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4799 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Jun 16, 2008 9:46 PM by Sonialoves2run
MisfitToyTrain Rookie 5 posts since
Mar 7, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

May 4, 2008 8:55 AM

I've run 2 5K's this year.  Is a sprint triathalon to ambitious?


I have just taken up the sport of running and have participted in2 5K races so far this year and plan on at least 1 per month to winter.  I'm not that young but I am in pretty good shape  and I do cycle recreationlly (hybrid bike).  I know how to swim but I have limited access to a pool.  



Question: There is a sprint trahalon in Sept (.4 mile swim-13 K bike-5K run) that I have been eyeing.  Is this to ambitious for a newbie?  The most daunting tasks seem to be the transtions from swim to bike to run.



  • Alexandra945 Amateur 33 posts since
    Dec 3, 2007


    I think it's doable.  I participate in the Master's swiim at my gym because I don't think I would have been as successful teaching myself to swim.  400 meters is not too long that you can't build up to that speed by September.  Good luck.






  • rmoir1005 Amateur 19 posts since
    Aug 31, 2007


    I just did my first Sprint Tri a few weeks ago... I don't know your capabilities or fitness level for sure, but I'll relay some of my newbie experiences...



    I have been training since last July (my ultimate goal is a Half-Ironman in August) so when I did my first sprint - I felt more than ready... and I was starting up after a long break from running (used to run regularly, but let life get in the way...)  I have some other races between now and my HIM in August - including one international distance. 



    Best advice someone gave me was to aim to complete your first sprint.   I took that and ran with it - I wasn't looking to break records, I just aimed for the finish line - and I did better than I expected.  My 700 meter swim was 14 mins, my 18 Mile bike was 1:03 and my 5 K run was 27:28.



    Some of the more experienced athletes on these forums (and I agree) will tell you to include in your training plan the transitions - the bike to run transition always gets me - my legs feel heavy and jello-like.  It goes away after the first 3/4 of mile or so.  I'm glad that I practice the transitions - I didn't feel totally lost on race day!  I didn't notice anything unsettling about the transition between the swim and the bike - but that could have just been the adrenaline pumping during the race... I felt great and exhilarated coming out of the water.



    As far as the swim goes - very important to get into a pool (even open water if possible) and start swimming... the more comfortable you are, the better you'll feel on the swim leg.  .4 miles seems short - but mix in all of the other triathletes - unpredictable water conditions and only a medium comfort level with swimming and that could ruin triathlons for you.  I didn't have the opportunity to get to an open water swim before my first sprint - and I thought that I would do okay despite... I managed, but I definately had a turbulent swim for the first 200 meters or so (I was asking my self why I was doing this...) - something to keep in the back of your head.  I wish I found a time to get into the open water... but difficult in Mass. before May.



    Hope this helps.  Aim for completion and keep up with your workouts!  Good luck.



  • mndrs538 Rookie 7 posts since
    Apr 25, 2008


    Absolutely not!  I trained for a little over 2 months with no swim experience, extremely little bike experience and a decent running background... but not in the shape that you are probably in now.  I finished in a pretty good time too... my advice though is practice as much as you can in open water (and with a wetsuit if you are going to use one).  Swimming in a pool is nothing like swimming in open water....



    I am built for endurance sport, but a sprint tri is much easier than it looks... it does take some training and hard work, but definitely doable and definitely not too ambitious!



    I say go for it and you will more than likely get hooked... I did!



  • Rookie 2 posts since
    May 8, 2008

    A sprint is very doable-especially if your a runner. I have been doing olympic distance for five years being stronger a a cyclist. I had to develop the running aspect of multi-sporting but feel that those athletes that were runners to begin had an easier transition to triathlons. This year I have actually added a few half-marathons to my race schedule prior to the olympic triathlons I do (five a year). I am hoping this additional base training will improve my run times. Good luck

    Nancy in Oregon

  • Jeff Mitchell Rookie 7 posts since
    May 9, 2008


    This is exactly what I'm doing. I starting running in January having been completely out of shape. Now, I'm running, swimming and biking! I'm excited. Keep up the great work. Focus on finishing not breaking a world record and you'll be happy!









  • Renee In Motion Amateur 7 posts since
    May 12, 2008


    I think the best way to decide is to look at the event in terms of what kind of cardio endurance you need to build within the time allowed to prepare.


    • You said .4 mile swim so I'm going to guess around 800 yards? You are not a regular swimmer, so I will be conservative and say the swim should take you about 20-25 minutes, assuming a 2:30 to 3:00/100yd pace.

    • 13 miles for a recreational biker on a hybrid bike... again, I will be conservative and say 1 hour for the bike.

    • No idea how fast you are on the run. Conservatively, a 30 minute run.


    So you are looking at approx. 2 hour cardio workout, compared to a current cardio workout of 30 minutes (running). You need to quadruple that within 4mos time. With a modest training plan using small incremental increases in volume, you should certainly have enough time to prepare for the sprint. Get a training plan and stick to it, to meet your goal. A good training plan will have you doing each sport 3x/week.






  • Sonialoves2run Rookie 1 posts since
    Mar 15, 2008


    I am a runner. I started with a 5k last year now have done 2- 1/2 Marathons and 2-Marathons. Yesterday I did the Danskin Triathlon held at Disneyland California.  To me this is like the 5k's of the triathalon world--not challenging enough that you feel like your going to die, but a good introduction into this venue. I feel very fortunate that I chose this one,, being new to tri's and all. This was a fabulous event.



    This was not open water, we swam in the lagoon in the California Adventure theme park. I am not a swimmer nor a biker (I used a heavy mountain bike)I had sooooooo much fun. Althought I am more of a runner, the endurance trianing I have from doing big run races is what helped me. Swimming with a bunch of people kicking you, touching your legs, splashing youcaused a weird feelingalmost claustrohpobiabut I kept calm. If you have strong mental game and can self-talk,,you can do this. I would really stay away from open water for your first triI have read on this same website that certified open water divers have panicked during open-water tri's.  Look for a tri in a pool . Hemet has the Tinsel TriI think that would be perfect. One of my friends has done both the Tisel and the Disney-Danskin tri and she struggled in the Disney lagoon--so the Tinsel is much easier.



    I plan to do an open water tri but will take a clinic to get tips on swimming in a wet-suit and in open-water. Train in a pool trying to swim for 20 minutes without stopping and learn how to rest, by stopping to just float, dog paddle, whatever  you can without holding on to the ledge-so you have  a plan to rest in the water. Biking and running is just about endurance, one foot in front of the other, or keep peddling--swimming to me is keeping calm.



    Check out YOU-TUBE for tips about Transition training, punch in sprint tri's like the Danskin Tri..Great help is found on You-Tube. Look at the amount of people in the water at the same time,,it makes so much difference than training in a pool alone,,just be prepared to be squished, hit, swallowing water and finishing all of it with a smile!!! Good luck and have fun. Train and you can do anythingI am convinced!! I am 41 did my first Marathon at 40never to late, never too hard.









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