There are typically four triathlon races distances: Sprint, Olympic, Half-Ironman and Ironman. To assist you with your race season preparations, here are the “cons” to each one.
Sprint triathlons do not carry much notoriety; they are regarded as “Mini-Triathlon”. Sprint triathlon is going to hurt plenty. It involves a high-intensity effort. You will race at a maximum heart rate, harder and longer than a 5K run. That is a zone that is really tough for most to get into. This is the sacrifice that must be paid to win a Sprint triathlon distance. Also, just like seeing an orthodontist Livermore in a hurry, there is simply no time to eat food during the race. If you run to have access to the moving buffet consisting of gels and cookies, forget about it.
The intensity of Olympic triathlon training will be more than either the Half-Ironman or Ironman triathlon. Just like the Sprint triathlon, you’ll have to be willing endure the pain. If you are not in good shape, your peers might still try to talk you into doing one. By the 5K mark, you’ll be planning revenge on those same. Be ready to execute without a flaw, because the smallest mistake can mean precious seconds that add up quickly for this triathlon distance.
With all the training and effort involved in getting ready for a Half-Ironman, you will say to yourself, “I should have just signed up for the full Ironman!”. Why? Well, you are just as sore the next day and you still have to do the same logistical planning for hydration, electrolytes or food. Also, the “Half” part of “Half Ironman” does not give you the same bragging rights as the “full” Ironman.
The Ironman is really a logistical nightmare. Not only must you squeeze almost twenty-five training hours into every week, you also need to decide on the food, otherwise your fragile body will be crying out in distress. Get to know a good sports medicine doctor and physical therapist. The actual race is like childbirth. It is a very dark place. After the race, you may even experience post-traumatic stress disorder. You may not remember what your family and friends look like. For a long period after you do nothing more than lie around like a sack of potatoes.