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  1. #1
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    First triathlon as a CAT 2

    I'm very tempted to attempt a triathlon this year. I'm not going to practice running, swimming, or transitions. By no way I'm interested in going balls deep in triathlons or doing them very "competitive" at all. Mostly because of all of the major crashes (broken pelvis, tibia, ulna, wrist and tons of concussions) in my career have been caused by triathletes.

    So a little information about myself. I'm an absolutely **** swimmer. I've never taken swimming liessons or anything like that. For running I'm fairly good. I can run miles in around 4 and a half minutes. Now the fun stuff begins. I don't know how fast any of the traithletes are in my area, but I'm probably faster on the bike than any of them. My average 40 km tt is under 53 minutes.

    Hopefully I can get around to doing one this year. My expectation is to nearly drown on the swim, shred the field on the bike, and stay in front for the run.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warpdatframe View Post
    I'm very tempted to attempt a triathlon this year. I'm not going to practice running, swimming, or transitions.
    Suit yourself. But you won't be enjoying any part of it without at least some proper training.


    Quote Originally Posted by Warpdatframe View Post
    By no way I'm interested in going balls deep in triathlons or doing them very "competitive" at all. Mostly because of all of the major crashes (broken pelvis, tibia, ulna, wrist and tons of concussions) in my career have been caused by triathletes.
    That's a weird reason (or roadie arrogance). You do know that most age group triathlons are draft illegal? There's no group riding, so if you crash, chances are it will be your own fault.


    Quote Originally Posted by Warpdatframe View Post
    So a little information about myself. I'm an absolutely **** swimmer. I've never taken swimming liessons or anything like that.
    If you are not sure that you can complete the swim portion safely, STAY OUT OF THE TRIATHLON! Not only for your own sake, but for that of the other participants and the volunteers.


    Quote Originally Posted by Warpdatframe View Post
    For running I'm fairly good. I can run miles in around 4 and a half minutes.
    Not after the swim and the bike, you won't. Go ride 40 km hard, hop off the bike and run 10 km. See if you put out 4.5 minute miles then. Triathlon is a different beast.


    Quote Originally Posted by Warpdatframe View Post
    Now the fun stuff begins. I don't know how fast any of the traithletes are in my area, but I'm probably faster on the bike than any of them. My average 40 km tt is under 53 minutes.
    Bragging will get you nowhere. Your stand alone 40 km TT time doesn't matter when you had to do the swim portion before the bike and you have to do the run afterwards. Again, triathlon is a different beast.


    Quote Originally Posted by Warpdatframe View Post
    Hopefully I can get around to doing one this year. My expectation is to nearly drown on the swim, shred the field on the bike, and stay in front for the run.
    Dream on. If it's not some little village triathlon with only senior citizens participating, you will get shredded.
    Greetings from the Ironman Germany bike course,
    Roland

  3. #3
    I'm slow
    Reputation: tpgrole's Avatar
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    Give it a shot! You'll have a blast and then you'll know if your good enough to beat the local tri folks. But practice the swim enough to do it safely!

    Before attempting my first try, I knew I liked cycling and running but was a terrible swimmer. After a few tris and some practice, I found I actually liked swimming.

  4. #4
    I Love PAIN
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    Follow RolandG's advice. You are very arogant, and the way you use your words you'll probably not make the swim, bomb on the bike and have to crawl the remaining run portion. If you cannot swim, join a 4 week program and learn how. The last TRI I did last year, a seasoned Ironman died on the swim, so don't take this light heartedly!

    I do TRI's an DU's, they are completely different that the average cycle race. You have to have a lot of endurance built up in different muscle groups not normally used in cycling.

  5. #5
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    I did a my first sprint tri this past December (I am in Az so temp is fine). I come from biking so that is my strong suit and here is what I learned.

    1) Swimming... I did a pool swim and it was a little easier than open water swim, but breathing is critical. I trained for my swim part and I am decent swimmer. I grew up swimming, but never on team. Anyway tried to swim 4 laps of a 25 yard pool and came back winded. That was 100 yards total. I could do the swimming, but I could not breath at all so ran of air. It is not like on bike where you can breath when you need to. So had swimmer friend (who happens to be a large woman friend of my wife teach me). She is very good despite her size because she knows what she is doing. Anyway I learned to breath at such a level that I could get enough air to actually cover the 400 yard swim distance without needing to stop. After this is was working on my technique to be efficient. Now I can swim the distance with no issues, but I am not as fast as I could be since my technique is poor. It is good enough to be just off mid pack so I give up time on the swim and that is after training. If I want a faster swim I need more focus on technique. In the actual race swimming is only part of it as even on pool swim I was crawling over people in the pool who were slower despite having us all grip by our expected time. Many fudged and it became more crowded. If you forget your breathing in pack on an open water swim it can be dangerous as you can easily be swam right over as you try to catch your breath.

    The bike was easy, but I needed to practice the transition. I know I lost time there despite practicing it a few times. It is a different experience to hit the bike wet and have to get your gear on and jump on the bike already winded from the swim and excitement of transition.

    The run was a different issue. The first mile is pure pain since your legs are not prepared for the change in muscle group. I am not a runner, but practiced running for this and that change is very hard. I was very happy I did 3 block training session before the race so I could practice that muscle change.

    Now as for your pace. 4:30 miles... are you sure? That is pretty darn fast.

    If you can run the pace and ride as fast as you suggest you just head to the Olympics right now. That is of course unless you drown on the swim.
    Joe
    Road Bike - Trek 5200 | MTB - 2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail

  6. #6
    Master debator.
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    I have signed up for 3 tri's next summer, a sprint, an Olympic, and a 70.3.
    I am a solid 7 minute miler, but I am hoping for 8 minute miles on the tri's (that's my real pace not my internet running pace).
    I am hoping for 18-20 mph average with a tri bike, my normal average with a my road bike. Hopefully the aero position allows this.
    I am a swimmer, but not recently so I have started again. Despite being in decent shape, those first few laps left me like the poster above, I was out of air quickly. It was very humbling!
    I would suggest if you plan to try a tri to get started swimming now, and make it your first goal to simply finish and have fun, and then worry about time after that.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  7. #7
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    I think you took everything I said a bit too literally. I'm just going to clear some things up. Most people that post about doing triathlons are noobs, I'm an elite(ish) athlete and have a fair bit of cycling and athletic knowledge. I just want to do a triathlon for FUN. I want to see how many people I can pass on the bike and what place I'll end up. The reason that I don't want to train or practice is I'm not becoming a triathlete. I just want to do it. When I said I would probably drown on the swim, I was joking I'm just not a very good swimmer (technique).

  8. #8
    Master debator.
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    That's all well and good, but have you ever won anything on Strava? You ain't nothing until you're KOM on Strava.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  9. #9
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    With regard to triathlons, you are a noob! Especially if you consider yourself to be above training for it.

    Your athletic knowledge should tell you that 3 endurance events in a row is not comparable to a stand alone bike race.

    If it's fun to count the number of people you pass on the bike, it will be more fun to count the number of people that pass you on the run.

    Don't get me wrong, given your background, you might even do not too bad in your first triathlon, if you get out of the water in a decent shape. I've seen too many cyclists with a superiority attitude making an utter joke of themselves in a triathlon before they even got on the bike. Or fade away on the run.

    What distance will that triathlon be? Are we talking about a sprint or an Oly?
    Greetings from the Ironman Germany bike course,
    Roland

  10. #10
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    Have you ever once done open water swimming? Many have done laps in a pool but open water is quite different, especially with dozens of others around you flailing about.

    I agree with what others said and will underline some things while i have the floor. 4:30 miles? Well, I don't have any reason to think you may be exaggerating other than this is the Internet and you are probably exaggerating. The numbers that Nooky puts up are strong (IMO) and much more realistic.

    The tri dudes (and dudettes) that I know that regularly compete in tri’s are strong, very strong. I think you’re hideously underestimating the competition and grossly exaggerating what your results may be.

    But hey, maybe not…what do I know? I’m a slightly out of shape, almost 40 yr old, Cat nothing geeZer. My fingers are tired because I had to reach for the Z on my keyboard, which I don't regularly do.

    Go do the tri, as long as you can make the swim and not get a panic attack in the open water.
    I ride mostly in the honorable pursuit of being kissed on both cheeks at the same time by one blond and one brunette. But not redheads, they scare me.

  11. #11
    wots...uh the deal?
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    How long is the Tri? There are greatly different lengths. First Tri I did was more a sprint. I did not have much fun during and wasn't tired enough afterwards to feel it was worthwhile.
    I'm not a great swimmer, but can slowly crawl across a lake ok. So I didn't worry about the swim. But jumping on the bike, the first little hill, there was NO power in the legs. I was just getting back to normal riding when it was time to jump off the bike and run. And again, the legs freak out. (And I was participating, not really competing, caring about placement)

    Nowadays, over the Winters, I do the local gym indoor cycle thing and then hop off and run some miles. So the legs are used to the transition and won't freak on me. But while I am considering a longer tri (not orgainized, just wake up and do a half or full), I'm very leary of the swim to bike transition. (Not because of the time, but because of the body reaction)

    Go, do one, have fun, try not to take the first one seriously. If it is ok, great. If not, you'll know what to work on for next time!
    martymoose

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warpdatframe View Post
    I think you took everything I said a bit too literally. I'm just going to clear some things up. Most people that post about doing triathlons are noobs, I'm an elite(ish) athlete and have a fair bit of cycling and athletic knowledge. I just want to do a triathlon for FUN. I want to see how many people I can pass on the bike and what place I'll end up. The reason that I don't want to train or practice is I'm not becoming a triathlete. I just want to do it. When I said I would probably drown on the swim, I was joking I'm just not a very good swimmer (technique).
    You will pass alot of people on the bike. In my short tri (400 swim, 20k bike, 5k run) I passsed a lot of people. We had 3 lab course I and I passed 25 people per 4 mile lap easy. Avg speed was 21 mph on my bike as well. I even held my own on the run with an 8:13 pace. What I saw was that a lot people on the bike are not fast. Could be for alot of reasons and passing them was not really an accomplishment. A big reason why is that due to my slow swim I was in pack of slow athaletes. Imagine starting your road race in group of cat 4/5 guys when you are cat 2. Sure you will pass alot, but does it really make a difference? They people you should be competing with a long gone. So for me it was my first one and while I am competitive I never expected win. Over all fished solidly in my age group and solidly overall. Slow swim, strong bike and acceptable run.

    Triathlons are a lot harder than you think because you need to be good in multiple areas. Even so many people do them for fun so you will see a lot weekend types out there. I don't feel superior to any of them as I consider all of them to much faster than all those that never even tried.
    Joe
    Road Bike - Trek 5200 | MTB - 2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail

  13. #13
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    I did 2 sprint tri's last year. Lesson's I learned in no particular order:

    I'm not a swimmer, never have been, but I worked and worked at it. I suggest that you be comfortable in the water and be able to swim twice the distance of the event without much fanfare before you attempt it. (I was swimming a mile in the pool, events were only 1/4, and still it was not easy.) And if it's open water, be prepared for your heart to not obey you and to race for no good reason. My plan in both events was to simply not drown or quit.

    The bike's a breeze, but do practice transitions (youtube, rubber bands, tri-shoes). I gave away too much time the first race, then practiced the transitions and had excellent t-times for the second. I also did not hold anything back on the bike. I pushed for all I was worth (it was a sprint, 15.6 bike 5k run). I figured I could make up 3-5 minutes on the bike and only cost myself 60-90 seconds on the run. I haven't raced my bike before, I just a b-b+ club rider, and no one passed me on the bike. Then again, my swim was so slow, the guys who could have contended were already miles ahead and I wasn't catching them.. There was something quite delightful in passing deep aero wheeled tri-bikes ridden by people in their pointed helmeted heads on my bone-stock road bike..

    DO some bricks (bike to run) practice. You are not prepared for the agony in your legs the first time you do them. It gets easier with more practice.

    Gel before the swim, gel in T before the run. Half bottle max on bike, water/sports drink in T, and water stop on course was enough for me.

    If it's a sprint, be prepared to discover how brutal it is. As the name implies, it is a SPRINT from start to finish, you are balls-out hammering the whole time. This would seem obvious, but I was surprised at the end how completely spent I was..

    Finally – HAVE FUN!

  14. #14
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    I'm a roadie, but I did a sprint tri last fall. (600 yard open water, 10 mile bike and 3 mile run) In my age group there were 39 guys. I was 5th out of the water, 7th on the bike and 25 in the run. My overall finish was 19th or 20th.

    I'm a strong swimmer, solid on and bike and I hate running. My run time was 10 minute mile.

    As mentioned above, the swim is brutal. That is the one that freaks a lot of people out especially if open water. My heat started at 7am just at the sun was coming, the Gulf of Mexico was rough and the wind was blowing. It was freaking me out and I live in the water.

    You need to get in the pool and start working. Make sure to get some open water time in before the race as you need to learn how to spot and sight yourself in the open water or you will go off course. (Basically, you have to get your head out of the water find an object and make sure to swim to that object to stay on course) Also, you need to learn to do a side stroke so you can rest a bit, I don’t care how good of shape you think you are in, swimming in open water is hard! It's also very mental.

  15. #15
    PIITWhat?
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    Practice sight-swimming. Please. Don't be that incompetent douchebag who zig-zags across the swim course, swimming on top of people, cutting people off. Otherwise, whatever.

  16. #16
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    The tri I'm planning to do is a sprint with a 1km pool swim, 29km hilly bike, and a 9km run. On the swim I know I'm going to struggle. I really don't care if I'm last coming out of the pool. I want to be really fresh for the bike. Fresh enough to go way faster than I should be, and try to get in first. Obviously going that hard on the bike isn't a good strategy to win,(or place good) but I don't care how I end up.

  17. #17
    Token Sprinter
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    You are not going to be able to be in first after the bike following a poor swim. Don't discount the cycling ability of triathletes. Some guys from our team did power testing with a bunch guys from our school's tri-team and they posted most of the highest watts/kg of anybody there. Those dudes are strong and can swim/run just about as well as they ride. You might able to ride a bit faster than them on the bike, but it probably won't be enough to make up all the time they put on you during the swim/transition.
    Amassing Miles - My Little Cycling Blog

  18. #18
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    1km is a long way to swim for someone who doesn't swim regularly. I worked really hard on my swimming (3 days a week for 4 months) prior to my sprint triathlon in it was only 750m. It took me 13 minutes and there was no way I could have pulled it off without the practice. Also - don't forget to take your helmet off in T2

  19. #19
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    I love sprint tris for training for CX. If you do it right, you'll be around 1:05-1:15 with a nearly LTHR the entire time. In a sprint, being the fastest bike may get you a good AG placing if you are not a runner, but once you get to olympic distance, the time that runners can make up on a slower runner/faster cyclist is compounded.

    I compete for fun, am usually in the top 5 for overall bike time (mostly sprints) but my 7:45 has me passed in the run nearly every time.

    I will say that I did one weak fielded sprint in Cincinnati, and got a chance to ride the last 2 miles and run the first 1.5 miles behind the leadout vehicle... that was the coolest feeling I have ever had, until I got passed by a 5:30 min/mi runner and was left in the dust lol.

    I despise running more than a 5k, so I don't do olympic tri haha.

  20. #20
    Master debator.
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    I swam 1k today, all I can say is I have a long way to go before I feel comfortable and worry about actually going fast
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

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