I'm training for my first triathlon, and know nothing about proper etiquette. If you anyone has completed a triathlon before, do you have any pet peeves or mistakes that
first timers usually make that get under your skin. I don't want to make the same mistakes. Also accepting any inside tips that may make my first time go more smoothly.
get there early and set up your stuff in transition - do not move anyone elses stuff withotu asking first. don't show up late and push others stuff out of the way. this is not a good way to make freinds.
learn the rules of the road for the race. know the course! on the bike stay right unless passing, stay out of everyones draft, do not stay to the left and block other riders, see the usat website for al lthe rules
if you're not a strong swimmer start towards the back and outside and avoid being swum over.
have fun and ask questions trigeeks are a pretty friendly bunch and are usually more than happy to help out a newbie
goals for 2011:
break 19minutes for 5k
break 2:42 for olympic triathlon probably Anthracite olympic
break 3:16 for marathon ( a long shot but it's fun putting yourself out there)
Well, I was a newbie (and still am) in my only triathlon experience... but I am an experienced swimmer and was a tiny bit annoyed by a couple of things I saw in the pool-swim at my tri.
One... don't lie badly about your swim time to avoid being too far back after the swim. I entered my race with a 6:30 entry time and finished with a 6:40 or so in the 400 meter swim that started my tri last year. I shouldn't be passing people after 50 meters with 15 second increments even if I did go out too fast... but I was doing just that (and passed 4 people before 150 meters and 7 or 8 people overall). Just tell the truth about your time... there's no gain to embellishing.
and Two... if you do have to stop at a wall during the swim... try to get out of the way. No reason to block those who are not stopping.
Not big deals... just something to think about.
Know the competition rules such no MP3/iPods or drafting and impedence on the bike. I think it is useful to spectate or volunteer at a triathlon first to get a feel on how it goes; setting up your transition area, getting off your wetsuit (if you are using one), mounting and dismounting the bike outside of transition, how to move quickly and efficiently from one disparate sport to another, etc. Relax and have fun. Many posters here are happy to answer any and all questions (there are no stupid ones...questions that is) as we were all newbies at some point.
I totally agree that watching a triathlon is very helpful. Volunteering at one is even better. I helped out as kayak support for the Xterra a month before I did the Iron Girl, and just seeing the pros swimming as well as the slower swimmers helped me with my nerves. I didn't get to see the T1 since I was on the water, but I did get to watch the T2. One thing, don't try to watch the pros transition, they do it so fast if you blink you'll miss it. Just watch the age-groupers and you'll get a good idea of what to expect when your turn comes.
All good tips there, I would also say don't take it personally if, actually when, you get kicked in the swim.
try your best to not impede others, if you need to break get out of the way. We all have gone too hard on one leg or another and bonked. don't take others out of their rythm by staying in front of them. mostly have fun yourself, when you're racing with a smile everyone around you gains from you just being there.
One last, for your very first T1, find a spot to the outsides of the transition area, less likely to get run over.
I can't really think of anything that has annoyed me at a race. On the bike, pass on the left and call out "on your left" as you are passing. If you aren't passing anyone stay to the right. The transisition area can be confusing depending on how close the bikes are spaced and how things are set up, so you might want to ask the people who are on the rack next to you if you've got your stuff set up right so you aren't in their way. I think as long as you aren't afraid to ask questions and you let people know your a newbie, you'll be fine.