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Ironman Race-Week Hype.......

If you're heading for your first Ironman you'll find that there's a lot of things going on when you get to the venue.

Its easy to get caught up in the hype, but its important that you don't get caught up in everything that's happening.

The merchandise tent will open and will be full of t-shirts, jackets, sweaters and almost anything you can think of that will have that particular Ironmans name and year on it.

Its always nice to buy some of these items, but I would suggest waiting until after the race before you make your really "big" purchases.

Its after the race that the merchandise marked "finisher" will appear. "That's" what you want to be sure and get your hands on. It can be expensive, so allow for it in your budget. Some people tend to go over-board before the race and stock up on merchandise. They don't seem to realize that when they finish the race, the official finisher merchandise will have a lot of meaning to them.

Keep in mind that "Ironman" is a trademark and this merchandise is available at race sites only.

Usually on Wednesday the Expo tents will open. This is where you really have to be careful not to get carried away. You will see dozens of nutitional supplements, footwear, swim goggles, wetsuits, bike equipment, bikes etc. etc. Most will proclaim to make your Ironman easier or faster.

It may be true or not, but it's a huge mistake to try new things in a race that is only 3 or 4 days away. This is not the time to be making equipment changes that have been tested "by you" over weeks or months of training.

Even more serious is introducing a new drink or new food(energy)supplement to your race when you have not had the opportunity to try it in training.

My suggestion-- if you really like something you see and would like to try it, do this.....

Buy it to try when you return home for training should you decide to carry on your Ironman career. Most of the suppliers will have websites or addresses where you can also purchase their items at a later date. That would be the smart option to use.

I'm not saying the products are not good, I'm just saying that most will take some getting used to. You have to be sure that it works for you. An Ironman race-day is not the place to experiment. Don't get caught up in the hype.

visit "ironstruck" for more training and racing tips for the beginner triathlete/novice-ironman

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