General Discussion Triathlon Talk » First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have Rss Feed  
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2008-02-22 8:05 AM
in reply to: #1226770

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Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have
I've done a couple of races on this course. I'm still debating whether to do this race, so I may see you there. Here are a few tips specific to this race:

If you get there before the sun comes up (which you should), you might want to bring a small flashlight. They have lights in the transition area, but none in the parking lot. It's pretty dark in the parking lot.

If you pick up your race packet the day before the race, you will have to pay a small fee to get in the park. They won't charge you on race day. Spend a few minutes checking out the layout. Drive the bike course if you have time. It isn't a complicated course, but it helps to know where the turns are, etc. The course has been well marked the races I have done.

They have velcro straps for the timing chips. They aren't uncomfortable. They use the AMB timing system, so if you have a Champion Chip, you won't be able to use it.

Like many lakes in Florida, the water is dark. You won't be able to see anything in the water. Some people are a little freaked out by this. If you can get in the water before the race (or the day before), it will help.

The run from the swim to transition is pretty long. I think it is about 1/4 mile. The first part is on the beach, and then the rest is pavement until the last 50 yards or so which is on grass. This will give you plenty of time to think about what you need to do in T1.

Smile for the camera. You're paying to have a good time, so don't stress too much.


2008-02-22 8:41 AM
in reply to: #1226770

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Cycling Guru
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Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have

1) To relax ....... it's just another training day with a timing chip involved.

2) You cannot hope to have a good swim when you take 3 months off from swimming before the race.  My first tri was done in '92 and was an olympic distance.  I was one of maybe a dozen people that didn't have a wetsuit.  I also hadn't swam at all since February and the race was in May.  Made for a disastrous breast stroking mess.

3) Your legs will feel like jelly coming off the bike.  No matter how many times you practice bricking, unless you are doing them all at race paces, you will never simulate that feeling in training.

4) In a sprint, you should barely even need to drink anything.  A small bottle on the bike is all you'll need (if at all).  Don't spend one second trying to figure out your nutrition for the race ...... it will be over before you even have a chance to digest anything you put in.

2008-02-22 9:59 AM
in reply to: #1226844

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Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have
USS Dunphy - 2008-02-21 5:34 PM

Stay afloat and on 2 wheels. If you pee yourself no one will really care.


But if you poo yourself the whole world will take note.
2008-02-22 10:04 AM
in reply to: #1226849

Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have

KSH - 2008-02-21 5:39 PM  You won't get blisters from your cycling shoes. Put the socks on for the run. GOOD LUCK!

Or practice running a little bit (from now until the race) sockless. Put bodyglide in your shoes (around the inside of the heel, etc) and you will be fine for a sprint. I didn't wear socks in either of the sprints I did, and I was fine.

2008-02-22 10:25 AM
in reply to: #1226770

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Expert
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Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have

- if they use velcro chip straps  you may want to also pin the strap so the velcro doesn't come undone in the water (which can and has happened)

-walk down to the swim exit before the race and then walk back to T1 so you know where your bike is.... know which rack you are on and be able to find it easily as you run into transition

-do the same landmarking from the 'bike in' point so you can find your stuff in T2

-you don't need to wear your fuelbelt or carry your own water on the run

-in my second tri I couldn't figure out how to start my watch at the beginning of the run, I kept pressing the wrong buttons (I've had the same watch for years).   You may be a little disoriented in transition, and have weird crazy thoughts.. try to keep transition simple so you don't have to think - you just grab helmut, shoes etc and go.  Have your stuff lined up in the order you'll need it ie. bike stuff closest to you.  Throw your wetsuit on the rack when you take your bike off and your spot will be there when you get back for T2. 

HAVE FUN !!

 



Edited by cathyd 2008-02-22 10:27 AM
2008-02-22 10:56 AM
in reply to: #1226770

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Master
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Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have

Everyone has given you tons of info, but what I like to pay attention to is where am I going to come into, and out of transition after the swim and the bike.  That will help you be calmer too, since you'll know whats next.

If you are on the bike and hear people yelling left, they aren't being mean, they are just trying to pass.  stay right on the bike ride

Most important is to be sure to have fun!



2008-02-22 11:06 AM
in reply to: #1226770

Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have

I might reiterate what some have said but after thinking about what some have said:

It's your first tri - no need for a flying dismount, unless you've already perfected it. The few seconds it MIGHT save you in transition aren't worth possibly hurting yourself. I transition without a flying dismount and my road shoes and I'm still faster in transition than a lot of better all-around athletes. Quick changes just take practice.

PRACTICE your transitions. Lay out a towel and put your stuff on it. Then the towel will be there to wipe off the dirt and grass from when you come out of the swim.

Get a tri-suit. Who care if you look like a poseur - you won't have to worry about a wardrobe malfunction and it will be one less thing to have to think about.

Eat the night before - avoid the fiber, but if you feel nervous (I seriously thought I was going to hurl all through dinner the night before), force yourself to eat something - plain chicken, some pasta, etc. And eat a decent breakfast (make sure it's something you've eaten before in training so you know it works), and you probably won't need anything other than water during the race.

If you have to walk during the run, it's okay

Bottom line  - it's your first race. You should not be expected to have ANY other goal than to finish it with a smile And then say "when's the next one"?

 

2008-02-22 11:13 AM
in reply to: #1226770

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Champion
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Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have

I'll second the "bring a (safety) pin" for the timing strap.  Helps relieve the fear that your strap comes off and you won't get credit for racing (and you'll have to pay for it) so you can concentrate on swimming (and finding your goggles when they get knocked loose). 

Smile--at the officials, at the volunteers, at the spectators, at the other competitors.  Many of the competitors will be as nervous as you are, and the smile helps both of you. 

You *NEED* a swimsuit, bicycle, helmet, and shoes.  The race will provide a cap.  There are a lot of other things that are *NICE* to have, but don't stress over yanks versus shoelaces, race belts, etc.  If you need to pin your number to your swimsuit during T2, you'll still finish the race. 

Thank as many people as you can.  How early do the registration volunteers need to get to the site so you can check in at 0-dark-thirty?  Appreciate their dedication to this sport too.  (Same with spectators.)  Encourage your fellow competitors, whether you're passing them or they're passing you (just be sure to beat anybody in your AG to the finish line )

2008-02-22 11:27 AM
in reply to: #1226770

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Lethbridge, Alberta
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Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have
Everyone has covered so many good technical points. However, for your first race, unless you're seriously competing for a placement, don't worry about shaving a half second here or there. Take the time to do it right and enjoy yourself. Really, look around sometimes and soak in the atmosphere. Thank the volunteers and smile. Have fun!
2008-02-22 12:06 PM
in reply to: #1226770

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Veteran
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Golden, CO
Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have
Go ahead and sign up for anonther race now. Then tell yourself that the first race is really just practice for the second one.

Practicing transitions is a good idea. I would also suggest writing everything down so that you have a written step by step plan for what you are going to do in T1 and T2 and the order that you are going to do them in.

Try not to stress too much about the race. Almost everyone at the race will be encouraging and supportive, no one else but you will care about your finishing time, and after you do a few other races, you won't care about the finishing time either of your first race either.

Arrive early, stay late and have fun in between. My first race was a top ten most fun thing I have done in the last 10 years, maybe ever.
2008-02-22 12:13 PM
in reply to: #1226770

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Champion
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Northridge, California
Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have
Oh, boy...people brought up good stuff that reminded me of...

--Safety pins are good...but black electrical tape is the bomb. It'll help secure a race number to your bike (if one is provided, that is), but it also is great to wrap around any loose end of your provided chip strap to ensure it stays on (and reduce chafing a teeny bit into the bargain).

--Someone mentioned making a landmark for your bike if it is a particularly big race (or even if it isn't...it's amazing how many race reports on this site include mention of running past one's rack in T1). Some people use balloons...if you feel you can do it okay on the surface of a given TA, kid's sidewalk chalk to mark your initials or some other such symbol is used by a lot of people (incl. me).

--X2 to the mention of a flashlight. Some races start late enough that it's sort of light, but the first tri my wife and I did it was pitch black when we arrived and had no lights with us.


2008-02-22 3:44 PM
in reply to: #1226770

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Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have
This is great. I don't have my first until August but its tremendous to hear so many stories and get so much advice. Thanks everyone!

--Chris
2008-02-23 7:24 PM
in reply to: #1226770

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Champion
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New York, NY
Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have

Thank you all - you have given me great ideas!

I hope to make you all proud!  21 days and counting!!! 

2008-02-23 8:27 PM
in reply to: #1226770

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Elite
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Armpit of Ontario
Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have
Do a final bike check before heading of to the the start line - especially if you mount your wheels at the venue - double check that your quick release skewers are locked and your brake calipers are set in the right position.
2008-02-23 8:47 PM
in reply to: #1226770

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Expert
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Waller County, TX
Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have
Nothing new on race day. If you haven't practiced "it" in training, don't try "it" on race day. (Especially your first race.)

"It" can mean anything; clothing (socks), nutrition (before & during the race), equipment, techniques (bike mounts & dismounts), etc., etc.
2008-02-23 10:09 PM
in reply to: #1226770

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have
OK, maybe this is a little gross, but it's honest:

I can't predict what your physical and mental state will be, but for each of the three tris I've done, I have had diarrhea before the race... like as soon as I show up at the race site. No matter what my nutrition the day before/morning of is. So my ritual includes getting there waaaay early to allow time to get that out of the way. Once I get there and take care of that, I've got no issues with the belly.

X10 to getting there early. In my first tri, I spent at least 90 minutes watching the other athletes set up their transitions, warm up, and socialize. I knew I wouldn't be setting any records so I just tried to relax and soak up the atmosphere.

Next, and this is coming from someone who is not very competitive, don't over-stress about transitions (at least on your first time). Seriously, relax, catch your breath, take a drink, make sure you have everything ready.. 30, 60, or 90 seconds is not going to make or break the experience of your first tri.

Finally... save something for the end. Nothing feels better than picking up the pace and sprinting across the finish line.


2008-02-23 11:33 PM
in reply to: #1226770

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Expert
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Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have

This is actually something that most people won't remember to mention... if you get there way early (and you should), DRESS WARM.  Check the forecast, but don't just check for the high temperature (around 3pm), check the hour by hour forecast, so you will know what the actual temperature and wind will be like when you are milling around pre-race.  Even in warmer climates, if the wind is blowing and the sun is not up yet, and you are nervous and full of liquid while wearing that spandex, that leads to some serious shivering and muscle constriction.
I did an OLY last year and there were around 1800 of the 2000 athletes there basically freezing and trying to use their transition towels as blankets for 90 minutes until we got to get in the water and get warm again.  Some put their wetsuits on an hour before the race to escape the cold.  I spent about an hour pre-race gulping in CO from the light generator, as it provided some much needed warmth.  Bring a wind suit or something comparable so that you can stay warm and comfortable and concentrate on the race, not your body temperature.

I'd say good luck, but judging by your logs, you aren't going to need any luck.  Smile

2008-03-12 6:25 AM
in reply to: #1226770

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Champion
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Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have

Bumping this for all of us racing for the first time this weekend....

I am so excited......

Thank you all for the tips - I am printing them out and packing them with me!!!

 

for those who live in Florida, I will be doing a piece on Orlando Fox affiliate friday morning and Tampa Fox and NBC monday morning - all on sun protection, tied into triathlons....

 

later gators

 

 

2008-03-12 7:18 AM
in reply to: #1226770

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Regular
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Lexington, SC
Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have
There are a lot of great tips here.
Start making a list now!
PACK your swim goggles (and an extra if you have them).
Make sure your bike is in good shape.
Pack your running shoes.
Have FUN.
Have FUN.
Have FUN.
2008-03-12 12:49 PM
in reply to: #1226770

Coeur d'Alene, ID
Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have
If you have the plastic straps with holes and the choice between a little snug and a little loose, take the little loose option. I half-hamstrung myself with a snug fit and it was uncomfortable and annoying.

Despite how you feel, transitions aren't break time.


That's what I learned at my first tri.
2008-03-12 2:03 PM
in reply to: #1226770

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Supersonicus Idioticus
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Thunder Bay, ON
Subject: RE: First Tri in 24 days, nervous and stupid questions only a newbie could have
you've been training since August??

Did you know that Alex Baumann (olympic swimmer) once hoped he didn't get lapped in a race... and ended up lapping everyone.

You'll do fine.

Oh, I say take the 10 seconds and put socks on!!! 24days away from your tri you will not have build up enough calouses on your feet.

And have fun!!!


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