General Discussion Triathlon Talk » What's you best advice pre-first Tri? Rss Feed  
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2011-06-20 2:18 PM


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Subject: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?


2011-06-20 2:24 PM
in reply to: #3558396

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Elite
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?
Have fun
2011-06-20 2:26 PM
in reply to: #3558396

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Veteran
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?

Again, still a Newb, but the best advice that someone gave me was to have a Go To Mantra/Motivation phrase.  For me it is always "Push! Fight! Go!"  for those times when you need a mental push during moments of doubt (for me during swim leg!). 

And have fun of course!

2011-06-20 2:27 PM
in reply to: #3558396

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Champion
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?
K.I.S.S.
2011-06-20 2:30 PM
in reply to: #3558396

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Member
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?

Win.

 

2011-06-20 2:31 PM
in reply to: #3558396

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Extreme Veteran
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Lake Placid, NY
Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?
Since it's your first, you're guaranteed a PR. So relax, have fun, and enjoy the experience - you only get one first tri! There'll be plenty of time to "Go till you puke."


2011-06-20 2:32 PM
in reply to: #3558396

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Expert
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?
It may be intimidating or uncomfortable but talk to people and ask for help if things don't make sense. Some people are in the zone but most are willing to help and people like me like the distraction.

2011-06-20 2:35 PM
in reply to: #3558396

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Champion
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?

Relax and enjoy.  It's not like you are gonna be storming the beach at Normandy!  It's just a race....something we do for fun. 

 

 

2011-06-20 2:47 PM
in reply to: #3558396

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Elite
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?

I agree with Have Fun.

I also agree with KISS.  Please do not bring the kitchen sink (or a bucket or a balloon, etc.)

2011-06-20 3:16 PM
in reply to: #3558396

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Elite
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?

X4 on have fun and also:

Do an after-race reveiw to yourself (or on this forum... Wink) of how your race went:

What was about the way you expected it?

What was different than you expected it?

What went well for you?

What are your opportunities for improvement?

How would you change your training?

How would you change your equipment?

When's your next race?

2011-06-20 3:25 PM
in reply to: #3558396

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Pro
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?
Again, side from the biggies like fun, when you get there make sure that you walk through the transition areas so that you know exactly where you are going from swim to bike and bike to run. Mentally run through the race. If you have any questions about the course, rules, etiquette, etc. just ask. Most people love to chat and help others. Before race day, lay out a practice transition area and go through both transitions. Ideally, do it as near to race conditions as possible. I see a lot of people that had no idea it was so hard to pull a shirt on when wet or they forgot something.


2011-06-20 3:30 PM
in reply to: #3558396

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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?

don't forget to thank the volunteers, and smile when you cross the finish line, you will have plenty of time to stop your watch after you  cross, don't screw up your first finishers photo.

 

Good luck and have fun!!!

2011-06-20 3:47 PM
in reply to: #3558396


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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?
Do a couple of OWS (open water swims) before the race.  Just so you are not doing it for the first time at the race.
2011-06-20 3:50 PM
in reply to: #3558396

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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?

When you lay out the things you will bring to the event the night before sort them into 5 piles.  The first is what you will wear to the event, the second is the things you will need to swim, the third is the things you will want for the bike, the fourth is the things you will take on the run and the fifth being the things you will want after the event (dry undies and a camera)!

When you go to bed think about your race day plan.  If you don't have one, make one.  It's easier to modify a plan that isn't working than to come up with a plan from scratch.  Mine goes like this (and presumes that I have pre-packed the car including going over the bike (check tires, shifting, and computer) and putting the bike on the car).  Get-up, check time, get dressed, eat breakfast, put on deodorant (no one like a stinky me), put in contacts (seeing is good), use body glide (makes me a way happier camper when I'm done if I'm tired, sore but not raw), put on sun screen (cancer still sucks), get wallet (State says I have to have a DL with me to drive), keys (easier than pushing the car) and cell phone (so I can brag about being done), check bike tires (I'm OCD and check them a bunch but this helps to make sure it actually gets done) and put the pump in the car (It's not for me, it's for when someone like me forgets to fill their bike tires ahead of time and then I can be that helpful guy instead of the forgetful guy.)  Drive to race.  Park (not because trying to jump out of the moving car could prove challenging, but because that way I remember to check where I should park), drop off bike and stuff in transition (This gets my spot picked since for the most part it's first come first served), pick-up packet (If I haven't already), use port-o-potty (The earlier the better, the lines can get long the closer to the start you are, plus there is a higher chance that there will be TP available.), setup transition (Before my first Tri I practice at home), get body marked (try not to get too high on the markers), go for test spin on my bike (with helmet to make sure I know where the mount dismount lines are), clear bike computer (I usually forget this), and check out transition logistics including (bike out, bike in, swim start, swim in, and finish lines).  Say hi to the person next to me.  See if I know anyone; say hi to anyone who will listen.  Pull on wetsuit half way, grab goggles and swim cap.  Double check transition.  Go to pre-race meeting.  Start...

When you get up in the morning, get up early enough that you have extra time.  It's nice to get some extra time that way you have a moment to get a picture before your race.

Once you get there most triathletes are very friendly.  Say hello.  If you’re looking for something to say tell them this is your first race or ask them which way your helmet should face or what to do with all the numbers or which way to the swim start or where the bathroom is.  I have been asked all of these questions, so if you ask them you won't be out of place.

I like to hear the pre-race meeting, if you don't know where or when that will be go ask someone.  Often times the person with the most answers and that is easiest to find is the announcer.  He is easy to find because he is the one making all the noise on the PA and he has the most answers because if he doesn't know he can usually just ask the crowd the question and whoever does know will be right there.  The pre-race meeting tells you all sorts of good information like we will be swimming in this lake, and we will be riding on these roads, and we will be running around here somewhere.  They may also tell you about some hazards on the course like, there are bears in the woods on the run, there are sharks in the water, and there is loose pavement at mile 8 in the bike there will be a volunteer there to point it out.

Once the race starts remember two things, when you finish everyone will be excited for you since you just set a PR.  So just have fun.  The second is that it will not go perfectly.  It may not even go well.  It may possibly go horribly, but don't worry about it.  Just do the best you can at the things you can control and see how it turns out.

When you are out on the course remember this is fun.  Also, thank the volunteers you see and encourage the competitors around you, I find that when I'm trying to be friendly things go better for me.

Finally, a lot of people freak-out at even the thought of swimming in a lake.  You are allowed to freak-out if you would like.  All I suggest is that you swim 100 strokes before you freak out.

 

2011-06-20 4:46 PM
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?
If you will be putting on a shirt in T1, do it BEFORE putting your helmet on...  yeah I looked pretty funny trying to put my shirt on over my helmet.  It didn't work.
2011-06-20 6:40 PM
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?
MNGopher, good post!


2011-06-20 7:02 PM
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?

I have #2 coming up this weekend. #1 was entirely a learning experience. My goals for the first were to finish and to have fun. My secret goals were to swim the entire distance without stopping, have a decent bike and good run.

I accomplished all those, assuming you can count 12 minutes for a 1/4 mile swim not stopping! Also I learned so much about what worked for me and what didn't. Simple stuff like you cannot put socks on wet feet. Harder stuff like even though I am a good runner I need to really practice brick workouts because coming off the bike is VERY DIFFERENT. And I need to do more OWS because a triathlon is not a good place to do your first!

Best thing I learned was that triathlon people are really nice and helpful, and I haven't had a rush like this in a very long time.

2011-06-20 7:03 PM
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Elite
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?
Be be sure your bike is not in too high a gear!!!
2011-06-20 7:28 PM
in reply to: #3558589

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Master
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?

dmauter - 2011-06-20 4:47 PM Do a couple of OWS (open water swims) before the race.  Just so you are not doing it for the first time at the race.

^^^^ This.

If you've already done that, and also have familiarized yourself with the feeling of running off the bike, then perhaps the next thing is to make your transition area simple and idiot-proof. In my first race (a duathlon) I set off on the bike without my helmet. Had to run back to fetch it. Now I make sure that everything that I need on the bike is attached to the bike, so it's harder to forget it.

2011-06-20 7:33 PM
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?
Triple Ditto on the "have fun" part. On my first tri I was pretty slow on the bike but really relaxed and was able to truly enjoy the ride. Second piece of advice is to bring a cheering section....it always helps motivate you when people you care about are cheering as you come to the finish. Good luck and have a great first race
2011-06-20 8:31 PM
in reply to: #3558596

Member
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STL, MO
Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?
thanks so much for your post.  my first tri is 7/17 and i'm so nervous but very excited.  swimming is my weakness. i'm working very hard to develop some kind of technique...besides dog-paddling and side-stroke. i really stink at free-style.  any advice on making it through the swim.  it's a 400 m.  also, what does PR mean?


2011-06-20 9:44 PM
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?
PR = Personal Record
2011-06-20 10:00 PM
in reply to: #3558396

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?
If you can get to the race site the day before, do a short swim in the swim course.  Maybe not all of it, maybe only to the first buoy and back.  This helps me get familiar with the swim course, especially since OW siting is still something that is not natural to me.  Plus it helps get me into race mode mentally without tiring me out.
2011-06-20 10:17 PM
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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?

I just did my first tri on Sunday, so I am a complete newb, but, having just finished my first race I was in the same boat VERY recently so perhaps my two cents will be worth something.

As many have suggested go through your transitions as completely as you can. Make a checklist of what you need to bring for the start, T1, T2 and the finish and check it twice! (For my race T1 and T2 were separate locations so it was particularly important to have everything organized beforehand.)

As others have suggested do as many open water swims as you can before the race. But I would add that no matter how many you do, it's difficult to prepare for race conditions (unless you can hire a couple hundred people to come out and swim into/over/on top of you and kick and elbow you for the majority of the first lap). Try to mentally prepare yourself for the crowd of people you'll be swimming with. It's virtually impossible to prepare for it physically, but if you're not shocked by it mentally it will help you deal with it.

I was lucky in that I had watched my first race the year before I did it, as I was cheering on my friend who did it last year. I saw the swim, and more importantly talked to her about it. That meant I knew what was coming in terms of getting kicked, pulled and literally swum on top of. But, dealing with it when it happens is a separate issue.

Seriously if you have a friend who's willing to swim with you and knock into you and grab at you etc. it might be worth trying.

That's not meant to scare you, just to try to help you prepare! What length is your race?

2011-06-21 10:46 AM
in reply to: #3558396

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Subject: RE: What's you best advice pre-first Tri?

Thanks for the tips all. I am also gearing up for my first tri 7/10 Oly distance. I'm completely starting to freak out that there are so many things I don't know yet and somehow I'm going to make another athlete angry.

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