The Short Course Triathlon Thread

I completed the dreaded reverse order triathlon this past weekend. It is practically a super-sprint but because its in my city, I never miss the chance to race without having to travel. It is a 3.1mile run, 8ish mile bike, .25mile swim in a long course pool.

I show up race morning pretty relaxed, always nice to sleep in my own bed and roll up to a race. Seeding was based on estimated 5k time so the first 10 people in the bike rack were mostly young cross country runners. I quickly knew I was going to have to watch them run up the road and leave me behind; I was once that young runner and I remember how fast I was back then.

Either way, run felt okay. I wanted to make sure I didn’t cook my legs. I left plenty in the tank. Came in around 19:40 and was in 6th at that point.

T1 was uneventful, and was nice to already have socks on so didn’t have to fumble with socks like I normally do. I don’t know how people do this without socks.

Out on the bike I caught all but one who had gone up the road. I actually didn’t know he was up the road until a double back part of the course; I thought I had caught everyone but apparently I had counted incorrectly. Well crap. Averaged right over 23mph on the bike.

T2 felt weird taking off shoes and socks and throwing a cap and goggles on. Off I went towards the pool with the leader somewhat in sight.

I get to the edge of the pool, and take 10 extra seconds to stretch. Last time I did a different reverse tri, I cramped as soon as I jumped in the water. It must be the transition of muscles as I am a fairly decent swimmer and wouldn’t expect with my fitness for that to happen. So stretch the hamstrings, quads, and calves and in I go; leader is almost 75m ahead of me but struggling.

Shoulders were on fire from the start and I felt like I was dragging an extra 10lbs of weight. Sure enough I actually caught the leader and passed him to climb out of the water and cross the tape. My watch shows around 6 minutes for the swim and a total of around 7 to account for the stretching, climbing out of pool (Stairs) and then run across the line.

All in all an interesting race. You can only race the people that show up, so it’s always nice to get a win. Not my best bike or run but with it being out of order, it was almost a guessing game trying to feel out what the legs had left. I left plenty in the tank on the run, the bike I wish I hammered more and was about 10w lower than I wanted to hold over the distance. The swim was just a gut check and grind through it.

Now back to normal order triathlons please.


Massive kudos here… i’d just like to point out that the weather was pretty grim, so your result is even more impressive IMO.

Done a couple of 70.3s and olys the last few years but decided to have a go at a my first sprint distance last week. Been racing since April and entered this on a whim so no real specific prep aside from a few race pace bricks <6 weeks out


Swim: Not coming from a swimming background & pools being closed for the best part of a year here hasn’t been great, but I’ve had a solid 3 months back in the pool now so I was pleased to put together a respectable time

Bike: On a road bike, NP 260w. Kind of was a bit of a slave to speed rather than power so I probably didn’t push on in places when I should’ve :roll_eyes: CP is 343w, aerobic threshold 300w for context so really not going very hard at all

Run: Lost a couple of seconds trying to find my rack in T2, was passed by a guy in the first 100m and basically ran 20m off his heels the whole way round. The run has been the main focus this year (and will be next year…). I’ve been making steady progress but have been racing on slow, slow courses so was pleased to finally get a result that reflected my fitness

Uni work is starting to crunch now so time to take an early off season before building up to 2022!


Sounds like a pretty awesome race. Great result especially with what seems to be a fairly easy bike output by your own standards.

I think to close out this year I am going to need to re-focus on running. Any suggestions?

Yeah sure, with running I think the big thing is avoiding injury and being consistent. They go hand in hand really - less daily but more frequent training load reduces injury risk, not being injured leads to consistent ability to train.

For me I found a pattern of mon/tues on, wed off, thu/fri/sat on, sun off worked really well to build load/volume.

Easy runs were 8-12Km at <70%HRmax, hard sessions were intervals on Tuesday and bricks on Saturday, both totalling between 6-10Km of work depending on intensity.

Not much else to it really, just got to prioritise run sessions and let your bike plateau for a bit

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After a few weeks of not ticking the “workout completed” box on swim workouts, this morning I got an Adaptive Training adaptation offered… which reduced the volume of all planned swim workouts.

Looks like AT is already looking at more than just bike training. I haven’t listened to the last couple of podcasts so this might be announced, but I found it interesting.

Edit: Ah, just seen JoeX talking about it here Adaptive Training Closed Beta Update - #1979 by JoeX

I didn’t get run changes, just swim, and the changes are still there.

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Interesting as I havent got anything at all, though I do delete all the swims from my plans as I cant get to a pool regularly so just do duathlons. I have been marking all the runs as completed (when I do them I have missed a couple in the last couple of weeks).

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Opened up the calendar this morning and there were some run adaptations! It was slightly frustrating because I couldnt actually see what the workouts were adapting to and after I have accepted them it just seems to have moved things around. So tomorrow I was supposed to have a 10x1min run interval workout, that is now randomly moved to Thursday under the heading of “Base Run + Strides” and the “Vo2max Interval” workout for tomorrow is the 6x20/40 that is the Base Run + Strides from Thursday. Needless to say I am about as confused as a confused thing. I will probably just carry on as I was before as I was pretty happy with how the workouts were in the week.

Report it if it’s not too much bother, the more work they do on making the run adaptations make sense, the better for us triathletes :wink:

Email has already gone on to support. I am not backwards in coming forwards to report any Beta issues.

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I saw the same thing 6 run adaptions. I declined because it didn’t make much sense for me.

Support have said that its a known issue where things are being incorrectly labelled, but I also am not sure that the adaptations are any good, why bother having exactly the same workout but on a different day?

I would like to see the ability to push run/swim workouts to my Gamin calendar before anything else. At least that way I dont have to worry about anything, just select the workout and go!

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A quick race report of a different kind. My daughters (6 and 10) just finished their 6 weeks triathlon camp and had their race yesterday. This was the 3rd time (4th race) for my 10, and first for my 6 who loves the pool but refuses to go in open water. Age groups were 5-7, 8-10 and 11-13. The venue is always gorgeous at Fort Adams in Newport, RI. Great weather. Total of 150 kids races for the Race4Chase Foundation.

The course for them is ‘roughly’ 50 yd swim, 1.8 mile ride and .65 mile run. My 6 yo. did the swim (proud dad here) in 2:06, the bike in 15:46 and the run in 5:00, total 22:51! She was 5/12 F and 10/19 overall.

My speedy 10 yo did the swim in 1:26, bike in 11:05 and run in 4:32, total 17:02. Finished 1st in AG (of 28) and 5th overall (of 64). Her record now stands at 3x 1st and 1x 2nd. After the race she said she want to got to the Olympics for triathlon and asked if we can do a 4 mile race in October…I am in trouble if I need to keep up with her!




When I am dismounting I always take my right leg over the saddle and then hit the ground with it first. This came about because I run with my bike in my right hand and it puts me on the correct side of the bike for that. However its always felt a little more awkward than I would like so when doing some transition practice today I jumped off the other side. Oh My God! What a difference. felt completely natural and I was able to do it at a much higher speed than I ever have been the other way. Looks like I am going to have to learn to run with the bike in my left hand now.

In other news, this weekend marks the start of my “4 events in 4 weeks”. With the Relays this weekend, club Sprint Event (currently we cant use our lake for swimming so its down as a duathlon but they are hoping for that day to be the first swim back in which case it will revert to a triathlon), club hill climb and then Duathlon A Race.

My triathlon season has ended. I raced short course 6 times and long course (a 70.3) once.

We have this bizarre invention in Poland (as well as, as far as I’ve heard, Russia and Belarus) called a 1/4 Ironman. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a 950 meter swim, a 45 km bike and a 10.55k run - just like an Olympic distance race, but with less swimming, noticeably more cycling and a tad more running.

After a very stagnant 2020, my PB in a 1/4 went from 2:25 to 2:16 this year (on a properly measured course) as I averaged 24 mph / 39 kph on the bike and managed to hang on to my goal of 7’ per mile (4:20 per k) on the run. I also set a 1:14 sprint PB (I hadn’t raced many sprints before). Glad to say I place in the top 10-15% of my age group in most short course races. As I’ve said before, it happened based on an easier and more enjoyable training plan by @MikaelEriksson / @Mikael_Eriksson.

The half distance race in Samorin didn’t go badly (4:57 on a day with very difficult swimming conditions and a windy bike), but it clearly confirmed my hunch that I was more of a short course beast.

I won’t be doing any 70.3s next season. It’s all about the short course, baby. The Olympic PB of 2:31 needs to shed a quarter of an hour.

The season is not over, however. I’ll be riding 45 km in a relay in 3 weeks in one of the larger local races, and having a competent swimmer and runner we’re thinking about climbing on the podium. This means I’m going back to Trainerroad’s plans, but this time it’s the 40k TT cycling plan with two scary threshold workouts a week (the algo has marked them “Breakthrough” - breaking through twice a week is a bit rich?), and a tempo / sweet spot session. Can’t wait to see how adaptive training adapts the plan later on.


Still a good effort on the 70.3! As a short course person (and I mean REALLY short course, Super Sprints are so much fun, Sprints are my jam and an Olympic seems like an awful lot of work to me) I did 1 half distance once and my race went swim: yeah this is fine, bike: 60km yeah this is fine 30kms of I am bored now I want to get off run: really not enjoying this and cant be bothered might just stroll it in for a just short of 6 hour finish. So I take my hat off to your sub 5!


Thanks. Not my first sub-5, and I was planning to go under 4:50, but I forgave myself (especially that it was still a PB). The start of the run did feel good - I had been dreaming of getting off the bike for like an hour. It was the first time in 37 triathlons that I had an OK run off a disappointing bike. To rescue my morale in T2, I had to remind myself of all the PROs who had reported running well after having no legs on the bike, like Sanders and Kienle.

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Anyone here racing Blenheim Palace (UK) next weekend? I got a last-minute place for the Sprint distance on Sunday, decided to go ahead and give my first Triathlon a go!


That was my very first tri in 2011!

Beautiful location and a pretty big event as I recall.

Nice lake swim, rolling bike that was a little narrow (so was for slower riders from earlier waves), and a slightly long 5k.