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16883 Views 74 Replies Latest reply: Aug 22, 2010 8:08 AM by KK74 RSS 1 2 3 ... 5 Previous Next
GottaTriLK Rookie 3 posts since
Jul 6, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 6, 2010 11:42 AM

My First Triathlon

Hi! So I am doing my first triathlon in a few weeks, and I have no idea what I need to wear.

Do I need a wetsuit, I'd rather not get one.

I'm a girl, is a sports bra and tri shorts with a swimsuit over them okay for the swim, take the suit off and put a shirt on and im good for the bike and run?

The triathlon im going to uses chips, do I need to by a chip holder, or will they give me one?

I've heard cotton socks are bad, what other socks are there? (I must wear socks)

Thanks!

  • Iron Dawg Pro 111 posts since
    Oct 8, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jul 6, 2010 12:31 PM (in response to GottaTriLK)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    The water temp would have to be 76 degrees or colder in order for you to be allowed to wear a wetsuit.  Unless it is a full Ironman race there usually isn't a place to "change clothing."  You can rent wetsuits and that is what I'd recommend your first couple of times.  Tri suits are the best thing to wear but females can get away with bathing suits.  Just try to avoid changing or having to put on clothing as it is very difficult when wet, even more so in a hurry.  A race belt, usually about $5 is highly recommended for your race number as pins are difficult and not easy to swim with or add during transition.  The race usually gives chip holders with the chip, some even mandate that you use theirs even if you have your own.  Again, socks are hard to put on when wet but if you must I'd practice putting them on when your feet and legs are wet.  Most new triathletes do wear socks and most vets do not (bike and or run).





    Iron Dawg

    Favorite quote:

    "If you're not gettting better you're getting worse."

  • Amigold Legend 187 posts since
    Nov 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jul 6, 2010 1:30 PM (in response to GottaTriLK)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    You never have to have a wetsuit.  But if the water is colder than 73 degrees, you might consider renting a wetsuit. You'll be warmer, and go faster, and be more bouyant.  But you don't have to have one.

     

    Skip the swimsuit. You won't need it. Wear your tri shorts and sports bra, or your tri shorts and a tri shirt (with a bra underneath or some have built in bras). Don't waste time stripping off a swimsuit as it will be wet and tight and in your way.  Find a shirt you can wear in the water; a tri shirt is best. Everyone does that.  Then go for the whole thing in the shorts, bra and shirt. You'll dry off fast while on the bike!

     

    They will give you a chip holder.  It goes around your ankle.

     

    Buy wicking synthetic socks at a running or bike store; the thinner the better. I use socks in tris longer than a Sprint.  Be prepared for a bit of a struggle to put them on!

  • JNocerin Rookie 7 posts since
    Mar 22, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jul 13, 2010 6:37 PM (in response to Amigold)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    Can someone tell me more about tri short and tri shirts...perhaps point to some links?

  • Iron Dawg Pro 111 posts since
    Oct 8, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jul 13, 2010 8:04 PM (in response to JNocerin)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    They are a little different depending on male/female but basicly the shorts are very similar to cycling shorts but with smaller padding.  The tops can be quite different as they are sleeveless and have a lot less pockets if they have pockets at all.  They are designed to fit very tight.  There are also one peice suits (which I like but aren't all that common).  You are best off going to a few bike shops and trying a few different brands on as they can be fairly different and you wouldn't want to order your first one over the internet (you could get lucky but they can be somewhat pricey).





    Iron Dawg

    Favorite quote:

    "If you're not gettting better you're getting worse."

  • Amigold Legend 187 posts since
    Nov 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jul 14, 2010 8:12 AM (in response to JNocerin)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    Here's one link: www.trisports.com, check on triathlon clothing and then page through each manufacturer to see if anything catches your eye. I like Zoot stuff but everyone has their own preferences.

     

    Any good bike shop in your area should also carry some tri shorts and tri shirts so you can try (tri? Sorry couldn't resist) them on in person.  They usually won't have as wide a selection as they will bike gear, keep that in mind.

     

    Terry

     

    www.fiftythreetoseventypointthree.blogspot.com

  • Icantritoo Amateur 12 posts since
    May 25, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jul 14, 2010 2:13 PM (in response to Amigold)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    I'm about to do my first Sprint Tri in 11 days and I was also really concerned about what to wear.  I didn't have a ton of money to spend on Tri shorts/shirts or suits but I was able to go to a lot of websites and find brands that would work for my body type, I'm short and kind of heavy, I got the sizing and foud a one piece Tri Suit by TYR on Ebay and it only cost me $42.00, which was a steal.  It actually came in the mail today and I was able to try it on.  I feel like I will be able to use this suit for a while, but I have to admit that I feel a little weird about the idea of being out in public like that, but I won't be the only one, I'm sure of that.  I would do some research and then see if you can find anything in the brands that you like at discount sites like Ebay or some of the Triathlon discounters.  Good Luck!





  • ladycheshire5 Amateur 15 posts since
    Jul 15, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jul 15, 2010 10:56 AM (in response to GottaTriLK)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    Rather than start a whole new thread I'll tack onto this one. I'm not registered yet but I want to do my first Tri. Looking at the the Sprint in Long Beach, CA in Sept. I am a solid runner and can run a half marathon at this point. I am a decent cyclist and can ride 30 miles with little trouble. Swimming, however, is my weak link. I've starting practicing my crawl and my form is decent but my breathing sucks. I think I can bring myself up to speed with more practice though.

     

    I have a lot of questions about a triathlon though. The sequence is swim, bike, run. You need all your own stuff. I have the stuff minus a Tri suit... that TYR for <$50 (wow!!) thinking of renting if I can't find one affordable. What to wear, right? run is the last event, bike follows swim - so do you change after the swim? Or do you wear everything under the suit!? (serious newbie here!) And if stuff is left at the transition spot for you change into and get your bike/shoes etc . you have to show up early and give your stuff to event staff, I assume. Then how the hell do you know where to go at the transition to get to your bike? Your running shoes? Is your stuff safe to leave with the staff?

     

    If no one wants to field these questions could someone at least be able to point me in the direction of a good article explaining how this all works?

     

    Good luck to everyone going to their first Tri!!!

     

    Thanks in advance.

     

    Laura

  • Iron Dawg Pro 111 posts since
    Oct 8, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jul 15, 2010 11:09 AM (in response to ladycheshire5)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    Laura,

     

    A "Tri suit" is "all-in-one" so there is no changing - thus the benefit.  Other than a full Ironman event most triathlons are out in the open and therefore changing isn't allowed.  Some creative folks that don't have "tri suits" wear a bathing suit and or may pull on running shorts over a swim suit but the tri suits are the best thing - just put it on and do the whole thing.





    Iron Dawg

    Favorite quote:

    "If you're not gettting better you're getting worse."

  • ladycheshire5 Amateur 15 posts since
    Jul 15, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Jul 15, 2010 2:24 PM (in response to Iron Dawg)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    Thank you for this information, Iron Dawg. Had no idea. Will start shopping around.

     

    Laura

  • Iron Dawg Pro 111 posts since
    Oct 8, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Jul 15, 2010 2:35 PM (in response to ladycheshire5)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    Laura,  just a little more info....Personally I find the tri suits very comfortable albeit not all that flattering.  I now do most of my long runs in my tri shorts (much to my children's horror).  It's like running in compression shorts and while it may be TMI I don't get the chafing as with some running shorts.  Don't know if you'll find the same but I've found them to be a good benefit other than just tri's and some friends of mine have switched to them vs traditions cycling shorts as they like the smaller padding.  We're all different but just thought I'd throw that out.





    Iron Dawg

    Favorite quote:

    "If you're not gettting better you're getting worse."

  • tucsonsam Amateur 8 posts since
    Sep 5, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Jul 15, 2010 4:26 PM (in response to ladycheshire5)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    Hi Laura,

     

    I've only done two tris so far so not an expert but I will say that tri suits are expensive! As a single Mom I can barely afford the entry fee so $150 bucks and up on a suit is out of my reach. A bathing suit doesn't give enough support (you know what I mean) I've solved this until I can afford a tri suit by putting a workout shirt with a built in bra over my suit. I wear my bike shorts too. So you wear your suit for the swim then pull on the sports bra or workout shirt over that (can be tricky cause you're wet, do a trial run) and your bike shorts. That's worked fine for me and no added expense.

     

    I see other triathletes tie a mylar balloon next to their bike so they can find it easier in transition. I'm going to do that for my next one because you're in a rush and its easy to go right past the rack with your bike.

     

    One more tip - in my last tri I discovered honey sticks and they worked great. Better and cheaper than gel packs and easy to down on the way out of transition. Easy on your tummy too.

     

    Welcome to the sport! I absolutely love it hope you will too!

     

    Carolyn

  • ladycheshire5 Amateur 15 posts since
    Jul 15, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Jul 15, 2010 8:48 PM (in response to tucsonsam)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    Thanks guys! Valuable insight. I've been reading some other threads in the newbie section and getting more ideas of what I need to consider and focus on in training and diet etc. I really like the idea of the Trisuit... even though it's pricey. I am not sure I'll be happy dealing with clothing the other way. I'm sure I will not wear socks I don't need them for the bike shoes or running shoes. The ballon idea is awesome! Thanks so much for that. I have no idea what the transitions are going to be like - so thank you!

     

    I saw comments on "Brick" training days. I understand that to be a day you do two events one right after the other - good to do specifically for knowing what to expect and how you will feel transitioning from bike to run. Although, I downloaded a training plan from this website and even at the beginning of the training there are days that list two events though they are not "shaded" and listed as "bricks" but in the last month weeks before race day they are listed as "bricks" and identified by being "shaded". Not sure if anyone knows about this or not but on the early training days that have two events is it suggesting you do the two events *at some point* in that one day? Or is it indeed suggesting a "brick" workout? Example: I think the first Monday of the training is: Swim 12, on top of, Bike 24 . I'm curious if I need to jump out of the pool and onto my bike and ride wet!? then it's an off day followed by: Swim 16, on top of, Run 12.

     

    the training details the final weeks and the shaded blocks as "bricks" but the early ones are not explained.

     

     

    Laura

  • Iron Dawg Pro 111 posts since
    Oct 8, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Jul 16, 2010 6:31 AM (in response to ladycheshire5)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    Just a few small points for consideration:

    • when buying your tri suit spend an extra $5 for a "race belt" (holds your race number so you don't have to pin it".  This way you only have to wear it on the run and it is easy and quick to get on (a small number of races require racers to wear on the bike which is even more important to buy as you'd want to wear your number facing the back if on the bike and facing the front when running.
    • some race directors don't allow balloons so check with the race you are signed up for
    • typically if it doesn't say "brick" then it can be done separately (ex: swim in morning and run at night, etc.).  When it says "brick" then it means that it should be done one after the other - yes that may mean riding the bike wet just like you will on race day.
      • one note though - the transition doesn't have to be so fast on bricks.  You can dry off or even change clothes but don't wait too long or you'll miss the benefit




    Iron Dawg

    Favorite quote:

    "If you're not gettting better you're getting worse."

  • ladycheshire5 Amateur 15 posts since
    Jul 15, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Jul 16, 2010 7:41 AM (in response to Iron Dawg)
    Re: My First Triathlon

    Once again, many thanks. People like you are invaluable to people like me. I do not have a local mentor I can get together with in person or by phone, your insight is awesome.

     

    The belt... is that something you buy separate or something incorporated into the design of the Tri suit? I was looking at an Orca basic race suit... no frills but it's only about $100. The description doesn't say anything about a race belt. ?  Also, there are so many brands out there, Zoot, TYR, Orca... and on and on. Not sure one is better than another. ?

     

    Thanks for the balloon tip. I will check into that. If not a balloon... possibly something else. My bike is canary yellow but I imagine there could be plenty canary yellow bikes. :-/

     

    As far as the brick days go... thanks of that clarification! But, it leads me to another question (sorry). During the week I don't have time to space out two event training sessions. I have this week (before downloading a training schedule) been doing run/swim one right after the other. So, if it isn't dictated as a "brick" day can you still perform it as a brick? Or is there a detriment to your training if you do?

     

    Thanks again!

     

    Laura

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