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Old 07-22-04, 11:27 AM   #1
cadence
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Most crucial section of a triathlon?

I'm a newbie, and have been considering entering into some small triathlons. I'm pretty fast in the water or on a bike, but not exactly hot running...So

Is this a very key stage, or can some training solve this. I just really need to know, will the other 2 sections pull me through?
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Old 07-22-04, 01:22 PM   #2
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Not exactly...maybe if you were to say that you were a pretty fast runner and bike rider it would be ok. Running is the next longest part of a triathlon and the second most crucial part of the triathlon(1st being bike ride). In my own experience i hold my own in the swim and bike portion but get blown away by other people in my age group that run at 5:30 paces(I can hold around a 20mph bike ride pace and can swim half mile around 15:30). But if your goal is to just finish triathlons and not win your age group then the two that you are skilled at would put you through.

Last edited by Road Trekker; 07-23-04 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 07-22-04, 02:47 PM   #3
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I agree to some extent with Trekker. From the triathlons I've watched, running will make or break your chance of placing well. I actually think the running leg may be the most crucial part of a triathlon because you can lose or gain so much time...though I grant that you still need a good cycling leg to keep yourself competitive.
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Old 07-22-04, 04:09 PM   #4
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yeah the bike and run are very close in terms of making and breaking the race
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Old 07-23-04, 09:05 AM   #5
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It's also going to depend on the race, for a sprint race the run is really going to highlight a bad runner and reward a great runner. Around here a sprint tri will be a sub half mile swim, roughly 10 mile bike ride and a 2-3 mile run. Dropping the bottom 25% of the competitors (there are some people that will do the swim in 20 mins, the bike in an hour and the run in 40 mins, not a good representation of competition, but they are out there doing it), the spread between the swimmers will be about 3-4 minutes, the bikers will be around 5-7 min apart, but the spread on the run can be 8-15 minutes. That's why I'll always be a MOP finisher on the sprints, because I can finish near the front on the swim, and given a bit more training I can probably blaze a top 3 on the bike, but I'll never be able to run a 5 minute mile, maybe at best I could do a 7 or 8 min mile, but there I've already given up 4-6 minutes on a 2 mile course, which I can't get back on such a short bike course.

Now on an IM distance race, things swing a little more back to even. There have been IM's that have been won by a fast bike leg, and some that have been won by a fast run leg.

Andrew
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Old 07-29-04, 09:38 AM   #6
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Races are won at the end. No was has won a Tri on a bike or in the water.

Please don't ask me how I know this, because I am never around at the end. I don't get a number, just a DNF.
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Old 07-30-04, 07:22 AM   #7
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As mentioned, the run is very important. You can't win with a good swim but you can loose with a bad one. Your key workout will be the brick or more appropriately the transition run. Once a week run 20-30 minutes off your long ride.
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Old 07-30-04, 01:38 PM   #8
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I think this all depends on your goals! I am not a great runner, but I think triathlon is really a lot of fun. So - my goal is to finish and if I can get a top 3 age group then I feel REALLY good about myself! I encourage you to race in some sprints - most likely you will surprise yourself at how well you do. Then you'll be hooked, and start to train more, and slowly but surely you'll become a better runner!
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Old 08-12-04, 04:50 PM   #9
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I always lose the race in the swim. I train with a guy that runs/bikes about the same as me and he has a pretty good chance of placing age group. My swim is so terrible that I have no hope of ever making it up... But, I am new to Tri. I am doing my third tonight (sprint 400 meter, 6 mile, 2 mile - 400 isn't long enough to really penalize me. I may be able to make it up on the ride). I know I will eventually improve my swim. So... in my naivity, I am going to claim, that it depends on how bad you are at one particular section.
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Old 08-20-04, 10:09 AM   #10
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A triathlon is not 3 parts but at least 6 parts, swim, bike, run you get, however, of equal importance is your training, transitions and the ability to "brick" off the bike. I am a runner who became a triathlete, am 47 and have done about 55 tris including ironman. Not saying that to pat myself on the back but to say I have been around and done more than one or two of these. The hardest thing is the first 2 miles of the run after you get off the bike. You really need to practice this before. Many times.
Also I am wrong, 7 parts, not 6. the other is managing your hydration and nutrition in the race which actually starts at least 48 hour before the race begins. Most of the people than DNF at IM do so because they dont correctly manage their hydration/nutrition.
my 2 cents

what distance are you wanting to do?
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Old 08-20-04, 11:24 AM   #11
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Transitions. And the shorter the race, the more critical they become.
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Old 09-01-04, 02:23 PM   #12
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transitions are huge. think how much training it would take to trim 1 minute off of a 1/4-1/2 mile swim. being efficient on the transitions will move you up the ladder. unfortunately, if you're a slow runner, you will slide on down the ladder to MOP. and the older you get, the harder it gets to get better/faster. in my age group (40-44), people are running 5:30-6:00 miles, which is insane. the last tri i did, the top 3 finishers were in my age group, so winning a trophy would be near impossible (unless there were only 3 in my age group including myself!).

good luck to all. train hard, eat right, and most of all, have fun.
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Old 09-02-04, 10:26 AM   #13
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I think the most important section of a race is the one you can improve the most in. For example, I am a fairly stron swimmer, and would probabaly only improve by a few minutes if a really trained hard for the swim. On the other hand, I can probably shave 10+ minutes of both the run and the bike if I could just get off my ass and train hard. It sounds like putting your time into the run might have the biggest payoff, Cadence.
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Old 09-02-04, 01:15 PM   #14
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The run is where I lose it every time. Work on your running and everything else gets better.
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