As with most of my previous running races, I have a few goals for race day this Sunday.

Primary – Finish the entire race! Given that this is my first triathlon, my main goal is to finish. I usually have this as my primary goal for any new race type or new distance. Setting this type of goal really makes me consider any race that I finish a success, even if I fall short on whatever other goals I have in mind.

Secondary – Finish in under 2 hours. I break this down to further time goals for each discipline below based on where I think I am with training and the specific conditions of the race.

Tertiary – Don’t walk on the bike course! The Robious Landing Triathlon bike course has mostly smaller rolling hills and one big hill just before the turnaround. One comment I got from a previous racer (“Don’t feel bad if you walk the hill, lots of people do!”) really cemented my desire to ride the entire bike course. The group ride of the course last weekend really helped me feel confident that I can reach this goal.

I like to set my goals up like this because it helps me keep my priorities in mind. My 3 goals don’t all carry the same weight. I try to keep the top priority for any race simply to cross the finish line, whatever that might take. A time goal is nice, but not as important. And my tertiary goal is usually something that would be the cherry on top, but if I have to walk on the bike, no big deal because I am still working toward that primary directive – cross the finish line. For all of my races, a goal that I never write down but always have in my mind is to simply have fun and enjoy the day. Now that I think about it though, I probably should make this my primary goal and move everything down a level, with my cherry on top goal as the quaternary. The added bonus? Tertiary and quaternary are just so fun to say!

Within my time goal, here is the breakdown of what I want to do for each sport:

Goal Times: Pace:
Swim 13:00 ~1:50/100 yd
T1 3:00
Bike 1:15:00 15.5 mph
T2 1:00
Run 26:00 8:25/mile
Total 1:58:00


I am definitely not that fast in swimming yet, but I think I can achieve this time given the downriver nature of the swim. I think I can do that time or better on the bike, and I know for sure I can keep up the 8:25 pace on the run. The big unknown is putting everything together and holding form through the entire race. I put in plenty of brick workouts, maintaining a fast running pace right off the bike, but I have not done any swim to bike workouts.

Even if I don’t meet these time goals, I know that I can meet my primary goal of crossing the finish line. And hopefully I will have a smile on my face when I do!