So you want to try a tri? Good on you, gorgeous! There’s nothing quite like the unique challenge a triathlon brings, especially when you’ve got all the other life stuff going on. Whether you are starting out with a small enticer tri in your local community or going the whole fat hot and literally jumping in the deep end with a 70.3 (or a full, whatever blows your crazy hair back!), this is one arena that you don’t want to stand out from the pack. Unless you’re winning the damn thing, then shine shine shine, you clever little bugger!
Whilst you might be new to the event scene, you don’t want to look it. You’re nervous AF and probably contemplating doing a #2 in your brand-new wetsuit (and you know who would have to clean that shit up! Pardon the pun!), last thing you want is to stick out like brand new dog’s balls! So I’ve come up with some tips from the pro’s to make you at least SEEM like you know what the hell you’re doing out there!
It’s All About The Getup
Your gear will give you away before you even pick up your race pack. You don’t need all the fandangle, sponsored athlete getup, but you can’t wear a baggy tee and lycra bike shorts aka 1987. Invest in some decent gear specifically designed for triathlon; it dries quicker, fits better and you’ll be feeling so badass in your ‘pro’ threads you won’t even notice your aching arse or boob chafe. And speaking of sore arses, tri shorts have just enough padding to cushion your lady garden but not so much that you look like you got your maxi pad wet. Buy some.
One word – lube. Oil your body up like that Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers movie and keep it flowing. Get people to squirt it on you as you run past them. Implant little sporadic lube-squirting mechanisms into your tri suit. Fill up a pothole in the road before the event and accidentally fall into that lube-filled chasm during the run. Just lube yourself!
Everywhere will chafe, EVERYWHERE, and the body pain after an event is nothing compared to the sting of chafe in a hot shower. I’ve known people to swear off future events just from the burn of post-race chaffage.
Fancy being strangled by your wetsuit cord whilst you’re trying to swim a few km’s? Learn how that sucker attaches to your wetsuit NOW and give it a few test runs. All your attempts at breaking free from the grasp of the killer-cord will be futile, as this bastard loves a good wriggler to really get tangled around your throat/arm/leg or, heaven forbid, a close competitors appendage!
This is not rest time, nor is it your bedroom. Keep it compact and organised and don’t have a sit down and take in the view. Real estate is at a premium in the transition zone so think hand towel sized layout (don’t Instagram it! Just keep moving) and keep your shit in your zone.
Transition is for changing from one leg to the other, that’s it. No selfies, no returning text messages, possibly toilet stops if necessary but definitely not for a chin wag. Focus and move on – and don’t forget your head. Goggles on the bike leg is not sexy and running with helmet makes you look like a magpie-fearing tosser.
The biggest rule of any kind of competitive racing event thingo is NO NEW STUFF ON
RACE DAY, and it couldn’t apply more appropriately to what you put in your mouth. Don’t get brainwashed by the hot 12 year old at the BoomPowAwesomeFast gels and powders setup and think all the cool kids are doing it, why can’t I? Your body is in stress during your event, don’t confuse it with new nutrition choices and end up with your head (or your arse) in the bushes.
Stay tuned for more tips in Top Newbie Triathlete Tips Pt 2