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'too soon for HIM': sound advice or discouragement?

hi all,
i just completed my 1st spint tri last saturday in london in 01:55:07 - i was personally chuffed to be under 2hrs - i even went swimming in my MLT swimming cap this morning, daft pride and all ...!

...so there i am all fired up to keep going with this tri thing and contemplating an OD for early next year and then an HIM mid summer thinking i a fit and i put a whole 8-11months training it is doable

next thing i know, i am being told that as my time was quite slow it would be quite demoralising to attempt an HIM next year as i will be one of the last ones and that i should just aim for a good time on OD instead

'so what is a good time at OD?' i wonder and i start checking the OD times from this years london and i realise that in the time it took me to finish my sprint distance most people had done double that...

at this stage i am begining to feel like s**t so i go one step further and i project my SD time to OD (double it therefore about 03:50:30) and realise it would bring me to just under 4hrs - this applied to womens OD results in my age group (40-44) would put me to about 3rd from the bottom... they were right..., i am too slow...

so now i feel even worse and all of a sudden my immense sense of achievement feels like a failure: this was not a good performance at all, i was dellusioned

what does my wish to complete an HIM make me? a naive overkeen novice? or a brave dedicated individual?

is setting your 'personnal goal' to just finishing an easy way out of the real challenge of a good time and settling for less, or an admirable achievement in its own right?

when i get a pat on the shoulder is it real appreciation and recognition of my efforts or a patronising gesture: well done little you!

am i loosing perspective or just starting to find it? how relative is 'victory'?

was martina navratilova right after all in saying: whoever said ''It's not whether you win or lose that counts,' probably lost.


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    danny_sdanny_s Posts: 235
    2 things here:

    1. If you want to participate (note, not race) a HIM, then focus on that! Projecting things and comparing yourself to other people is really of marginal benefit especially considering this was your first race. If you're really concerned with your placing then you've just got more work to do. What is your goal here? Complete it or compete or just see what you're capable of? Define that, then reassess

    2. I did a HIM this year, having only done 2 sprints last year and didn't think anything was wrong with that decision. It was a totally different challenge and one I enjoyed. Participating in sprints seemed like something you could knock off pretty regularly, but since I can't race many weekends, I chose to make the races I can do significant and challenging. Took a whole different level of organization and planning to get the right workouts done with enough frequency to bump the aerobic limits above anything I'd done. Afterward, I'm thinking to spend next year focusing on speed and running then do a whole race the year past.
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    jibby26jibby26 Posts: 261
    If you think you will have the stamina and/or the determination to finish it, then why not. I started tri's this year with the goal of doing a couple of sprints. That has morphed into a goal of doing and OD at the end of September to push myself. And to make sure I get out training over the winter and don't let the cold, wind and rain force me onto the sofa I shall be entering a 70.3. I will have a whole 9 months of training time for it.

    Joining a tri club this year has taken me from doing a duathlon almost when I started in November, then again 3 months later knocking nearly 10 mins off my time, my running and swimming have improved by about 20% in the past year as well.

    It's good to have goals, the people that poo-poo aspirations like HIM either aren't triathletes and don't undertsand or have lost the spark that is needed to push you to your personal best (distance or time). There is no point getting cut up over good times, the only good time is the one you are happy with. At one tri I did there was an 84 year old lady, she was the first to start & one of the last to finish does that make it a bad time or a just a huge achievement for finishing at that age?
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    risris Posts: 1,002
    nooooo - don't even contemplate talking yourself down so soon after achieving your first tri. you were worried about starting a week ago and you made it to the end so that is what counts!

    if you want to do an od and him next year and are going to train steadily over the summer then there is no reason why you shouldn't take part. if you have a goal in mind (a time overall, or for one discipline, or even just finishing in daylight!) then aim for it and get there. the training will make a big difference so you may see your time come down a bit.

    a good time in od is whatever you set it to be. you will know what you are capable of and what a realistic goal time is. i'm never going to win a race but i'll happily make up the numbers and i know what times i think i should be going for. if that time brings me in dead flat last then so what.

    i don't like to mention bcttt too much here, but if you feel the urge then read this.

    i think martina forgot how much fun the challenge alone can be! be proud, wear the hat, the medal and the victory t-shirt and look forward to the next ones.
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    moonshinemoonshine Posts: 335

    if you want to go for it go for it
    No one has the right to say whether your time is ok or not, how do they know what targets you've set yourself. Apart from which some of us are sprinters and others are distance bods so whose to say that your forte may be the longer distances and you'll kick ass
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    andyb99andyb99 Posts: 229
    HIM next year?? i say go for it...I'm gonna try....before the weekend i was only considering sprints then OD at liverpool.....now though, after watching the IM this weekend on my doorstep...i've got to have a go....so next year is HIM (with as many sprint and OD's as i can get in...then 2011 full IM...i'll be 41 by then....if i can do it mate (and i dont know if i can yet) then i think you can.
    and dont talk your result down mate...you did it, forget your placing....if you cant win it then finishing is the stat that counts.
    go for it
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    Ron99Ron99 Posts: 237

    Think you need to take a step back for a second - You've just accomplished something important, challenged yourself; put in the work and got up to train even when you really didn't want to, and stuck with it.

    Give yourself some credit! Actually, give yourself lots of credit - haven't you just achieved something that most people would never even have an inclination to do, never mind actually getting up off their arses and doing it. Don't compare yourself with everyone else - especially on your first race - you've plenty of room for improvement if that's what you want.

    Definitely go in for that HIM next year. Make that your goal now, and work your way up to it. Get some coaching if you need to, but work to a structured plan and you'll have no problem. You'll get plenty of help and support through the forums.

    Remember how good it felt to complete your race the other day, and think about how much better it would be after a HIM. Remember that triathlon isn't all about competing with others, it's as much about competing with yourself.

    Best of luck - now get on with it!
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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Oh dear. When I saw the subject line I thought your meant this weekend.

    Perspective: The majority of people would not be able to swim that far. Very few of those would then be able to bike.. or run.. Many people think that doing something as (relatively) insignificant as a 3 mile run is so worthy that the friends, acquaintances, colleagues are inspired to sponsor them.

    I was taking to a mate the other day - used to be a pro cyclist (tour of britain level) and he was expressing admiration that I was even having a go at Tri - "I could never run" he said.

    Goals: You are doing it for yourself, not to please or conform to others ideas of what is good or bad. Simply finishing an event like a HIM is a worthy goal.

    Winning: Very few people get to "Win". There can be only one in a race - or two if you count your age group winner. In an event with 100s of people, the odds are just pretty low. In a tennis match, there are only two players. And much as I love Ms Navratilova, what she was saying cannot be applied to this situation. Read some of the other posts - Nick's report on the UK Ironman. Jason's Fatman to Ironman thread. They're both winners in my book - but it wasn't the other competitors that were racing against.

    I think you've just got the post event blues. You've crashed from the high of completing London, and are now asking questions "Could I have gone faster?" "If I had done such and such?" "Why were there people faster than me?". The only way to answer those questions, and most of them aren't worth answering, is to have another go.

    If you enjoy it, want that thrill again, and are prepared to set a goal and follow through to achieve it, or burn brightly just trying, then get on and do it. If you don't, you will always be asking yourself questions.
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    I had only done 1 olympic before i entered the UK HIM, then i had all winter to train for it. I have always entered races just to complete it. I have heard that pros say that the "real Ironmen" are the ones still battling and grinding it out after 16 and a half hours of non stop pain. Getting to the goal against the grain. There are no rules, as long as you can make the cut offs, you have every right to call your self an Ironman.
    HIM is a resonable goal, you just have to train for it, there will be no hiding place or corners to cut, but on the other hand, you dont have to be able to sprint like a pro on all disciplines for 4.5 hours. You just need the endurance in the bank to complete 9 hours of training in one go.
    People pat me on the back all the time when they pass me on the run and say "keep going big man, bloody good effort" and i have come to realise that they say that because they find it hard anyway, then they imagine having to do it if they were my size. It truly is a compliment and i realise that when i see the photos of me with my belly hanging out but still completing the same course as them. And i think the same when i see bigger and older guys than me on the end of a 3-4 hour triathlon. Dont doubt yourself, be proud of what you have done, set a new goal, train regularly and smart, and above all ENJOY YOUR NEW FOUND LOVE OF TRIATHLON.
    If you really want it enough, you will do it. So just do it.
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    durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246

    I fully second all the advice above - don't lose that sense of achievement at completing your first tri. You did really well and had a great time. Don't forget you have been training to complete a sprint tri and you did it! There's no knowing what you might do if you were training for a HIM. You have loads of time to train and I say go for it.

    If it's any support, I'm struggling with this one as well since I'm never going to be able to run 10 km stepping up to an OD seems a bit silly. I wouldn't feel so bad walking a half marathon at the end of a HIM but I'm worried that I'd miss the cut off times. Perhaps we should enter the same one and then you're sure of not coming last!!!!

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    TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    Again, I would re-iterate everything said above. As to the patting people on the back, during my first Tri's a found words of encouragement and the odd pat on the back during the run section (my weakest at the time) gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going. Tri's seem to be unique in races in that everyone who in theory you are competing against encourages you to during the race and that's one of the parts of the sport I like.

    As has been said, the majority of us aren't going to get podium positions, and we're in it to complete it int he best time we can.

    If you're contemplating a HIM, and worried about the cut off times, there are vents where there are limited cut-off times. For instance, Little Woody, which is a HIM race, is run at the same time as the Big Woody, a IM race. Your only time limit is that the swim has to be completed within 1:20, other than that there are no cut off times, as the marshalls are out on the course for the full duration of the IM race. So in theory, your feeding and hydration strategy could be a pub lunch during the bike leg, as time would permit it.

    I stepped up from Sprint to OD earlier this year, and came second from last. When I ran out of T2 I got the biggest cheer I had ever had, but unfirtunately I was mistaken, because the cheer was for the person whi was just passing the winning line alongside me. Still make me laugh now as I almost raised my hands above myhead to acknowledge the crowd. But who cares, I've got the T-shirt and I'm prepared to get off my arse, train as required, and have a go. Not just have a go at a run race. Have a go at a swim race, then a bike race, and then a run race, all back to back, and how many people will honestly say they'd give it a go.
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    ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    You cannot project a time for your first Sprint onto an event that is 18 months away. My first Sprint took me 1:48 and I was 18th from the bottom, 15th and bottom in my age group, 12 months later I did the same event in 1:27 and I was 110 from bottom, 12th out of 16 in my age group (I'm a bit better now).

    Any triathlon is a question of mental attitude and physical ability. Physical ability will get you in sight of the podium, mental attitude will either get you there or a DNF.

    Being realistic, few of us will ever get on that podium (although my master plan is to keep going until I get to an age group where the opposition has died off), so we are looking for our own particular goals top of which is to finish, a DNF is not an option. In a way it is liberating not to have that pressure as each event becomes our own; 'I am doing well here ... mmm pace a bit off here, need to pull it out a tad ... yes going nicely now' are thoughts that run through my head, everyone else is almost irrelevant, they have their own battles and mine is my own and private to me.

    Yes I applaud and admire those who get podium finishes (I actually got one once, 3rd in age group but didn't realise and had shot off home so that I could cut the grass!), but I applaud and admire every single one who takes part, finish or not. If Martina Natawotsit was stood beside me and said that the last person to cross the finish line of any triathlon was a loser I would feel mightily inclined to punch her stupid mouth in!

    So - no you are not being foolish, if you put in a decent amount of training, get the right kit, maintain a focussed but healthy state of mind you will complete your HIM and achieve your goal and stuff Martina Natawotsitface.
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    I think of my first attempt at an event as a freebie, be it a sprint, olly, HIM Half marathon etc etc. I'll train and race as hard as I can, but my time and certainly position are set as benchmarks. If however I don't improve my time the next time I race that event then I would be disappointed. There is no point in worrying about your position as it's something that isn't in your control, you don't know who is racing, their level of fitness etc etc you can only influence your own performance / time.

    I'm doing the long swim at Dorney soon 3.8k, now I don't even know if I can do the distance yet let alone where I might finish, but I wanted to do it because up until 3 months ago the thought of swimming in open water terrified me, so I will see it as an achievement just to finish. I suspect your tri experience is similar, if someone had said to you," You can't do The London Triathlon because you're not fit enough and may finish last" look at the experience you'd have missed out on.

    It seems strange that the only reason you are doubting yourself is because you've actually completed a Tri ?

    Enter one, train as hard as you can, race as hard as you can and if you finish last so be it, you've done your best. ( which is much, much better than the vast majority of the population)
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    durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    Ok I'm nearly convinced by Little Woody for next year.......... but perhaps it's just a silly idea and I should stick to going slowly at sprints???? Tempted by the swim/bike option as well.

    I'm still wavering though. I will if you will Eve!
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    TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    I am, and don't call me Eve!
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    durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    but you're doing it this year Tri-umpant aren't you?

    Definitely got enough on my plate for this year with the team relay next week......
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    Yes. If you want to do it, then you must do it - and you will enjoy it.

    For my first ever tri last year - a sprint - I got a time of around 1.45. By September I'd had enough practice and training to get a podium finish. Not that I was aiming for that, simply that I'd improved.

    I'm doing my first OD next week, and want to do HIM next year. And I can't run for a bus.

    DO IT! I'll do it with you!

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    durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    You're on blurredgirl - but I really can't run - not ever so it will be power walking all the way! Current walking half marathon time is 2:45 and I should be able to get that down to under 2:30 (fingers crossed).

    Oh and I'm rubbish at biking too!

    Hmmmm - do you think I should inform the HAT officer or wait until it's too late - he has to be nice to me today, it's my birthday!
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    TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    Happy birthday! Buy yourself a present, a HIM entry.

    As to power walking, I think you can walk quicker than I can run. Little Woody I've targeted 3-4 hours for the run. Need to get out on the Hgih Street Saturday shopping witht he misses I think, obviously a better workout than I thought.
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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Happy Birthday! A soreen with a candle in it!

    (Of course, the only birthdays worth celebrating now are the ones where you move up and age category and become the youngest again!).
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    durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    So not a completely hopeless time then? Of course that's just walking the half marathon on it's own without the bike/swim malarky first.

    Yeah, the walking fast is so I can keep up with my mum who is planning to do a 10 mile road race (the organisers reckon she'll come in before the last few "runners") and then a full marathon next year which I'm hoping to do with her......... Can't be beaten by my 60 year old mother
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    durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    Well it might just be one of those border-line birthdays Jack! Not that it will stop my being last of course
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    abrewerabrewer Posts: 41
    I fully subscribe to all the words of encouragement above however one small warning. The UK 70.3 event has a fairly tight cut-off time for the swim (1hr) so you have to be inside this to continue. The other cut-off times for the Bike and run aren't so bad so check out these before you enter. Other events may not have any or may be happy to keep the roads closed for longer.
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    moonshinemoonshine Posts: 335

    http://www.facebook.com/cate.langley?re ... 172&ref=mf

    now go and get another one when you finish your HIM
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    sportevesporteve Posts: 141
    wow guys, overwelmed with the response...i feel like the new little sis of a great big and very warm family
    thank you all!
    yesterday was a bad day.. i ended up feeling low coz up to then i was just rolling around into the comfort and fluffiness of my achievement and then i started thinking achievement up to what standards?
    did i dig deep enough? could i have dug deeper?
    today i had a fresh approach and here's what i derided: yes you take ownership of your achievements, yes you feel proud but you don't rest and get comfortable, you set the hardest possible standards you can set for your ability
    i will aim high (yes, HIM - i mean what on earth? i run a marathon in 5.37 i can go for hours if i have to!) i will try hard, and then i will try harder, and i will do it with focus and passion and love and determination and i will have fun all along and a wonderful tri family to support me!
    and i will try to: 'be the best i can, where i am, with what i have'.... (and if that will see me at the bottom of the time table so be it) ..........i think i just found my motto...!

    thank you all once again!

    ps: from tomorrow expect me to bore you with far more trivial questions like what is a good entry level bike, how do u people manage to grab your drink bottle while speeding down the road and will i ever get to wearing clip on shoes without falling right left and center?
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    slow times are there so you can thrash them the next time. Look at my HIM and IM times(first season this year), not the greatest but I finished and it just gives me a time to smash next time I complete one. Always push yourself, you will be amazed at what you can achieve and the satisfaction you will get from crossing that line will remove any worries about being near the back. Look at combatdwarf, last to cross the line in Wimbleball and the man is a legend!!
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