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Entered my first Tri - Help!!

So...having had one eye on triathlon for a while as a 'cool thing to try one day' I've decided this year I'm gonna go for it. So I've been working on my swimming and have done my own sprint lewngth tri a few times now (with the help of my lovely fiance who meets me en route to pick up the bike then picks me up at the finish of the run - lucky man!)

I've now, maybe foolishly, signed up for the East Leake Triathlon in March to 'force my hand' into doing it for real!! Problem is that I know nothing of how things work, transitions, what kit is needed, 'rules' to follow (someone pointed out that I have to put a helmet on before picking the bike up and then need to keep it on until it's back in the rack - didn't even know that)

If anyone has any tips, articles, etc which could help me get prepared I'd be very grateful!!




  • pippip Posts: 170
    Alright mate.So as far as kit goes you`ll need a bike for starters,a pair of decent trainers a bike helmet and swim shorts or a tri suit.If you wear swim shorts make sure thy`re a good close fit to reduce drag in the water,but then when you`ve got out of the water a snug fitting top will also be reqired.You can buy a tri suite for about £50 on internet,there are loads of sites to browse,wiggle is pretty popular.I`m guessing you`re doing a pool swim so no need for a wet suit.Transitions,well i`ve done a tri where there were 2 different transition areas where i had to put my bike stuff in one place and my trainers in another but most tri`s have just one transition area where you can organise your gear nicely and when you`ve finished everything is in ths same place so no messing about and there`s usually someone on guard duty to make sure nothing goes missing because there can be some quit expesive stuff lying aroung a transition area.Thats about it mate,don`t be daunted by it all we`ve all been their,just enjoy the day and the atmosphere ,which is usually great.Good luck
  • Cheers Pip, any tips on 'organising your transition area'? It sound silly but it's the transition bit that's worrying me. I've never even seen a transition so am completely uneducated as to how it works, how I should organise it etc etc
  • pippip Posts: 170
    So you`re bike`s racked,thats easy enough,then you want to make sur everything is close at hand and in some sort of order,if you`ve got a number belt i attach mine to my handlebars then it`s just a case of unclipping and fastening it round my waist.Idon`t bother with socks but thats a personal preference,if you do wear socks put one in each shoe then you`re not wasting seconds undoing them.You`ll need a drink so that should be already in your bottle cage and your helmet should be unfastened readdy to go on your head ,but make sure you fasten it.Alittle bit of practice at home is the way forward and remember mate it`s not that hard so don`t get too stressed about transitions because whatever time you take won`t mean the difference between 1st an 2nd place,leave that to the pro`s
  • Race1Race1 Posts: 58

    Regarding the rules. e.g Helmet. If you break them, will someone spot you and tell you. Or is it instant DQ? As you say many aren't doing this to win or even podium, but for fun and it seems to me that it could really ruin a lot of peoples day if the judges are a bit OTT.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    If you look at this posting it covers a lot of the things you are asking about.

    The main thing is ask people if you are not sure, triathlon is friendly and you will be very unlucky indeed to encounter a complete arse.

    Don't worry about making mistakes we have all been through that (still make them mind) treat it as a learning experience.

    Do some searching and them ask about any specifics that you are not sure about.

    Re DQs etc. The officials are not there to unleash death from above, if you are doing something wrong they will warn you off first e.g. 'no, put the bike back then put your helmet on' . Drafting is something you need to be aware of but it is late and I am tired so will ask that someone explains that as really must go to bed now.

    Good luck and enjoy.
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Most referees that I bribe to look the other way...oooh sorry misprint, most referees that I know can spot a rookie error at 20 paces & may well invite you to take part in a short, say 60seconds or so, discussion about for example putting on & doing up your helmet before moving your bike, chat over you just got a penalty without it feeling like you have been picked on.
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    don't worry too much about transitions if you can help it. they might feel daunting but you can work through the process in your living room if need be. before races i often try and go through things like transitions in my mind to catch anything i might forget.

    tri is an expensive sport but often the biggest timesavers are the cheapest things. racebelts are good examples - £5 will mean you haven't got to worry about having race numbers pinned to t-shirts and the like. if there are things you must have with you (nutrition/drink, inhalers, sunnies, cap, favourite cuddly toy and the like) then put them somewhere you can't miss them - in your shoes or helmet is quite good. some of that stuff can be taped to the bike if you prefer.

    if budgets are tight then you can get away with tri-shorts and a running/cycling top rather than a tri-suit. at my first tri i used a pair of hideous cheapo trishorts and then put a full-zip cycling top on in t1 with race number already pinned on the back. (definitely recommend full-zip, you'll struggle to get a t-shirt or half-zip over a wet body).

    the other good place to spend a fiver is on elastic laces or locks, saves on all that titting about tying shoelaces.
  • Some great advice here as always for us newbies. I was going to say practise your transitions in training. That way, come race day you feel a lot more confident and like you know what you are doing Most importantly, as everyone else has already said, enjoy the day and the race And the elastic laces in your trainers are great.
  • bathtubbathtub Posts: 280
    Learn to count lengths .
    There are no lane counters at the East leake Tri, you have to count your own.

    If you are unsure about any rules or transition, have a word with the race referee he will be happy to help you out.

    Good Luck in your first Tri
  • bathtub wrote:
    Learn to count lengths .
    There are no lane counters at the East leake Tri, you have to count your own
    At the risk of sounding...sceptical but what's to stop people doing a couple less then? (I know some folks are uber competitive!)

    Personally it's no problem as I swim in 200m or 400m 'blocks' and have to count them when training anyway
  • At the risk of sounding...sceptical but what's to stop people doing a couple less then? (I know some folks are uber competitive!)
    The people that do it (and they do) only cheat themselves. The fact that 99.99% don’t is what makes triathlon’s what they are.
  • MATTmatt wrote:
    The people that do it (and they do) only cheat themselves. The fact that 99.99% don’t is what makes triathlon’s what they are.
    Oh dear...

    can partners stand pool side? (would be good if I had SOMEONE to check me! lol!)
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