Is it necessary for men to shave their legs for the race? I have read a few articles that state that it is proper etiquette. Also, if one is to shave their legs, then what about the arms?
I have my first race in a few weeks and was just wondering.
Etiquette? I don't see how that word fits the context. You are not hurting anyone else by not shaving. It will, however, make you faster on the swim (assuming no wetsuit) because bald legs (and arms) slightly reduce your effective drag in the water. Also, many bikers shave also to reduce the pain/rash in the event of a crash. If this is your first race, don't worry about it. Just go out and do your best.
I shave for a couple of reasons. One it does help with wound maintenance. But I find the risk of crashing is much less training and racing in triathlons because you aren't riding in a pack or drafting. I main reason I do it is to be identified as part of a group. Think of it as the secret handshake of the bike racing/triathlete fraternity.
Ok all that taken on board, what does anybody recommend for shaving the legs. Thinking about doing it for a race and general training but the thought of using a razor scarys me a bit!!!
What do other people use?!?!
If a razor is "scary" for you, try using a set of hair clippers, Wahl makes good ones. Just put them on the lowest setting (i.e. don't use any of the plastic attachements) and they will cut your hair on your legs very short, almost bald. You won't really cut yourself with them, and you can always shave off that stubble with a regular razor if you prefer to later.
I think it is ridiculous that men should think they should shave their legs for being a triathlete. It is bad enough being a woman and having to do it because women are not supposed to have hairy legs. If I were a man you better believe that I would be one hairy triathlete. Be yourself and do what feels good for you.
I don't think it's necessary at all, however once you try it, you'll likely never want to go back to hairy legs.
I simply think it feels better when doing any of the three sports and to me looks a whole lot cleaner. Enough so that I had it all permanently lasered off.
I shave for a few reasons: One is for wound maintenance...if you crash, hair gets in the way of the healing process. A second reason is for the look of a "real" cyclist/triathlete (see "secret handshake" as mentioned above). Another reason is because it feels good to be clean-shaven...when my kids climb on me, they sometimes pull on my hairy arms, legs and chest (ouch!). And another reason is that is shows off muscle definition better. As for the "how to?" - I use a double edge razor. I tried waxing, but it's just too painful. I'm looking into the permanent (lazer) hair removal...no more stubs, no more shaving, no more worring about it at all.
-The concept behing shaving your legs has less to do with wound care than how bad the original wound is. Hair creates "drag" in a slide and the pull on your skin will result in much worse road rash in event of a crash.
-It's best not to wax. Waxing rips hair out from the roots and causes hair to grow back thicker and tougher. If you're not comfortable with a razor try Nair. There are additional advantages of Nair in that the tip of the hair is softer when it grows back and you don't have that stubble thing going on.
-As a woman let me say that shaved legs...and the nice muscle definition it shows off in triathletes...well, its just plain sexy.
Here's my take on the subject...
There might be one practical reason to do it (road rash), and the rest is all about asthetics. Enough said.
I've got to agree with runtrail. As a woman, I think it is so sexy when guys have their legs shaved...and it makes cleaning up after a fall much, much easier. The last thing you want to be doing is picking stuff out of road rash. That's not fun at all!
We had a coach talk to our training group about triathlon basics, and the leg-shavnig issue came up. He gave 4 reasons why men shave their legs:
1. Helps with wounds
2. "the look"
3. Makes it easier to massage cramps
and here's the bizarre one, only at the super-high pro-level:
4. It's cleaner if you don't want to stop at a port-o-potty on your bike.
That's no reason for me to shave my legs personally, but apparently it can make a difference.
If anyone decides to use "Nair"... Make sure you test out a small area on your leg and wait about 24 hours for a reaction. Some people get a VERY bad skin rash from Nair. If your skin is sensitive or allergic, you'll be thinking more about the burning irritation than you will about the race.