General Discussion Triathlon Talk » first timer questions... Rss Feed  
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2006-06-02 8:18 PM

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Subject: first timer questions...
hey all... hope training is going well. i am planning on doing my first triathlon on july 30, which consists of a .5 mi swim, 17 mi bike and 4 mi run (philly). i have no doubts of my endurance but had some other kinda dumb, simple questions. i've never been to a triathlon, but have raced bikes for years and have done a number of big running races (up to 1/2 marathon length).

so... here are some basic questions which may sound rediculous... but since i've never experienced this, i have no idea what to expact. first... when you swim (male) do you wear a shirt? i know, i know... dumb question! i plan to get a pair of tri shorts but was not planning on a shirt for the swim... just a bike jersey for bike/run. next question... any good guides or info on what to expect at a transition area? i've never seen one, and probably won't until i'm staggering out of the water in search of my bike. so i have no real idea how to set up for it. i have done a couple of mock transitions from bike to run (change in my garage). oh, and do you have to wear a swim cap for the swim? if so, do they give you one? what about race bibs?

ok... i think that's it for the completely silly questions. if anyone can help, i'd really appreciate it! thanks and have a great weekend.


2006-06-02 8:50 PM
in reply to: #441931

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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Subject: RE: first timer questions...
Ok, I will try to address all of you questions as best I can. I am no expert, but these are the things that work for me.

Shirt on Swim - I do not wear one many people wear a tri suit which is tri shorts and top all in one, but I just wear tri shorts and put on my bike jersey before I ride. Just remember that the shirt my be more diffcult to put on because you are wet so check it out try putting on the jersey after a shower before drying off to see how it is going to go.

Transition Area (TA) - Get there a little early so you can get set up with out much stress. Select a place on the rack I usally select a end of the rack slot out the main flow of racers entering or exiting the TA. This way you usally have plenty of room just outside of the ract to set up your gear. I bring a beach towel and fold it in half to set my gear on and have something to stand on and wipe my feet of before putting on my bike shoes. I usally set my helmet and sunglasses on my aerobars so I dont forget to put them on before I take off on the ride.

Swim caps - If they are required the race will provide them.

Race bibs or race numbers - The race will provide them and may require you to wear it on your back during the bike and on the front during the run. They may just require it on the run either way I use a race belt. You can pick one up at most running stores for under $10. Your number just snaps in place and the belt just clips around your waist. It is easy just to put it on with you number facing your back for the ride and turn it to the front for the run. If you dont have one or plan to spend the money on one, no problem they will give you safty pins with the number to put them on.

Final last words - You have sometime so see if there is another triathlon in the area before your race and see if you can work the race or just go watch and enjoy talk to the other racer after the race. Most will be happy to share what works for them. Most importantly enjoy there is no sport and no better group of people.
2006-06-02 9:34 PM
in reply to: #441931

Master
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Shreveport, LA
Subject: RE: first timer questions...
skibum71 - 2006-06-02 8:18 PM
when you swim (male) do you wear a shirt?


I wouldn't recommend putting on a shirt. It takes way too much time to put on especially when you are wet. I have a tri top that I swim in. The other option is to go shirtless the entire time.


any good guides or info on what to expect at a transition area?


There are some on this site if you use the search function.


do you have to wear a swim cap for the swim? if so, do they give you one?

If they require it, they will give you one.
2006-06-02 9:47 PM
in reply to: #441931

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Keller, TX
Subject: RE: first timer questions...

Lots of good info on this site for transitions.

Be sure to buckle your chin strap when you put your helmet on.  If it's a USAT event drafting isn't going to be allowed on the bike - race folks should be able to tell you that.

 good luck.

2006-06-02 10:10 PM
in reply to: #441931

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Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Subject: RE: first timer questions...
For the swim, I wore an under armour compression shirt and just kept that on for the rest of the race.
2006-06-05 12:01 PM
in reply to: #441931

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Subject: RE: first timer questions...
hey guys... thanks for all the helpful info! kalumbaugh... i may follow your advice and visit a triathlon later this month (theres' one in philly) just to get acquainted with she whole process and maybe ask some questions. thanks again... abnd good luck with training/races! hopefully in my next post (or soon thereafter) i'll actually BE a triathlete!


2006-06-05 12:08 PM
in reply to: #441931

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Philadelphia, PA
Subject: RE: first timer questions...
Hey skibum
You and I will both be doing the same Triathlon. It will be my first Tri to. It's the Independence "Give it the Ol' Philly Tri" I'm a little nervous and had the same questions you did about the swimming (I'm a girl though) I didn't know if I was to swim in a bathing suit and change into biking running shorts, I soon found out that there is an outfit I can wear for all three. I'll be doing a Duathlon on July 9th and then volunteering at the NYC Triathlon on the 16th and then doing my first Tri on July 30th. I'm so excited. I hope to see you out there. It will be a huge experience for both of us. What is leg are you most nervous about? Me, its the swim, have you seen the Skukyill lately? Oh well, I'm just gonna jump in and swim my little heart out. Good Luck, and if you're looking for a training partner let me know

skibum71 - 2006-06-03 9:18 AM

hey all... hope training is going well. i am planning on doing my first triathlon on july 30, which consists of a .5 mi swim, 17 mi bike and 4 mi run (philly). i have no doubts of my endurance but had some other kinda dumb, simple questions. i've never been to a triathlon, but have raced bikes for years and have done a number of big running races (up to 1/2 marathon length).

so... here are some basic questions which may sound rediculous... but since i've never experienced this, i have no idea what to expact. first... when you swim (male) do you wear a shirt? i know, i know... dumb question! i plan to get a pair of tri shorts but was not planning on a shirt for the swim... just a bike jersey for bike/run. next question... any good guides or info on what to expect at a transition area? i've never seen one, and probably won't until i'm staggering out of the water in search of my bike. so i have no real idea how to set up for it. i have done a couple of mock transitions from bike to run (change in my garage). oh, and do you have to wear a swim cap for the swim? if so, do they give you one? what about race bibs?

ok... i think that's it for the completely silly questions. if anyone can help, i'd really appreciate it! thanks and have a great weekend.


Edited by TianJohns 2006-06-05 12:11 PM
2006-06-05 4:16 PM
in reply to: #441931

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Manhattan, Kansas
Subject: RE: first timer questions...
Skibum...I just finished my first tri this weekend so here are my thoughts:

1. Go without the shirt...I swam in tri-shorts only and got over the my modesty pretty quickly.
2. I waited a little to setup my tri area so I could see how others do it. Everyone has their own style. I brought an extra towel and laid it down in front of my bike on the rack, and then laid out the equipment I would need at the first transition. Also put my hung my bike helmet on my seat. My other suggestions was...I tried to place my bike away from the "expensive" looking bikes so I didn't get in anyone's way who was "serious". In the end, they weren't even in the transition area when I was anyway.
3. Races will require swim caps and probably give it to you. Make sure you don't have your googles overlap your swim cap. I figured out about 50 yards into the swim that my google was filling up with water because I didn't get a good seal. SUCKS!

Good luck!
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