Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

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Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby Kingaroy_Redant » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:57 pm

As a swimmer, I feel I am disadvantaged as I estimate the swim will take up 16%, run 33% and ride 50% of the time duration of a triathlon. A true triathlon to me would be 33%-33%-33% with 1% for transitions. Just putting the idea that runs around my head out there. :)
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by BNA » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:41 pm

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Re: Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby Undertow » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:41 pm

Kingaroy_Redant wrote:As a swimmer, I feel I am disadvantaged as I estimate the swim will take up 16%, run 33% and ride 50% of the time duration of a triathlon. A true triathlon to me would be 33%-33%-33% with 1% for transitions. Just putting the idea that runs around my head out there. :)


As a runner/cyclist I feel I am disadvantaged as a good swimmer can usually do the swim leg in about half the time it takes me. But theres no way I can do the run/ride in half the time it takes them.
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Re: Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby whitey » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:14 pm

You are after the Equilateral Triathlon - Proposed in the 90's, didnt gain momentum. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equilateral_triathlon

Not sure how they came up with all the leg lengths. I think for Ironman Distance they put together three existing events to get the 3.8/180/42

Suggest you train harder on your Bike/Run legs :wink:
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Re: Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby uncle arthur » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:52 pm

Kingaroy_Redant wrote:As a swimmer, I feel I am disadvantaged as I estimate the swim will take up 16%, run 33% and ride 50% of the time duration of a triathlon. A true triathlon to me would be 33%-33%-33% with 1% for transitions. Just putting the idea that runs around my head out there. :)


Have you ever competed/completed a full OD triathlon?

Trust me - each of the three legs hurts just as much, and takes just as much of 100% effort as the other too.

A good swimmer will make time in the water, and work hard to hold it on the bike/run.

A good cyclist might lose time in the water but make time on the bike - perhaps enough to hold out in the run.

A good runner will inevitably ALWAYS make up time on the run, but perhaps not always enough to win.

A triathlete trains in all three disciplines - that is what makes it hard - not like you can spend your 6 days of training on just one thing, and they all tire you out in different ways.
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Re: Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby Kingaroy_Redant » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:24 pm

Thank you for your replies, especially whitey. I can relate to teh equilateral triathlon. The suggestion for the OD was not far off what I would consider 'fair' to each leg, being a 3km swim, 30km ride and a 10km run. I would do each leg in around the same time, but I guess we are all biased to some degree. Yes Uncle Arthur I enter in "mates" category and I can come out of the water up to 5 minutes ahead of most of my mates, but they are ahead by over 15 minutes at the end of the cycle, therefore not in the frame for the run leg.
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Re: Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby kanga » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:37 pm

Google is your friend :D According to Wikipedia, the founding fathers of Ironman in Hawaii decided "the debate should be settled through a race combining the three existing long-distance competitions already on the island: the Waikiki Roughwater Swim (2.4 mi./3.86 km), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 mi./185.07 km; originally a two-day event) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.219 mi./42.195 km)." - so no great science to it originally. I'm crap at all 3, but swimming is my weakest, so suits me just fine to keep it the way it is ! :D
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Re: Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby sinnes » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:43 pm

Haha, I only agree with you because cycling is my weakest leg by a long way :P
I started tris last year doing fun sized ones (250/10/2) and it almost didn't seem worth the swim at all. I wouldn't mind seeing a couple of events changed up a little, just to see how it goes.
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Re: Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby Christina Brinkmann » Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:53 pm

I really like the idea of having a triathlon with 3 equal legs rather than having the emphasis on the cycle leg. But I understand why that idea will get little support in a cycling forum.
It makes perfect sense to me, because I am a very hot swimmer :lol:
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Re: Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby mark field » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:40 am

Shoot me if im out of line here but sounds a little bit unsportsman like to me- im no good at this so change it to suit me. Sorry but it doesnt work like that, its called TRI athlon and it is competition for those who can master all three disciplines and have the endurance to post the best time overall, Im average in all sports, so maybe they should have triathlons at 25m-5k- 2.5k just to make it easy for me :wink: If anyone attempts a triathlon thinking they have the edge over others because they excell at one leg is kidding themselves. :lol: and to be honest why would you bother entering one, you may as well just stick to what your good at. :roll:
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Re: Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby jillybean » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:20 pm

I think the distances for what is now known as an "Olympic" distance triathlon come from the longest 'indoor' race for each discipline at the Olympics - the 1500m in the pool, 40k (the points race) on the velodrome, and the 10000m on the running track. I would check this on wikipedia (I'm sure it will be there somewhere) but they are part of the internet 'black-out'.

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Re: Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby im_no_pro » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:16 pm

Kingaroy_Redant wrote:As a swimmer, I feel I am disadvantaged as I estimate the swim will take up 16%, run 33% and ride 50% of the time duration of a triathlon. A true triathlon to me would be 33%-33%-33% with 1% for transitions. Just putting the idea that runs around my head out there. :)


What is 33%-33%-33% time duration for you could be 40%-25%-34% for the next person based on different strengths, how do you propose to work out the distances?
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Re: Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby RonK » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:57 pm

Not sure why you think the distances should be based on time - I've always understood the legs were based proportionally on relative effort.

Really sounds like you just want to skew the competition to your particular strength. But If you are a good swimmer you already have an advantage over everyone else.

My triathlete mate says he can't swim, can't cycle, can't run - that's why he's a triathlete (and a pretty good one too). But I guess you've all heard that one before. :D
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Re: Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby TrekStar » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:15 pm

Nothing wrong with the distances. If you're a weak swimmer, it gives you more motivation to train harder. If you're a weak cyclist, it gives you more motivation to train harder. If you're a weak runner, it gives you more motivation to train harder.

In summary, just train harder. It's a great sport and that's why we all do it :)
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Re: Why are the 3 legs so uneven?

Postby diggler » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:55 pm

You can't win a triathlon by being a good swimmer, but you can win one by being a good runner (I'm looking at you Gwen Jorgenson). The current rules are biased towards runners where drafting is allowed.

I do take the point of the OP. A triathlon would be more fair if being a really good swimmer or cyclist or runner could give you the winning edge.
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