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2014-07-09 1:08 PM

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Subject: A Couple of Practical Questions
My first triathlon was on a complete whim, and I was totally unprepared. Now, three months later, I'm much more ready for my oly tri coming up in two weeks. I have a couple of last minute questions however:

1. I currently train in a two piece tri suit. So do you swim in the top, or leave it off and put it on in T1? Mind you, I live in Key Largo, Fl, so I'm in the very rare place that will rarely to ever have a wetsuit legal race so anything wetsuit related is moot. The reason I ask the question is whenever I follow a swim with a bike or a run, putting the top on is a pain in the butt when your wet as it rolls up and sticks and I could see this being frustrating in a transition. However, I can't imagine swimming in the thing.

2. When changing shoes in T1 and T2, what's the best way? I mean, do you sit on the ground, bring a small stool? Put them on and tie them balancing on one foot? None seem appealing.

3. I had others...but can't think of them now...

Thanks!


2014-07-09 1:15 PM
in reply to: 3mar

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions

Swim in the top! If it's super loose you may want to think about a tighter top to reduce drag.

Don't sit down! Just kick off your bike shoes and slide into your run shoes. Easy peasy. There are many "elastic" shoelace products that you can put in your running shoes so you won't have to spend any time tying the laces. Just be sure to practice with them in a few times as they usually need to be adjusted a few times. Or if you're like me, just keep your shoelaces tied at all times, double-knotted. I just slip my feet in and out of my running shoes without tying or untying anything.

2014-07-09 1:16 PM
in reply to: 3mar

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions
I wear the tri top for swim as well. It's pretty snug, so it doesn't seem to slow me down.

I put my shoes on either balancing on one foot or sitting down on the ground. I use elastic quick laces for the running shoes, so that goes pretty quick.
2014-07-09 1:19 PM
in reply to: 3mar

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions

If you can get a speed suit to put on over your two piece or get a one piece tri suit would be the best two options, if that isn't practical just swim in the two piece but it will be slower than swimming in just swim shorts. I picked up an inexpensive speed suit for I think $40 when SL3S had a sale, I"m sure it's not as good as the $300 Blue Seventy but I'm pretty sure the expensive one isn't 5 x better than the one I have. 

What I do for T2 is remove my feet from the shoes 1/2 mile or so before I get to T2 and ride with my feet on top of the shoes. In transition I bend over and just slide my shoes on. I don't use socks generally speaking. If I were using socks I would probably sit down to put them and the shoes on. 

 

The most important thing you can do is to just go out and have fun.

2014-07-09 1:21 PM
in reply to: kbeddoes

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions

 

A tri top should fit very snug and should not restrict your swimming ability at all, definitely swim in it. As you stated it is very difficult to get a tri top on when you are wet.

I don't sit to change shoes, just squat down to tie. I am not a fan of the elastic laces, some are, they are fast but I find them uncomfortable. 

2014-07-09 1:22 PM
in reply to: crusevegas

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions

Sit on a bucket to put your shoes on.....take in the sights and sounds, have fun!  If you can run you'll pass most of the folks who are in a big hurry anyway.  If you can't run, you weren't going to catch them anyway.



2014-07-09 1:33 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions

1. Swim in the top

2. in T1, just slide your bike shoes on and fasten. (flying mount if you want to get crazy but please practice first). In T2, roll in with your feet already out of your bike shoes as already mentioned. Step off the bike, run to the rack and just slide your shoes on and tie. Speed laces can help a ton here if you're trying to save time. I race in Zoot Ultra TTs and Kiawe's, both of which have a super simple speed lacing system. They're also revamping the Ultra Race to have a soft boa system with the boa dial on the side of the shoe. Also, baby powder in your cycling and run shoes (if going sockless) can help big time getting them on.

3. maybe yes but possibly no



Edited by thebigb 2014-07-09 1:34 PM
2014-07-09 1:50 PM
in reply to: 3mar

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions
Wow. Thanks for the responses everyone. So it sounds like the overwhelming consensus is that tri tops are meant for swimming. That's good to know. I'll give it a shot this week in the pool just to get used to it.

The thing with the shoes is I'm a long time runner and way too picky about tying and shoe tightness, etc. The idea of just slipping shoes on gives me pain. I'm the guy at the start of the race untying and retying my shoes again and again to get them just right...so I guess I need to get just accept the non-perfect tie?
2014-07-09 2:03 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions

Originally posted by Left Brain

Sit on a bucket to put your shoes on.....take in the sights and sounds, have fun!  If you can run you'll pass most of the folks who are in a big hurry anyway.  If you can't run, you weren't going to catch them anyway.

Try the top out in your next swim work out and see how it feels.  If it's too loose as previously mentioned you have time to find another one.

If you are going to go with the bucket idea LB needs to elaborate a little more on his technique.  I'm pretty sure there's a sandwich or oreo's involved and holding court with anyone who will listen.

2014-07-09 2:25 PM
in reply to: 3mar

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions

Originally posted by 3mar Wow. Thanks for the responses everyone. So it sounds like the overwhelming consensus is that tri tops are meant for swimming. That's good to know. I'll give it a shot this week in the pool just to get used to it. The thing with the shoes is I'm a long time runner and way too picky about tying and shoe tightness, etc. The idea of just slipping shoes on gives me pain. I'm the guy at the start of the race untying and retying my shoes again and again to get them just right...so I guess I need to get just accept the non-perfect tie?

 

I was that guy. You'll adapt. Just work them into your running routine here and there. Of, if you don't care about finishing time, just continue to be that guy. Nothing wrong with that either. 

2014-07-09 2:26 PM
in reply to: Goggles Pizzano

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions

Originally posted by Goggles Pizzano

Originally posted by Left Brain

Sit on a bucket to put your shoes on.....take in the sights and sounds, have fun!  If you can run you'll pass most of the folks who are in a big hurry anyway.  If you can't run, you weren't going to catch them anyway.

Try the top out in your next swim work out and see how it feels.  If it's too loose as previously mentioned you have time to find another one.

If you are going to go with the bucket idea LB needs to elaborate a little more on his technique.  I'm pretty sure there's a sandwich or oreo's involved and holding court with anyone who will listen.

Exactly right.  I don't care for oreo's that much on race day, but I'll wolf down a ham sammiy before a bike ride on any day.  I like the home depot buckets.  They are brightly colored so it makes them easy to see in transition, and the plastic handle that is molded out on both ends makes it easy to hook on the bike handlebars.  Most of the socializing is done pre-race, and no matter what you hear or think, while everyone else is on their feet talking about all of their triathlon exploits, I can easily catch more than one looking at my bucket longingly as I sit there nodding off.....completely relaxed and uninterested.  I've got a call into the coporate office of Home Depot regarding a possible sponsorship deal......I'll keep you posted..



2014-07-09 2:35 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions

Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by Goggles Pizzano

Originally posted by Left Brain

Sit on a bucket to put your shoes on.....take in the sights and sounds, have fun!  If you can run you'll pass most of the folks who are in a big hurry anyway.  If you can't run, you weren't going to catch them anyway.

Try the top out in your next swim work out and see how it feels.  If it's too loose as previously mentioned you have time to find another one.

If you are going to go with the bucket idea LB needs to elaborate a little more on his technique.  I'm pretty sure there's a sandwich or oreo's involved and holding court with anyone who will listen.

Exactly right.  I don't care for oreo's that much on race day, but I'll wolf down a ham sammiy before a bike ride on any day.  I like the home depot buckets.  They are brightly colored so it makes them easy to see in transition, and the plastic handle that is molded out on both ends makes it easy to hook on the bike handlebars.  Most of the socializing is done pre-race, and no matter what you hear or think, while everyone else is on their feet talking about all of their triathlon exploits, I can easily catch more than one looking at my bucket longingly as I sit there nodding off.....completely relaxed and uninterested.  I've got a call into the coporate office of Home Depot regarding a possible sponsorship deal......I'll keep you posted..

 

You forgot to mention the 5-10 balloons you need to tie to the bucket handle so you can quickly find your bike in T1. Any time lost by sitting casually on the bucket will be saved in the event you have a need for a bathroom in T1, just turn the bucket over and save all that time waiting in line for a smelly port a jon. 

2014-07-09 2:42 PM
in reply to: Aarondb4

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions

Originally posted by Aarondb4

Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by Goggles Pizzano

Originally posted by Left Brain

Sit on a bucket to put your shoes on.....take in the sights and sounds, have fun!  If you can run you'll pass most of the folks who are in a big hurry anyway.  If you can't run, you weren't going to catch them anyway.

Try the top out in your next swim work out and see how it feels.  If it's too loose as previously mentioned you have time to find another one.

If you are going to go with the bucket idea LB needs to elaborate a little more on his technique.  I'm pretty sure there's a sandwich or oreo's involved and holding court with anyone who will listen.

Exactly right.  I don't care for oreo's that much on race day, but I'll wolf down a ham sammiy before a bike ride on any day.  I like the home depot buckets.  They are brightly colored so it makes them easy to see in transition, and the plastic handle that is molded out on both ends makes it easy to hook on the bike handlebars.  Most of the socializing is done pre-race, and no matter what you hear or think, while everyone else is on their feet talking about all of their triathlon exploits, I can easily catch more than one looking at my bucket longingly as I sit there nodding off.....completely relaxed and uninterested.  I've got a call into the coporate office of Home Depot regarding a possible sponsorship deal......I'll keep you posted..

 

You forgot to mention the 5-10 balloons you need to tie to the bucket handle so you can quickly find your bike in T1. Any time lost by sitting casually on the bucket will be saved in the event you have a need for a bathroom in T1, just turn the bucket over and save all that time waiting in line for a smelly port a jon. 

Bro - why you gotta give up my balloon secret?

2014-07-09 3:29 PM
in reply to: 3mar

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions

Originally posted by 3mar Wow. Thanks for the responses everyone. So it sounds like the overwhelming consensus is that tri tops are meant for swimming. That's good to know. I'll give it a shot this week in the pool just to get used to it. The thing with the shoes is I'm a long time runner and way too picky about tying and shoe tightness, etc. The idea of just slipping shoes on gives me pain. I'm the guy at the start of the race untying and retying my shoes again and again to get them just right...so I guess I need to get just accept the non-perfect tie?

Get some elastic laces....get them to the perfect tightness.  Then you can slip your shoes on in T2 and have them just where you want them.

I had regular laces for my first race and quickly realized just how inefficient tying laces in a race is.

2014-07-13 8:16 PM
in reply to: Goggles Pizzano

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions
Yesterday I tried swimming with the top. It felt like it added drag, but my time wasn't too far off. Every Saturday I swim 1,500 meters, bike 12 miles and run 3 miles. (I know that most people don't do all three in one day, but it helps me and I like it). Anyway, I'm pretty consistent in my swim speed and looking back I have been between 23:30 to 24:00 minutes each week for 1,500 meters. I don't go all out since I follow with a bike and a run, but don't take it easy by any means. So with the top I swam it in 24:30 so it definitely did slow me down. However, I felt that it slowed me down more on my push offs from the wall when I was completely submerged than when I was swimming so since I won't be in a pool for my tris, it hopefully won't be a problem. The only thing that concerns me is that I was not swimming at what I'd consider race pace and I'm wondering if it will slow me down when I swim faster.
2014-07-13 9:36 PM
in reply to: 3mar


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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions
30 seconds to 1 minute is significant. I wouldn't wear it during the swim. Put it on in T1. But instead of putting the tri top on over your head, step through the neck and pull it up. At least I find that way easier.


2014-07-14 7:37 AM
in reply to: mskiff

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions

Originally posted by mskiff 30 seconds to 1 minute is significant. I wouldn't wear it during the swim. Put it on in T1. But instead of putting the tri top on over your head, step through the neck and pull it up. At least I find that way easier.

Really? I think putting on a tri top over wet skin takes a significant amount of time (and effort!)

2014-07-14 10:25 AM
in reply to: Left Brain


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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions
Originally posted by Left Brain

Exactly right.  I don't care for oreo's that much on race day, but I'll wolf down a ham sammiy before a bike ride on any day.  I like the home depot buckets.  They are brightly colored so it makes them easy to see in transition, and the plastic handle that is molded out on both ends makes it easy to hook on the bike handlebars.  Most of the socializing is done pre-race, and no matter what you hear or think, while everyone else is on their feet talking about all of their triathlon exploits, I can easily catch more than one looking at my bucket longingly as I sit there nodding off.....completely relaxed and uninterested.  I've got a call into the coporate office of Home Depot regarding a possible sponsorship deal......I'll keep you posted..




Big fan of the bucket, here.
Being that I never 'compete' in triathlons (I always say I participate in them), I do so enjoy my bucket. It's an orange one from home depot. I'd thought about getting a generic one at some point and decorating it, but I'm no Martha Stewart. What'd I'd really like is one that says "Grade A Lard" or "Pizza Sauce" or something from some chain restaurant. I did the balloon thing once, but it in order to not annoy the crud out of my rackmates or get in their way, I found I had to tie it so close to the bar that it really didn't do any good.

I like your thoughts about run leg. Either you'll catch them...or you won't.

I don't have clip in pedals and shoes, so I only have the problem in T1. I just sit on my bucket...and use a hand towel to dry my feet off so I can get the socks on without such a fight. Also, I like to at least start with dry feet. I think it goes back to my Boy Scout hiking days. Now, if I can get them to start giving out awards for transition times, instead of just 'fastest leg'....I might sniff the podium some day. Statistically my best 'leg' is T2. Unfortunately, the extra 20 seconds I have on the 'pros' is lost 3 steps into the run.....and that's if I don't stop for a bathroom break.
2014-07-14 10:34 AM
in reply to: jhaack39

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions

Originally posted by jhaack39
Originally posted by Left Brain

Exactly right.  I don't care for oreo's that much on race day, but I'll wolf down a ham sammiy before a bike ride on any day.  I like the home depot buckets.  They are brightly colored so it makes them easy to see in transition, and the plastic handle that is molded out on both ends makes it easy to hook on the bike handlebars.  Most of the socializing is done pre-race, and no matter what you hear or think, while everyone else is on their feet talking about all of their triathlon exploits, I can easily catch more than one looking at my bucket longingly as I sit there nodding off.....completely relaxed and uninterested.  I've got a call into the coporate office of Home Depot regarding a possible sponsorship deal......I'll keep you posted..

Big fan of the bucket, here. Being that I never 'compete' in triathlons (I always say I participate in them), I do so enjoy my bucket. It's an orange one from home depot. I'd thought about getting a generic one at some point and decorating it, but I'm no Martha Stewart. What'd I'd really like is one that says "Grade A Lard" or "Pizza Sauce" or something from some chain restaurant. I did the balloon thing once, but it in order to not annoy the crud out of my rackmates or get in their way, I found I had to tie it so close to the bar that it really didn't do any good. I like your thoughts about run leg. Either you'll catch them...or you won't. I don't have clip in pedals and shoes, so I only have the problem in T1. I just sit on my bucket...and use a hand towel to dry my feet off so I can get the socks on without such a fight. Also, I like to at least start with dry feet. I think it goes back to my Boy Scout hiking days. Now, if I can get them to start giving out awards for transition times, instead of just 'fastest leg'....I might sniff the podium some day. Statistically my best 'leg' is T2. Unfortunately, the extra 20 seconds I have on the 'pros' is lost 3 steps into the run.....and that's if I don't stop for a bathroom break.

You are clearly not taking yourself, or your race, seriously enough.  With a little work, and a few no-shows, you could win your AG someday.

At least you have T2 to build on....I don't even have that anymore.

2014-07-14 10:47 AM
in reply to: mskiff

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions
Originally posted by mskiff

30 seconds to 1 minute is significant. I wouldn't wear it during the swim. Put it on in T1. But instead of putting the tri top on over your head, step through the neck and pull it up. At least I find that way easier.


Easy fix to the OP. Time it again next Saturday with the top on in the water. If you lose 30-60 seconds again, then you might be a little more certain it wasn't a fluke. So then at some other point, time how long it takes, while completely wet of course, to put the shirt on, do it over and over using both ways. If you lose 60 seconds wearing it, but it takes 90 seconds to put it on, then wear it during the swim. If you can get it on in under 10 seconds, then you will be faster going shirtless in the swim and changing in T1. It just takes practice.

However, I will add that being your second Tri, do you want to add 1 more thing to the T1 experience? I'd wear the shirt and not worry about one more thing. Especially since, in the big picture, you might be spending another 30-45 seconds messing with shoe laces. If every second counts, then I'd be practicing transitions and getting them down the the T. IF not, just go have fun and who cares about the 30 seconds here and there. Make the race fun and easy.
2014-07-21 12:36 PM
in reply to: toodamnbroke

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Subject: RE: A Couple of Practical Questions
I actually dislike the tri top because the snugness makes it feel like I'm not getting a full breath. Also overheats me a little (I'm a Florida swimmer, so the water temps are often in the 80's). I've done 2 sprints. One with and one without the top. The second was a much more enjoyable swim. I just raced with no top on the bike and the run as well. I found no problem racing without a shirt. The only thing it provides me is coverage for the sake of modesty (which I don't give a darn about), sun protection (somewhat moot in these early-morning hour races), and an easy-to-reach pocket to throw away used gel packets (valid -- still trying to figure that one out -- tri short pocket is somewhat recessed and takes some fiddling to get to).

The only other thing I'll mention is that in some online videos I've seen, some of the racers have used a top that zips all the way down. They run in from the swim, quick put it on (like a vest), zip it up, and go. It seemed a lot more feasible than a pull-over top.

For what it's worth!


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