Thursday, August 17, 2006

What's a realistic first Ironman time for me?

This is an interesting subject for those of us starting in our first Ironman adventure this year. My personal goal is "to finish" and anything ahead of 16:59:59 and a medal around my neck (the same medal as the 4th place finisher) is just frosting on the cake.

Experienced triathletes say, to estimate your Ironman time, take your half Ironman time and double it, then add one to two hours. That will get me over the finish line somewhere between 16:00 and, um, 19:40 (that won't do at all, nearly three hours after the cutoff!). So I'll work on closer to 16:00.

As a solid back-of-the-packer, in most of my races in the last two years I've ended up finishing somewhere at the 80th to 90th percentile in my age group. Occasionally faster, sometimes slower.

Looking at the results from last year's Ironman Florida was very instructive for me. Here are the ACTUAL times for the 2005 finishers in my age group, which is women 45-49:

Swim time, 80th percentile: 1:41 (2:41/100m)
Swim time, 90th percentile: 1:46 (2:48/100m)

Bike time, 80th percentile: 7:22 (15.2 mph)
Bike time, 90th percentile: 7:30 (14.9 mph)

Run time, 80th percentile: 6:31 (14:56 min/mile)
Run time, 90th percentile: 6:58 (16:00 min/mile)

Finish time, 80th percentile: 15:25
Finish time, 90th percentile: 16:38

Any of those times would be fine with me, and just about what I had been thinking of for realistic finish times - FOR ME. Sounds good to me! Yeah, I'd like to go faster, and I'd like to qualify for the Boston Marathon some day too. But for right now, that's just not realistic for me at my level of training (ya think 1:52 faster than my PR from 9 marathons might take a little while to whittle down?).

It's always helpful to me to check actual performance data of the people most similar to me, rather than relying on what someone says that I "should" be doing (who may be using male 35-year-old age group athletes as their major point of reference).

Why not take a look at your own age group results and see where you might realistically fit? And if you go faster, well, it's always nicer to be pleasantly surprised on race day than bitterly disappointed, right?

Update: Don't forget Phil's handy-dandy triathlon time calculator here - also great to play with to estimate your finishing time from various speeds and transition times.

okay how did you figure that out without writing down every finish time in your AG. I couldn't get the filter to show just my AG or average times for my ag
Great post! You're right, just finishing in sub-17 is the ultimate goal. I think we're all such goal oriented people though, that it's hard not to have a seperate goal than that. I have a goal if it's over 90 degrees and one if it's under. :)
I was wondering the same thing as Comm! How did you figure out what percentile you rank in? I don't think my calculator will do that...

My first IM finish time was just about exactly twice my 1/2-IM time, but the tide had cut 20 minutes off my expected swim time. Without that boost, I would have done twice my 1/2-IM time plus about 20 minutes (if my swim had gone as expected.)

Again, however, for "one more time," I'm hoping mostly to finish. Anything else is gravy.
If there's 50 people in the AG, the 80th percentile is 0.80*50 = 40th place in that leg. And so on.

You can just type in M35-39 to search just for that age group, etc. And you can use the checkboxes to have the results show the placement in each leg. So there you go! Just look at the times corresponding to the places of interest for you in each leg.
okay this is what I figured out for the swim, I will do the others later. I searched for swim times for all entrants, I copied all and pasted into excel. I then sorted by AG and then cut out my AG and deleted the rest.

For the swim, a few will go under one hour and they will have minutes, seconds, hundredths of seconds. You need to convert this formula by hand to hr:min:sec- it will copy like this 58:25:55 from website, retype as 0:58:25. Actually the seconds are not important just minutes.

Then sum the entire time. Multiple the hours by 60 to give you total minutes, add the remaining minutes from the sum, then divide by total people in your AG. This is the average time in minutes of your AG. Then you can figure finishing %.

For the bike and run there will no sub hour splits so there is no need to change times.
Jeez, Comm, that's a lot of work! I just picked the numbers straight off the screen from the display of results!!!
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?