Months ago, you signed up for a sprint triathlon whose short distances were the perfect introduction to the sport: nearly half a mile of swimming, a 12.5-mile bike, and a 3-mile run. Since then you have followed your training and nutritional plan and feel good. However, when you are on site, the questions pour in: What should you eat? How do you set up your equipment? What should you do when you are kicked in the face while swimming?
For all the advice you need, we talked with Matt Poole, a professional surfing ironman, and Seb Gallery, organizer of the second largest triathlon in the Southern Hemisphere: the Big Husky Triathlon Festival. From racing logistics and bike etiquette to warm-up, she covers all facets of Sprinttri preparation.
1. On the day of the race, do not eat or wear anything new
Both men emphasized that the morning of your first Tri is not the time to experiment. Make sure you have tested your equipment in advance, ideally for a few weeks. Wearing new shoes, a three-piece suit, or a wetsuit can lead to unfortunate amounts of friction and discomfort that can dry performance.
You also want to eat a breakfast that you are familiar with. Poole likes eggs with avocado, sourdough toast, muesli and coffee – a meal that contains protein, fats and carbohydrates that can be easily digested. He says, however, that some of his competitors like a stronger breakfast and take pre-workout supplements, indicating that there is no consistent approach to nutrition. If you are not hungry when you wake up, set the alarm a little earlier so you can fill up with fuel before you start. If you do not eat, you have great difficulty.
If you're traveling to a triathlon and staying at a hotel, go to the grocery store and get some staple food (especially if the hotel's free breakfast is not available) when you wake up). Gallery recommends eating some pieces of bread with peanut butter (or vegemite) and a banana.
As far as hydration is concerned, it is a rookie mistake to drink too much before the race or just to drink water. In the week before the race and on the day of the day he recommends two liters of fluid per day, supplemented with electrolytes contained in hydration powders (we like Klean Hydration and Nuun Sport). He also says he should not drink any liquid for an hour before the race starts (and do not worry if you need to pee your wetsuit – everyone does it) On the bike leg, athletes occasionally bring two bottles of water with them if you drop one. Cycle routes inevitably turn into a water bottle cemetery.
2. Use markers to remember where your equipment is located
If you park your bike at dawn, it may be the only one on the rack. But after getting out of the water, it will lose itself in a sea of them. Therefore, make sure you know where it has parked, especially with respect to the transition point. But do not be creative: you can not tie a balloon to the bike carrier. Just make a mental note when it's near a tree or count the rows.
But do not forget to put your gear under your bike to soften transitions. Hang your helmet on the handlebar with hat, sunglasses and chewing gear. Roll up your socks and put them in your cycling shoes. bring a towel to dry your feet quickly; and keep your running shoes tied so they can slide easily after the cycle. (Gallery also recommends Lock Lace). Also note that in many tris, a time penalty may occur if you pedal before turning on the helmet. You want to keep your transitions fast, but do not rush like a madman back and forth.
3. Anything you forget you can probably buy or borrow
"You're not alone if you forget things," says Gallery, who says he has to buy a racing belt – the strip of fabric that contains your start number – at least 60 times. With every triathlon, there is a supplier showcase that offers the most you need, and your competitors can also be a valuable resource. "It's a fantastic community," says Gallery. "In almost every race I participated in, a competitor lends wheels or hoses because someone has ripped a tire." However, if you're looking for equipment, make sure you're sorted in time for the safety briefing. This is typically 15 minutes before the first heat. Then they will cover all last-minute changes and guide you through the course. If you have any questions that are unlikely in the gallery's view, ask for the race director.
. 4 If you're nervous about swimming, stand up accordingly
Gallery points out that if you really hurt your legs when cycling or running, you can always stop to catch your breath, whatever She is not an option, swimming. According to Gallery: "We have a lot of safety in the water. So if you need to take a break and take a breather, you can pick up one of their craft skills and have a chat. There is no penalty for that. "If you are particularly nervous when being hit in the water, start on the right side of the field. If the course has a swimming barge, the swimmers are moved by the officials, with small groups of each heat being staggered. This is great because you have more space. When all of your heat starts together – you kick with water – things get bigger and chaotic. There is a high chance that you will be kicked in the face, someone will swim over you, and you will feel hands touching your feet and legs. Try to keep calm and focus on your strokes when things are too hectic, tipping to the outer edge of the swimmers.
If you're worried about overheating or do not have enough shoulder mobility, you should opt for a wetsuit. "Wetsuits reduce air resistance by lifting your hips and boosting your buoyancy, making them a great investment," says Gallery. Gallery floats in a Zone 3 wetsuit, but also recommends Blueseventy, Orca or TYR, and says that something in the range of $ 500 is probably of good quality. Two words of caution. If you plan to become sleeveless, you should know that the suit is more likely to attract water and give you less lift. An excellent brand that offers full-sleeved wetsuits that will not hinder your movement. Second, if you participate in a US Triathlon competition, there are rules for the maximum water temperatures that you can wear a wetsuit: you can wear it at water temperatures up to and including 78 ° F for each race. You can wear one at your own discretion if it is above 78 degrees but below 84 degrees, but does not win prizes or prizes. However, it is never allowed that a suit is thicker than 5 millimeters. You will be disqualified.
. 5 Stay warm and mobile with your heat
Once your equipment is ready, it's time to do the same for your body. If you can use your equipment, Poole recommends warming up in reverse order (running, cycling, swimming) to get you ready for the first leg. And he recommends stretching to prepare the whole body. As you go in and out of a deep lunge, your thigh muscles, hips, and quads stretch. Then a good cat / cow gets the spine moving. Take the time to stretch your shoulders.
Once you're nice and warm, you can concentrate on the reason you're there: swimming, cycling, and walking as you thought possible.  The best energy chews and gels for endurance training