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  1. #1
    Member redsurfsnow's Avatar
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    First Sprint - Would I know the difference

    I've been searching around as I am looking to jump in and do my first sprint this year. There is one with a 12mi bike and 4 mi run ... my question is should I avoid the extra 2mi bike + 1 mi run on my first or not having done one would I even notice the difference?

    fwiw - my background is swimming (and wish I could find sprints with a longer swim) ... a land creature I am not. I am not looking to place regardless of what distance I do. I am just looking to finish and use it as a stepping stone to hopefully enjoy a new summer fitness kick.
    Last edited by redsurfsnow; 05-28-15 at 12:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redsurfsnow View Post
    I've been searching around as I am looking to jump in and do my first sprint this year. There is one with a 12mi bike and 4 mi run ... my question is should I avoid the extra 2mi bike + 1 mi run on my first or not having done one would I even notice the difference?

    fwiw - my background is swimming (and wish I could find sprints with a longer swim) ... a land creature I am not. I am not looking to place regardless of what distance I do. I am just looking to finish and use it as a stepping stone to hopefully enjoy a new summer fitness kick.
    Welcome and just go for it. Set a good training plan for every event you want to enter, follow it best you can and have fun. I am strictly a COMPLETE not compete guy.

    My tri history.....1st sprint at one week after 62nd birthday in 2012

    swim-first time learning to swim in life was 5 months earlier in county pool even with right shoulder in need of a total shoulder joint replacement(bone on bone)
    bike-been riding for years
    run-can not because of bad knees so only able to walk

    2nd sprint-8/12
    70.3 Rev3-11/12, swim cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy, completed bike and 13.1
    70.3 Gator-3/3/13
    IM70.3FL-5/13
    IMFL-11/13 with swim under RED Flag and wind 15/20mph for bike
    70.3 Gator-3/14
    IMFL-11/14, swim cancelled due to rip currents and winds at 15/20 with gusts 25+

    IM70.3FL-3/15 had to cancel participation due to prostate cancer biopsy 5 days before tri. Just had cancer surgery 4 days ago and that is why I am awake at 3AM to reply.....

  3. #3
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    My very first tri was 3 weeks ago; the bike was 16km and run was 4km. Second was 2 weeks later (last weekend), the bike was 20km and the run was 5km. The short course was hillier for both the bike and run, and it felt longer than the flatter long course. I feel like the hilliness of the course will make a bigger difference than a small change in distance

    If it exists near you, try to find an un-timed "first timer" triathlon. When you remove the timing it ends up being a much more inclusive and supportive environment.

  4. #4
    Member redsurfsnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
    I am strictly a COMPLETE not compete guy.
    I like this saying. I should be able to swim just fine. I actually just did my first 5k run this weekend and am newer to the biking but going for 15 mile rides isn't a major problem so I feel like training I could lock things down and together.

    Quote Originally Posted by cvskates View Post
    I feel like the hilliness of the course will make a bigger difference than a small change in distance
    If it exists near you, try to find an un-timed "first timer" triathlon. When you remove the timing it ends up being a much more inclusive and supportive environment.
    I haven't found any un-timed ones near me in any of my searches. I see what you mean about hills. My current route is a flat bike path. The course itself is maybe hilly (guess it depends on everyone's home turf and what there actually is to offer) ... here it is mapped out ('Block Island' bike map |). While it is local I probably wouldn't be able to go ride it (ferry fares with extra to bring a bicycle) so I'd need to start finding roads empty enough of cars to try riding on rather than the flat bike path.

    fwiw this is a mapped portion of the local bike path route -> http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=129856
    Last edited by redsurfsnow; 06-01-15 at 07:02 AM.

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    Go for it. I'm a slow triathlete (i.e., sprints only). Just enjoy the experience.

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    Voice guy Bike Cottage's Avatar
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    My only advice would be to don't burn yourself out on the bike and save a little for the run. When you begin the run, your legs will feel like they are not attached to your body. Jog with some short, choppy, quick steps (think Fred Flinstone bowling) until your running muscles wake up. I would expect to take about 2 hours to complete this for a first timer and anything faster than that is gravy. Also, try to leave your ego (if you have one) in the car, because you may be passed by someone 20 years older than you (and she'll probably be a grandma). As soon as you finish the first one, you'll start thinking about the next one. Welcome to the addiction.

  7. #7
    Member redsurfsnow's Avatar
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    Well ... No turning back now ... All signed up. I have no worries on the ego part. I looked at the results from last year which ranged from 1:11:08 -> 3:15:32. With ~400 a 2hr timeframe would put me finishing around the 3/4 of the group. I have 2 goals ... 1) Finish 2) Don't be DFL. In all reality I'll set some time goals as my training kicks in an it gets closer.
    I'm excited and when I'm able to do some brick work outs will definintly look into some Fred Flinstone running. Any quirks going from the swim to the bike?

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    Voice guy Bike Cottage's Avatar
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    Here's a link to my first race report in this thread: Something for everybody, C&V Steel, a Clydesdale and first triathlon race report.Long

    You may also want to got to beginnertriathlete.com and slowtwitch.com lots of good info for first-timers. Number one thing: Do not psych yourself out

  9. #9
    Member redsurfsnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Cottage View Post
    Here's a link to my first race report in this thread: Something for everybody, C&V Steel, a Clydesdale and first triathlon race report.Long

    You may also want to got to beginnertriathlete.com and slowtwitch.com lots of good info for first-timers. Number one thing: Do not psych yourself out
    Thanks ... thats a good write up. I know I need to do brick work outs ... when the water gets warmer I may try and do a few mini-tri work outs. Its still wetsuit season though (56deg) so I need the water to warm up a bit before that happens. I only have surf suits so I won't be wearing one for the tri and will be going for a top and trishorts instead.

    I'm excited. Pysching myself out will happen but I'll go through with it. My initial intro back into exercising and health was GORUCK. Ive done a few of those and they have helped both mentally and physically. Plus the gf signed up too so she'll make me do it.

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    You'll love it! Just make sure your heart rate is under control, especially on the bike--- As for taking short, choppy steps at the beginning of the run--- well, let's just say that you might not have any choice for the first hundred yards! You'll see!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Cottage View Post
    My only advice would be to don't burn yourself out on the bike and save a little for the run. When you begin the run, your legs will feel like they are not attached to your body. Jog with some short, choppy, quick steps (think Fred Flinstone bowling) until your running muscles wake up. I would expect to take about 2 hours to complete this for a first timer and anything faster than that is gravy. Also, try to leave your ego (if you have one) in the car, because you may be passed by someone 20 years older than you (and she'll probably be a grandma). As soon as you finish the first one, you'll start thinking about the next one. Welcome to the addiction.
    can't agree more with this one and has everything you need to know for a first timer! Running after biking and the feeling of your legs was so strange the first time!

    The grandma part is so true but you get also passed by grandpas with calfs the size of a honey melon!

  12. #12
    Senior Member WebFootFreak's Avatar
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    There was a post on another board questioning if it was possible to be too slow to race. I think my replay there fits here as well.

    There is a reason I refer to triathlons as "events" rather than "races". When I go, I am there to participate in an event. I am there to test myself both with speed/time/etc and with completion. I am there to connect with like-minded people, check out the new shiny toys in the tent that I probably will never have a need for (much less be able to afford), and ultimately to have a good time.

    The only person I am competing with is myself. I am slow in the water... but I am getting faster. I am not so slow on the bike... but I am getting faster. I am so slow in the run that facing the other direction would probably get me to the finish quicker... but I am getting faster. I am slow in transition... but I am getting more organized . At Riverbluff last year, I finished DFL Clyde and 3rd from last overall in the sprint. However, when I crossed that line the cheers were just as loud for me as the cheers I heard for the people finishing as I was coming back from the bike. I still get a little verklempt when I think about how I've felt coming across each finish line.

    Will you notice the distance? Probably. Would it be worth it to push for that distance? That answer is entirely up to you, but I would say "absolutely"
    Last edited by WebFootFreak; 06-18-15 at 07:07 AM.
    As of 7/1 - Swim: 41,186yd Bike: 1117.9mi Walk/Run: 91.65mi Weight 248
    Next Event: Arkansas Delta Flatlander (1st Metric) 10/10

  13. #13
    Senior Member TrillTrax's Avatar
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    It totally depends on how hard/hilly the course is. But, like others have said...just have fun! If you do it for fun, they will both be great!

  14. #14
    Member redsurfsnow's Avatar
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    Well ... I'm alive. First tri was an experience - a combination of fun, nerve-wracking, painful, learning and fun. I'll blurb a bit on everything as the seasoned folks will probably chuckle and remember their first race and other new people might be able to pull a bit from it.

    I grew up a swimmer, hated running and never biked much as a kid. As a swimmer I didn't run. Runs for cross training would be short if any and the longest run of my life was only probably 5 miles when in tip top college shape. I started running and completed a 5k (first one ... shows how much I run) a in late June. Knowing that the 5k was my longest run to date since college and getting out of shape, training mostly focused on running and trying to build up comfort with around the 3-4 mile mark. I still don't think I really hit and runs much over 3. Biking in my area is flat. Not quite trusting myself on main roads I would stick to the neighborhood or trainer during the week and would venture to the bike path on the weekends for longer and flatter rides. For swimming ... yeah I went surfing a few times.

    Race day - Registration starts at 7am ... but we need to catch the 6am ferry to the island ... and its an hour drive there plus time to unload ... 4:00 comes with a struggle. Ferry docks ... search for the bike with a slight panic as it seems like every bike is black and white. Found the girlfriends bright blue kona with no problem ... mine was just moved off the the side. Start following the herd in silence over to the start and eventually give up walking the bikes and hop on a ride the last mile or so there. Drop the bikes off, check in, sunscreen up, have a banana, pace around, stare at all the crazy expensive bikes and start to think 'what the hell am I doing'. See some beach cruisers and mountain bikes and remember I'm doing this for fun. Finish setting up my spot (which looks like I just dumped my bag out) but it made sense to me. Two piles: Glasses in helmet, jersey ontop, and shoes next to that. Running shorts, sneakers, hat next to those.

    Swim (1/4 mi) - Everyone is just milling around the beach mixed in with normal beach goers. I am trying to stay in the shade and cool. Follow the guy with the megaphone as he goes over the course and the race. First wave (and girlfriend) is off ... next wave 1 minute behind them etc. etc. Last wave of females is up and off ... my wave steps up the the start and .... 6 minute wait. We are all milling around, I take off my cap as I am sweating bullets in it. Okay go time. Count down and start. Its a 50 yard run around a flag and then into the water ... just what I need more running on loose sand. I make it towards the back of my wave and start swimming. This is comfortable ... water is almost 70 and feels good. Spot and pick my way through around the first buoy. Stretch out my stroke and realize my goggles are fogged and I can't spot the next buoy. There's a cap next to me so I pace off him until I can see someone else but there aren't too many people to follow. Finally I can make it out and start going. Round it and swim to shore and run through the sand again.
    Lessons learned - I should do some actual swimming for training rather than surfing. And run a clear (not tinted) goggle for the swim and saltwater/spit dip them to prevent fogging.

    Transition 1 - went right past my rack ... again why did I buy a black and white bike? Wiping off my feet is a pita so I end up using my fresh water bottle a bit. Finally get everything on and make my way out to the road.
    Lessons learned - Washdown bucket for the feet. Besides that just repetition and gear. Time was taken to put on a jersey and socks and shoes.

    Bike (12 mi) - I'm on and riding ... I got this. Find my gears and get comfy. Watch is dropping signals and now holding its own so speed/pace/distances are not happening. Round a few corners up and down a few hills and bam ... the hill of death. It just never ended. I have a triple and I dropped to my smallest chainring ... I'd never rode in that before ... there are people walking their bikes up ... I make it wheezing to the top. Get going again and find my gears. More ups and downs and the hill of death again as it was a 2 loop course. Found some riders and play leap frog with them for most of the ride. Pass some people and get passed by some. It was a nice ride and I felt good with it ... especially not knowing my pace and only going my the mile markers on the course .... which I didn't really notice until the end.
    Lessons learned - practice the conditions ... or hills. Hydrate. Peddling uphill I didn't drink because I was sucking wind. Peddling down hill I didn't drink because I was holding on and gaining speed for the next uphill. I got off the bike dehydrated.

    Transition 2 - Off the bike and I can't tell if my legs are jello or cramped. Rack the bike, put on sneakers, put on shorts (have my bib on them) ... yep did that backwards. Grab my hat and make my way out.
    Lessons learned - Shorts before shoes. Shake out the legs and hydrate.

    Run (4 mi) - Like I got hit by a truck. Did not prep for the conditions. Outgoing from high tide. Good packed sand was still getting washed by waved and left a fairly decent side slop to run on. Nothing felt good. Down to a turn around get some water and run further to another turn around that I couldn't see. I did not run straight as I was trying to find comfort and keep my sneakers as dry as possible. Walked a bit and had a slow pace .... super slow pace would try and keep with people as they passed me. People were cheering the entire beach which helped and little kids would run until their parents called them back. I finished.
    Lessons learned - practice the conditions and train more than the course. I don't think I hit a 4 mile run in training ... never mind a 4 mile beach run.
    I finished ... F**k Yeah. It felt good ... I felt like death ... but a good death.

    285/354 overall @ 1:59:32
    23/23 age group
    Swim - 43 @ 9:11
    T1 - 211 @ 3:35
    Bike - 217 @ 49:10
    T2 - 246 @ 2:13
    Run - 333 @ 55:23

    And yes ... the girlfriend and I have already started looking into when and where the next one will be.
    Last edited by redsurfsnow; 08-05-15 at 11:53 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by redsurfsnow View Post
    Well ... I'm alive........And yes ... the girlfriend and I have already started looking into when and where the next one will be.
    I'm alive..... I never doubted your success!

    And yes......already started looking......????? I would have thought you would be signed up for a Ironman already.

    Great Report and a Big Congratulations!!!! Lessons learned for future events, so onwards and upwards.

  16. #16
    Voice guy Bike Cottage's Avatar
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    Nice! Not last and not dead, that's about all that can be expected for your first one. I almost called the time exactly (2hrs), I"m super surprised I got that close. Where is the report from the girlfriend? I'd like to hear her story as well. Was it her first tri too?
    Double deal! Next 10 customers get free shipping with $10 minimum purchase. Also, BF members get 11% Discount on any purchase at The Bike Cottage.
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  17. #17
    Member redsurfsnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Cottage View Post
    Nice! Not last and not dead, that's about all that can be expected for your first one. I almost called the time exactly (2hrs), I"m super surprised I got that close. Where is the report from the girlfriend? I'd like to hear her story as well. Was it her first tri too?
    Yeah 2hr was the time hack I guess. The gf did well. She has done a couple before back in highschool but this was the first one in a long time and with a roadbike. 279th @ 1:58:13. Swim @ 9:56 - T1 @ 4:08 - Bike @53:51 - T2 @ 2:36 - Run @ 47:42. Her biggest issue was water temps. I guess 70 was still a bit breathtaking (from Florida and wore a 2piece). Got comfortable on the bike but still not super confident when picking gears. Got rocked by some of the big hills. My goal is to get her more comfortable and to eventually get her clipped in to tap into a full pedal stroke. Her run was good ... she ended up ditching her shoes 1/4 of the way in and ran it barefoot.

    Overall we were both happy with finishing and smiling along the way.

  18. #18
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    I just took a second to look at the tri you did, and it all makes much more sense now.

    In your detailed post you stated the swim portion was 1/2 mile. I saw the swim time for both you and your GF, and was thinking for sure the two of you were absolute dolphins, but used up every ounce of energy in the swim portion. I was going to say next time, slow down on the swim and maybe your bike and run would improve.

    The swim was actually a 1/4 mile. Your swim times are both still good, but it makes much more sense now that your bike and run would follow accordingly with that kind of pace.

    No matter what - congrats on your first tri (and congrats to her for getting back into it). Fun is the main focus!
    "If I were creating the world I wouldn't mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers, eight o'clock, Day One!" - Evil

  19. #19
    Member redsurfsnow's Avatar
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    @jrossbeck - good catch. Yeah that time for a half mile isn't going to happen again unless it is a pool swim and I get back into tip top shape.
    Last edited by redsurfsnow; 08-05-15 at 01:37 PM.

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    I just finished my first tri as well. The Hansen Dam Tri here in Los Angeles.
    Total Time 01:27:48
    500 meter Swim 00:11:46
    T1 00:04:14
    11 mile Bike 00:35:05
    T2 00:03:10
    5-k Run 00:33:32

    I know I can cut time on the swim, because I didn't train one bit for it. Also, I'm really good swimmer... The run I can pick up time because I haven't ran a distance greater than 50-ft since November. I broke my leg pretty badly in December 2014.
    T1 was a mess because I didn't practice transition at all, and T2 wasn't great because the transition area looked like a battle field and I had a tough time getting to my spot.

    All in all people tell me I did very well for a first time effort. I'll be doing the Oly course at the Trick or Tri event in Irwindale in October, so I have some time to train.

    Any thoughts on aerobars? Do they help?

  21. #21
    Senior Member WebFootFreak's Avatar
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    Congrats to all 3 of you!
    As of 7/1 - Swim: 41,186yd Bike: 1117.9mi Walk/Run: 91.65mi Weight 248
    Next Event: Arkansas Delta Flatlander (1st Metric) 10/10

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