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  1. #1
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
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    Doing first tri in July...tips from tri veterans?

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    I have been saying for years that I should do a triathlon and decided this is the year that I am actually going to do it...so I signed up for the Norway Tri in Norway, ME (www.norwaytri.com). It's a sprint, and I am just looking to participate and have fun rather than necessarily be competitive, so I don't think the training will be much of an issue (I run and bike quite a bit anyway, and used to be on swim teams so won't have a problem picking back up with swimming other than getting better at sighting while doing freestyle in open water). However, I am wondering about some of the logistics like what to wear and how transitions usually work since that will be something new for me. I probably will not get a wetsuit since the swim is in a lake in the middle of summer so the water temperature should not be a problem. Should I: a) wear a regular swim suit and throw on a pair of board shorts before getting on the bike; b) wear tri shorts and a tri top (I have a pair of the shorts already); or c) get a 1-piece tri suit? The first option uses things I already have, which is nice, but adds an extra step to the transition and may feel awkward on the bike/run. With the other two, I would have to buy something new, and I wonder how the separate shorts/top would be for swimming (potential issue with shorts sliding down or top riding up). What do those of you who have done tris before suggest?
    2011 Surly LHT
    1995 Trek 830

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    257
    I've done a few tris over the years just for fun. I'm slow, but I keep going. I have used all of your options. My fave is currently a 2 piece tri suit--much easier for pre-race visits to the portapots. I have not noticed the shorts going anywhere and the top seems fairly form fitting. I wear a wetsuit, so it cannot go anywhere during the race. That's not why I wear the wetsuit, but it is an added bonus. All of your options are fine. Try not to get sucked into the gear buying frenzy, at least for your first year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    I did a sprint just for fun a few years ago, and because I wasn't sure whether I'd like it enough to continue with the sport, I didn't want to buy anything new just for that race. What I did, I picked my likeliest pairs of cycling shorts (more minimal/less absorbent chamois, more supportive/less saggy fabric) and wore them into the shower to see how much water the chamois would soak up and whether they'd stay in place when wet. The pair I picked worked fine. Then I just wore a sports bra on top. I was prepared to throw on a running jersey at T1, but since they don't require you to cover your shoulders and it was so hot that day, I just did the whole thing in bra and shorts.

    Probably depends more than a little on what temperatures you expect.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I have lots of experience and would be happy to help in any way that I can.

    I would go with the tri shorts and get a tri top. The tri gear should not slip or slide if you are swimming without a wet suit. You want to fiddle as little as possible in transition.
    Some of my tri tops I wear a sports bra under also. Just a little extra coverage. In the warmer weather, I am sweaty as soon as I start to ride anyway, so it does not matter if the sports bra is wet.

    What else???

    Are you going to run in socks? Is there a run to T1 from the swim exit?

  5. #5
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocknrollgirl View Post
    I have lots of experience and would be happy to help in any way that I can.

    I would go with the tri shorts and get a tri top. The tri gear should not slip or slide if you are swimming without a wet suit. You want to fiddle as little as possible in transition.
    Some of my tri tops I wear a sports bra under also. Just a little extra coverage. In the warmer weather, I am sweaty as soon as I start to ride anyway, so it does not matter if the sports bra is wet.

    What else???

    Are you going to run in socks? Is there a run to T1 from the swim exit?
    There is a run on a wood-chip surface from the swim to T1. I probably will run in socks just because I think my shoes will be too loose if I don't, but it might be worth experimenting to see if going sockless would work. Because I have flat pedals/Powergrips on my bike (yes, I'm going to ride the Surly, much to some people's amusement I'm sure), I will not need to change shoes in T2. As far as the tri tops go, are the built-in bras any good (for a C cup) or would I be better off getting one without and wearing a separate sports bra? Somebody else made a good point about the shorts/top combo being easier for last-minute bathroom trips which I had not thought about but definitely makes sense.
    2011 Surly LHT
    1995 Trek 830

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    If you are a C cup, get a tri top without a shelf bra if you can and wear a sports bra under. If you cannot find one without, they are easy enough to deal with if you have scissors handy. No joke, I have cut a few of mine out.

    Depending on how long the run is to T1, you make want to consider a pair of slip on shoes to run in. I have a pair of slip on water sneakers that I use specifically for rough terrain between the swim exit and T1. I have had to do up to a 1/2 mile, sometimes it is just ugly. Any shoes that are easy to get on will work.

    If you normally run in socks, I would suggest you race in them. Keep an extra bike bottle of plain water in transition. You can use it to squirt your feet and get the grit off. Keep a small towel for this job also. The socks will have to go on wet, so pre-roll them down to make it easier. And I have to sit down to do this. No shame in sitting.

    I keep my bike glasses inside my helmet so I know where they are.

    Do you have a race number belt? If not get one. They are not expensive. That way you can attach your number to it and put it on in T1 and forget about it.

  7. #7
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
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    It looks like it is going to be pretty hard to find a tri top without the built-in bra (and in an acceptable color)...may have to suck it up and get one with and cut it out if it's not adequate. Kind of annoying, really. Good point about the race belt...I wouldn't have thought of that but it sounds helpful.
    2011 Surly LHT
    1995 Trek 830

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
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    Jolt, I always put some talcum powder in the pre-rolled socks to make them go on more easily with wet feet. And I always sat down too.

    Triathlons are a blast! You'll have fun.
    "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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    1
    You can carry all your gear in a large bucket (drywall mud bucket; Lowe will sell new ones). I use it to sit on at T1 T2 to put on my shoes. Practice the transitions now.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    4
    Go for a swimming wetsuit since it is like a full-body floatie, helping you stay level on the water, as well as much warmer.

 

 

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