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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    226

    What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Then...

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    Okay, I have about 7 weeks until my first ever tri event, half aquabike (1.2 mile swim/56 mile bike) and know there are a gazillion things I don't know that would help me.. those things you learn along the way by doing. I've been biking for years and years and have learned a couple of things that would help a newbie avoid the mistakes I made.

    What do you know now that You wish you'd known then??
    What advice would you give a newbie?

    Thanks for any and all replies!

    Susan
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

    http://www.loveofbikes.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,324
    Review the course, ride it if you can.

    Will there be traffic control the day of your event? Not stopping at stop signs is weird.

    Are you wearing a wetsuit? If you are, swim in it beforehand. Swimming is different in a wetsuit. Open water if you can, pool if you can't. Just rinse it out really well.

    Most swim/bike transitions involve having right off on the bike. Make sure you're in the appropriate gear when you rack your bike on race day.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    226
    "Review the course, ride it if you can.

    I've seen the route map and although I don't ride there frequently I'm very familiar with it.

    Will there be traffic control the day of your event? Not stopping at stop signs is weird.

    Yes there will be... and that will definitely be weird!

    Are you wearing a wetsuit? If you are, swim in it beforehand. Swimming is different in a wetsuit. Open water if you can, pool if you can't. Just rinse it out really well.

    I will be wearing a wetsuit and I've swam in it 3 times - pool. Initially I thought it was too small because I was close to needing a larger size (chest area restrictive) but the last time I swam in it I felt more comfortable. A trick I learned was after getting in pool I pulled on neck to put water into suit then I was able to adjust it more easily and make it feel less restrictive. I bought it from Xterra and talked to them about fit - they recommended I stay with current size. Definitely different to swim in, didn't like it the first two times but by the third I was singing it's praises...

    Most swim/bike transitions involve having right off on the bike. Make sure you're in the appropriate gear when you rack your bike on race day."

    Not sure what you mean? By appropriate gear do you mean running shoes so I can run/walk to the finish after racking my bike? I've watched videos of previous events and read posts and it seems there is some distance to get to finish - some people commented that it was confusing and they had done events before. The transitions worry me the most because I don't have a clue what they're like.

    Veronica, I really appreciate the tips, thanks!
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

    http://www.loveofbikes.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Hudson, MA
    Posts
    171
    Don't try anything new on race day.

    Wear what you are going to wear for a training ride/swim.
    Test out any foods/drinks that you are going to use while training.

    Sharon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    226
    Thanks Sharon, the nutrition part will be different. Normally when I ride long distances I eat fruit, nuts, etc. and drink electrolyte replacement drinks for fuel. With an event like this I've been told I should eat my normal breakfast (toast/pb) about 2 hours before event, then gel 30 minutes before and something like Perpetuem during ride for fuel. I have samples of Perpetuem and have tried it with no bad effects so will probably stick with that and use Heed in other bottle, plus gels. Sound like a good plan?
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

    http://www.loveofbikes.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,324
    Sorry - I left out the word hill!

    Leaving the swim usually involves riding up a hill. You'll probably be a little discombobulated after the swim, so have your bike in an easy gear to start.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,436
    Quote Originally Posted by SLash View Post
    Thanks Sharon, the nutrition part will be different. Normally when I ride long distances I eat fruit, nuts, etc. and drink electrolyte replacement drinks for fuel. With an event like this I've been told I should eat my normal breakfast (toast/pb) about 2 hours before event, then gel 30 minutes before and something like Perpetuem during ride for fuel. I have samples of Perpetuem and have tried it with no bad effects so will probably stick with that and use Heed in other bottle, plus gels. Sound like a good plan?
    That's exactly what I do for Olympic length triathlons--normal breakfast (usually 3-4 hours before the race starts, because you're usually up that early anyway), gel before swim, Perpetuum on bike. Has worked very well for me. My husband the rando will empty a few capsules of Endurolytes into the Perpetuum if it's really hot out. I've taken to having two yogurts before races for breakfast since they sit easily in my stomach.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Hudson, MA
    Posts
    171
    By not trying anything new I was mostly referring to don't eat/drink something that you haven't eaten before. Since you are doing the aquabike and not running that gives you more flexibility as most people can typically handle solid foods better on the bike.

    I am actually doing a HIM distance in 3 weeks, my coach recommended that I take in 150-200 calories per hour on the bike but this is mostly to fuel for the run.

    My pre-race breakfast is always PB on a whole wheat bagel and a banana.
    For all distances I usually have a gel 20 minutes before the swim, for sprints I don't eat anything else and it just electrolyte water on the bike. On the Olympic Distance I added some power bites on the bike as well as a bottle of GU Brew (I can't stand most drinks) and some power gels on the run.

    My plan for the HIM is to have 2 bottles on the bike (140 cal each) and a small Clif Bar in the first hour on the bike. The run I will use a GUs, I find for longer runs about one gel every 45-60 minutes.

    I find I need to mix it up as if I just to gels it upsets my stomach. The key thing is to find what works for you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    2,033
    I will be wearing a wetsuit and I've swam in it 3 times - pool. Initially I thought it was too small because I was close to needing a larger size (chest area restrictive) but the last time I swam in it I felt more comfortable. A trick I learned was after getting in pool I pulled on neck to put water into suit then I was able to adjust it more easily and make it feel less restrictive. I bought it from Xterra and talked to them about fit - they recommended I stay with current size. Definitely different to swim in, didn't like it the first two times but by the third I was singing it's praises...

    Right -flood it and adjust, then get out again to shed the water - I found myself carrying a gallon of water round my belly (mine isn't very snug)

    Not sure what you mean? By appropriate gear do you mean running shoes so I can run/walk to the finish after racking my bike? I've watched videos of previous events and read posts and it seems there is some distance to get to finish - some people commented that it was confusing and they had done events before. The transitions worry me the most because I don't have a clue what they're like.

    You can run to finish in your bike shoes . they might even have mats or carpeting (or the finish line might be before you rack) - no time lost changing into shoes.

    Transition: as soon as you get out of the Water, start undoing the Zipper and getting out of the suit - pull down to the hips on the run. Practice getting out of the legs by standing on the suit, lookup a video. The longer you wait the more it sticks. I often get close to a cramp getting out...
    It's a little secret you didn't know about us women. We're all closet Visigoths.

    2008 Roy Hinnen O2 - Selle SMP Glider
    2009 Cube Axial WLS - Selle SMP Glider
    2007 Gary Fisher HiFi Plus - Specialized Alias

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,251
    I would have shoes to run across the finish line in. This particular race has a fairly long run to the finish line (you exit transition then run down a sidewalk and turn down the red carpet to the finish line). You won't want to do that in bike shoes- or even barefoot because of the hot pavement. Even if you run in sandals- I would have something quick to throw on and run in.

    Come swim in the lake 2 days prior to the race. You can swim Thursday and Friday mornings. And although the buoys won't be set up, you can get a feel for where you'll exit the swim and run up to transition.

    There is a little hill heading out of transition on the bike, so yes, gearing down a little will be helpful.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    226
    Thanks everyone for the tips and suggestions!

    Veronica, Gear, as in gear not stuff, got it. Good idea on making sure bike is in easier gear, no telling how my legs will feel at first.

    AlpRabbit, I have a helluva time getting my wetsuit off. I will unzip and start it as I'm making my way to transition and maybe use the suit strippers to help me.

    TriGirl, I will definitely take advantage of the swims on both days before. I want to get out to the lake soon just to see the course, just to visualize how it will be. I found the map online from last year's, do you know if it is the same? I swear if we don't get rain soon we won't be able to swim anyway, and between that and the heat we may not be able to wear wetsuits. That wetsuit gives me confidence because of the buoyancy, I really hope they're allowed. I'm going to plan on them not being just in case.

    Is there an opportunity to get in the water before I start to get my suit wet and adjusted? I would guess once the waves start, there wouldn't be.

    Thanks all.
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

    http://www.loveofbikes.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,324
    Oh use the wetsuit pullers if they have them! I was too scared to my first race - didn't know what to do. Don't worry - they tell you and it goes so much faster than when I try to get out of it by myself.


    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    226
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica View Post
    Oh use the wetsuit pullers if they have them! I was too scared to my first race - didn't know what to do. Don't worry - they tell you and it goes so much faster than when I try to get out of it by myself.


    Veronica
    Okay, I think I will, my inclination is the same as yours was on your first race, but what the hell.
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

    http://www.loveofbikes.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    2,033
    wetsuit pullers. NICE!! we usually have peeps helping you get out of the water, but not out of your suit :-)
    It's a little secret you didn't know about us women. We're all closet Visigoths.

    2008 Roy Hinnen O2 - Selle SMP Glider
    2009 Cube Axial WLS - Selle SMP Glider
    2007 Gary Fisher HiFi Plus - Specialized Alias

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,251
    Quote Originally Posted by SLash View Post

    TriGirl, I will definitely take advantage of the swims on both days before. I want to get out to the lake soon just to see the course, just to visualize how it will be. I found the map online from last year's, do you know if it is the same? I swear if we don't get rain soon we won't be able to swim anyway, and between that and the heat we may not be able to wear wetsuits. That wetsuit gives me confidence because of the buoyancy, I really hope they're allowed. I'm going to plan on them not being just in case.

    Is there an opportunity to get in the water before I start to get my suit wet and adjusted? I would guess once the waves start, there wouldn't be.
    The wetsuit strippers are wonderful! You just pull the wetsuit off your torso down to your waist, lay on the carpet with your feet up and they rip it off. It's nice!

    I doubt the course will be the same as last year. I don't know if you've been out to Hefner lately, but there is a beach where the course was last year down the side of the dam. The water is low there anyway (waist deep) but it's just sand now. They may have to change the course to what it was when I did the full in 2006 (a triangle out to the middle of the lake). That year the lake was really low, too, and we had to run about 100 yards in the mud up to the water exit ramp. It wasn't ideal, but it is what it is....

    And yes, you will be able to get in the water to do a warm up before the race begins. They'll call you out about 30 minutes before the start, tho.

    I, too, hope it's wetsuit legal. I can swim the distance with no problem, but for that long, I would like to save my legs for the bike. I might just wear it anyway. It means I wouldn't be eligible for prizes, but I'm not going to win anything anyway so the trade off for confidence would be worth it to me!
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

 

 

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