General Discussion Triathlon Talk » What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri? Rss Feed  
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2009-07-15 12:16 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Master
1517
1000500
Western MA near the VT & NH border on the CT river
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
It's not that someone told me this but I found it very helpful when I did it - Volunteer at a triathlon before doing one.  You get to see a lot of the inner workings, real good and fast participants and those that arent.  You can see what transitions are like, what bikes are used, how the OWS is, people are like after the event, watching the bikes come crashing into the dismount line b/c there are going to fast.  IMO its really a good way to help w/ anxiety b/c you have seen first hand how a triathlon is run and raced.

One mistake I saw a lot of people making is that the mount/dismount line is not a start/finish line.  Meaning you mount after the line and dismount before the line, not the other way around.


2009-07-15 12:55 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Member
51
2525
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
"Its a sprint, if you're not in pain, you're not doing it right."

A roll of tp in your tri bag can be a lifesaver for yourself and others....

read this one somewhere, edited:

"You will be passed by someone that is heavier than you and someone that is older than you.  Just make sure its not all one person."

2009-07-15 1:49 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Regular
162
1002525
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
I love this thread. My thanks to the OP for starting it!!!
2009-07-15 1:51 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Champion
10471
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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
I wish someone had told me that if I'm not doing it in TRAINING... I won't be doing it race day.

When I got on the bike I hauled butt and left it all on the course... it was a RACE... and hey, that's what you do in a race, you go FAST! Who cares what I did in training! I was going FAST!

Well, thanks to my wise decision, I had nothing left for the run and spent most of my run hunched over with a side cramp. Although the ladies around me were nice, you know you are the lame/pathetic duck when everyone who passes you, cheers you on.

I have since learned about pacing and understanding what my pace is and when to pull back and when not to. Although, I still get side cramps-even in training. I'm cursed with side cramps on the run.




Edited by KSH 2009-07-15 1:52 PM
2009-07-15 1:55 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Champion
8540
50002000100050025
the colony texas
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
do some sort of warm up ,, no matter how short,,  just a quick 4-5 min run and 4-5 min swim,, well help you be less anxious about things and get your body ready for the race
2009-07-15 2:04 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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128
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Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
That no matter how well prepared you are for the swim you will get in the water and the gun goes off, your HR will be off the chart, your breathing will be out of whack and you will feel like you didn't train enough. This happens to me every time, not just my first.

Keba


2009-07-15 2:06 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Elite
2645
200050010025
Phoenix, AZ
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
Sit down in a quiet place and spend 10 minute visualizing how the race will go. This is how I usually do it:
Need my cap, goggles, flip flops. Leave shoes socks, helmet, race belt, biking shoes, hat, sun glasses (picture your transition area in your head.
Bang, swim swim swim, jog jog jog, goggles off, cap off. Sunglasses, helmet, socks, bike shoes, race belt, run run run. Bike bike bike, dismount, jog jog jog. Helmet off, bike shoes off, run shoes on, hat on, Run run run. Win! (not really)

Now my heart is racing. LOL.  I find visualizing the race helps me keep calm/quick on the day of.  Calm/quick is a great mantra for T1 and T2. You'll do great.
2009-07-15 2:28 PM
in reply to: #2285846

New user
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Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?

bring diapers

Seriously, all the above advice is great. x2 on the enjoyment.  Many many posts on this on BT about doing bike-run bricks, but not nearly as many on doing swim-bike bricks. I recommend doing a few of them as part of your training.

 

2009-07-15 2:40 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Elite
3471
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Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
Practice transitions several times at home the day before the race.

Focus on exhaling if you start feeling short of breath on the swim.

Keep it simple in a sprint -- you don't need to overpack.  I looked like I was planning to be out there all day!
2009-07-15 2:43 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Regular
98
252525
Spokane, Washington
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
Great thread.
I wish I had been told:
1. You'll be wiped out after the swim, but your energy will come back on the bike.
2. It's ok to hang onto a kayak if you need a break or are feeling paniced. You aren't DQ'd by just hanging on. If they tow you or you climb in, then you're done.
3. Anything goes for clothing and equipment, so don't stress about what you're wearing or riding. I even saw a lady in a dress riding a retro bike. (She had race number; I don't know if she swam in the dress.)
4. Don't stress about finishing last. You probably won't. But even if you do, they have a name for the last finisher: "Triathlete."
5. Have fun and thank the volunteers.
2009-07-15 2:51 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Expert
1116
1000100
Thornton, CO
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
Have a separate small towel in your transition area to stand on after you dry off your feet.  Trying to balance on one leg, brush off your foot, put socks/shoes on while you're heart is racing and you feel in a rush isn't easy.  Having a towel to stand on lets you not worry that you'll end up with a rock stuck to your foot under your socks/in your shoe.


2009-07-15 3:21 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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New user
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Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
Great thread...keep them coming! I'm currenlty training for my first race (a sprint) on 20 September. The more information the better! Thanks to all.

Mick
2009-07-15 3:52 PM
in reply to: #2285846

Veteran
132
10025
Peabody MA
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
My first sprint tri is August 2nd. I've been training solo for so long and just tapping into BT for advice and motivation. Truly a great thread. Such good info, so...thank you all so much!
2009-07-15 5:56 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Master
2158
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Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
X2 for most of the advice.

The biggest one is run your own race. It will be:
exciting
scary
exhausting
exhilarating
Try to stay calm and fast. Keep everything as simple as possible. You made it this far, it is just more of what you have been practicing.
Good Luck!

2009-07-15 6:12 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Master
1289
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Franklin, TN
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?

SKarl said practice trasitions. You can do this at home with no problem! Set up a transition area in you driveway, run from the back of the house to it (let your kids or neighbor's kids spray you with a hose for fun!) Put on your helmet first! Then count 1-2-3-4 by putting on one sock (if you choose to wear them) 2nd sock, 1st bike shoe, 2nd bike shoe. If you want to, throw on you race number belt.

When you do this multiple times, you'll be sooooo confident in T1 and t2!

Remember, count 1-2-3-4 in transition... You'll rock!

2009-07-15 6:18 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Expert
1139
100010025
Austin
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?

If you can try and stretch out your legs a bit towards the end of the bike course. Shift into an easier gear and up the cadence a bit to help loosen up the legs. I didn't do this for my first race and got a huge cramp about 100m into the run.

Go to the bathroom again and again until you know theres nothing in there before the start as someone already said.

Check out transition and the exits before the race might help you from trying to exit at the wrong end like I did in my first race.



2009-07-15 7:26 PM
in reply to: #2288067

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Expert
1170
10001002525
Berkley, MI
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?

The best thing I can add... you will only ever have one 1st triathlon.  ENJOY IT. 

Good luck!  Cannot wait for the race report!

2009-07-15 7:39 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Master
1848
100050010010010025
Canandaigua
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
This way of life is contagious especially after the first tri is under your belt.
Good luck and have FUN.
2009-07-15 8:13 PM
in reply to: #2285846

Veteran
294
100100252525
Boston
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
There is a lot of great advice here.

a) Definitely get there early - it's better to have more down time than be rushing to get things done in a new and unfamiliar situation.

b) If you haven't done a lot of open water swimming (with dozens or hundreds of people surrounding you) I would probably hang at the back or go way off to the side. The first 7 years of my triathlon career I hyperventilated after every swim start because of all of the people and the splashing, and if you are not used to it it can be very difficult to breathe. If you start at the very outside or the very back you will have at least some space to yourself if you do end up freaking out.

c) For first timers, the swim is usually the hardest, so don't get discouraged! Don't give up!! While swimming in a race with about a 2meter/sec current, my mentality was: 'I have 2:20 minutes until they kick me out of the water. If nothing else, I will be able to race, learn, and have fun for 2:20 minutes." And once you get out of the water, the rest is cake (comparably).

d) Counting can also really help if you have trouble breathing - e.g. switching from breast stroke to free every 5 strokes - if you need it.

I hope this helped. Most importantly, of course, HAVE FUN! You will have a blast - and crossing that finish for the first time is a feeling that will stay with you forever.
2009-07-16 10:13 AM
in reply to: #2286132

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Regular
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Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
Beej - 2009-07-15 7:52 AM Use the bathroom pre race, use it again, and consider using it again. Also use the bathroom. Start line anxiety can trigger powerful urges you should address ahead of time.


and bring your own toilet paper.
2009-07-16 12:33 PM
in reply to: #2285846

Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
I have 2 pieces of sage wisdom (after my 1 and only sprint)

1) I sort of disagree with peole about the swim.  I am just an OK swimmer (1/4 mile in 9:14).  I heard the horn sound, and let the fast (fast looking) people get out ahead of me.  Then I started in.  I am at a pace faster that the slow group, and slower than the fast group.  I had a hard time getting into my rythem because I kept swimming over people, and had to stop and tread because I was blocked form the inside of the buoy. 
*** I would suggest getting started in the swim quickly.  That way, you can worry about your pace in clean water, and other people have to worry about passing you.  DOn't block them or anything, but just keep your head down and your arms turning.

2) It's not as bad as you think.  Swear to god!  You get so focused on what you are doing, that you are running before you know it. 

OK one more.  Im pretty sure that with a short bike leg, the race is won in the run.  I was 78 out of 169 after the bike, and 116 after the run..... I run SLOW.


2009-07-16 12:43 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Member
122
100
Kinnelon, NJ
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
I wish someone told me the swim portion of my tri was cancelled due to rainfall (unhealthy water conditionsEmbarassed
2009-07-16 12:51 PM
in reply to: #2285846

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Elite
3090
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Spokane, WA
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?

Make sure you know the bike and run routes before the race. Getting lost sucks--so I've heard No, really, I got lost once--never again!

2009-07-16 1:02 PM
in reply to: #2288159

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Master
1402
1000100100100100
Highlands Ranch
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
2009-07-16 11:14 PM
in reply to: #2289699

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Member
11

Tuscaloosa
Subject: RE: What do you wish somebody told you before your 1st Tri?
Thanks to everybody for all of your responses! I can't tell you how much it has helped hearing from people who have been there before. I've gone from nervous to anxious/ecited. I'll be checking back tomorrow and will definitely get a race report up as soon as I'm done on Saturday. 
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