I'm running my first Tri in Phuket Thailand in about 3 weeks (anyone else?).
I've done brick training (swim/bike, bike/run, swim/run) and even did 1/2 the total in less than two hours about a month ago.
I think that I can finish the swim (1800m) in 40 min and the bike (55k) in about 1 hour 45--at least that's what I'm getting done in training now (pool swim and flat road work). But my run (12k) is over an hour alone, which is feel is really slow.
My goal is to finish in under 4 hours, which I don't think that I can hit at this point. I know you don't know me from Adam, but I'm looking for general expectations for healthy beginners.
Can I reasonably be expected to do times like this a) with other swimmers (never done that before), b) on a bike course w/hills that I've never ridden before, c) running completely exhausted in the Thai heat.
I guess I'm asking for encouragement and some hints as to what I don't know I don't know that will affect my time.
It's good to have goals, but at the same time realize this is your first triathlon. There will be a lot of learning going on. You will make a few minor mistakes; that's normal. Some things will be new experiences and perhaps catch you by surprise which will slow you down slightly, especially in the swim and the transitions. The adrenaline of competition will most likely push you through the fatigue and allow you to go at a slightly faster pace than that which you trained, which will offset some of the things that slowed you down.
That being said, a 40 minute swim, 1:45 bike and a 1 hour run all add up to 3:25. If your goal is to finish under 4 hours, that leaves you 35 minutes cushion for transitions. I think you can meet your goal without too much trouble.
The most important thing is to have fun. If you don't enjoy the race, then there's not a lot of point of torturing yourself like this.
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Look, itīs your first one,
Your aims should be:
1) Have as much fun as possible.
2) Keep hydrated and healthy. Donīt take any unnecessary risks on the bike, pace yourself on the run.
3) Finishing knowing you could have gone a bit faster, thatīs great motivation for the subsequent training.
I would absolutely not worry about any time targets at this stage. Heck, I finished 3rd from last in my first one (in my defence I accidently did the regional championships, and was the only beginner there) but I had a hoot. The blind guy beat me, he was an impressive athlete, although it was a bit of a surprise when he stormed passed me on my jog.