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i have recently been inspired to possibly enter in a triathlon next year. i have a few questions that maybe some of you can answer:

-what's the usual distance for running? i've heard around 5k

-what distance should i shoot for while training? during baseball and football (i don't do them anymore) i would do about 2mi every other day.

-would it be ok to use my mtb and just put some slicks on it? by the time i do any racing i plan on having a stumpjumper-like hardtail.

-is it important to be able to swim well? i don't spend much time in the pool but i may get a membership at the local YMCA.

-are there any other things i should be aware of?

thanks in advance for your input.
 

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bike_and_such said:
i have recently been inspired to possibly enter in a triathlon next year. i have a few questions that maybe some of you can answer:

-what's the usual distance for running? i've heard around 5k

-what distance should i shoot for while training? during baseball and football (i don't do them anymore) i would do about 2mi every other day.

-would it be ok to use my mtb and just put some slicks on it? by the time i do any racing i plan on having a stumpjumper-like hardtail.

-is it important to be able to swim well? i don't spend much time in the pool but i may get a membership at the local YMCA.

-are there any other things i should be aware of?

thanks in advance for your input.
I did my first one this year. It was targeted for beginners, so the distances were minimal. The swim was 250 yds, the bike was 12 miles, and the run was a 5K. This was the frist in a series and as the season progressed, the distances of the races increased to a full iron man by season's end.

No you don't have to swim well. Ours was held in a indoor pool and people were allowed to rest at the ends and I even saw some holding onto the lane markers.

As far as the biking, I saw a number of people on mtn bikes. It doesn't matter what you ride, as long as it's a bike.

I swam one day a week, ran one day a week, and since I already ride alot, I didn't worry about the cycling portion of the race. I did go out the week of the race and ran and biked the course so I would know what to expect. With the running, I started off with a very minimal pase (10 min mile) and worked my way down as I felt stronger. With the swim, I focused on being efficient enough to first swim the required distance (at first they said it was going to be 500 meters) and then I worked my times down.

We were required to write down an estimated swim time to determine the starting order. I, not knowing better, wrote in my actual time. When I arrived race morning to check my starting time, I expected to go within the first 20 mins. I have several swimmer friends and felt I had a pretty respectable time. I started over an hour after the first racer. Heck, he finished the race before I ever got in the pool. As I stood and watched, I couldn't believe some of the out of shape people going before me and was thinking to myself, man I must really be out of shape. During that time was when I saw people resting at the pool ends and holding onto the markers. I later spoke with some more experienced racers and that when I found out people either lie about it or just plane overestimate their abilities.

Just keep it fun and set some goals, that way you have motivation and something to strive for while training and during the race.
 
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