Triathlon Results and Their Story

As an analyst, I love numbers and what they can tell you.  It isn’t necessarily the numbers themselves that are so fascinating, but their relationship to one another.  Be it a trend or a comparison of categories.

After completing the Carpinteria Triathlon sprint course and my trainer pointing out the interesting fact that I was just 19 seconds away from a top five finish on the bike course in my division, I got really curious about how I compared on the other sports and transitions.  After some work and lots of ETL, I produced the graph below:

Carp Tri Short Course, Men 30 to 34 Results
Carp Tri Short Course, Men 30 to 34 Results

As you can see, I placed 20th overall in my division, despite the above average finish on the bike course.  Here are some interesting tidbits:

1) If you notice that I am the only one with a run time slower than my bike time (orange triangle below green dot).

2) I was dead last on the run.

3) My triathlon transition times, T1 and T2 are more inline with the top 10 finishers than others finishing at the back of the pack. In fact, I had a better T1 time than the winner.

4) For the top 10 finishers, the swim times were close, likely within a minute of each other.

5) As well, for the top finishers, their bike times were about five minutes greater than their run times.

6) What is up with place 8 & 9, with such long bike times?  Given their very competitive swim times, I would say these were probably really good swimmers that recently started triathlons, so they haven’t developed their cycling muscles yet.

7) Notice how consistent the top 8 places are and how inconsistent the bottom 16 are.  I would be interested in reviewing their nutrition and training plans to see how the top compares to the bottom.  Do the top places have a triathlon coach, where the bottom half do not?  Would be interesting to dig more here.

So what does all of this mean?  It means that I can be a very competitive triathlete.  My approach going into the run course at was slow and finish steady, when it really should have been give it my all and finish mid-pack.   Going forward, these results influence my 2010 training plan.  Here is what I need to do:

1) Learn to swim efficiently.  Side stroke is slow and requires a lot of energy from the legs, putting me at a disadvantage.

2) Improve my run time by building better endurance.  Completing #1 above, will already help me here, but more long distance endurance training and speed work is a must.

Now you know why, as an analyst, why I am so fascinated by numbers.  They tend to tell you a story.  Are you listening?

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