Hello to all!
I am 52 years old, always have been very active in swimming, had to give up running in my 30s.
Former Marine and Martial artists, ran cross country in high school, recreational cyclist.
Started running again about 6 months ago with no knee pain. I was so ecstatic I quickly advanced to 3 milers.
Then the bike and pool called my name for cross training purposes and that's when I discovered Triathlon.
I had no idea it would be so much fun so with a few months of semi-focused training and reading about 5 books ( and a few inspiring audio books by Chris McCormack and Mark Allen) I signed up for my first Tri Ssept 9 2012. I finished but did horribly in the swim. Two weeks later I tried it again and again finished but had some equipment failure. I tweaked my equipment and did my third Triathlon the next week which was last weekend in September and did much better in the swim, did well on the bike considering the course and ran 11 minute miles. These were all Sprint Triathlons. My logic was that if you eventually want to compete at Olympic and 70.3 levels then a Sprint should be a good work out. I also believe in the golf principle, (wanna get better? Play more golf!)
Unfortunately most people I tell this story to don't even believe that I did three triathlons in one month, so my question to the community is, how many per month or per year is the standard. That,I cannot seem to find in any books.
Hey Rodney,welcome to the wonderful world of Tri's!!To answer your question-everyone is different,what works for me might not work for anyone else,the trick is find out what works for you and try to improve.My training for sprints is a lot different than my 70.3's,I try to plan my race schedule in 6 month blocks that might be 3 sprints and a marathon,or an Olympic a couple of half marathons and a sprint or two,I'm 50 and actually getting faster by training smarter,in other words I always have a plan I try not to just wing it,best of luck,Mike
Cape Coral Yacht club sprint 1:03
FGCU sprint 1:03
Columbus Marathon 3:50-2010
Gator Half Ironman 5:43-2009
Venice sprint 1:09/25th overall
Captiva sprint 1:04
I agree, training is different for everyone. I think the first thing you need to decide is what your goals are. If you just enjoy doing sprint races on the weekend as motivation to work out during the week, do as many as makes you happy. If you want to start focusing on getting faster or doing a longer race you will probably want to put together a schedule for yourself. The Triathlete's Training Bible by Joe Friel has 3 chapters about planning your training and race schedule. I'd recommend that as a good place to start.
I agree with everyone else that is is totally subjective. But if it helps, as a middle of the pack 38 year old, in 2012 I did four sprints, an olympic, a half iron, two half marathons, a marathon and assorted other shorter running races. Two of the sprints and the olympic were on three weekends in a row.
I'm a 48 yr old age grouper with 25 years Triathlon racing experience. I like the thumbnail of about no more than 1 triathlon per month in season, but this season I'm doing one Oly and three Half Ironman races so I spaced them out even more: early March, mid July, early Sept and late October. The most frequently I've ever done sprint tri's is 3 weeks apart in season, this allows for best training AND recovery, for me anyway. In past years, I've added in a distance swim race or a century ride in between but ZI count those more as training days than race days.
Good luck this season!
I think it depends on what race you want to peak for and what races you want to basically use as training. I've done a local medium sprint race (Swim .5mi; Bike 16mi; Run 5mi) on a Saturday morning, then an unofficial (by myself) swim of .5mi , run 6mi, bike 18mi, in the afternoon. Then did a 70.3 on Sunday morning, for my own personal weekend Triple-T. I've also done sprints on the last wkend of June, a midweek July 4th race, and then another sprint on the first wkend of July, to make 3 races in an 8-day period, no problem. These true sprints take about 1hr 20min to 1hr 30min, not really a very long intense workout when you think of it.
Have fun and toy around with the sched. There are so many fun races these days, if you only do 3/yr you'll never get to them all. Much like golf courses!!
It's been eight years of tri for me, while keeping up a steady running/ marathon schedule. Agree that for everyone it's an individual approach- but have found the following to be useful:
1. I prefer quality over quantity for races- usually this means signing up for a handful of races that are either in really beautiful places and/ or nice course/ competition. I don't do races every weekend just because I would get bored of them.
2. I stagger my distances- usually going from shorter to longer. So each one becomes a bit more challenging, and I have not thereby incurred an excessive injury risk from a longer race, with a shorter tri following.
3. I have ended up with some "race congestion" so tris 2-3 weeks apart- on different continents (goes back to #1, no I am not a high paid pro) but this is useful because to the extent that racings requires a lot of basic logistical prep- I find it useful to get it all done in a nice coherent block, and then vacation carelessly over the summer.
4.Once you start building up race distances (which is what it sounds like you want to do) scheduling your training because even more fun (read logistical nightmare) so in the process, you might find it preferrable to schedule fewer races or better tailor them to your schedule and whatever non-tri life demands are.
5. Book massages! Very important for avoiding injuries and contributes to overall happiness. I have done this as part of my training schedules (everything from marathons to IMs) and knock on wood 8 years no injuries! Injury avoidance becomes a key theme in training for longer tris. And as mentioned in #4, as you get to longer tris, the shorter sprints probably have less strategic value in your overall training.