I'm doing my first traithlon in Dallas on October 14 and am looking for gear I'll need. I have no idea what to expect. I purchased a tri-top and tri-shorts hoping that I can wear those the whole race. I'm not planning to wear a wetsuit. Should I seriously reconsider? What do I do with the number? I don't plan on winning the race or even my age group, but I want to be as fast as I can. I want the transitions to be as simple and quick as possible. The less dressing the better I think. Any thoughts?
I'm also trying to train hard, but being a marathoner I don't feel like I'm running enough miles. I run 3 times a week, running close to 20 miles per week. I cycle three times and swim three times also. I just don't feel like I can run fast with that few miles. I'll be glad for any advice you can share to alleviate my undertraining fears.
Lots of questions there!!
There are two reasons to wear a wetsuit: warmth and buoyancy. If the water's warm (and I imagine it is in Dallas), you don't need one for warmth. If you've trained without one and you have decent form, you don't need the buoyancy. Less experienced swimmers benefit more than others from their hips and legs being higher in the water. There's also a confidence factor if you're intimidated by the open water.
Most triathletes use a "number belt" - a stretchy elastic thing with a buckle that you can put on quickly in T1. Alternatively, you could attach the number to a top you plan to bike and run in but not swim with.
What distance is the triathlon? Tough to comment on your fitness at 20 miles/week without knowing that. You're all set for a sprint - less so for an Ironman.
Don't forget to have fun!
agree w/ above poster about wetsuits and race belts. for faster transitions look at elastic shoe laces like yankz or quick laces and the key to a speedy transition is lots of practice. layout out your stuff and practice what to do. also on race day take a minute or two and find landmarks (or make some) to find your spot and exits quickly.
my lousy .02 is more important than running miles are if you are doing any BRICKS - a bike ride followed immediately by a run- it's a lot harder than it sounds. try adding in once a week if you havebn't already. good luck and have fun
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)
I agree with what everyone has said before, race number belts are a plus, they help save time and your clothes since now you don't have to pin through them. the speed laces are also a plus, but make sure you put them into a good pair of shoes. Many people go out and spend thousands of dollars on a bike, and hunderds on a wetsuit then $50 on a pair of running shoes. It just doesn't make sense, they will help save your knees as you get older. I'd also make sure you look into nutrition for the race. Eating and drinking, The olympic may not require the calories that an Ironman does but it will still bonk like one if you don't hit properly.
I had to cut my running miles back to work more on the bike, and it has really helped. I have heard from many people that biking helps running, but running does not help biking. I do find that my run has not suffered (actually improved) after cutting running miles and adding in biking miles. Have fun at your race!
If you are a marathoner don't worry about the mileage, your fine with 20 per week. If you check the July issue of Runners world you will see that 20 is fine for a 5k. Plus you have the experience of running which helps volumes, you already have that mental focus from marathons. Keep in mind that when training for tri's you have don't have to hit every discipline 5 times a week to accel in your age group or the race in general. Remember these days, training has moved more towards quality over quantity, and this has(from what I have read), served many well. So do your speed work once a week, a long run, and your brick. You will be all set. If you are a strong swimmer, I strongly reccomend not wearing a wetsuit if the water temp will be in the 70's. Good luck nad train smart!
You may also want to check, some tri's don't allow wetsuits if the water is too warm. So you could be looking into buying one, and not being able to use it. I'm not sure of the water temps but as I think Joe mentioned they can help or hinder you depending on your swim. Mine helped me in the longer swim for the 70.3 but in the sprint I think I would have spent more time removing it than swimming with out it since the distance was so short.
I think fish boy also put it pretty good, its not the quantity of the workout, but the quality. Unless of course you are an old school triathlete. Look up Dave Scotts work out in the Xterra issue of triathlete mag it is a good power/speed work drill. Fish boy has been doing it for a couple weeks now and I just started it, it works pretty good.