Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Moses Zone

Yesterday, my friend Moses posted on my Facebook wall asking a few questions about what will be his first triathlon. He has a list of criteria that he'd like the race to meet and asked if I had any input.

I sure do!

Let's first establish our criteria:
  • Location: the event should be in NYC, NJ, or PA. We're looking to generally stay local.
  • Distances:
    • Swim: ~1/4 mile
    • Bike: 25+ miles
    • Run: 10+ miles (I think? This wasn't specified and could be in kilometers)
  • Price: ~$100
It won't be hard to find a triathlon that is relatively local. If I do a search on Trifind (the website Moses has been using) and narrow it down to all triathlons in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for the remainder of the year, I get 94 events! To narrow it down further, I'm only going to include those that are within about 100 miles of NYC.

This is where it starts to get tricky. Moses is looking for the swim of a sprint triathlon, bike of an Olympic, and run of almost a half iron race (unless he means 10 kilometers, in which case it's an Olympic distance run, as well). Below, I list the distances for the most common types of triathlon:

I've established a designated Moses Zone because these are the distances I think he should consider for his first race. Generally, I recommend that everyone start with a sprint tri in order to let themselves gauge how they feel about the experience before committing to a long, arduous training plan that they might not be inclined to follow for long. However, I know Moses has a high baseline level of fitness. Moses could definitely pull off an Olympic distance triathlon for his first.

It gets even trickier here. Although Moses has the ability to train for and race an Olympic distance triathlon in not too much time, the price of Olympic distance races tends to be higher than $100.

Moses hasn't given me a specific time frame in which to work, but I'm going to eliminate any triathlon in the month of August. At least a month of training should be a prerequisite here.

We're not going to be able to meet all of Moses's criteria, but we can come close. If I apply the logic set above, I'm now looking for an Olympic distance triathlon within roughly 100 miles of NYC that occurs no earlier than September 1. This yields 8 results on Trifind and my natural next step is to create a spreadsheet with relevant data because I love spreadsheets and data.

This is my general process when I'm looking for my next triathlon. Hopefully Moses will find it helpful. One way or the other, I have a lot of confidence that he'll pick the one that's right for him.

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