Changing goals

I have been thinking about my ultimate goal of finishing an Olympic distance triathlon and I don’t think it’s a good fit for me anymore.

I didn’t know much about triathlons when I set it. I had done one womens try-a-tri at Penrith (150m swim, 5km bike, 1.5km run). At the time I figured Olympic was a lot shorter than ironman or half ironman, so I should do that.

I often say to people that what I love most about triathlon is:

  1. you don’t have to be good at anything. You can be “okay” at all three sports and still finish, and
  2. as an individual you’re not letting a whole team down if you have a bad day.

But, I think I would like to change my goal. I really want to step up to the Sprint distance on 10th May (as planned). I haven’t registered yet though…

Then after seeing my time result, I’d like to set a new goal to do the same event the following year XXX minutes faster, or to simply improve my time on each leg.

I think with getting parkrun up and going I’ll be busier than ever and I’m not sure I can find the time to put in the longer sessions that will be required for Olympic distance training. parkrun is a 5km course. If I run most weeks, my 5km time is likely to improve considerably, in a short period. The 10km is a huge step up.


Click for image source.

Getting back to my reasons for liking triathlon, I believe they’re good reasons to get into triathlon but I also think that I’m going to get a much greater sense of achievement out of improving my result in a shorter distance than I will from simply slogging it out at a longer distance.

Does that make sense?

It would be really nice to say I actually did something sporty, “well”. Anyone can stumble across a finish line. I’ve already proven that – the Forster Running Festival 10km being a good example. I “ran” that race, finished, got the medal, and all of that, but it didn’t feel great. I’d rather have got to the end of the 5km race feeling energised. It’s hard to know for sure but I’m reasonably certain I’d have been happier with a chance at a PB in the 5km than I was simply finishing and enduring a 10km.

So, for now, my short term goal is to finish the sprint distance at Penrith in May. My long term goal will be determined after that, in consultation with my coach regarding what’s doable, but would be time-related at the same distance.

Does that sound reasonable?

And now, I really should get to bed. It’s after 11.30pm and the alarm is set for 5.15am.




During the Tour of Sufferlandria, I completed 8 of the 9 stages. Just under 11 hours of cycling in total, 167km. Not bad for a week’s work.


5 thoughts on “Changing goals

  1. Do not feel ashamed at altering your goal in the slightest. I thought I wanted to do longer distances after doing two sprint triathlons last year. On reflection, I really enjoyed the shorter distances. It doesn’t take too much training, it doesn’t impact too much on my lifestyle and to be honest the pressure I would put on myself of going longer doesn’t appeal to me either. You should do triathlons because you enjoy them and that way you will take more away from it rather than doing them for the sake of it. Massive good luck in your Penrith, I look forward to following your progress.

    • Thank you. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I am convinced this is the right option for me. Life is too busy already. To try and throw twice the distance training into the mix would be horrendous. It’s time for me to acknowledge that this is my thing, and just to aim to improve at it. If I don’t enjoy the Sprint in May, then maybe I’ll even drop back to enticers and then I’ll know it’s really just for fun!

  2. That makes good sense and sounds very reasonable. I admire anyone who has a go at a tri no matter what the distance. And from what I know about parkrun it is pretty full on for the event directors. All the best with the new short term goal 🙂

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