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Target Times For Newbie

Hi All

New to triathlons and this forum. I'm doing my first sprint tri in June. Just wondering what sort of times for each disciplin are considered good or what I should be aiming for in my training.


  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Hi Jon,
    welcome to the forum.
    the best suggestionI can give for target times,would be for you to just time yourself in each of the three disciplines,whilst training.Sounds simple.
    If you cannot do a 7 min mile then it would not be wise to expect a sub 21min 5k run.
    If the event has been run before,search out the results on line .tri247.has a good results section,the race website might also list last years.Then compare your training times to the finishers times,not forgetting to add on the transition times and a bit extra for fatigue.
    Without knowing any background,to say you should expect a particular time would be like throwing darts in the dark.
    Just enjoy.
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    I would suggest you forget times and just enjoy your forst tri.

    If you get caught up in trying to do a time then you might ruin your tri experience.
    When I did my first tri I just got out there used it as a PB setter.

    If it swim times you looking for to getg a swim time start then time youself.

    Welcome to the forum and good luck with your first tri
  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    Its also hard to give estimated times as each course is different and even weather conditions change times.

    I'd say go hell for leather at your first tri and then you have a target time to beat for your next one. One year on, if you do the race again, you can look back and smile at how you've improved.
  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    +1 for Blinkbaz.

    Don't get hung up on what OTHER people manage to do it in. If you were entering your first 100m sprint and the only times you could find are Usain Bolt's, its unlikely that knowing that would be of any use to you whatsoever.

    Go out, race your race, smash it up as best you can, and enjoy it. Smile when you cross the line then go back a year later and beat your OWN time - because at the end of the day that is the ONLY time that truly matters (until you are good enough to paid to race!)

  • jonsnowyjonsnowy Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice guys! I'm hoping I'll enjoy it enough to go on and do more. We shall see.

    I'm struggling to find a way to practice the transition. Any tips?
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Tips for practiceing transition.

    1. Lay your stuff out on towel or in a box (which ever you are using)
    2. Run upto it and in the kit you would be using so trisuit and change into bike shoes stick your helmet on and grab your bike and run off. Then turn round and do the bike to run trans.

    Just remeber practice practice practice makes us quicker. Dont lose sight of the fun for your first tri

    Triple check your kit the week before and pack it at least 2 days before so you can recheck later. Thers always something you have forgtotten for me its usally the bike water bottle.

    Go out and have great time and dont forget to tell us all about it.
  • BuggritBuggrit Posts: 1
    Just completed my first tri on Sunday. I just went there to do it and not really worry about any times. I was happy to finish it as being 40 it was a goal for me to do one (Im now hooked and have already entered another) as a year ago I was a big lardy bloater that couldnt run for a bus.
    I just say go and enjoy the day and dont worry about times. Ive now got a nice baseline time that I can seriously improve on in the future.
    The day was brilliant, the tri was brilliant, the marshalls were fantastic and the atmosphere was amazing.
    Have fun
  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    +1 for baz again!

    tho I'd add some tris will not allow a box in transition so make sure your practise both types (towel AND box) or do your homework in advance and see what you are permitted to do.

    You'll possibly read all sorts of tosh also about using balloons, or talcum powder blobs to mark your transition spot... this is generally very poorly regarded in the UK and may well be illegal in your race so don't rely on it. The last thing you want is to finish your race and find out you've been penalised with a time penalty before you even began, or worse still DQd.

    One thing T1/T2 practise generally doesn;t allow for is race adrenalin and effort... when you get out of the swim and run to T1 your heart will be pounding, you'll be fighting for breath, and the world will be spinning as your balance is shot from being horizontal to now being upright and water will be dripping off your hair/nose/chin into your shoes as you put them on! If you are unable to practise at a pool then (seriously) get some one to hose you/throw water over you while you do a load of press-ups before going straight into T1 as blinkybaz suggests.

    If you are in a tri suit it's "easy"

    - helmet on FIRST and specs if using
    - race belt on (if number not pinned on - races generally require a number on the back during the bike but check race rules if you do not own a belt)
    - shoes on (socks if you need them but speedier if you train riding w/out them) if not already on bike having mastered the elastic band trick
    - grab bike !

    rack the bike by the saddle hooked over the bar, handlebars facing out (like everyone else will be doing!) for a quick getaway.

    If shoes are on the bike, be aware that depending on the race you may be running over gravel in bare feet. If wearing shoes be careful you don't slip on a wet slick surface (people before you have just got out of a pool remember)

    - rack bike handlebars first (like everyone else will have done
    - helmet and specs off
    - shoes off (if not left on bike)
    - runners on
    - reverse belt so number on front as you start to run out of T2

    If you are not wearing a trisuit, at some juncture you will possibly looking at putting on a top and/or shorts. Nudity is not permitted in transition so you won;t be able to do a full change, though last year I did notice one girl slipping off to the pool changing rooms to do her "full change". This might not always be available of course/be feasible and will take a long time (if time is important to you). If you have to put a shirt on,do it before you put your helmet on


    Its the rules.

    but above all...


  • dhcmdhcm Posts: 67
    Alot of people will swim and bike at fairly close to their pace for doing the leg on a stand alone basis (hard to hold back in a race), and then keep going as best they can on the run. The run is also where any shortage of endurance hit most. Accordingly, the run times are often where the main drop occurs (compared to stand alone timings).

    As a rough suggestion for setting a personal target, take your best time for each individual event, then make the following adjustments:

    Swim: if in pool, add 1%-3% to best pool time. If in wetsuit/open water, subtract 3% (from best pool time).
    Bike: add 1%-4% to best time
    Run: add 5%-20% to best time.

    Make an estimate for T1/T2 (look at times for T1/T2 for same event last year, and pick typical times for those in the middle of the pack).

    Add them all together, and if your endurance is OK, the total should be a reasonable target range to aim at.
  • jonsnowyjonsnowy Posts: 3
    Hi All

    Thanks again to everyone for the amazing advice and support!

    I did the triathlon on Sunday. I finished it!! I think the biggest shock was having to start so early in the morning lol. Did alright though but plenty of room for improvement. Definitely do another one!!
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