General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Age Group Nationals Rss Feed  
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2019-10-19 5:27 PM


Subject: Age Group Nationals
Just finished my first season in triathlons...loved it...placed first in novice women in a sprint in June and first in my age group in an olympic in September. Felt kind of "lost" after that last race...wasn't sure what goals to set for next year. A half distance would logically be the next step if I didn't have limited time to train due to kids, part-time jobs, house renovations, etc. Then I found out I had qualified for age-group nationals next August (both sprint and olympic distances.)
I wondered if any of you seasoned triathletes could give some advice. Milwaukee is a good 10 hour drive for me. I could race there, but besides that, would probably only be able to afford to sign up for a local sprint to get ready. On the other hand, I could save the money, sign up for 2 or 3 local races, and upgrade a few things...better running shoes and a better wet suit (been using an Orca Openwater and to be honest, I'm not sure it's even meant for racing.) Not sure what I could upgrade for the bike, since bike stuff is so expensive...
Anyone been to AG Nationals? What did you think? Would appreciate any advice!

2019-10-21 8:59 AM
in reply to: 0

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McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Age Group Nationals

I have never been to Nationals.  I am considering going next year just because my wife has never been to Wisconsin and one of her bucket list items is to visit all 48 of the contiguous states. 

I feel a void at the end of every race season.  I train 6-10 months for races and visioning myself racing at my goal event keeps me motivated through all the training and gives me something to look forward to.  When the race is over there is no purpose to my training, no goals, and I lose motivations.  So...this time of year I take time off from training and focus on things that I am too busy do when I am training for an event and use my time away from training to make plans for what races I want to do the following year.


I see lots of people asked after doing a Sprint in their first year if an Olympic is what they should focus on next year, or if they have completed an Olympic if a 70.3 should be what they focus on the next year, etc.  There is no requirement to build up to longer races after you have completed shorter races.  I was a competitive runner for 30 years before I did my first triathlon. Many of the local races would have both a 5K option and a 10K option.  I always did the 5K and some people would ask me why I didn't do the 10K.  I DID move to triathlons to give me a bigger challenge, but when I was running, breaking my 5K PR was a bigger challenge for me that doing a 10K or even a marathon for that matter.  Taking 1-2 seconds off my fastest 5K required me to train harder, race smarter, and be more focused than completing a longer race.  The important thing for me was to no lose interest in the sport and to keep pushing myself.  I continued to do that without changing distances until I was to an age that I didn't think I would be able to see another PR in a 5K.  At that point, I started to chase new PR's by doing half Marathons, Marathons, and Triathlons.  After doing Marathons I felt that the 70.3 distance was within my reaches so my first triathlon was a 70.3 and with the exception of one Oly race the 70.3 were all I did my first 4 years of doing Triathlons.  I did my first Sprint Triathlon 5 months ago and Sprints were all that I did this year.  I don't race Sundays but wanted to become a USAT member this year and complete the minimum of three races to get a USAT ranking.  Finding three or four non-Sunday 70.3 races that I could do with my limited travel time and limited travel budget wasn't possible.  So to meet my goal of doing three races I went short.  The shorter races were just a much of a challenge to improve at and get better in as the longer races were.  So do what interests you.  If you want to race more experienced athletes, to push your endurance limits, or see a PR at a new distance, yes, go to the longer race.  If you loved the shorter race and you just want to do that distance over and over again until you perfect it, then don't do to a longer distance.  Do a shorter race perfect is just as good a goal as doing a longer race to finish. 

Edited by BlueBoy26 2019-10-21 9:04 AM
2019-10-21 9:19 AM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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Subject: RE: Age Group Nationals

AG Nationals in Milwaukee is a good time, and a REALLY nice venue.  If you want the experience of a BIG race with venders, decent crowds, closed roads, etc......then go, you'll enjoy it.   Outside of Kona, it's the best big race in the country.

If you're good, you may get a Worlds qualification and the opportunity to spend some serious money!!  LOL


2019-10-21 12:57 PM
in reply to: #5263448


Subject: RE: Age Group Nationals
Glad to know it's normal to feel "void" at the end of race season. I wasn't expecting that feeling.
I was giving into the pressure of feeling the need to move up to the next step of half distance, when what I really just want to do is get better at the shorter races.
Will continue to consider registering for Nationals! Sounds like it would be fun. Maybe we can turn it into a family camping trip or something...
Thanks for your replies!
2019-10-31 10:34 AM
in reply to: HannahK149

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Age Group Nationals
Milwaukee is a GREAT venue and Nationals is a great event. My drive is 8 hours to Milwaukee and even if it was a two day trip I'd still go. They do it right there, the swim is fun, you swim under a walk bridge where spectators get a birds eye view of all the swimmers. The course is fast and flat. The only "hill" is the bridge near the start/finish. Roads are closed off to traffic so it's a very safe feel all the way through. I was there in 2014 and 2015 and I'm so glad it's back. I think I'm doing both the Olympic (Saturday) and the Sprint (Sunday) this year.
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