I’m really really trying to make a good decision regarding if I should do the Sprint or Olympic distance of the upcoming triathlon in November. I know that most of my teammates and coaches from TNT will say “Olympic! You can do it!” because they want to be encouraging etc. Mr. McBody is voting strongly for the Sprint because he wants me to enjoy it and not struggle too much. He looks out for me in that way, and he’s seen me reallllllllly crash and burn after several of my long distance events.
These are the factors I’m trying to weigh right now:
- The Sprint is on Nov 5th and the Olympic is on Nov 6th. The vast majority of my teammates are doing the Oly and I really want to be in it with them!!
- Just FYI: the Sprint distance involves a 500 meter swim, 8 mile bike and 5K run. The Olympic distance is a 1.5K swim in San Pablo Bay; followed by a challenging 22 mile bike course through China Camp State Park; concluded by a 10K out and back run course along the waters of San Pablo Bay. (“challenging”: shudder)
- I could probably do the Sprint distance today, at my current level of training.
- If I’m going to train for two more months, won’t I be ready for the Olympic?
- I DO want to feel triumphant and not like I’ve half killed myself.
- I DO want to feel like I’ve really accomplished Something.
- I have to decide by next week because TNT is officially registering us. From what I understand, it will be possible to switch later on from Olympic to Sprint, but not vice versa.
Will I feel “less-than” if I do the Sprint? But if I feel relaxed and confident doing it?
Will I feel stupid and like I got in over my head if I struggle too much in the Olympic? Those distances are NO FREAKING JOKE, especially all tied together. I had a really rough time in the Oakland Marathon when I JUST did the 10k part of the relay. The Olympic tri will involve running a 10k AFTER swimming and biking.
What do YOU think I should do? Please vote AND leave a comment!
September 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm
dude! it’s your first triathlon. do the shorter one (the sprint). enjoy yourself so that you’ll do ANOTHER. it’s still an amazing achievement (do you know how many people can’t even FATHOM doing any length of triathlon)? also, is the Spring in a natural body of water or in a pool?
September 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm
They’re both in the Bay. Wetsuit time! Open water!
September 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm
Do the Sprint – get the experience, then come back next Spring and kill an Olympic distance. I’ve done both & found the Olympic very challenging, yet was glad I had the sprint experience to draw from. Either way good luck!
September 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm
I agree about the sprint, esp. given that it’s your first one. That said, I suspect you might choose the Olympic, given that you seem to tend toward the greater challenge. That said (again), when you started running, you didn’t start with a half marathon. You ran some 5Ks first. I see no real downside to doing a really solid sprint triathlon this year, and, if you like doing it, go for the Olympic distance next year. You’ll already have been training, so it’s not like you’re going to have to start from scratch, and you’ve made huge progress in both the biking/swimming arenas this time. I guess I don’t see it as a one time thing, so if you don’t choose the Olympic level now, it’s not like you won’t ever have a chance to do another. For what that’s all worth . . .
September 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm
I know I’m being the contrarian here, voting for Oly — but here’s the way I think: you say you’re pretty much at the Sprint distance now; you’ve got two months…you’ll probably improve a lot in that time; even if you’re not sure later on (this one’s the clincher for me) you can switch down to Sprint. No big thang, right? Just a little $$ lost, but well worth it to have the options open!
September 4, 2011 at 8:28 pm
I’m not even going to vote – you will make the best decision for you and you will SUCCEED in either!
September 4, 2011 at 8:36 pm
Boy, that’s a toughie. Your training has brought you quite far in a pretty short time. Plus, I know how you seem to enjoy events more with a team. However, it’s your first. I can see Mr. McBody’s point. I think you’ll be fine with bike run Oly distances, but open water swimming feels a lot different than pool swimming. I wish they’d had you experience that before you had to make up your mind. Since you have the option to switch from Oly to Sprint (but not vice-verse) maybe sign up for the Oly and switch to the Sprint if you don’t feel prepared to crush it?
September 7, 2011 at 10:03 am
What a challenging question. On the one hand, I can see wanting to be with your teammates. I cannot imagine doing an Oly and I’m just trying to build the courage to try a sprint. Good luck in making this decision. We are all pulling for you no matter what you choose!
September 7, 2011 at 7:40 pm
Go for the Olympic, challenge yourself and train hard for the next 2 months so you don’t feel totally wrecked after. You can do it!
September 8, 2011 at 11:50 am
Once you’re on the race course, it doesn’t matter what distance you’re doing if you’ve trained for it. You just take it one stroke, pedal, step at a time!
Either distance will feel challenging when you’re on the course. I’ve done both distances this summer and shorter is still a lot of work! And being able to say, “I swam a mile, biked 22 and ran 6.2” makes you really badass! 🙂
Whatever you decide, enjoy the accomplishment. It’s awesome what you are doing and it’s for a great cause.
September 10, 2011 at 12:28 am
Ooo, that’s a tough question. By when do you have to decide? I think that if you feel like you can do the Sprint today then you should sign up for the Olympic one for 2 months from now. The extra motivation from your team will help you during the moments that feel more challenging … Perhaps you should try a ‘mock-Sprint’ now to see how you feel and if it’s easy, you can feel more confident in signing up for the Olympic one — you’ve come so far already, I’m quite sure that you’ll surprise yourself at how much you can do when it comes race time …
However, doing the Sprint will be awesome too! It definitely does not make you ‘less-than’. You’re doing a triathlon – that’s awesome no matter that the distances! 🙂