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2013-06-17 10:10 AM


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Subject: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE
Hi, My name is cecile and I'm a runner. I've ran a good deal of Half marathon and 1 full marathon. I also enjoy biking and use it a lot as a cross training.
I'd like to have your opinion on "my plan". I've been lurking at triathlon for a while but had children and couldn't find the time. I've dome a few duathlon (3.1/14/3.1) but would like to become more serious about doing the "real thing". I can swim, but didn't really went into a pool in 5 years.
I run consistently 30 miles a week (race every month), and bike around 30 miles too (no swim).
Is it totally crazy to think I can tackle a half triathlon if I train hard for the coming 3 months?
Thanks for any answers,
c


2013-06-17 10:31 AM
in reply to: cecileO

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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE

Having done triathlons for a long time, if I was running 30 mpw and not swimming or biking I could easily get ready for a HIM in 12 weeks.  If I was running 30 mpw and had never done a triathlon before I bet I could still get ready in 12 weeks if I was motivated enough.....but I bet I wouldn't enjoy the race as much as if I started with sprints and oly's to get a feel for the flow of a triathlon and how to pace them.

So yeah, you're fit enough to get it done in 12 weeks (provided you don't find out at the pool that you can't even swim a lap without grabbing the wall)......but what's the hurry with jumping right into long course? 

I'm in week 7 of an IM program and I'm already so bored out of my mind with the mind numbing "long" workouts that I'm sure this will be my last IM.  I just can't wait to spend 6 hours on a bike later in the program.....yay....big fun.

2013-06-17 10:38 AM
in reply to: cecileO

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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE
Whats the rush?

Assuming you're able to even complete the swim distance, I doubt you'll be able to get your cycling base up enough to have a good day in just 12 weeks.

A better plan might be to sign up for a sprint or an olympic or two and see where you stand after that.
2013-06-17 11:36 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE
Originally posted by Left Brain

Having done triathlons for a long time, if I was running 30 mpw and not swimming or biking I could easily get ready for a HIM in 12 weeks.  If I was running 30 mpw and had never done a triathlon before I bet I could still get ready in 12 weeks if I was motivated enough.....but I bet I wouldn't enjoy the race as much as if I started with sprints and oly's to get a feel for the flow of a triathlon and how to pace them.

So yeah, you're fit enough to get it done in 12 weeks (provided you don't find out at the pool that you can't even swim a lap without grabbing the wall)......but what's the hurry with jumping right into long course? 

I'm in week 7 of an IM program and I'm already so bored out of my mind with the mind numbing "long" workouts that I'm sure this will be my last IM.  I just can't wait to spend 6 hours on a bike later in the program.....yay....big fun.




x2

I do have friends that have started with the long course stuff. They were fit, they suffered through the training and the event. They were happy with the result. They never touched Triathlon again.
2013-06-17 4:38 PM
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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE
Having done every distance of stand alone running races and up through HIM distance triathlons, I would say that run fitness does not necessarily cross over fully into the other disciplines. Is your race in a lake/ocean? Running a HM is one thing, running it after swimming 1.2 and riding 56 is another. What exactly is the reason for starting off on a long course/HIM distance?

Edited by taylorz13 2013-06-17 4:38 PM
2013-06-17 5:12 PM
in reply to: tkos

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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE
Originally posted by tkos

Originally posted by Left Brain

Having done triathlons for a long time, if I was running 30 mpw and not swimming or biking I could easily get ready for a HIM in 12 weeks.  If I was running 30 mpw and had never done a triathlon before I bet I could still get ready in 12 weeks if I was motivated enough.....but I bet I wouldn't enjoy the race as much as if I started with sprints and oly's to get a feel for the flow of a triathlon and how to pace them.

So yeah, you're fit enough to get it done in 12 weeks (provided you don't find out at the pool that you can't even swim a lap without grabbing the wall)......but what's the hurry with jumping right into long course? 

I'm in week 7 of an IM program and I'm already so bored out of my mind with the mind numbing "long" workouts that I'm sure this will be my last IM.  I just can't wait to spend 6 hours on a bike later in the program.....yay....big fun.




x2

I do have friends that have started with the long course stuff. They were fit, they suffered through the training and the event. They were happy with the result. They never touched Triathlon again.


Just for a differing perspective I started out with a HIM (Steelhead) as my first tri and never thought or felt any of this. I was much the same as the OP with a strong running background and some cycling (albeit ages ago) skills but will admit I gave myself longer than 12 weeks to prep. I love the long, arduous training days and an hour long event had zero appeal to me.


2013-06-17 5:22 PM
in reply to: thebigb

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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE

 

Go for it. Get as much biking and swimming in as you can in the next 3 months and go for it. Might be a long day but if that doesn't scare you then go ahead and have fun. My first HIM was almost 7 hours, slow as heck but I enjoyed every minute of it and don't regret it at all. You will find lots of people in worse shape than you out on a HIM course. 

2013-06-17 5:59 PM
in reply to: cecileO

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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE
I think my advice would depend on exactly what your skill level is for the following:

Originally posted by cecileO
I can swim, but didn't really went into a pool in 5 years.


What is your swimming background? Have your ever swum the HIM distance (1.2 miles) straight through? If you haven't swum in a while but did swim competitively or at least at a higher volume at some point in your past, I'd say go for it. If by "can swim" you mean "can make it from one end of the pool to the other" but haven't ever done the amount of swimming required for a 70.3, I'd recommend stretching out your triathlon goal timeframe and starting with some shorter races.
2013-06-18 3:41 PM
in reply to: Left Brain


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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE
thanks for your answer Pro. There is no real rush, just a strong desire to do it. I guess my turning 40 this October was the trigger. I bike "casually" 50miles every other week but I take breaks here and there to refuel or just rest. The best I have done was to run a 10k and then ride 60 miles. Truth is it was damn hard!
Maybe I'm just unrealistic about the whole thing, which is exactly why I thought I'd ask on such a forum. You might have a point about enjoying the race. I want to have fun! maybe I can re-assess my goals and plan on a half in the first semester of 2014....after all I'll still be 40!
thanks for your input
c
2013-06-18 3:50 PM
in reply to: thebigb


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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE
Thanks for your perspective. I do want to enjoy the race and do more than 1. I thought I'd start with the half because of several reasons: 1) I have little interest for event that last less than 2 hours. 2) marathon was intense, the training especially because I just had a baby. 3) the cost of triathlon is big on my budget. the price tag between a OD and a HD is 50 bucks. why would I pay so much to just challenge myself a little bit rather than a lot?
Now I realize that all my thinking is based on nothing concrete, except my limited experience of duathlon and marathon.
2013-06-18 3:56 PM
in reply to: paxsarah


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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE
HI there,
I used to swim regularly but nothing competitive. I definitely need to build some endurance and improve my technique. I thought that running fitness could actually transpose in swimming, and that it wouldn't necessarily be too hard to make some rapid gain (read in 3 months). Truth is I don't have a knive under my throat and can the time to prepare better and choose an event later next year. I think it would actulally be wiser after reading all of the comments.
In any case, thank you for all the answers you guys gave me. Really appreciate it


2013-06-18 3:59 PM
in reply to: cecileO

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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE
On the plus side, an Olympic should last more than two hours unless you're REALLY fast

Especially if you've got the swim background you've probably got the fitness to do a half iron. Tri racing is a bit
More complicated than a run race, I think most of us would rather see someone work out the kinks on a $90 local sprint than see someone spend several hundred dollars and travel for a race that might not go smoothly.
2013-06-18 4:03 PM
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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE
My 2 cents isn't much different than everybody else's 2 cents.



Edited by lifejustice 2013-06-18 4:04 PM
2013-06-18 4:24 PM
in reply to: lifejustice

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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE

I think you can do it, absolutely.  Read a bunch of race reports here on BT for your race, and other Half Iron distance races.  Also, start researching HIM Nutrition.  There are a bazillion threads here on the topic.

Can you do it really well, like front of the pack?  Well, if you're athletically gifted probably.  If you're average, you're looking at a long day.   Does that sound like what you were thinking?  Then you're in a reasonable place mentally.

I would suggest you get in the pool for a few weeks and see how it feels to do some endurance swimming.   A half-iron distance event isn't about speed so get in the pool, find your "easy" pace and see how it goes.  I think that's the real question here.   If things click you will be able to add distance fairly quickly, I think.   Check out some of the beginner HIM distance plans on BT and try a swim workout from that.  I really think it's all theory until you see how it goes in the pool.  It's not a HUGE part of a HIM, but it can break you.

2013-06-19 7:02 AM
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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE

You can do it!

I signed up for a HIM in Sept and started swimming in Dec 12 as I thought Swimming, would need the most improving.

You have a better Run base than I and my swim/pool experience is similar if not worse. The bike would be my strong point but I will say that in the few months I have been on a BT training plan I have seen some pretty good improvement.

I don’t get the zone training but working on it…

I will say I started going to coached swim classes and it is pretty amazing how different swimming is when someone helps you understand it’s not just swimming.

Lots of little things that add up to big gains...

Starting OWS training as I think it is the area I need the biggest confidence boost.




Edited by 1_Mad_Madone 2013-06-19 7:04 AM
2013-06-19 7:07 AM
in reply to: cecileO

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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE

Originally posted by cecileO Thanks for your perspective. I do want to enjoy the race and do more than 1. I thought I'd start with the half because of several reasons: 1) I have little interest for event that last less than 2 hours. 2) marathon was intense, the training especially because I just had a baby. 3) the cost of triathlon is big on my budget. the price tag between a OD and a HD is 50 bucks. why would I pay so much to just challenge myself a little bit rather than a lot? Now I realize that all my thinking is based on nothing concrete, except my limited experience of duathlon and marathon.

an olympic distance (1500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run) will take more than 2 hours, don't you worry



2013-06-19 7:08 AM
in reply to: cecileO

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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE
I hope it "do-able" because I have my first tri/half on Sunday and it sounds like i have far less of a run base than you're working with!
2013-06-19 7:40 AM
in reply to: jjamesw12

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Subject: RE: considering starting triathlon by HALF DISTANCE
I can sort of see where the OP is coming from, it's sort of the reason why I've never done a Sprint tri. If I'm going to take the time to schlep all my gear down to a race, set it up, etc. only to be done in an hour...it just doesn't seem worth the hassle to me. That said, if it's his/her first race, I'd say why start w/ a HIM? Do an OLY.

I've never done a HIM, but I've done an IM-distance and several OLYs. I'm shooting for a HIM later this summer, but I gotta tell ya that I loves me that OLY distance!
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