General Discussion Introduce Yourself!!! » Sprint Triathlon newbie - scared!!! Rss Feed  
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2014-03-03 1:22 AM


Subject: Sprint Triathlon newbie - scared!!!

I've signed up for my first sprint tri in 8 weeks time - eek! 4 years ago I would have laughed if you'd even suggested it - I was 5 stone overweight, on medication for high blood pressure and high cholestoral and generally not in a good place. Rapidly approaching 40 I decided it was time for a change so joined a slimming group and lost over 3 stone in the first year, and then to discover that I actually quite enjoyed exercise. I do a mixture of gym work, and until recently was cycling to work (only 3 miles each way), off all meds. While I will be a long way towards the back I am confident I can do the run and bike elements, there are 2 things that are worrying me. Now please don't laugh me out of the forum for being such a girl but I am worried about the swim even though it is indoor. While I am not a good swimmer I think I can cover the distance -slowly and without any officially recognisable stroke! However, I feel the cold really badly - my body has always been a little weird but since losing the 5 stone its much worse. I am doing swimming lessons at a local pool and last week I had to be treated for hypothermia at the end of the lessons!!! Now, ok I wasn't 100% well, and had done a gym session before feeling a little off, but I am concerned that this may happen again!

My other concern is transitions. I normally wear glasses for daily life, though I don't need them for exercise, but will I be able to find my stuff if I don't have them? What do people do about changing from swim? I have a boy leg swim suit, but I will definitely need a sports bra. The transition zone is outside the pool which is also a worry about getting cold - I know it sounds so pathetic but I really want to do this not fall at the first part because my body gets so freaking cold!

Any advice very welcome!

2014-03-03 10:52 AM
in reply to: Brummig

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Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Sprint Triathlon newbie - scared!!!

Welcome to BT and congratulations on some remarkable lifestyle changes!  5 stone gone and now off medicine is great. 

Keep swimming.  You'll become more acclimated to the cool water.  For the race, you may find that you're too excited/nervous to feel much cold.  While it takes a little more time, go ahead and dry off completely after your swim.  Remember, we do this for fun, and if it isn't "fun" to ride your bike while soaking wet, DON'T! 

For transitions, if you want, ask the race director whether they have provisions for participants who wear glasses.  They might have a table or let someone hand you your glasses as you come out of the pool area.  Otherwise, you can probably put your glasses inside your helmet on your bike.  Usually, there isn't a place to change, so plan to bike and run in whatever you wear for swimming. (try it in training a few times).  If you're uncomfortable wearing just a swimsuit to ride/run, you can put on a t-shirt and shorts.  Yes, it takes time, but remember "FUN."  (Almost none of us are good enough to make a career out of this, so I can be modest if I choose.

2014-03-06 10:56 AM
in reply to: McFuzz


Subject: RE: Sprint Triathlon newbie - scared!!!
Thank you. That's really helpful. Like you say I need to remember it should be fun, and however long it takes, I am doing it and 4 years ago I couldn't have, and even I am last at least I have done it. I'll definitely practice cycling in swimsuit on, although I think I'll have a fleece on top!
Another dumb question - I assume we set up our own transition area (s). Can we leave stuff there, like a towel and spare top? What happens to it when we've set off on the bike - will I find it again? I want to have an extra layer there if I need it. I'll have a chat with the race director too as you suggest.
2014-03-07 10:16 AM
in reply to: Brummig

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Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Sprint Triathlon newbie - scared!!!

You will have a small amount of space within a large "transition area" but it all depends on the race. 

For most races, the transition area is roped off with marked areas to enter/exit during the race.   Within that area, there will usually be temporary racks for bicycles and you place your other gear right under or next to your bike.  In most races, only the athlete is allowed in the transition area.  Most of the time, the bike racks are designed so you hang your bike from the front of the saddle if you lift it up by putting your fist under the front of the saddle, you'll generally pick up the rear wheel while the front wheel stays on the ground.  This is how your bike "racks" in transition.  They'll often have 8-10 bikes per 10 foot section with bikes 1-3-5-7 facing one direction and 2-4-6-8 facing the other.  You can do the math, and you'll see that you'll have about 2 feet of space between bicycles for the rest of the gear.  You'll set your running shoes, bike shoes (if you have them), socks (if you wear them), etc. down in this small space.  Whether you have a towel or not is personal preference (it helps define your space and keep dirt out of your shoes).  Your "transition neighbors" have the same amount of space and won't appreciate getting squeezed any more than you would, so you can't put a lot of extra gear there. 

Your bike and run gear stays there while you swim, and your bike stays while you swim and run. 

2014-03-08 2:52 AM
in reply to: McFuzz


Subject: RE: Sprint Triathlon newbie - scared!!!
Thanks, that's really helpful. I'll have to think carefully how much stuff I take. I think a towel is a definite must, as well as gloves.

Bit of a setback yesterday - routine bp check - off the scale! This was after a 30 min delay due to lady collapsing in the waiting area and I was the first one there. Sure its just a one off, but annoying, and slightly concerning. Go to go back for repeat next week.
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