Tri / Triathlon / Triathlons - do they float your boat?

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  • Sounds like a fun idea, but I happened to read this today:­le/calculating-swimming-tss-score

    Which seems to suggest that because water is denser than air, that incremental speed gains in water are disproportionately stressful compared to both run and bike and that therefore if so would imply that the swim should be shorter in order to equalise the efforts of each sport.

  • The thing that amazes me constantly in this is that the running times are only about twice that of the cycling times. That's just nuts.
    I was speaking to Roger Bannister this weekend, and though we weren't discussing anything slightly related*, my mind later turned to his pace for the mile. Which is 15mph. The current record is 16mph, and the marathon pace for the world record is 13mph.
    Essentially, I was thiking how fucking incredible the human body is.

    *previously we'd discussed his belief that humans were reaching a physiological maximum. Instead due to Sydney Kentridge being there the discussion was Pistorius' trial.

  • running times are only about twice that of the cycling times

    It's a little less crazy when you consider that wind resistance is a function of the square of your speed.

    It's still bonkers though.

  • This site:­htm is a useful guide to speed calculations based on power, weight, CdA, etc. It'll be accurate enough for the amateur.

    For my figures, on the flat with no wind.

    15W gets me going at 10kph.
    61W required for 20kph.
    166W for 30kph.
    250W for 35kph.
    361W for 40kph.

    Note that doubling speed from 20kph to 40kph requires almost 6 times as much power.

    Anyway, there are lots of non-standard distance triathlons, whether a "fairer" one catches on is more to do with marketing than science.

  • I did the Hever Olympic distance yesterday. I quite enjoyed it even though my time was pretty bad at 3:30.
    It was my first of that distance. I'll definetely do another one; I want to get my time below 3hrs.
    I found the run the hardest; It was hot and I was de-hydrated.
    It's made me want to sort my swimming technique out and run hills more and get to the bottom of my cycling back pain. I couldn't push nearly as hard as I wanted to on the bike.

  • planning on getting a coach for next season, for the price of a gym membership it seems like a better way of getting to where i want to be, have had a few phone conversations with coaches of triathletes who I know, and have made a decision, quite excited.

    Now to decide what length racing I want to do next season, although I may have qualified for the Long Course World Champs, which may make that decision for me!

  • How long is that?

  • It's at Challenge Weymouth isn't it? Or have I got that confused with something else?

  • @ewanmac I think Challenge Weymouth is the middle distance ETU champs, the Long Distance are somewhere in sweden

    @nev its called O3 which is roughly 3 olympic triathlons at 4K, 120k and 30k, which kind of suits me, not many chances to practice racing at that distance though!

  • No, I've never heard of that setup before. sounds nice though. not as harsh as an IM but harder than a 70.3.

  • Just tuning into the live coverage of Kona here

    Anyone else watching?

  • So this week I did some testing to determine my training paces over winter.

    For the run I did a 3.2km test and used Jack Daniels tables to calculate my VDOT pace. The weather on the day was nasty and wet and cold but I ran a time of 12:08 which puts me exactly halfway between a VDOT score of 51 and 52. My previous test (12:18) gave me a VDOT of 51 on the same course and so given the weather conditions I decided to give myself the benefit of the doubt and adopt a score of 52 :-). In terms of a comparison with previous tests, I've done this test 3 time now:

    Date / time / pace / VDOT
    31/07/2013 / 11:46.1 / 03:40.7 / 53
    02/05/2014 / 12:18.0 / 03:50.6 / 51
    14/10/2014 / 12:08.0 / 03:47.5 / 52

    In July 2013 I was a little over a month out from Challenge Henley so I'm not surprised I was faster back then. However, I hadn't run for several months in the run up to the May 2014 test so I was slightly disappointed not to beat that time by a slightly larger margin... That said, I’ve only been doing c. 1hour running per week since that test so it’s not too bad.

    For the swimming did a 400m, 200m and 50m time trial with loads of time to fully recover in between. CSS is then calculated as (400m time - 200m time)/2, and in theory it should be the approximate equivalent of my Threshold (1hr) pace. I had an empty lane which was nice, however I slightly messed up my length counting on the 400m and ended up doing 450m instead. The 450m set took me 6:43.7. Luckily I was recording with my Garmin so I know that I did the final 50m in 45.6seconds, meaning that I did the first 400m in 5:58.1… which is what I used for my 400m score. The full results from this test and previous tests were:

    Date / 400m / 200m / 50m / CSS (/100m)
    30/07/2013 / 05:44.0 / 02:48.0 / na / 01:28.0
    29/04/2014 / 06:37.7 / 03:21.5 / 00:43.7 / 01:38.1
    16/10/2014 / 05:58.1 / 02:51.6 / 00:35.4 / 01:33.3

    So, again… I am now faster than I was in May this year but also slower than I was in July last year. But, just as with the running, I had done plenty of swimming over the summer of 2013 followed by no swimming for several months before the May 2014 test so it's hardly surprising that I'm now in between the two.

    Lots to build on over winter :-)

  • 1.4km swim (slow, such rests each 100m, 3 lengths crawl to 1 breaststroke - still working on stamina) this morning, 1 hour gap and then...
    50km cycle (25.8kph av) around Richmond Park and thought "ooh, should I try a run straight afterwards?"
    5km run (31:08) up to Putney Heath and back, legs felt much slower/heavier than normal (just under 29 mins at the moment). Used the fixed for the cycle so didn't get much of a chance to spin the legs in the last few miles.

    So, first attempt at a brick with 'T2' being almost 11mins (have to lock up bike, get into flat, smalltalk with cleaner, get changed, find smaller set of keys, leave flat) should be able to get that down to 5 mins.

    (An hour of 5-a-side the night before then 6 pints is not the best preparation for a day like this.)

  • Garmin 310/910/920xt users, do any of you use any non-Garmin out-front mounts for your units on the bike?
    Just trying to establish what's compatible for my 310xt...

  • Apparently, while most gamins use the same quarter turn mount (and thus fit in any quarter turn mounting hardware), some of the forerunner models have their 'quarter turn' rotated 90º compared to the cycling computers. This means that although they fit into the mount, the screen is sideways and useless.

    I have a 910 (and a 310) and tried the SRAM road bike mount and Zipp TT bar mount and both had this problem. I can't remember the name off the top of my head but maybe it's "raceware" who make specific mounts for 910 and 310 etc.?

  • garmin do a watch holder jobbie that i use, ive heard that the quick release isnt that secure and have heard of quite a few people losing 910s during the swim..

  • Thanks for the tips.

  • Ballbuster this morning, signed up in the wake of ironman and now feelingseriousky under prepared, and not that motivated...

  • Good luck Ed. (Bit late- sure you've nailed it.

    IM, 5th July, Frankfurt. Bring it.

  • Thanks, tried not to push but still beat my time target by 9 minutes to do a 3.21, it was hard, and cold, and wet, but I got a nice hoody, so I'm happy!

  • Having never heard of VDOT tests until I read this post my coach interestingly got me to do a VDOT run test last night (3000m version in 10:45) for a VDOT score of just over 54 which the Daniel calculations are about right for 5 and 10k, but say i should be 2 minutes faster over a half marathon and 32 minutes faster over a marathon..

    but then the marathon PB is 2.5 years old, but is something I want to get closer to in the spring..

    The training paces look very useful though...

    I did a CSS swim test last week but given that my 400m pace was 6 seconds per 100 than my IM Wales pace I'm going to repeat it in a week or so once I'm back into training a bit more...

  • Interesting, I just checked mine and my current Vdot is pretty accurate for what I think I could do tomorrow for either 10km and half marathon but gives me an equivalent marathon time of 3:04, which is about 10minutes faster than my 2012PB.

    I think that the point is that these are supposed to represent potential times if you target a particular distance, so if I can run 3.2km in 12:08 then I should be able to run 3:04 if I was targeting a marathon. There is probably a good explanation of it in the Daniels running formula book, which I have although I've not found time to read it yet.

    Hopefully I'll get confirmation whether I'm in for the London Mara by the end of the week so maybe I'll get a chance to put the VDOT to the test :-)

    I've found my swim deteriorates quickly if I stop swimming for a while but comes back pleasingly quickly too.

  • The value of the formula is in the training paces.

    As a predictor of race times, it works until it doesn't work, as with any model.

    It is sensitive to a constant that you can improve by deriving from your own know race results.

    t;dr It's ok for ballpark estimates

  • Hah, current VDOT of 33 but that's because I'm fat and it's based on my fastest 5k which was just part of a 'get-the-miles-in' run; I've never even attempted to see how fast I could do a specific distance.

    I reckon it'll be about 45 if I get down to 70kg, and I'd be very happy with the potential times it suggests for those figures.

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Tri / Triathlon / Triathlons - do they float your boat?

Posted by Avatar for kattiep @kattiep