I’ll be doing my first triathlon at XTERRA Lake Tahoe this weekend! With no precedent other than the minimal training I’ve been doing, this is the first time in years I’ve gone into a race not knowing what to expect. Going to be exciting! … as long as I don’t drown .
What do y’all think my splits will be? See below for context.
2x750m laps with a very short run on the beach between laps. It’s at Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe and water conditions should be glassy and current is almost not noticeable. Wet suit swim.
Over-Under Time: 32 minutes
22mi/35.5km and 3,000’/915m of climbing with a 60/40 split between loose and sandy fireroad and sandy but fast singletrack with occasional tech granite sections. It’s one big climb and one big descent.
Over-Under Time: 2 Hours
6mi/10k and 440’/134m of climbing. The course has a lot of turns but isn’t on technical singletrack. Lots of pine needles and a bit loose in spots, but that’s about it.
Over-Under Time: 45 minutes
Perhaps the most important question… Will I wear socks???
Any other thoughts/predictions/suggestions/advice?
Wetsuit swim, I reckon you average 1.45/100m, bike fast, run - easily run ~40-45min but I can’t wait to hear the report of the strange sensations you get to experience .
Are you going to run in your XC shoes (rather than leave them clipped to your pedals)? If so, no harm wearing socks, but putting socks on wet feet is … It’s own challenge. I used to roll them up so you only have to pull them over your toes and them unroll them up your leg (or foot for ankle jobbies).
Tough to gauge swim without more training info, but I would guess with effort you’ve put in (e.g., masters coaching, etc.) you’re close to 2 min / 100m. Wetsuits help a lot.
On the bike, you will likely be one of the (if not the) strongest mountain biker on course. Sub 2 seems likely w/o a mechanical IMO.
45 min on trail w/ 440’ is flying. Grade adjustment with 440’ = ~15 sec/ mile; trail adjustment rule of thumb is 10-20% slower depending on technicality (~45-90 sec/ mile). 7.5 min/ mile on trail is equivalent of running ~ 6.5-6.0 min/ mile on flat road. And that doesn’t factor in the new baby adjustment! You’ve probably got the engine, though.
Best of luck! You won’t have to worry about drowning, it’s shocking how much buoyancy a wetsuit provides. But don’t worry too much about your swim pace either. Your first mass start swim can be really overwhelming — totally normal. Just keep moving towards the buoy however you can. If you kick someone, or bump into them, no one’s going to care or have any idea who it was. It’s going to take a lot of reps before open water times don’t look crazy slow compared to what you can do in a pool, again totally normal. Your heart rate is going to be through the roof in transition/starting the bike. It’ll settle down. Same with the run, you’ll feel like your legs are cement the first few minutes, just keep them turning over, you’ll be running faster than it feels like.
ETA - you should absolutely wear socks, especially if you have not been training w/o them. Non-conditioned feet w/ trail rides and runs will not end well.
Use no-show socks, which are super-easy to put on even with wet feet. The few seconds you lose here will not matter in the end especially since 1) this is your first tri / Xterra so you aren’t chasing any kind of a PR, and 2) seconds are nothing compared to dozens of minutes if you have to walk the run due to blisters (or worse, DNF).
Based upon your recent swim, I think you’ll juusst make your 32 min swim.
You’ll kill the bike.
While you’ll try for sub 45, something tells me you won’t make it being your first tri and all.
Doesn’t affect you soo much living nearby, but here’s advice a friend gave me the first time I swam across Tahoe (relay and speedo)
“When you jump in it’s so cold you can’t remember you can’t breathe in the altitude, when you realize you can’t breathe in the altitude, you are too numb to feel the cold.”