Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Newbie Triathlete - Help Needed!

Did anyone catch the inaugural Iron Girl Triathlon in Las Vegas show on NBC this weekend? I PVR'ed it and watched it Sunday evening. It definitely helped me to get excited for my upcoming first tri. Something I won't be attempting is the "undo my shoes while riding to attempt a flying dismount" thing. That just sounds like I'm asking for a definite opportunity to face plant.

So with that, I need your advice on this tri thing! I have a couple of questions that hopefully you guys can help me out with:
  1. The swim is in a pool, then we run into the parking lot to the transition zone. Do I need a pan of water to rinse my feet, or will a good towelling off do the trick?
  2. Okay, I have tri shorts and a tri top that I'm planning on wearing throughout the race. Um, do I really have to go commando under those shorts?
  3. Nutrition - should I attempt some sort of gel consumption during the race? If so, when? Before I get on the bike, while on the bike, or just after I get off the bike? It is a sprint, so do I really need food?
  4. What do I need to remember besides bike, bike shoes, helmet, and running shoes?


Run For Life said...

Oh man, I meant to watch that but forgot. All I can say is good luck since I have no tri experience!

rocketpants said...

I'll take a stab at your questions, feel free to use them or not:

For the feet, have an extra water bottle at your transition station. Just squirt your feet with the water in the water bottle, and you can just use the towel in transition too.

Actually all bike shorts are commando, tri or otherwise.

The race is short enough that you don't need something, but make sure you have had about 400-500 calories for breakfast about 2 hours before you start and make sure you have had a decent (but not super heavy) dinner the night before. But many people have varied opinions on this one. At *most* one gel, if you must, and I would suggest doing it coming out of transition onto the run, solely because you won't have to fiddle with it on your bike. But as you said, it is a sprint, so sprint is what you will be doing and extra food may not be excited to be in your stomach.

Goggles, race cap(they will give you), race belt (do you have a race belt for running? That is useful). Hat? Sunscreen?

And most of all... have fun!

Sonia said...

I didn't use a bucket for my feet, hell I didn't even use the towel lol

I always wear panties... I just can't get into the whole commando thing..

My friend sent me this list of 'to bring' before my try:

swim cap

Bike (duh)
bike gloves
racing belt
water bottle

running shoes
water bottle

GOOD LUCK! You're going to have a blast =)

Tea said...

Ok---here's my opinion.
A towel is fine, but you'll probably find that in getting to your bike gravel falls off your feet. I usually do a quick wipe with my socks, and I'm done.

Commando is a must. You don't want wet undies chafing you under those shorts!

For Sprint tri's, I put a bottle of gatorade on my bike. It's there just in case. I usually drink about half of it on a sprint on a really hot day. I also have 8oz of gatorade about 20 minutes before I get in the water. If I don't have gatorade then I take a gu before I get in the water. (But I'm really tall and probably weigh more than you, so my calorie requirement is higher).

Even though it's a sprint, the race can still take you over 2 hours to finish. That means you will need some kind of carbohydrate drink/gu to take at some point during the race.

Things to remember:
Sunscreen--put on before you get in the water.



running shoes

If possible, practice your transition in front of your house. You'll learn how to put things on in an order that works best.

Have fun! Make a list a few nights before. Pack your bag the night before and mark off everything as you go. Then, when youthink you've forgotten something you can just look at your list.

Wes said...

Good stuff here. I don't bring a bucket for my feet. I just brush them off with a towel. Going commando is up to you. For sprints, a lot of chicas I know race in the their splishys. But I always go commando in my tri gear.

As far as nutrition goes, you don't need anything for a sprint but water or sports drink. If you want to practice, then take a gel half way through the bike. This will give your stomach time to settle from the swim, plus time to digest it before you start the run. Drink something right after the gel to help it dissolve in your stomach.

There are checklist on the internet for transition gear. Email me if you can't find one. I can send you mine.

Good luck, and have fun!!

Marathon Maritza said...

I am going to be worthless to you in terms of advice (not a tri girl) but I'm excited for you!!

Here's one thing to add to your list:
-Have a blast!!! :)

RoadBunner said...

Once again, you have a great post and great comments right when I need them. It's nice to have you one step ahead of me (duathlon, then triathlon) to break it down for me.