12

Triathlon or no? (Read 629 times)

    So the "trial tri" was a little different than expected - .25 mile swim, 5 mile mountain bike, 5k trail run

     

    I did better on the swim than I thought. I KNOW I rushed into it too fast, though, and I wasted a lot of energy that I should have conserved. It was a big mistake, but hey, mistakes are for learning from and I didn't drown. It was really disconcerting to swim with other people. I don't think I really panicked, but I'm glad for the advice to get accustomed to arms/elbows/feet in your face. 

     

    The fact that the bike and run were on a trail made the course very difficult. The trails were rocky, rooty, muddy, with steep hills (saw a lot of face plants from fellow competitors). It made a street cycle/run look like a leisurely stroll!

     

    I feel like I'm in better shape for the "real" triathlon next month. The swim is going to be harder... But honestly I think the cycle and run will be a lot easier than this Smile Thanks to everyone for their advice!! 

     

     

    Awesome job!  Glad you enjoyed it!

    2014 Goals:

    #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

    #2: 365 Hours training

     

      Being young, competitive, and stupid, I started the swim for my first tri too far forward.  I was not a bad swimmer, but I was not all that fast either.  I was not prepared for the amount of pulling, shoving, and downright deliberate grab-you-and-push-you-down-to-swim-over-you.  Now this was in the early days of the internet and I really didn't have access to the resources we have today to educate me on what to expect.  Lining up further back would have helped to some extent but I can see that if I had gone into that as a timid swimmer who got scared at going underwater unexpectedly or something, it could have been a traumatic or dangerous experience.  Instead, it was just frustrating.

       

      Really bad things rarely happen to people on the bike or run.  From an outsider's perspective, most serious problems I hear coming out of tris happen during the swim.  So I think it is wise to at least be confident (not necessarily fast) before taking on the crowded swim of a tri.  Starting far enough back helps too.  Big grin

       I think there is a big difference between deliberate swimming over people and doing it as part of the race. In my experience (coming from swimming), triathlon swims are really tame open water swims. Those I know always feel bad when they swim over the top of someone in a tri (sorry to everyone I've run over), but when someone's pull coincides with your shoulder and you find yourself suddenly underneath them it's nearly impossible to think back to the hand that was on your leg a few seconds ago and realize they worked not to drown you then!

       

      I like your advice to line up at the back; I would also add, the side especially the one to the outside of the buoy turns is even safer.

       

      To get more comfortable, get out of the pool and into more race realistic situations. If you can swim with a group in the lake do it! If you can swim through the people at the wave pool, even better! At the very least, swim in a lane with other people (a fast big guy is best).

       

      If you find yourself in STL, I would be more than happy to join you.

        Really bad things rarely happen to people on the bike or run.  From an outsider's perspective, most serious problems I hear coming out of tris happen during the swim.  So I think it is wise to at least be confident (not necessarily fast) before taking on the crowded swim of a tri.  Starting far enough back helps too.  Big grin

         

        I've read that before (13 of 14 deaths within USA triathlon over a 2 year period of time happened during the swim by cardio vascular diosease).

        It surprises me that within Marathon, the deaths frequently happen within the last mile, while within triathlon, they happen at the beginning of the race.  Adding to that, people seldom die while running the marathon at the end of a swim / bike outing.

         

        As Spaniel said, starting near the back helps.  It's more comfortable to swim over a slower swimmer than having a faster swimmer swim over you.

         

        I've often wondered how to "fix" the problem with swimming, but realize that it's not possible. Within running races, the organizers place you in a coral that keeps you with others like you.  By running with the 3:30 marathon pace group you know that others are like you.  With swimming, you don't have that luxury.  You're treading water with people that all look the same (ie. green cap with goggles) and cannot expect to swim with your friends or pace off of them or make sure that you start in a location where others swim the same pace as you.  When the gun goes off, you start swimming your pace.  I swim about 1:50 / 100yards.  For those swimming slower that are in front of me, I need to get in front of them and I'm probably going to touch them.  For those swimming faster than me that are behind me, I'm going to be passed by them.

        2014 Goals:

        #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

        #2: 365 Hours training

         

          Awesome Job! I didn't realize your first would be an off road tri. That's pretty awesome. I guess if you are going to do it might as well go big or go home. Congrats. I bet you feel pumped up for the full thing now.

          "It's a must that you outwork your competition today! Think training is hard? Try losing!" Eric Thomas

            Did anyone find an off-road tri to be more difficult than a "normal" tri? I am kind of hoping this is the case, haha

              Interesting read about deaths during Triathlons

               

              Limiting Deaths in Triathlon thanks to SlowTwitch

               

              The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

               

              2013 Goals:

              5k = sub 21:00

              HM = sub 100 minutes

              Run = 3650 / 2 miles

              Bike = 3500 miles

              Swim = 150 miles

              Race 1st HIM

                Interesting read about deaths during Triathlons

                 

                Limiting Deaths in Triathlon thanks to SlowTwitch

                 

                Good timing for that article (8/13/12). 

                I wonder if it was in response to Ironman New York last Saturday.  (1 racer died in the swim portion).

                 

                MTA: I know if Trent reads this, I'll be corrected because of my lack of real knowledge, but...  (I know he doesn't like heart rate chatter).

                Feel free to look at my race log from 5/19/2012.  In it, you'll see my highest HR from a 12 1/2 hour race was 155bpm.

                However, I put on my HR monitor after the swim while in transition.  If I had my HR monitor on during the swim, and I raced the swim, it might have easily been higher than 155bpm.  I didn't race the swim, and always felt like I was at conversation pace (as in "sorry" whenever I dunked another swimmer accidentally).


                Ironman training (which is different than shorter distance triathlon training) conditions the body to go long rather than go fast.  As such, it's a game of HR management.  When conditioned to manage your HR, and you go hard early (adrenaline), I wonder whether that causes challenges.  The writer of the article (Dan Empfield) talks about having proper warm up, but I think he's missing another element that's maybe more real for the average Joe / Jane.. 

                 

                For slower swimmers and mediocre swimmers (non-elite swimmers anyway), it's very very hard to gauge your level of effort in a race.  It's very very easy to "sprint" the entire swim portion because others are swimming on top of you.  For an endurance swim, I can swim about 1:50 / 100yards.  For a 500 yard swim, that would be about 9:10.  However, if I want to swim a 500 yard swim by itself, I can swim it in 8:00 (1:35 / 100 yards).  The level of effort between those 2 times is quite dramatic for me, while the time between those 2 effort levels is small (15 seconds per 100 yards). 

                 

                My ability to gauge that level of effort during a race is virtually impossible because there's no "mile markers" or "pace setters" or whatever.

                 

                In a long race, (1/2 Ironman would be about 2500 yards), it's possible to "sprint" the entire swim portion and exert yourself in a manner that your HR is way too high to be able to sustain yourself for the next 5+ hours.

                 

                Summary: I think the biggest challenge with swimming in a triathlon is gauging your level of effort.  As such, you never want to think that you're racing the swim portion.  If you think you FEEL like you're racing it, you're putting in way too much effort.

                2014 Goals:

                #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                #2: 365 Hours training

                 

                  Good timing for that article (8/13/12). 

                  I wonder if it was in response to Ironman New York last Saturday.  (1 racer died in the swim portion).

                   

                  Yes it was. It also does a pretty good job of explaining why the deaths occur at the beginning of a triathlon rather then the end of the event like during marathons. I know that I will be focusing on the swim warmup more now than I did in the past.

                   

                  The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                   

                  2013 Goals:

                  5k = sub 21:00

                  HM = sub 100 minutes

                  Run = 3650 / 2 miles

                  Bike = 3500 miles

                  Swim = 150 miles

                  Race 1st HIM

                    I did an IronMan a few years ago; some tips for long distance triathlon.

                     

                    1. The swim should be entirely focused on energy conservation.  It can take 2x the effort to go 5% faster so the "return on investment" is very poor.  The best way to achieve this is by improving your technique.  When doing your pool sessions you should spend the vast majority of the time on technique rather than fitness (you should already be pretty fit).

                     

                    2. Control your bike effort - or you will end up walking for long stretches of the run.  I read some where that for every minute you "steal" on the bike you will pay 5 minutes on the bike.  This usually means riding about 80% of perceived maximum effort; typically even slower than your training rides. 

                     

                    3. IronMan is all about the last 10 miles of the run.  Even if you follow the above strategy you will certainly be VERY tired at about the 15-18 mile mark on the run.  It is important to recognize this and not panic when it hits.  For me I split the run into 4 x 10K in my head.  During training I made sure that I did some 10K runs even when very tired (ie: after a hard bike workout etc..).  This gave me the confidence that I could "punch out a 10K" when I needed it - which I did.

                     

                    In general make sure you really want to do an IronMan, the time commitments are considerable; but the goal is very achievable for most people in reasonable fitness (ie: anyone that can run 10 miles; and can swim reasonably well could finish an IronMan with 1 year of training).

                    Goals: 20:00 5K, 3:30 Marathon, Finish Marathon, 4:00 Marathon, Finish IronMan, 45:00 10K

                    12