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Have entered olympic distance triathlon, what time to go for

Hey guys,

I've just entered the London Triathlon Olympic distance and now that I've thought about it, I'm getting a little worried. I'm a competitve rower, training 6 days a week. I'll be racing at Henley regetta beginning July which doesn't leave a lot of time for specific training. I'm currently doing one 10k run a week as part of my training plus little cycling journeys around the place. I'm probably going to add one swimming session a week to ensure I get my swimming back. What sort of time would be decent to get? For some reason, I've got sub 3 hour target in my head but not sure where I've got this time from. Am I nuts to consider that time or is it possible?


  • largeadelargeade Posts: 166
    It was my first triathlon and I did 2hr40. I was, at the time, a competitive eater.

    You'll need to provide some benchmark times for anyone to hope to guess at your answer.

    How fast can you do the 10k? 400m in the pool? 20km on the bike?
  • de Bude Bu Posts: 2
    Off the top of my head I can do a sub 45min 10k without too much difficulty, 400m in under 10mins. 20k cycle in about an hour although thats on a commute through London.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Since your race is over 7 months away,the time you have in your head today,might change by May.

    There was once a chart of expected times for various levels but as courses and training changed they fell out of use,but the time triallist still use standadised times so maybe the BTF should reintroduce them.

    I digress,
    as a rough guidline,do the three distances individually,add the times together,add a further 10% of that time to cover transitions and tiredness,and you should get a number,this time might bear some relation to your prospected time or it might not,but it gives you a guide.

    sub 3hrs is reasonable for a fit person,
    sub 2hrs 40 is reasonable for a fit person who trains specifically for that one race
    sub 2hr 20 is reasonable for some one who takes it seriously
    sub 2hr 10 is good age group time
    sub 2hr is sufficient for elite level.

    all times course dependant.

    best of luck.
  • jibby26jibby26 Posts: 261
    2hr45. I'm a comparable runner and rider but quicker swimmer and I went just over 2:35 this year on a very flat course.
  • hussler.hussler. Posts: 390
    Sub 2 hours or no point in entering.......

    Only Joking..

    As its your first SD Tri, I would aim to finish. So what if it takes you longer then 4 hours.

    That way you dont put any pressure on yourself to get this 'Magical' time.......

    Once you have done one then you will probably surprise yourself with the time you get, then you can look to build on that for your next one.

    Every course is different and just because you get say 2:30 at London then you go do one in North Yorkshire and take 3 hours you can not compare the two times as they will be completely different types of course.

    Guidelines that Jon.E has outlined above are quite good but not exhaustive.

    I think London is supposed to be fairly quick course isnt it?? dont know to be honest...
  • AtomicAtomic Posts: 126

    I would think that you should aim to go for about an hour before the race starts. That way you have plenty of time to get all your kit ready before it kicks off....
  • dhcmdhcm Posts: 67
    Jon E said:

    "sub 3hrs is reasonable for a fit person,
    sub 2hrs 40 is reasonable for a fit person who trains specifically for that one race
    sub 2hr 20 is reasonable for some one who takes it seriously
    sub 2hr 10 is good age group time
    sub 2hr is sufficient for elite level."

    Agree with the first two and the last two, but think sub-2.20 is too a fast time to qualify only as "reasonable" for someone having a proper go (at least for us oldies in the 40+ group). I would put the benchmark for that at about 2.30.

    And this has nothing to do with the fact that my single OD time is 2.30.......
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Only going by my own times and through past experience(going since the 1980's),and kind of class myself as a recreational triathlete who trains for enjoyment,rather than for placings,blah blah.I am also in the 40+ age groups and reckon the times are doable.

    If you look at past years,times are getting slower in the age groupers,maybe due to the thinking that expensive equipment can compensate for less training.
    23 mins for swim
    2mins T1
    1.08 for the bike
    2mins for T2
    45mins for run

    2.20 for the race simples.
  • dhcmdhcm Posts: 67
    That is one way of getting to 2.20. 45 mins for the run does look about right as "reasonable", but I would place a 23 min swim as very good and certainly way better than a 45 mins 10K (at least for those who do not have a strong swimming background), and a 1.08 bike also a few shades better (reckon a 1 hour bike 40K is roughly equiv to a 38min 10K; going up from there proportionately a 1.08 is about equiv to 43min 10K, with 45mins more like 1.11).

    My scale for "reasonable" for the events would be: 27;2;1.11;2;45 =2 hours 27mins. Unless you have a particular advantage (e.g. have strong simming/cycling/running background) those are all times that require proper application and training to achieve.

    But one of the great thing about triathlon is that many who get a similar overall time will have a completely different distribution of results. I aim (optimistically) for getting around 2.20 next summer, but my targets would be 28;2;1.08;2;40. Aim for same bike as you, but I have no chance of getting near 23 swim, whereas a 40k run should be possible for me.

    But these time distributions have one thing in common: they both have one strong event with a time that would not look out of place in the "good" age grouper class (your 23 min swim, my 40 min run); I think alot of people probably need this to get to the 2:20 sort of level (short of getting into very serious training that gets you to "pretty good" across all three events).
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    All good points,It is very rare to find a triathlete that excels at all three disciplines,even at a comparable elite level,Lessing was one,but as we have seen the tactics and draft racing has caused a shift in focus.
    At age group level,particularly at the older groups,most will have entered tri from a previous existence concentrating on one discipline,such as running,where injury has limited the extent to their training.They can produce a good time in the run but the others are comparably slower.

    The only difference is what I/you consider to be good/reasonable etc.
    You should easily get your 2.20,even more so if you choose the right course.Ripon is a good fast event,and flat.
  • PC_67PC_67 Posts: 196
    I have to say I agree with dhcm. I think 2:30 is a very decent time for a 40+ "generalist". My PB is 2:27 and I reckon that the extra 7 minutes to get to 2:20 is definitely doable but I'd have to train obsessively rather than my current "enthusiastically". Talent is a limiting factor in my case, although whilst my swim and run times have improved markedly in the last 5 years, my bike times have remained so-so (1:14 at Windsor pretty much every year - c.41k) so I suspect that this is my goal for the next few months.
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