Archive for the 'Kit' Category

Putting on a Wetsuit

Have you ever contemplated how you should put on your wetsuit (apart from the obvious legs / arms / front / back)? A wetsuit that fits well & is put on correctly will be more effective by being efficient & comfortable.

Firstly before putting on the wetsuit it is recommended to apply a lubricant to your calves & arms to help the wetsuit slide off, a recommended product is body butter (from the body shop), has the added benefit of helping you smell nice you will get less strange looks than others do for their choice of lubricant☺& it will not harm your wetsuit material. In addition apply body glide to any areas that chafe, e.g. around the neck or under the arms.

Putting on the suit have a plastic bag handy to place over your foot & slide your foot through (do the same on the other leg), now gently pull the suit up, aiming to gradually pull it up (not yank in one go) & careful not to dig your finger nails in. A tight wetsuit is good as it will be a good fit, a small price to pay for taking an extra minute or two to put the suit on. Once you have the suit up to your hips, start again at your calves & gradually roll the suit up higher, the suit should be as snug as possible in your crutch area, any gaps will only lead to water pooling there, meaning more weight to drag through the water. Nb most wetsuits are designed to be shortened, by cutting the calves, this can help with putting the suit on or off. I recommend you check with your wetsuit supplier prior to making any changes.

Now to the arms & repeat per the legs with plastic bag over your arms. Like the legs gradually pull the suit up your arms & again pull it up further so that the suit fits snugly around your shoulder (including under arms). Pull the suit up your torso (again by grabbing a roll & rolling it up) so that the suit is snug around your neck. Ask a friend to zip you up gently, make sure you breathe in & pull the shoulders back to assist. Place your cord where you want it so that it can’t be pulled down during the swim & you can access it quickly in your transition. Your wet suit should be on & you are ready to swim.

This does not quite mean you are ready to race, you should acclimatise to the water first (especially if the water is cold), do this by placing the feet & ankles in the water & give them a minute to adjust, now walk in further, up to your waist & place your hands & wrists in the water again acclimatising for a minute or so. Now gradually go in deeper and place the head under the water. This should be less of a shock to the body & respiratory system than simple diving in. Swim 20 or so strokes & roll onto your back & slow your breathing down. If you are able try to pull your wetsuit up even higher. Now warm up by swimming say 50 – 70 metres 20 hard strokes, 20 easy strokes, have a small rest & return, exit the water & again check your suit to ensure it is as high as possible. You should now be warmed up & ready to race, spend a minute or two relaxing prior to the start.

To do this you need to be ready 10 minutes prior the race, also not all races allow for a warm up, so if this is the case, try & get wet to acclimatise to the water temperature & warm up using arm swings & other dynamic stretches around the chest, shoulders, lats & triceps.

Happy racing

All the Gear! (a race day checklist)

It is easy to think that triathlon is quite simple, you swim, bike & run, sounds basic. Whilst on race day if you have prepared correctly it can look basic, it actually requires a substantial amount of equipment, meticulous preparation & dedication to a structured training plan. What I am covering here is the gear (equipment) required on race day.

This may not be a comprehensive list as each individual has specific requirements & some of the equipment may not always be required at every race, but it should give you an idea of the gear required to compete in a triathlon. Whilst the list will be lengthy one of the keys to success in racing is keeping it simple, therefore the aim is to keep your racing equipment used during the race & left in transitions, as simple & user friendly as possible with little changing or hassle involved.

A good way to prepare for your race is to plan in advance & write a list of equipment you need to race, so on the day before the race you simply need to pack what is on the list & nothing should be forgotten. Keep the list as a document on your computer & update it after every race so it is ready for next race (it will not be a static list).

Race Essentials

  • Directions to Race & Race Instructions (ensure you have read the race instructions well in advance & that you are fully aware of the course, transition location & content (eg water or energy drink etc) & location of aid stations)
  • Race number & timing chip (if already issued to you)
  • Race Licence

Transition

  • You will need a large plastic container (around 20 – 25 litre capacity) or a large sports bag to carry everything.
  • A towel or mat to put down next to your bike to arrange your equipment & wipe your feet on after the swim (nb in some races eg Ironman or 70.3 your equipment will be in bags so therefore you will not be setting up your equipment next to your bike)
  • Pre race nutrition (you should have eaten 2 hours prior to race, to give the body time to digest your meal)
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Bike tools in the event any maintenance is required (last minute adjustments to bike set up are definitely not recommended)
  • Recovery food or drink (for post race)

Swim

  • A wetsuit, not always essential, depending on temperature of the water but advisable if permitted. You do not always have to buy one, you can hire or borrow. Whatever your method most important is to make sure the fit is perfect & the wetsuit is designed for swimming.
  • Goggles, swim cap (as a back up), neoprene swim cap (for cold water)
  • Swim suit (a tri suit is recommended to save changing for the bike & run)
  • Lubricant to help the wet suit slip off & to stop chaffing (body glide or body butter are good products to achieve this purpose)
  • Plastic shopping bag to help put the wetsuit on (place over your hands or feet)
  • Sports watch (even though most races provide electronic timing we are all obsessed with monitoring our own time)

Bike

  • Racing Bike (should be cleaned, degreased & lubricated, tyres checked for any embedded objects)
  • Helmet (aero), sunglasses (or clear glasses if no sun)
  • Number belt
  • Spare tyre (if on tubs), tube, co2 cartridges or pump (even if you think you will not repair a puncture & continue racing, think about how you will get back to transition if you do puncture, it can be a long time waiting for a support vehicle)
  • Track pump (if possible pump your tyres up at your car & leave pump in your car)
  • Bike Shoes (including rubber bands if you attach your shoes to your pedals), socks are an optional extra
  • Water Bottles & any nutrition for the bike (eg energy drink, gels or bars)
  • Bento box (usually only in long distance races to store bars & gels)
  • Talcum powder (also for your running shoes)
  • Bike clothes if not racing in a tri suit

Run

  • Running shoes with elastic laces. Socks again an optional extra depending on distance
  • Talcum powder
  • Run clothes if again not racing in a tri suit
  • Running cap
  • Nutrition required for run

Having a list you can rely on & check off when packing your gear should give you the confidence that nothing has been forgotten, so you can focus & concentrate your mind on the race ahead. Most of all you should sleep easy knowing that everything is packed.



“If you are comfortable with your training regime then you should be concerned. You can only make the big gains by being out of your comfort zone.”
- Me

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