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Speed or eundrance

I'm new to Tri, and not too sure whether I'm built for speed or endurance. SO far this year I've done four supersprints, an aquathlon, and an OD race. Finished them all within the times I've expected, but I'm only ever mid table. The rest of my season is now an aquathlon, sprint, aquathlon, HIM, supersprint, supersprint. Then I'll be able to review which was most enjoyable, or challenging, and then concentrate my training over the winter to either step up to IM next year, or stay at one of the lesser distances.

I know that sometimes triathletes are referred to 'jack of all trades, master of none', but I wondered if anyone else ties to mix different distance races throughout the season, or is it best just to concentrate on one?


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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    In physiological terms, anything over 10 - 20 minutes is endurance!

    Really, when it comes to tri, the main determining factors for which distance you do, are:

    1) How much training you can do (in terms of time)
    2) What gives you the most pleasure (in terms of the challenge).
    3) How injured you get!
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    TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    I'm enjoying doing a bit of both in my first season. However, if I train for speed, then the long distance endurance will suffer, and likewise training to go long means that the speed suffers.
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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    What's your "A" race.. you train for that!

    If it is long, then you throw a few sprints in to get speed etc. etc.
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    TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    I think this year I haven't really planned a season with 'A', 'B' and 'C' races, just entered, run, finished and looked for the next one. And as I've enjoyed them looked to go a bit longer, hence a progression from superspint to sprint to OD to HIM. Once this season's over I think I need to sit back, take stock, and properly plan what I want to do next year.
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    jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Keep it as simple as possible.Your endurance for HIM will let you finish all the races but training for speed may be your downfall in the longer distance ones.Longer races are dependant on maintaining a consistant pace,too fast too soon or too slow could both make a lower placing in the results than you anticipated.The first season is the proverbial toe in the water,there are a large number who compete over the whole spectrum of distances,they might expect a top 20 placing for a sprint,top 35% finish for an OD but maybe a finish in the bottom 20% of a long course event.Or the opposite,high position for long course poor placing for a sprint.If you really wish to achieve success in a particular distance then take a thorough assessment at a sports clinic,they should be able to point you in the correct direction to achieve what you desire.
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    hussler.hussler. Posts: 390
    How about both!!!!

    You can train you body to be fast over long distance. A lot of people when training for IM think that you have to do loads of long slow stuff because there is no way they could hold a fast pace over the long distance.... this is all in the mind.

    If you train long and slow you will race long and slow......

    If you train long and fast you will race long and fast......

    My 'A' race this year is the European Long Distance Champs in Prague in 4 weeks 6 days:)....
    Over winter obviously I did the long slow stuff but as soon as there was a hint of march/april I was doing Long fast stuff aswell as Long slow and Interval stuff.

    If you train for Long Course doesnt mean your gona be crap at the sprint stuff either... Take my result from the Oulton Park Duathlon in April and the FGS Sprint last Sunday.... 3rd overall in both, won my age group at both and clocked the fastest bike split at both.....

    I averaged 25.9mph at FGS and 26.8mph at Oulton park, I know that this is short and people can blast it for these distances.... but Last year at the Long Distance World Champs I averaged 23.8mph over 120km...and this year ill be hoping to break the 24mph over 120km.

    Use this year to find what you enjoy the most at and make a decision when you do your post season analysis. Set some goals for next year or even the next 2 or 3 years. If you enjoy the Longer stuff then train for that and use the sprints/olympics to build up to your 'A' races for next year....

    My race plan usually goes something along the lines of:

    Sprint, Olympic, Sprint, Middle, Olympic, Middle,Olympic or Sprint, Olympic, Long Course

    That way Im building up and tapering off the race distances prior to my main 'A' race at the end of the season Then after the LD race ill take some time out then do a few other races to chill out with and finish the season.
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    JulesJules Posts: 987
    Interesting discussion this, this is something I've been thinking about.

    This is my second tri season, and I'm seriously addicted.

    I'm planning to do a half IM distance race next year and if that goes well a full IM distance race in 2011. However, due to work and family commitments, these are going to be done with a view to just completing them rather than getting anywhere near any kind of respectable time.

    I'm finding myself wondering however whether I'd get more out of focussing on shorter distances? I like the sprint race idea of just going for it without having to worry about pacing, nutrition etc. I'd have to speed up my transitions a bit I'm thinking that I'd have enough training time to make some serious improvments on my current sprint times/positions, rather than achieving just getting round longer races. Not that I'm going to ever be elite standard or anything. Quite Good would be nice though.

    So, do I ditch the HIM and IM plans for the time being to concentrate on improving my sprint times? Can I do both, or is that a stupid idea if I don't have enough training time?

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    jacjac Posts: 452
    My opinion may change over time but I've got no inclination to go long.
    I really enjoy the short, sharp stuff and despite having never done OD, HIM or Ironman I believe my strengths lie over a shorter course.
    I LOVE going fast and would like to try and get to the top of my age-group (within two or three years) in a sprint.
    At school I was a good runner, but excelled at shorter stuff like 5ks and even 400m.
    I trained for a 10k last year and found it hard work. I put in an ok time but I didn't really enjoy it. The thought of more 10 mile training runs (for OD) doesn't excite me (or my creaking body!). The thought of doing some 400 or 800m intervals and trying to get my 5k time down does.
    The races I've done this year have been frenetic and I've really enjoyed them.
    I know for many doing an Ironman is the pinnacle but I'm not bothered. Maybe also if I did do it I'd like to compete rather than just complete. But, with time to train, a creaking body, young family and the buzz of doing sprints I'd rather stick with what I believe I can be good at.
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