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1st Tri

Morning all,

I have been reading and taking in quite a bit of information/advice from all the posts and articles but when it's your first time there are still a few minor bits of advice needed..... although I am doing a Sprint Tri should I have a day or two off training before the race or just lighten the training load and take it a little easy right up to the day before....
Also do these energy gell type things work?? is a Sprint Tri long enough for these to take effect?

Thanks for your help in advance... getting a little nervous for race day.


  • LancsRiderLancsRider Posts: 205
    My first point is if this is your first Tri regardless of the distance then there is no reason why you should not get excited about it, want to do your very best and have a great day out in the process, hence asking questions on the forum such as this. If you want to take a couple of days off training or take things easy with a gentle bike ride or swim then go for it. Such an approach is far better than thrashing it on the days before your event trying to find an improvement in your fitness levels. Spending time rehersing your transitions and getting your head in a good place would be time well spent.

    In respect to the use of energy gels during the event. A well trained athlete would be more than capable of storing enough energy in his or her body to get them through a sprint tri distance race at a good pace without needing to put more into their system. As we increase race distances/time in the event there is obviously a need to refuel. If your body is not used to this amount of work and as a result it's capacity to store and use energy is not well developed yet, then taking on some energy gel to help you get through to the end may well be a good idea. The best time to do this is obviously during the bike segment when it's digestion is easier to handle. Gels tend to take at least 10 mins or so to get into the system and work best if taken with some water. The other option is to take a bottle of carbohydrate/energy drink on the bike and take it in in smaller doses. Whatever you do try this out in training, the last thing you want to find out in the race is that your approach leaves you feeling uncomfortable throughout the run. Whatever you decide to do reherse a strategy in your own mind, it will be easy to get very excited with other competitors around you in the event and forget to do anything and then start to worry about running out of energy. At the end of the day it is about having a great time, doing your own race, feeling a sense of achievement at the end of the event and learning from the experience.
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144

    The whole when do I stop ease off before a race is different for us all. I would stop 2 days before as I dont always recover quick enough. You dont want you legs being not fully ready.

    Energy gels are great and do work, as for is a sprint long enough to need them thats a good question. I dont always use them but if i do then its as i finish the bike section to give me that bit more energy for the run. We are all different with our fuelling so therts may say different.
  • christian88christian88 Posts: 25
    Did my first tri last week, was a sprint as well. I carried a gel on the run but didn't use it, i preferred to use an energy drink on the bike as suggested here. I find gels give me a slight stomach ache after 5 mins but passes quickly so i only use them in an emergency sugar low.

    As a noobie myself the best advice i can give is to try gels in your training to see how u like them, i found i preferred glucose tablets.
  • j_missinj_missin Posts: 5
    Thanks for the tips..
    I will try a few things training this week to see what works best and give myself a few days off before Sunday as I venture to Newmarket for the race.. Maybe see one or two of you there??

    Even the last few posts have been great from check lists to knocking time off the bike section all invaluable advice... I am already gearing up for another one before I have finished this one!!!
    Quite adictive this Triathlon thing....

  • MGMG Posts: 470
    I've said it before and I'll say it again.............

    Here it is, hope this helps..........

    7 DAYS OUT.........
    Check your bike, make sure gears, brakes, wheels and tyres are all in good condition and functioning well. If your worried take it to an LBS or Evans/Halfords for a service. Always ride after any adjustments.

    Eat sensibly, You wont need as many calories as you should be reducing your training volume so slightly adjust your diet. Make sure you increase you cabohydrate intake to maximise glycogen storage in your muscles.

    3 DAYS OUT....

    Make sure you have a plan of action for when things dont go according to plan. ie. Rain or adverse weather. Also punturing on the bike, take time out in the eve to maybe practice changing your tubes so it wont be a problem if the worse does happen..

    This is always a good time to pack up your kit, pack it methodicaly and maybe (as Ive got OCD) pack it more than once. (ill put a check list at the end...)

    2 DAYS OUT....

    Do nowt........

    24hrs OUT.....

    Have a gentle ride or run or swim, go gentle though. Re-check kit, go and register......

    Make sure you stay hydrated, and if you can have a carb drink (SIS PSP22) you can use this to load updont eat anything "exotic" play safe,cereal, bread, pasta, rice,potatos etc are ALLLL GOOOOOOOOD!!!


    Breaky - 2- 3hrs before (if poss)make sure its something you eat regularly at this time of day (porridge is a good start)

    TRANSITION - place bike on rack, set your gear out in the order you'll need it and put helmet and sunnies (and race belt if you have one) on the bars of your bike. Walk through transition, making sure you can spot your gear, check out T1 and T2 and try look for a static land mark you can reference.

    30 MIN - Wetsuit on, plenty of lube. DONT FORGET YOUR TIMING CHIP!!!..........ITS TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Try to be first in the water when your waves called, give yourself time to acclimatise and warm up...


    Wetsuit lube (body glide or baby oil)
    Towel (helps mark your transition area and dry feet off a bit)


    Bike shoes
    Spare tubes and pump or gas cylinder
    Track pump (for final pump up)
    Extra clobber (wet weather gear and warm weather gear, justr in case)

    Running shoes
    Hat (if required)

    Other kit

    Race infomation
    Photo ID
    Timing chip
    Race belt
    Drinks and nutrition
    Dry kit
    Compression kit (for straight after the race)
    Vasaline (sp)

    That just about does it I think......
  • willieverfinishwillieverfinish Posts: 1,381
    If your worried take it to a Halfords for a service
    Hold on - he wants to make it to the start line.

    That's blatant misinformation right there.


  • MGMG Posts: 470
    willieverfinish wrote:
    If your worried take it to a Halfords for a service
    Hold on - he wants to make it to the start line.

    That's blatant misinformation right there.



    Fair enuf....

    But in my defence I did put LBS and Evans before Halfrauds.

    Bike maint isn't rocket science though and can mostly be picked up as you go along.
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