So..I'm giving it a try.
After 6 half-marathons and a handful of shorter races I've decided to try a triathlon. I am in good shape, my swim is about 30mins, and run is about 57mins....my problem is the bike. I wasn't much of a bike rider before, although I bought a cheap road bike (which I like)...but my longest distance has only been 16 miles. I average a 4 min/mile. I am nervous! Before every race, I have doubts if I'll finish...Even though I always do...but this time I have equipment i have to worry about. What if I get a flat tire? I don't know how to fix one! The tri is in 10 days...and even though my bike times are slow (the average speeds for the bike section for this olympic tri in my age division was 3:20 min/mile) i still don't want to feel discouraged.
After all the blabbering...do you have any advice??? lol
FIrst, Don't worry about the bike speed, especially with your first race at that distance.
Secondly, if you could find a friend who can walk you through and watch you change a flat tire, I think it might resolve some of the anxiety. It really is something you need to be able to do out on the course, just in case.
Don't worry, the bike shop will take care of you. You'll need:
- A small saddle bag to hold stuff under your seat
- A new tube (you don't want to mess with patching). Be sure the bike shop knows what size tire you have on your bike, and the tube you're using. It's probably something like a 700x23, but you should probably just bring your bike and let them take a look.
- a set of 3 tire levers for removing one side of the tire from the rim
- a small CO2 tire inflator
- a couple of CO2 catridges
It's pretty cheap stuff.
And you should definitely deflate your tire this week and refill it from the CO2 system so you know how it feels and works. You just don't want to be playing with new stuff out on the course for the first time.
Most of all, don't panic, have fun, and practice changing the tire a time or two. If you've got marathon fitness, you're ot going to have any problems in your race.
Race your race and have fun doing it. Don't worry about times, you will have plenty of time to worry about that stuff after your first finish and you are looking to improve. Remember that a lot of people at the race will be doing their first tri also and you are not alone.
Don't worry about patching a tube, just replace it. Go to your LBS and have them show you how to replace a tube and set you up with a saddle bag. One of my issues with LBS is that they never teach you how to change a tube but will spend time showing you how to shift.
One thing about racing is that there are many things that can happen that are out of your control (weather, waves, people, flats, etc). If something happens, except it, stay calm, and get back on track.
Enjoy your race and let me know how it went.
GREG C. MORIATES
Owner/Coach - LET ME HELP YOU ACHIEVE GREATNESS!
Team/Club Xtreme Multisports, Inc.
VCRC Bikes | FFWD | Synergy Sports| SportMulti | Skins USA | Rudy Project | Athletes Honey Milk | Honey Stinger | Tri Life Gear
Hey there Triitforme,
The best thing about your bike, no matter the brand/features/etc is that YOU like it! :-) That is a huge positive.
No matter if you're on the swim/bike/run, it helps me to know pre-race and on race day that I'll be passed by many athletes and I'll likely pass some back or pass others. Then when it happens on race day, it doesn't throw me off, and I can focus on the plan I have for my race experience vs. tuning in to others' performances and then questioning mine.
There are many things out of our control on race day. If you fear getting a flat, decide how you'll handle it, practice and keep a tiny cheatsheet with you in case you panic.
It's hard getting passed, even if you're going fast and even if it's your first race. Yes the focus should be on fun and on the experience---that will likely determine your long-term desire to race. But know that your speed on the swim bike or run doesn't determine your worth as a person or as an athlete. And that it's totally normally to wonder how your speed compares with others and to want to keep up. Look at some success measures for the race that have nothing to do with time.
I hope it goes well and that you'll stay connected here,
Sara Cox Landolt