The Short Course Triathlon Thread

Results in for the race today, I managed 2h27m36s just getting in under my target set in Jan 2020 of 2h30. I now have more consistency across the distances, as my previous PB was 3h18m :slight_smile:


Standing at my bike I had no idea what was going on, then I realised that behind a nearby bush was the swim start and I was going off in 50s. “Hey mate, what’s the swim route?” :grimacing: “First buoy on your right shoulder then two laps” - that’s the swim prep done then, dove into the murky waters and went for it. No seeding, so a lot of swimming around people and only a few swimming past me :+1:


Go hard! Brake! Narrow hard left! Roundabout! Downhill! Uphill! Dead turn ahead brake! That was like the first two or three minutes so yeah looking at my Edge was a waste of time. I tried to get a feel for around 240W and not go too hard after the dead turns but I had no idea really just a feel that it wasn’t quite as hard as I went in the sprint two weeks ago. With such a busy bike route I completely forgot about drinking and there was nowhere to do it anyway. A pace line formed I think around me and then ahead of me, and though I really wanted to keep up I was lapping at 11min 15s pretty consistently so I just let them go - this race was all about the run and my hip flexors were flickering amber.

I didn’t check my bike split at the end, you can’t change history, I necked most of my bike fluids in T2, socks this time and headed off with a gel in hand.


Glanced on at my watch after 200m and was happy to see I was at target pace, but I started to feel something wasn’t right about a kilometre later my right side under my rib cage felt like a stitch was developing - something I’ve seen on TV but never had myself. I backed off the effort a little, mildly panicking that I was losing the race against my goal time but patience and good sense won out. A few kilometres later I was back at goal pace and feeling okay.

I managed to get in a gel at 5km, people were starting to pass me on this second lap but I just told myself they were first lappers or sprint distance athletes and kept my head in the game. Just kept on trucking, I heard some hard breathing on the finish straight but upped my game and held them off to the finish line and fell over :). Looked at my watch and :smiley:

Two years training paid off!

I can relax or experiment for my A race at London in August now.


Always frustrating when you set out with a time goal and then the course works against you. Well done for keeping your head down and getting it done.


Club Aquathlon today. Hadn’t been in water for a long time and open water was even longer. I didn’t drown, result! But then I was cooked for the run. I’m also not even sure you can call the bit in between a transition, it was long enough that they were two distinct activities. Great fun though!


Well done.

I used to run to and from the pool a few years ago. The run back was always simply awful, so my hat’s off to you for racing that format!


Its one of my favourites actually. I’d race it all season long. I had this idea to try to go to worlds in Ibiza in 2022 and race both the Duathlon and Aquathlon as an Aussie. Been pushed back to 2023 but still might try for it if I can!

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Well done @JoeX!

Sounds like it was chaos and things really worked against you yet your fitness and preparation helped you charge through it and come out with a nice PR!

So if you were to do some experimentation in London, what were you thinking? Bumping up the IF on the bike? Crushing the swim and seeing how that affects the rest of the race? Nutrition? I’m quite fascinated by this idea of experimenting in your A race :slight_smile:

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Yeah, I guess I haven’t really thought about it yet but I’m thinking there’s a lot less hassle on the London bike course so I should be able to stay in tempo/threshold zone rather than burning matches in vo2 and anaerobic like I did last weekend. So might go faster on the bike due to the course for less cost?

I can’t see myself running much faster, so yeah I guess a little more gas on the swim and bike, aim to hold the same pace on the run and try to get the nutrition right.

I guess maybe I was a little cautious over the last 2-3km, so I could see where I’m feeling a risk turning it up near the end of the run. My run training plan is aimed at a 47min 10k but if it’s true that it’s a 12k run…well. :man_shrugging:t2:

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I used to to that ALL the time. Until I start adding paddles and fins and buoys and other toys… its hard to run with all the toys.

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I’m now starting to think that I should switch to Ironman training earlier than planned.

I might switch London down to B and Barcelona up to A. It may not happen but I’ll race self supported instead anyway.

There’s also Staffordshire 70.3 available in two weeks…but my wife is against it…

Race day at London I think I should stick with my original plan - swim harder and hopefully crack 26mins, bike relatively easy 240W and maximise my chance for a good run split. Race day situation determines everything and it’s likely to be hotter but I’d aim for 4:50/km on a perfect day about 2mins faster over 10k.

London triathlon have denied the course length rumours and insist it is 40/10.

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Well done @JoeX . Was exciting reading your race report.

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I’m increasingly tempted to do London in 2022. There’s usually not a lot of reasons to travel abroad to do short course tris, central London… sounds like my sort of thing.


Hi folks,

I am not as fast as most of these race reports, but I am trying to get faster and like the idea of processing a race after the fact. Here is the summary and a couple of questions for faster folks/ seasoned racers on this forum. Appreciate any insights.

Swim: I should have checked water temperature before, b/c I didn’t need a full wetsuit. I used body glide on ankles, but I burnt time in T1 getting the wetsuit off. Any good rules of thumb/ articles/ resources that frame trade offs of speed in water w/ wetsuit vs incremental time in transition?

Bike: I don’t train exclusively by HR, but I keep an eye on it during workouts. My HR was (by Garmin dual) was a good 10+ beats higher than I expected for my wattage on the bike. Although I told myself something squirrelly was happening, I reined in the bike early on in the race. Normally, when I’m above 165-167 bpm I’ve got 10 minutes until I explode, so I was reluctant to push. Is it physiologically possible to have this kind of delta between race and normal training or was something wrong with the monitor? The water was pretty salty, so I am wondering if that had any impact. My NP was ultimately ~10 watts below target, and the 1H of the race didn’t help.

Overall summary: It was a fun race, and I was excited to use some of the fitness I’ve built over the last year and a half. For the swim, I need to get more structured about training. I don’t belong to a pool, and I’ve only been in open water a handful of times (<5) so far this season. To be in the front group, I need to shave off swim time, and it’s time to change my mindset from just “surviving the swim.” Other than doubting HR/ wattage ratio early in the race, the bike went well. I may add some aero bars for future races, but I don’t know how much it would have helped me with the rolling course like this one. I am happy with the run, even though I did finish with some gas in the tank.

My results:

More info:

Sprint Tri - probably a B race
Race details: 0.3 mile swim, 8.5 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. It was a fun race and well run. The organizer described it as “smushy” at points; the bike and run were coming in and out on the same stretch of road. Seeing folks on TT bars during this section sketched me out, but I don’t think there were any collisions. The course was ½ flat, ½ rolling with one beautiful descent along the coast. The run felt (and by Garmin was) slightly shorter than 5k.
Conditions: air temp: mid 60’s; water temp: low 70’s; glassy water. It was an awesome day to race.

About me: 36M, 3.5 watts/ kg, 5k TTM PR 19:05; I’ve only been doing structured training for about 1.5 years, but I competed in a few triathlons prior to that. I average about 3-4 hours a week (two kids <6), so I have to make the most of limited windows.
Gear: BMC road machine (upgrades: Hunt 4050 carbon wheels, ENVE aero handlebars)
Nutrition: breakfast: pancakes, coffee, banana; before race: 1 sleeve clif blocks; during race: 1 scoop rocktane in bottle on bike, one maurten gel in T2/ start of run.


Sounds like a great race and plenty fast if you ask me :smiley:

The only rule of thumb I know is that if wetsuits are allowed you’ll be faster!

I suppose if it was 400m open water I would have to get the calculator out but probably just an argument for practicing getting the wetsuit off faster: start stripping as soon as you leave the water. Cap and goggles off as you get out, find the zip while you’re running, get one arm out, leaving the goggles and cap in the arm, then both arms and shrug it down to your waist, then do the rest at your bike. Should only be a matter of seconds.

Yes. Adrenaline. I initially raced with an HR at sprint and Olympic distance untiI had a race where my HR stayed way over anything I had ever held in training. This just messed with my head and my pacing as I tried to run slower to get my HR down and it didn’t work.

Ii use only feel on the swim. I use watts, speed and feel on the bike, and pace and feel on the run. I check HR after the race, not during.


Awesome, thanks for the feedback. I will turn off HR for the next race.

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Wow - I’m scared to see when you feel fast! Great report. My sprints I generally have had HR higher and with all the excitement and found I can keep a t it longer. Like you, I have a HR limit where I know if I cross or stay at it is a certain time til I blow up.


Sprint tri this morning.


Swim was very shallow. You could walk the whole thing. Beach to the first buoy lots of people walked it all. I was dolphin diving past people, but that started getting me winded. But overall felt strong, finished at a 1:37 pace, I don’t know what my dolphin dive pace was vs. my swim pace :man_shrugging:t2:

T1 I forgot I was wearing a swim skin until I almost got to my bike. Crap. Yanked it off, got my helmet. Visor fell off. Crap 2. Got on the bike course. Rough roads along the beach. Some water/sand/mud, but lots of expansion joints across the pavement, so it get like riding over a bridge. Every few feet you’d feel “ba-boom” and hit another one. It was not a closed course. On the way back a big SUV was in front of me and then stopped in the lane to take a left. And had to wait there for cyclists coming the other way to clear out. There is no room between the lane and a concrete barrier to the beach. It was a fast/smooth part of the course, so went from 25mph to 0 as I had to brake hard, then unclip and hop my way between the car and barrier. That was annoying. Finished averaging 200w and 22.4mph

T2 I re-racked my bike in the wrong spot and couldn’t find my run gear :man_facepalming:t2: Farted around a few seconds looking for my stuff then realized I was 1 rack over. Crap 3. Racked it correctly and got my shoes on. Grabbed my hat, sunglasses and belt and put those on as I headed out.

It was extremely hot. The first 0.25mi my HR got up to 205bpm. I think that’s a new high score for me. Backed off the pace a bit to hopefully see it come down. It slowly did. Run was an out and back. I was melting and felt like walking after 1/2 mile, but I had someone right behind me I didn’t want to lose to. At the 1.55mi turn around I felt a bit of headwind coming back. It felt amazing. I kept my legs going and kept my cadence up. For the last couple hundred yards I was about 0:10-0:15 seconds faster pace until I crossed the line. Final avg pace was 7:26. Dumped a bunch of cold water and ice on my head and found some shade.

1:19.10 final time got me 17th overall and 2AG. Very pleased with how I did.

Sprints hurt.


Really enjoying the race reports! You all seem to be fast…
@JoeX you really take cap and goggles off first? I’ve been leaving goggles pulled up on forehead until I get the top half of wetsuit off, as it’s left hand for the Velcro and right hand for the cord.

I’ve got my big race in less than two weeks time… first M distance but I’m feeling better about the swim as yesterday I did the race distance in the sea, just for confidence that I can swim that far. I had a few stops, but felt pretty good after I was properly warmed up. 30mins for 1200m isn’t going to win any medals but I needed to know I can do it.

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It certainly was my routine but I can’t recall the last race to be honest. It was a method for not losing the cap and goggles by leaving them in the first arm as you take the arm off, can’t remember where I picked it up from. Thinking about it, you don’t want the cap and goggles in the loose arm while you’re running!

It was a beginner tip iirc, it’s not like I worry about my cap and goggles anymore. Getting the arms down around my waist while running is the priority now :slight_smile:

I really hate running in the cap and goggles so they are always the first thing that come off no matter what sort of race I am in. Once that happens they might as well go up the arm of the wetsuit as its once less thing to have to worry about carrying or pulling through. But it does take quite a bit of practice and I can confidently say that I have had very good transitions doing it and also a fair share of shockers.

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I really like the race reports and what nutrition you have been using during the race. It is very insightful.

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