General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Realistic times at my age. Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply
2019-06-18 2:42 PM


12

Subject: Realistic times at my age.
I'm a 38 year old man and at the start of my 2nd year in triathlon Just wondering what the possibilities are on the swim and run. No previous experience in any of the three sports. My pool swim times are 30 sec per 25 pool length, 16min per 800 / 34min per 1600. Open water adds about 2min per 800. With proper lessons what are some realistic time goals at these three distances and how long to achieve them? Continued.... My PRS in running are 6:10 road mile / 21:15 5k, and ran one half marathon in 1:38:30. I bike around 17-19 MPR avg.

Again I'm 38years old, 5'10", 138 lbs. And 3.5% body fat. With the ability to train 5 days per week over the winter months and probably 2 days during the spring, summer, fall. I know age is not on my side but is a 20sec pool length or 12min 800 in the pool realistic? Or a 19min flat 5k possible within in the next say 1.5-2 years from now. Or am I realistically to late to reach these times!
I'm in good overall health! I want to push myself but also set realistic goals.


2019-06-18 2:58 PM
in reply to: Jeff Maule

User image


1403
1000100100100100
Highland Park, Illinois
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.
What were your times in previous triathlons? What are the distances in the triathlon that is your goal? Sprint, Oly, IM?
Open water swim time depends on the race conditions, these are hard to predict.

If you can train only 2 days per week in 3 seasons, I am not sure how much you can improve, and if this is the right way to look at things, as it depends what will be done during those two days - all three disciplines?
2019-06-18 3:33 PM
in reply to: 0

User image

Pro
15134
50005000500010025
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.

You'll make better gains swimming then you will running.  At 5'10 135 and 3.5% BF it's not like you're going to drop a bunch of weight to gain time......and your swim time is slow as hell. (comparative to your run) Go there for the fastest gains.



Edited by Left Brain 2019-06-18 3:35 PM
2019-06-18 5:42 PM
in reply to: #5260038


486
100100100100252525
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.
“I'm a 38 year old man and at the start of my 2nd year in triathlon Just wondering what the possibilities are on the swim and run. No previous experience in any of the three sports. My pool swim times are 30 sec per 25 pool length, 16min per 800 / 34min per 1600. Open water adds about 2min per 800. With proper lessons what are some realistic time goals at these three distances and how long to achieve them? Continued.... My PRS in running are 6:10 road mile / 21:15 5k, and ran one half marathon in 1:38:30. I bike around 17-19 MPR avg.

Again I'm 38years old, 5'10", 138 lbs. And 3.5% body fat. With the ability to train 5 days per week over the winter months and probably 2 days during the spring, summer, fall. I know age is not on my side but is a 20sec pool length or 12min 800 in the pool realistic? Or a 19min flat 5k possible within in the next say 1.5-2 years from now. Or am I realistically to late to reach these times!
I'm in good overall health! I want to push myself but also set realistic goals.”


What does your current training week look like right now? If you’re only training 2 days a week then you are going to have to really be wise in your planning. I agree that some instruction on your swimming would be low hanging fruit for improving your swim times.

You say you have no prior experience in any of the three sports. If that’s true and you are able to run a 21:15 5k, then you have some natural running ability and could hit your goal for a 19 minute 5k with some run focused training. I’m a weak swimmer as well so I cant really say anything about your swim goals.

I think you would really have to plan out your race schedule if you wanted to throw some fast times down in a triathlon. Hit the training hard during the winter months and try to find an early season race where you can go out and put your training to use. Only training 2 days a week with having to focus on 3 sports will make it difficult to be at your peak for races later in the season.
2019-06-18 9:32 PM
in reply to: #5260045


12

Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.
Goal is to do sprint and Olympic and see just how fast I can become and in a few short years when I start showing signs of slowing down move on to 1\2 ironman. My sprints are usually around a 1hr 35min. Sounds like my swim has the most room for improvement. I can get in 2 maybe three runs and one to two swims per week now through fall. Winter time I get 3-4 months of uninterrupted training. Sometimes two per day. So whats a realistic possibility as to time and distance on the run and swim? 5k or mile times and 25 and 800\1600 pool times to work towards? Just educated opinions, thanks in advance.
2019-06-18 11:04 PM
in reply to: 0

User image

Pro
15134
50005000500010025
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.

Originally posted by Jeff Maule Goal is to do sprint and Olympic and see just how fast I can become and in a few short years when I start showing signs of slowing down move on to 1\2 ironman. My sprints are usually around a 1hr 35min. Sounds like my swim has the most room for improvement. I can get in 2 maybe three runs and one to two swims per week now through fall. Winr time I get 3-4 months of uninterrupted training. Sometimes two per day. So whats a realistic possibility as to time and distance on the run and swim? 5k or mile times and 25 and 800\1600 pool times to work towards? Just educated opinions, thanks in advance.

See that bolded part?  You won't improve much with that volume......it's a simple fact.  BUT.....you can stay where you are if you stick with it.  A sprint tri is not a big hill for a guy who is in shape like your are.  Real gains come with real work.  2 or 3 runs and 1 or 2 swims won't get you much.

I'm not trying to discourage you.....in fact, I'm encouraging you to do what you can through Fall.....you'll be fine.  Your gains will come when you have more time.  A realistic possibilty now, as you asked, is to maintain where you are. If you have any gains at all it will be minimal.....which is not a bad thing....it's what you have time for....not a damn thing wrong with that.

I'm a bit educated on the subject.  I had a college track "career", first tri in the mid 80's.....my son has an elite tri card and is a college runner......31:30 10K....15:something 5k.....4:10 mile.....54 minute sprint tri....can swim an 8 minute 800 with very little training because he was a childhood swimmer, which you are not...and that's a BIG deal for swimmers.  You don't know how to swim, and you won't learn on 1 or 2 swims per week.  Again, it sounds ignorant, and I'm sorry,  but it's just honest.  (I'm taking some liberties because you are obviously a fit guy,  so I figure you want to hear realistic advice)

It's A LOT of work to get faster......nobody here will tell you different.  That's why they are proud of their gains.  They either had the time, or they made the time, to get faster.  It is what it is.



Edited by Left Brain 2019-06-18 11:28 PM


2019-06-19 7:16 AM
in reply to: Jeff Maule

User image


127
10025
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.
Left Brain is almost always right. The only thing that I can add from my beginner experience is that if you don't have a lot experience with 1 or 2 of those sports then you can makes some bigger gains on less training than more experienced triathletes. I think that structure and consistency will be of utmost importance. I have only been doing tri for 2 1/2 years now and 1 1/2 years with my current coach that I found here on BT. typical week is 3 bikes, 3 runs, and 2 swims. I have by far seen the biggest gain in my bike. That comes with a lot of intensity. Like A LOT, but I needed to have a good base to handle it. If you want to make the most gains you need to stay consistent and keep working. My first olympic tri was 2:30:xx in August 2017. Two weeks ago I just nailed a PR at 2:16:xx. Every discipline was faster but my bike was where I really jumped relative to my peers. It seems like you have a good running base. So, can you make big gains on bike and swim? I would say yes, but you probably need to work with a coach that can help with swim stroke and creating an ideal structured plan.
2019-06-19 9:38 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

User image


1403
1000100100100100
Highland Park, Illinois
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.
This is one of those situations when Left Brain is very 100% right.
2019-06-19 10:15 AM
in reply to: Jeff Maule

User image

Extreme Veteran
693
500100252525
Olathe
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.
It's not a straight line to link stand alone times and paces to race day results.

Individually, you can make some gains, but it's hard to say without seeing form.
Changing form for swim and run can yield immediate gains.
If you have solid form, then the next phase is adding intensity and volume within reason and that takes a little more time.

Also depends on how many hours a day you have, hours per week, etc.
If you dedicate 20 hours per week, sure you could get there.
But, if you skimp on sleep and recovery, you will end up injured or burnt out.

I have made my biggest gains in my late 30's/early 40's training smarter, so it's not impossible.
2019-06-19 4:18 PM
in reply to: 0

User image


885
500100100100252525
McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.

Disregarding the body metrics, current training constraints, current fitness, etc. and just focusing on the "AT MY AGE".  I think this should be enlightening. 

 

Timothy O’Donnel born 1980 (40)

Matt Russell born 1983 (37)

Andy Potts born 1976 (43)

They were the top three American Pros at Ironman Kona in October.

 

The M35-39 and M40-44 are about the most competitive age groups in Triathlon.  I have done two Triathlons in the last month.  Both races had the top two finishers from the M40-44 Age Group.  At age 38 you are in your Triathlon prime.  Age is not holding you back, but it does take about 3 years to start to peak in endurance sports so the guys that started at age 30 are going to be a lot faster at age 38 than the guys that started at age 36 are going to be at 38.   

 

Originally posted by Jeff Maule Goal is to do sprint and Olympic and see just how fast I can become and in a few short years when I start showing signs of slowing down move on to 1\2 ironman. My sprints are usually around a 1hr 35min. Sounds like my swim has the most room for improvement. I can get in 2 maybe three runs and one to two swims per week now through fall. Winter time I get 3-4 months of uninterrupted training. Sometimes two per day. So whats a realistic possibility as to time and distance on the run and swim? 5k or mile times and 25 and 800\1600 pool times to work towards? Just educated opinions, thanks in advance.

 

P.S.  I did 1/2's my first four years of Triathlon and just did my first two sprints in the past month (and will do my 3rd sprint in August).  I am in the M40-44 AG and haven't slowed down yet.  I have done 9 Triathlons and have PR'd in every race.  :-)



Edited by BlueBoy26 2019-06-19 4:30 PM
2019-06-19 4:21 PM
in reply to: #5260038


12

Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.
Again always good feed back so thank you for that. And I think you guys are spot on. Let me ask it another way just for the sake of doing it. What if time to train wasn't an issue and I had a trainer. Then what kind of individual times do you think are possible for a healthy very active 38 year old? I'm just thinking I probably only have 2 maybe three years before my times start to slow down because of age. Maybe I'll also make another post with the title what's possible at age 38! And see if I get anyone to respond that's actually my age. Last question based on the time I do have and remember for about 4 months out of the year I train 6 days per week for about 2-2.5 hrs per day. Based on that what kind of times do you think are possible by middle of next year? Also I'm a landscaper so I do physical labor for a living. I race in about 6-8 tri's per year, a few 1\2 marathons and run about a half dozen 5ks. Is it possible to shave 2min maybe 2.5min off my 5k? Is it possible to shave 4 min off my 800 again within a year from now.


2019-06-19 4:37 PM
in reply to: 0

User image


885
500100100100252525
McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.

Originally posted by Jeff Maule Again always good feed back so thank you for that. And I think you guys are spot on. Let me ask it another way just for the sake of doing it. What if time to train wasn't an issue and I had a trainer. Then what kind of individual times do you think are possible for a healthy very active 38 year old? I'm just thinking I probably only have 2 maybe three years before my times start to slow down because of age. Maybe I'll also make another post with the title what's possible at age 38! And see if I get anyone to respond that's actually my age. Last question based on the time I do have and remember for about 4 months out of the year I train 6 days per week for about 2-2.5 hrs per day. Based on that what kind of times do you think are possible by middle of next year? Also I'm a landscaper so I do physical labor for a living. I race in about 6-8 tri's per year, a few 1\2 marathons and run about a half dozen 5ks. Is it possible to shave 2min maybe 2.5min off my 5k? Is it possible to shave 4 min off my 800 again within a year from now.

 

If you are doing a 1hr 38min Sprint now then your goal should be to improve on that.  You should see a lot of gains in the first three years.  After you peak the gains will be smaller.  I saw gains in the range of about 10% a year for my first 3 years.  Now if I can shave 1-2% off I am happy and if I can shave 3% off I am doing backflips.

At age 38 you could go for 10 years without slowing down.  Endurance sports are not like other sports.  In some sports, if you see a 20 something guy and a 40 something guy going neck and neck to the finish line the 20 something guy is where you are going to put your money but in endurance sports that flips to where you are betting on the older guy to win. 

Young people muscle their way through things.  Old people finesse their way through things.  Finesse wins out in endurance races when you have two people who are the same speed. 

You have plenty of years to grow.  Your age is not a factor.  I have been improved in every race for 5 straight years and I am in my 40's. At this point I don't see my age slowing me down at any time in the near future. 



Edited by BlueBoy26 2019-06-19 4:52 PM
2019-06-19 5:32 PM
in reply to: #5260038


486
100100100100252525
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.
I think you would get a better response about prediction of race results if you posted your prior training routine from your last race.

I know back when i first started running, i thought just putting in tons of miles would net me a faster time. Problem was, I was running too hard all the time. I would run myself in the ground and then get frustrated when I didn’t see progress I wanted. It wasn’t until a very fast runner asked me to run with him one day. I told him I didn’t want him to embarrass me. This guy was a 1:10 or so half marathoner but did most of his easy runs around 9 minutes per mile. Here I was, a much slower half marathoner, running all my runs around 7:40 per mile, simply too hard all the time. He helped me learn about each workout having a purpose and doing most of my runs in zone 2. If you can’t state your goal before you start your workout, you probably need to come up with a better game plan.

Telling us you train for 2-2.5 hours, 6 days a week for a part of the year isn’t really informative. You could be like me and not be training smart for all those hours. Post what a typical training week looks like and let people make suggestions on where you could make modifications. There are some smart folks on this forum (i am not one of them).

I’m not trying to over analyze this, but asking how much you can improve in 1-2 years, based on the information we have, is not possible. I could just pull a time out of a hat and throw it out there.
2019-06-19 6:01 PM
in reply to: Jeff Maule

User image

Champion
7387
50002000100100100252525
Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.

Originally posted by Jeff Maule I'm a 38 year old man and at the start of my 2nd year in triathlon Just wondering what the possibilities are on the swim and run. No previous experience in any of the three sports. My pool swim times are 30 sec per 25 pool length, 16min per 800 / 34min per 1600. Open water adds about 2min per 800. With proper lessons what are some realistic time goals at these three distances and how long to achieve them? Continued.... My PRS in running are 6:10 road mile / 21:15 5k, and ran one half marathon in 1:38:30. I bike around 17-19 MPR avg. Again I'm 38years old, 5'10", 138 lbs. And 3.5% body fat. With the ability to train 5 days per week over the winter months and probably 2 days during the spring, summer, fall. I know age is not on my side but is a 20sec pool length or 12min 800 in the pool realistic? Or a 19min flat 5k possible within in the next say 1.5-2 years from now. Or am I realistically to late to reach these times! I'm in good overall health! I want to push myself but also set realistic goals.

Welcome Jeff,

If you haven't experienced it yet, you'll see top race finishers in their 40's regularly (5K's and triathlons).  Some of this is because the fastest young guys (like LB's son) run for colleges and therefore not in typical open road races.  You're not too old to get faster, but...you won't get faster without changing your training approach.  

To start, you've got a good aerobic engine and you're not carrying around extra baggage.  You're overall potential is HUGE (swimming, biking, and running).  

You're probably experiencing "sinking legs" in the pool.  With no body fat and nobody providing real-time feedback to get flat in the water, you're likely to be frustrated with swimming gains.  I've been well over 3.5% body fat and while I never swam competitively, I was a lifeguard and swim instructor.  I'd usually swim somewhere around 2:00/100 either in continuous swims or more structured workouts.   I could do 100 yards in 1:45, rest 0:05-0:15, and do it again.  I was typically swimming 2X/week averaging 2000 yards per swim.  Two different times, I got involved in more structured swim training.  At my peak, I could swim 100 yards in <1:30 (not at all fast by swimmer standards) and repeat with 10 second rest.  The one time, we met on Saturdays and swam 3000-4500 yards.  The other, we met 3X per week and I averaged 2500-3000 per swim.  

Is it possible/realistic to drop 2 minutes on your 5K and get down to 1:30/100 on the swim?  Yes.  But it'll probably take more than 2X/week workouts.  

I want to push myself but also set realistic goals.

IMO, "realistic goals" is a euphemism for "safe goals" and my experience is that relatively little "push" occurs when you live this way.  I wouldn't say 12 min/800 is out of reach, but to reach it, you'll have to do things a lot differently to achieve it.  As such, I'd say it's an "aggressive goal."  

2019-06-19 6:57 PM
in reply to: McFuzz

User image


1403
1000100100100100
Highland Park, Illinois
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.
For some strange reason I think you are focusing way too much on your age, almost paranoid. As if you were at the very end of human potential, having maybe a year or two, and then done with abilities to do sports....
I know plenty of folks, who started doing any sports at the age of 40 and 50+. Any sports. So it's not like you only have 2 more years of sport career.
Finding a math formula on how fast and how much you will progress is useless, in my opinion, but if that is your goal (to make calculations), then I am not in the position to judge it. Instead of focusing on how much and how soon, try to focus on the form, technique, and safety.
I will second the above post on running slowly during training. You can find BarryP plan and it should help you get faster on the run.

2019-06-19 6:59 PM
in reply to: #5260081


12

Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.
Again, you guys on this site are awesome! Sounds like I need to get my but out of bed earlier and find a way to get in more workouts. I'm going to start a new post hopefully you guys will get in on it. Its going to be... what to use for an afternoon pick up to re energize. Not 5hr or red bull. I'm a tea drinker!


2019-06-21 10:36 AM
in reply to: Jeff Maule

User image

Member
617
500100
Franklin, TN
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.

My take: if those benchmarks were recent and you are smart and consistent in your training, you have the potential to get faster until your late 40's.  The trick (consistent training with few injuries).

Swim: 1:20 pace is tough for adult onset swimmers.  You can get there but you will need good instruction and yards.  4-5 swims a week in the range of 10-15k yards.  3 or less swims a week and you're just maintaining what you have for the most part.  At 2:00/100 pace you need stroke development and swim fitness.  Get some 1 on 1 coaching, join a masters group and swim more.

Bike: time in the saddle by itself will get you gains.  Equipment and position optimization will get you some gains too, but it really boils down to building a bigger engine.  TrainerRoad or Zwift workouts will give you some structure.  Otherwise, just ride with people that are faster than you.

Run: I think you can get to 19:xx but you will need to run on a pretty consistent basis to do that.  1-3 runs a week isn't going to cut it.  You'll get faster just by running consistently 5-6 times a week at an easy pace.  Even then, you'll probably need a run focused block (with some race-pace training) to get down to your goal.

2019-06-21 11:18 AM
in reply to: Jeff Maule

User image

Lethbridge, Alberta
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Realistic times at my age.
I'd second the comments on not fussing over your age so much. I didn't start learning to run until my mid-40s. In my early 50s I was under 5:30 for a half IM distance before an injury slowed me down. I'm sure there was more potential but then life got in the way of regular tri training. I was also over 50 when I turned a 5k in under 22 minutes but my weight was about 50 lbs less then, under 200. You sound like you have way more potential than that but, like they're saying, you're going to have to work hard for it. Good luck!
New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Realistic times at my age. Rss Feed