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Setting a Goal for NJ Tri - 1st Olympic Question
CREATED: 07/22/09 by ducke REPLIES: 6
ducke's ravatar ducke    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 91
Setting a Goal for NJ Tri - 1st Olympic Question
POSTED: 7/22/09 12:07 PM

I am looking at my times for the sprint I did in April. 10Ks I have run, and how long it takes to swim a mile when I train.
Can anyone throw some light on adding it all up. Shooting for a goal. For me if I know If am trying for a certain time and I fall behind it helps to push me mentally. I don't wanna set my goal too high and bonk trying to hit it but I wanna goal any advice is greatly appreciated.

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1481
RE: Setting a Goal for NJ Tri-1st Olympic Question
POSTED: 7/22/09 12:41 PM

Kind of hard to help you add up a time when the course S/B/R layouts, weather conditions, and general fitness now versus the one that you did for the sprint come into play. Unless you did the sprint in the NJ course and were trying to gauge what the oly version would be, I think that anyone who gives you a good recommendation would do you a disservice.

1 mile in the pool is different than 1 mile in OWS. You don't have people hitting you and sighting issues when you are in the pool. It's a well documented fact that OWS measurements are suspect. You may swim more or less than the distance advertised by the course. When you swim in the pool, you are done when you are done. When you are in an OWS, you are not really done until walk out of the water and get over the timing mat. That timing mat can be close to the water or quite a distance away.

Your 10K run may be more flat or more hilly than what's at NJ so the time will be off. Most people who run a standalone 10Ks during practice do so with a water belt around their waist. In a race, you have water stations and other runners who may be in your way and slow you down. Or, you may have more adrenalin going through your veins which would speed you up.

The bike ride terrain at NJ will be different than what you had timed yourself on previously. You also don't have a crowd of bikers to contend with.

Now, you can probably come up with a ball park of your goal time but a ball park that is +-5-10 minutes is a huge amount when trying to compare times at the oly distance. My advice is to race within yourself. Speed up if you feel good, slow down if you feel bad. If you want to see how much you've improved, come back to NJ next year and that should give you "somewhat" of a gauge.

I was about 15 minutes slower in my second 70.3 race than my first even though I was a much more fit, better swimmer, biker, and runner the second time around. Why ? My second one had some mother f-er hills. It was a salt water ocean swim versus a calm lake swim. I was 30 minutes faster in my 3rd 70.3 race than my second even though they were about 7 weeks apart. Why ? The third one was flat as a pancake.


rdejonck's ravatar rdejonck    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 84
RE: Setting a Goal for NJ Tri - 1st Olympic Question
POSTED: 7/22/09 1:09 PM

I had the same question last year and all the answers were along the lines of: you don't know what to expect, enjoy the experience, use this as a barometer and then set goals for your next olympic. Good advice, and one that a smart, thinking, and reasonable person would follow. None of that really helped me. I'm too impatient.

A lot of people will disagree with me, but I'm throwing my $0.02 in because it is the encouragement/validation that I needed then. It could be the most detrimental thing ever spoken. Just depends on what helps motivate you and how honest you are with yourself.

While your numbers may vary, it sounds like I did much the same thing as you. I looked at the distance for my swim workouts and how long they took me. I knew I wasn't getting very tired, factored in my 100yd split from back in the day, and estimated from there. For the bike, I originally set a goal (rather arbitrarily) for myself to average a certain speed. On a brick, I was significantly faster than that. So, I decided to up the ante a bit more and set a higher barometer for myself. I eventually decided that I wanted to average 20mph for the bike. Not fast by the standards of many in the club, but a good reach for me. Then for the run, from my background, I knew I was capable of hitting a certain pace all day... no problem. I added in 5min total for transitions and came out with a goal time.

Come race day, I beat my overall goal time, even though many said I was being overly ambitious. Still, the swim was just about on the mark, the bike was significantly faster, and the run was awful. Slowest 10k I've ever run by over 10min. I just felt bloated, stomach cramps, and suffered through it. I came away with a couple thoughts:
1) If you are really honest with your self assessment, your goals can be a bit of a stretch, but still realistic. You just have to be honest. You know your body and fitness level.
b) While I got the big picture right, I was way off in the details.
- I screwed up my nutrition. Still haven't figured this one out.

Since the beginning of this year, my mindset changed. My goals became to keep my heart rate in certain zones during the race, and see what times come. Of course, I know myself, and that will change come Novermber 7.

Hope that helps (rereading it, probably not)

karlaj's ravatar karlaj    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 215
RE: Setting a Goal for NJ Tri - 1st Olympic Question
POSTED: 7/22/09 1:18 PM

Very loose rule of thumb to add +10% to your "normal" race time for each part. So if you would normally race that same 10k course in 50 min, you'll probably do 55 min, etc.
Generally on endurance events, you slow down 6-10% for every time you double the duration of exercise (i.e. from 30 min to 60 min).

amcbride    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 40
RE: Setting a Goal for NJ Tri - 1st Olympic Question
POSTED: 7/22/09 2:50 PM

Another 2cents. There's nothing like a 25 mile bike ride to screw up a run. For me the first two miles are tough and slow, then I get into a rhythm. As an example I can run just under 8 min miles down at Hains Point in a 10K race, but I usually end up averaging 8;45 - 9:00 at Nations, basicaly the same course. Figure on adding 10% to your bike ride too, since you'll be trying to leave something in your legs for the run. Be sure to account for weather and how you feel on an unfamiliar course, which could impact you. Set a goal, but be mindful of conditions that you can't control!

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 685
RE: Setting a Goal for NJ Tri - 1st Olympic Question
POSTED: 7/22/09 3:03 PM

just go at an effort barely under all out for each event.

simple as that.

leave it on the course, if you "could have went faster" after you finish, then you didn't go hard enough in the race.

better to try to go fast and bonk than to have great fitness great health and no injuries and go slow in a race for no other reason that you "didn't want to bonk".. who cares if you bonk? go fast.

no-e-plz's ravatar no-e-plz    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 43
RE: Setting a Goal for NJ Tri - 1st Olympic Question
POSTED: 7/22/09 3:26 PM

If you're looking for a time goal, yes, follow the rule of thumb about adding a certain percentage to your training times. However, if its your first race at this distance, setting more goals like having a good time, feeling relaxed during transition, enjoying the "event" for which you have trained...may make you so much more open to more events and just happy about triathlon overall. A positive first experience is key. You can't go back and have another "first" so just enjoy it all.

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