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  1. #1
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    Triathlon Race Tips?

    So at the end of the month is a local Triathlon race. I am thinking even though I have not cross trained in all the 3 areas - to sign up and do my first ever Tri race. It is a .3 mile swim in open water, 13 miles on the bike, and then a 3.5 mile run. I do not know what I can swim .3 miles as far as time goes- but I am usually an OK swimmer and that should not be a problem- especially with it being the first leg, even without having a wet suit. The 13 mile bike course is pretty flat and I have a good idea of a time I should be able to complete that in since we do group rides around basically the same course. It will be no drafting which will be different than the group rides. My road miles this year are doing OK. The run is the only part that I hate. I figure I can suffer through the run even in my Cross trainer shoes. If I have to I can speed walk just to finish. Especially if it is hot and humid that day. Run- 10 minute miles doable from someone that does not run at all and hates it?

    So since this is my first Tri- any tips for things like the transitions and all? Seems like some of these Tri's that I have volunteered for or watched that some racers spend way too much time in the switching of equipment. Keep it simple, swim in a pair of Tri bike shorts, -dry off feet and then slip on the cycling top with a pocket with a gel or 2 and favorite drink in the water bottle, helmet on, cycling gloves, then head out with the bike and mount up. I'll have to look at the transition to see if I want to try and get to the bike start with or without the cycling shoes on the feet. Then get back and take cycling shoes, helmet, and gloves off and into running shoes and off to the run loop. Maybe take off the cycling jersey and do another shirt for the run. Maybe have another water bottle for hydration on the run (if there is not any water stops)?

    Any other comments or things that a beginner should be looking for. I do not care if I am at the middle or the bottom of the finishers, just would like to give one a try and see what I can do for 2 + hours or so of intense competition and not just bicycling or walking or hiking that I normally do.

  2. #2
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    i did an olympic distance tri a few years back...i thought about doing the transition with the cycling shoes on the pedals but it was way too hard unless you're really practiced with it. it really doesn't save you all that much time anyway because you have to slow down once you enter the transition area. i would not do another change between the bike and the run. just put your running shoes on. you can get quick shoelaces though - they're elastic so you don't have to tie them.

    as for gu - i would tape two to the handlebars of your bike. have one when you get on the bike and have another before you get off to do the run.

    but since you're doing a sprint distance, i wouldn't imagine you need two. personally, the gooeyness and having to drink loads of water would be a deterrent. So just have one in the middle of the ride.

    the other tip would be to check out what the wave/water condition is for the swim. is it a lake or ocean? Some of the women in my heat were DNF because they couldn't deal with the 6ft shorebreak (but it was completely calm after that). So if it's ocean, make sure you've got some comfort being in it!

    and have a great time - i wouldn't worry about not being able to finish. if you've already bike and don't mind walking the run, you'll make it for sure.
    Last edited by julesrules; 08-21-2009 at 02:46 PM.

  3. #3
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    Organising your transition helps a lot, try and layer your stuff in order. e.g. Towel, socks, shoes, cycle top, gels. If you don't have a full zip cycle top don't put your helmet on as soon as you get to the bike, because you'll get stuck and look like a prat.

    Unless you've had a lot of practice, or enjoy providing the crowd with hilarious antics, don't try and start cycling with your shoes already clipped.

    Run in your cycle top -- it's pretty short. Go for a quick jog before hand in your top to see if it rubs at all. If it does, bandage your nipples. (I've never found this a problem, though). Again, unless you've practised taking your shoes off on the bike, just run in your cycle shoes through transition.

    Unless it's insanely warm, you should be able to handle the run without hydration -- just be sensible and stock up on the bike.

    I find at the start of the run my legs cycle way quicker that the pace I really want to keep, so be conscious of that. I think it's because of the cadence on the bike.

    Swim faster than you think is sensible, run the last mile faster than you think is sensible.

    edg
    Do you realize that you've just posted an admission of ignorance so breathtaking that it disqualifies you from commenting on any political or economic threads from here on out?

  4. #4
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    Re. what Julesrules says (which sounds pretty similar, heh), I'd tape the gel to the toptube and not the handle bars. You can stack them if you need 2 a la this awesome diagram

    _/_/ <- Tape the mouth pieces (the _) next to each other, and the gels should lie down flat against the toptube.

    edg
    Do you realize that you've just posted an admission of ignorance so breathtaking that it disqualifies you from commenting on any political or economic threads from here on out?

  5. #5
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    Swim fast, then bike fast, then run fast
    Its not that I suck at spelling, its that I just don't care

  6. #6
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    oh and i'd visit slowtwitch .com or similar. more tri forums and information than you'll ever need or want

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by julesrules View Post
    oh and i'd visit slowtwitch .com or similar. more tri forums and information than you'll ever need or want
    Avoid slowtwitch like the plague.

    I'll echo Edg's comments.
    A neat transition area is nice. I put my bikes stuff on the left of my towel and running on the right. Stacked in order of how I will put things on.

    Buy a race number belt. Attach your number to it, clip it on when you get to T1.

    Remember that you have to run off the bike. The bike should be comfortably hard, the run is the last event so it should be sufferable.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Swim fast, then bike fast, then run fast
    Then win.

  9. #9
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    The swim this year is in a bay- last year it was out in Lake Erie and the waves were 6 footers. They took the advice of the lifeguards on whether the swim was going to go or be cancelled and many though the go decision was wrong and did not compete. The safety kayakers were having a hard time. This year they moved it to the calmer protected waters so waves should be no more than 3 feet on a really breezy day. It also rained most of the time last year- which made for a slippery mess in the transitions.

    As for the comment on rubbing- I'd probably just try some vasoline on the nips. Other issue could be the sun and needing sun lotion, I am fair skinned and hope it will stay on through the swim.

    I am not worried about the tieing of my running shoes, if I loose 30 seconds doing the knot- that will not matter to me. I do not expect to win this either as there are some really great athletes that come out and have done up to 100 Tri's before. Just want to experience one some day before I get too old.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RShea View Post
    see what I can do for 2 + hours or so of intense competition
    Come on, man, I think you can set your goal at less than two hours!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RShea View Post
    The swin this year is in a bay- last year it was in Lake Erie and the waves were 6 footers. They took the advice of the lifeguards on whether the swim was going to go or be cancelled and many though the go decision was wrong and did not compete. This year they moved it to the calmer protected waters so waves should be no more than 3 feet on a really breezy day.
    Try to breathe both sides on the swim, if you don't already. Should help you swim straighter.

    The swim can potentially be very rough (expect to get kicked, hit, swum on top of), which can be fairly off-putting. If you can find clear water at the edges, that will likely help.

    edg
    Do you realize that you've just posted an admission of ignorance so breathtaking that it disqualifies you from commenting on any political or economic threads from here on out?

  12. #12
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    It's also pretty hilarious when people stand up out of the swim, start running, get a head rush and fall over. Don't be that guy.

    edg
    Do you realize that you've just posted an admission of ignorance so breathtaking that it disqualifies you from commenting on any political or economic threads from here on out?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by The AD View Post
    Come on, man, I think you can set your goal at less than two hours!
    No idea what it will take me. I know that with the bike I should be pretty happy at about 36 minutes depending on the wind and conditions at my level of fitness, but the run for me could be 12 min miles- it has been years since I've been timed in any 5 K race or more than just a jog with the dog.... If it is hot that day- I do not handle heat well and will be conservative with pushing too hard.

  14. #14
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    Serious advice

    draft on the swim it saves 30-50% of your energy especially in open water

    wear a jammer suit, if its cold throw a t shirt or whatever you like to run in on when you go to bike if not don't worry about it, swim, towel your feet, slip into bike shoes pedal away then just change shoes and finish the run. Transitions are easy but overthought a lot.

    good luck 2 hours isn't bad (I've done a few ski marathons), find out if they have water tables on the course if they do practice running and drinking water, don't be afraid to stop either and scarfe down and oreo or a banana.
    Its not that I suck at spelling, its that I just don't care

  15. #15
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    If you drink a cup while running, squeeze / pinch the top so it makes a spout and doesn't end up on your face / chest.

  16. #16
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    All the tris I did in Hawaii always involved a run up the beach, so my feet were always sandy. My dad (3 time Ironman) taught me to use some kind of aluminum tray and have water in it so you dont put your sandy feet into your bike shoes and have the towel right there as others said. I never saw this mentioned so maybe it will help you. You can practice the transitions at home (as corny as it may seem). I found I could gain time by having a good transition; but then again I raced to win, not to just finish
    パウダーバカ!!

  17. #17
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    ps, for a race that short, I wouldnt bother with gels...just liquids.
    パウダーバカ!!

  18. #18
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    Step 1:
    Become an annoying, pushy, know it all type A asshole to your local mechanic when he/she suggests something that will actually help you.

    Step 2:
    Become severely anal retentive, and demand vigilance to those around you regarding this trait.

    Step 3:
    Take a little ecstacy before the race, and have fun!
    Be sure and hug all the other contestants in the transitions, just to let them 'feel the love'.

    You will rock!
    Last edited by rideit; 08-26-2009 at 01:06 AM.
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  19. #19
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    Just safety first dude

    One athlete died in the Philippines last week during a triathlon competition. His body was just found floating at the sea.


  20. #20
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    I used to always lay a towel out in my transition area to stand on when changing shoes to wipe the sand and rocks off of my feet. If at all possible skip putting on socks people loose tons of time trying to pull socks onto their wet feet. Unless you are really adept at putting on your cycling shoes while riding, just put them on in the transition area and run be careful running in cycling shoes - depending on what kind of pedals and cleats you have its easy to take a huge embarrassing spill i.e. Look cleats sliding around on pavement while pumped up on adrenaline = bloody bike ride

    If the bike course is one you ride a lot, be careful to not go too hard especially if that is your strongest leg dont sandbag it, but you dont want to destroy your legs before the run which sounds like your weakest discipline.

    If you are changing shirts to run in, pin your race number onto that shirt dump your helmet, gloves and cycling jersey, change shoes and grab your shirt youre running in and maybe a water bottle and pull the shirt on while running, take a swig of water, toss the bottle and go. I used to toss my bottle to my wife (then gf) as she made some sort of wise-ass remark about me getting run down (which was pretty much always the case)

    For the distance race you are doing you should be OK skipping the gels just put some sports drink into you water bottle on the bike and grab the occasional sip of water on the run.

    As has been said before the best thing you can do is practice your transitions beforehand so youre not trying to figure it out on race day. Make it part of a work out bike hard for a few miles, change, and run a mile repeat a few times.

    Have fun its a stupid addicting sport.

  21. #21
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    I just did my first triathlon a couple of weeks ago, and had a blast. Summer day on the beach with a cool after party.

    If you just looking to finish and have a good time, then don't worry too much about transitions. Bring what you ride, run in comfortably and line them up in order. Don't over think it. As for the swim, drafting would save you energy, but it's only .3 miles, so if you don't want to get caught in the middle of the pack, start on the sides. You may lose a little time, but won't have to worry about swimming in a pack.
    Push hard at what your already know (biking?), and have fun. Practicing biking then immediately running is key to avoid dead legs after the transition.
    Ελευθερία ή θάνατος
    "Great moments are born from great opportunity."

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by XtrPickels View Post
    Avoid slowtwitch like the plague.
    Why, Pickels? I'm not a member there, but I've heard lots of things about it. Just curious.

    RShea, good luck and have fun! Tri's are a good time!

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