General Discussion Triathlon Talk » If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race? Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply
2021-07-14 3:09 PM

User image


1386
1000100100100252525
Cypress, Texas
Subject: If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race?

There are some people whose only aspiration in Triathlon is to do a full Ironman.

They start with a sprint triathlon only to build up to an Olympic distance.  They only do the Olympic distance to build up to a 70.3.  They only do a 70.3 to build up to a full Ironman.  They are usually on a 1-2 year to Ironman plan and just assume that anyone who has been in the sport for lets say 8 years has done multiple Ironman races and that shorter races have less value than Iron distance races.

I admit that I in part had that mindset when I started Triathlon.  I knew multiple people that signed up for full Ironmans as a bucket list type goals, did the race with no previous triathlon experience,  then quit the sport.  I did about the same.  I signed up for a triathlon (not a 140.6) thinking it would be my only one but triathlon training motivated more than my other personal fitness plans so I stuck with the sport and have been doing it for 6 years with a two overall multisport win and lots of podiums.  I understand the sport a lot better now and know it is about a lot more than just full Ironman races.  So...how do people go about deciding what distance to race?  What distances are your favorite?  If fitness weren't a limiting factor what distance would you race and why?

 



2021-07-14 4:02 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

User image


1686
1000500100252525
Denver, Colorado
Subject: RE: If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race?
Originally posted by BlueBoy26

There are some people whose only aspiration in Triathlon is to do a full Ironman.

They start with a sprint triathlon only to build up to an Olympic distance.  They only do the Olympic distance to build up to a 70.3.  They only do a 70.3 to build up to a full Ironman.  They are usually on a 1-2 year to Ironman plan and just assume that anyone who has been in the sport for lets say 8 years has done multiple Ironman races and that shorter races have less value than Iron distance races.

I admit that I in part had that mindset when I started Triathlon.  I knew multiple people that signed up for full Ironmans as a bucket list type goals, did the race with no previous triathlon experience,  then quit the sport.  I did about the same.  I signed up for a triathlon (not a 140.6) thinking it would be my only one but triathlon training motivated more than my other personal fitness plans so I stuck with the sport and have been doing it for 6 years with a two overall multisport win and lots of podiums.  I understand the sport a lot better now and know it is about a lot more than just full Ironman races.  So...how do people go about deciding what distance to race?  What distances are your favorite?  If fitness weren't a limiting factor what distance would you race and why?

 




Hmm... interesting discussion. Fitness aside, I think what is limiting me with longer distances is the TIME that you need for preparation and training. Based on the training plans I've seen for the full IM, it looks like one needs to devote tons of time, consistancy, basiclyy forget social life and othe robligations.

I enjoy longer races, mostly because I really like to be on a race and with that adrenaline for longer. And honestly, shorter races scare me.... I think that's my fitness weakness: not the long, but short distances. With longer distance, I can plan and strategize. I can take run/walk breaks, I can figure out pacing, etc.... With shorter distances you just go-go-go! Forget taking a breath, you just go!
Shorter races are done in an hour or 1.5. I probably sound weird, but I absolutely love to be on for hours and hours... It could be the Schopenhauer's thingie going on with me - just not wanting it to end
2021-07-14 4:03 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

User image


958
5001001001001002525
, Kronobergs lan
Subject: RE: If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race?
If fitness (and injuries and aches and pains) weren’t a limiting factor, I’d still do sprints, maybe olys (after 7 years of sprints, I’ll do my first official oly this year). Main reason it’s that I lack the time to train for longer distances (full time time job, family and other hobbies)
2021-07-14 6:43 PM
in reply to: Rollergirl

User image

Expert
3926
2000100050010010010010025
Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: RE: If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race?
ZERO interest in "going long". Much more fun going fast. Olys are the perfect blend of trying to manage racing really close to your limit without going over, and sprints are just forcing your way through the relative pain. I also see a not insignificant number of people where triathlon is a destination, a thing to do, an not a journey/lifestyle, and then they go on to complete an Ironman. After that, they never do anything athletic again, winding up worse physically than before.
2021-07-14 9:16 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

User image

Master
8189
500020001000100252525
Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race?
HIM. Unlike many in tri, I did NOT start in the sport with the goal to do a full ironman. In fact, seeing videos of Ironman (Kona) as a kid and teen scared me off the sport in general, as I thought all triathlons were full IM! I stumbled into tri by way of master's swimming in my early 40's while living overseas; my first two events were sprints, because that's what my swimmer/triathlete friends were doing. I later did an Oly with them, got hooked on the sport, got a road bike, did another, placed well overall and in my AG, and for several years all my events (tri and aquathlon) were sprints or Olys, plus a few slightly longer "international distance" races in Asia.

I was several years into the sport before I decided that a HIM might be a fun challenge--mainly because there was a summer event near my home in Oregon that looked scenic and challenging. Unfortunately it didn't work out (due to bad weather conditions) and I later completed a different HIM. That distance became and remains my favorite; I have competed in two world championships for 70.3. I think I'm physically suited for it as endurance comes more naturally to me than speed. It is also at the limit of what I can do justice to training-wise while working full-time. (Plus, as a teacher, I can plan most of my A races for summer when I can devote more time to training.)

I've done one full IM in 2018 (during a year I took off from teaching), mainly because I could.....I'd planned to wait until retiring, but I had the freedom that year to do the training it deserved, and decided to go for it. Can't honestly say I am in any hurry to do another one. The training and race went well, I have no regrets, but it was a LOT of training time and would be a real ordeal with my job (inflexible hours except for summer, lots of time on my feet, lots of exposure to kid bugs.) I enjoyed the long runs and swims, but honestly am not that passionate about six hour plus bike rides unless they are on tours and involve stops for sightseeing, good food and wine. So I'm in no hurry to do another full IM, at least until I retire!
2021-07-15 7:16 AM
in reply to: jmhpsu93

User image


958
5001001001001002525
, Kronobergs lan
Subject: RE: If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race?
Originally posted by jmhpsu93

ZERO interest in "going long". Much more fun going fast.


Oh yeah, that too. Should be able to do an oly in about 3 hours (not this year though, too many injuries) but that’s already almost too long for a race. I don’t see the attraction in racing all day.


2021-07-15 10:22 AM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

User image

Roswell, Georgia
Subject: RE: If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race?

Half Iron distance is definitely my sweet spot. I still get to experience the electric atmosphere and fulfillment of a race day, and still have to put in significant training -- but it's not nearly the training commitment and time suck of a full Ironman. 

The Sprint distance seems like such a short and unfulfilling (since I'm not fast or on any podiums) experience - don't really get my 'bang for the buck' there. Olympic distance feels like a good training day to me - depending on travel time, venue appeal and registration fees, it might be worth it.

But yeah, 70.3 is where I feel I get the most value and enjoyable experience.

2021-07-19 9:55 AM
in reply to: 0

User image


1386
1000100100100252525
Cypress, Texas
Subject: RE: If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race?

I did 70.3 races my first 4 years of Triathlon.  The first two years they about killed me.  After that I was able to handle them better but after about 3 hours I would start asking myself, "Is this ever going to end?"  I did sprint races in my 5th year just because I wanted to get my three races so I could get a USAT ranking and I could only get more races by doing some sprints.  Working to improve my USAT ranking made every race count and added motivation that I needed at the time.  I loved the shorter races through.  I loved going fast and loved even more that after the race I didn't hurt.  I am probably better suited to endurance than I am speed so the Olympic races might be my sweet spot.  I want to do another 70.3 through.  I did a virtual 70.3 in 2020 but other than that it has been since 2018 that I completed one.  Even through they half kill me I feel a sense of accomplishment for being able complete something that is outside of my comfort zone and something that really pushes me.  I am feeling that doing a 140.6 may be something I should do for the same reason.  It will be outside of my comfort zone, will push me, and would be a different experience than anything else I have done. I don't want to do it just because I feel peer pressured or band wagoned though.  I am glad to hear everyone thoughts on race distances.  It paints the real picture of the sport and dispels all the hype.   



Edited by BlueBoy26 2021-07-19 10:01 AM
2021-07-20 9:38 AM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

User image

Expert
1035
100025
lake forest, California
Subject: RE: If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race?

My first few years of triathlon were exactly as described. Reaching each race distance milestone, i'd start to eye the next distance, until I finally ran a few IM distances. Eventually gave up triathlon altogether, and now 7 years later i'm back. I enjoyed the process more than the actual races. I liked training & 70.3 as it turns out is the perfect distance for me. Requires solid training and since i'm not fast on my run it still keeps me in the competitive group. My goals are never to podium, but always to finish better than last time.

2021-08-11 4:22 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

User image

Pro
6582
50001000500252525
Melbourne FL
Gold member
Subject: RE: If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race?

Over 15 years of racing Sprints to HIM, Sprints were my favorite, Oly's were limited to once a year here and was fun.  I seem to have a better knack for going all out for 1 to 1.5 hours than slower and steady for 6 or so.  Heck my last HIM I purposely blew up my run because the bike course was a challenge with several climbs and went for it.  Something to be said about patience vs let's get this over with!

2021-09-02 12:06 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

User image

Veteran
938
50010010010010025
South Windsor, CT
Subject: RE: If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race?
Originally posted by BlueBoy26

So...how do people go about deciding what distance to race?  What distances are your favorite?  If fitness weren't a limiting factor what distance would you race and why?

 




In late 2011 on my 50th birthday, I decided to try to train for a full distance IM race. Had to learn how to do freestyle. Had to buy a road bike. Planned out 6 months of training with IMLP 2012 the goal. Talked to a lot of people on BT about that race in the forums...

First race was a practice 70.3, but they cancelled the swim-turned it into a 69.1. Poconos is no longer a race.
Second race was a local sprint tri-crashed the bike-DNF
Third race was another 70.3 (Quassy) and I finished!
----learned that hilly courses are prevalent in NE and are hard----Quassy became IM CT 70.3 and is no longer a race.
Fourth race was IMLP
----learned that all long distance triathlon is really hard and requires a whole lot of training---and it's very hilly in NY.

Throughout the past decade, I have usually gone with a theme to make it more fun..
Sprints one year, with a few longer races for 'fun'.
Adventure type races for a few years-Savageman, SOS, CascoBay Swim/Run...
Did the 'full revolution' twice-(Oly-Sat; 70.3 Sun) at Quassy.
Travelled to ITU long course worlds in Spain and WC 70.3 in France and those were both pretty great trips.

But I'd say my sweet spot is OLY tri distance.
Long enough to not have to train quite so much week in and week out, with a few weeks longer hours at peak,and the time commitment isn't preclusive. OLY races are far less common though, which is too bad.

And now that I've done the longer races, I still wouldn't do IM again, even if time or fitness was not a limiting factor.
70.3? Oh, yeah. I still like that distance...but that's the farthest I'll go now.


2021-09-07 11:23 AM
in reply to: dtoce

User image


1386
1000100100100252525
Cypress, Texas
Subject: RE: If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race?

Originally posted by dtoce
Originally posted by BlueBoy26

So...how do people go about deciding what distance to race?  What distances are your favorite?  If fitness weren't a limiting factor what distance would you race and why?

 

In late 2011 on my 50th birthday, I decided to try to train for a full distance IM race. Had to learn how to do freestyle. Had to buy a road bike. Planned out 6 months of training with IMLP 2012 the goal. Talked to a lot of people on BT about that race in the forums... First race was a practice 70.3, but they canceled the swim-turned it into a 69.1. Poconos is no longer a race. Second race was a local sprint tri-crashed the bike-DNF Third race was another 70.3 (Quassy) and I finished! ----learned that hilly courses are prevalent in NE and are hard----Quassy became IM CT 70.3 and is no longer a race. Fourth race was IMLP ----learned that all long-distance triathlon is really hard and requires a whole lot of training---and it's very hilly in NY. Throughout the past decade, I have usually gone with a theme to make it more fun.. Sprints one year, with a few longer races for 'fun'. Adventure-type races for a few years-Savageman, SOS, CascoBay Swim/Run... Did the 'full revolution' twice-(Oly-Sat; 70.3 Sun) at Quassy. Traveled to ITU long course worlds in Spain and WC 70.3 in France and those were both pretty great trips. But I'd say my sweet spot is OLY tri distance. Long enough to not have to train quite so much week in and week out, with a few weeks longer hours at peak, and the time commitment isn't preclusive. OLY races are far less common though, which is too bad. And now that I've done the longer races, I still wouldn't do IM again, even if time or fitness was not a limiting factor. 70.3? Oh, yeah. I still like that distance...but that's the farthest I'll go now.

Awesome! 

2021-09-23 5:28 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

User image

Pro
6010
50001000
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race?

When fitness isn't a factor, my preference is HIM.  IM training consumes your life, plus race day tends to get long and boring.  Sprint and Oly hurt too bad the whole time if you're really racing your fastest race.  At the HIM distance, training doesn't need to consume your life, and the distance is long enough that you need to hold back on the swim and bike enough that they don't hurt and you can enjoy the experience, yet it's still short enough to avoid boredom.

 

New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » If fitness isn't a limiting factor what distance do you race? Rss Feed  
RELATED POSTS

Treadmill distance versus outdoor distance

Started by Spider_Webster
Views: 530 Posts: 4

2020-07-28 9:10 PM jimmyb

LA Fitness Pool length

Started by cheavrin
Views: 10098 Posts: 5

2021-04-22 3:09 PM BlueBoy26

Length of pools @ 24 Hour Fitness?

Started by faded_memories
Views: 28747 Posts: 5

2021-04-22 8:36 AM janiname

Lifetime Fitness indoor lap pool question Pages: 1 2

Started by trigirl74
Views: 18565 Posts: 26

2021-04-23 5:39 PM rosendamanns2808

"Fitness evaluation" at LA Fitness was a joke!

Started by Tripolar
Views: 14158 Posts: 16

2021-06-11 8:13 AM TriMyBest