in her early 50's made the overall podium, and where over 40's were a majority of the top ten.

I think mainly a matter of having the interest in tri (as opposed to partying), a bit more established in one's career so more comfortable with taking the time to train, and more likely to have some disposable income to invest in tri equipment, race fees, coaching, etc. For AG women, I think the performance "bump" comes even later, in early to mid 40's, even later in some cases, because many woman in their thirties have training time seriously compromised (or don't even consider tri) due to having kids and caring for young kids; then they have more time to train when the kids are older and perhaps getting into sports themselves in middle and high school.


I think this is a perfect reasoning when it comes to women.


2017-07-31 3:35 PM
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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
Originally posted by 3mar
Originally posted by Left Brain If you can't swim a :50 - :55 100 in the pool,  ride in a pack at 25+ mph, and then run a 16-17:00 5K off the bike you can't touch them.

Not to totally derail the subject, but this is what I find interesting. Looking at those benchmarks, low 0:50's off the blocks SCY is very doable. A group ride of 12 miles at 25+ is every Tuesday night ride with a bunch of us beer leaguers here...heck there's one dude that does it wearing sandals, and we do that a couple times in a row. But that run time is out of the park....stand alone, let alone at the tail end of a sprint. Goes to show how important the run is....or just how off the mark my run is :/
Those kids, coming up through the ranks, do relatively little cycling. They basically all swim 30-40,000 yards per week and virtually all of of them are top runners in their state with the opportunity (which most take) to run on scholarship in college. A sub 16:00 5k XC time is pretty standard stuff.I always found it interesting to see how much cycling AG'ers do compared to the kids working to get fast in triathlon....they all know it's just not that hard to get up to par. Most of their aWork is very focused and done on a trainer.The swim is interesting....because even though they are fast, its the idea of being fast and fit to the point where a fast swim doesn't even faze the rest of your race....they swim well over a million yards a year to get there, and they ALWAYS swim.There was a time I helped look for jr. Talent in our area.....basically you look for top tier 800-5k HS runners and then hit the usa swimming database to see who is a club swimmer as well.....whether or not they've ever been on a bike is just not part of the equation. Sorry for the formattig.....my phone doesn't believe in paragraphs.

Edited by Left Brain 2017-07-31 3:36 PM
2017-07-31 9:29 PM
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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
I feel your pain. That's my age group now too!
2017-08-01 12:11 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
I'm ok with that

Came off the bike in the chase pack and that is a hilly course. Elites had to ride up Emily Murphy 6X (the first steep hill just out of T1)
2017-08-01 12:59 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Why is 35-39 AG for men so tough compared to 20-24 and 25-29 and 30-34
Actually 40-44, the mid life crisis group is usually very competitive after the 20-24 year olds.
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