This guide will answer your questions and help to make your triathlon a Great Experience! Enjoy your journey…
What should I expect in triathlon?
If your swims are in a Swimming Pool then have a look at below. We suggest this before you attempt an open water start. You will be given a start time when you register based on your estimated swim time and you are required to be on the poolside a minimum of 10minutes before your swim time.
When on the poolside you will be allocated your lane and swim order.
Swimming Hat: is an essential piece of kit as it helps you to go faster by lowering your resistance through the water and is normally a rule of the Swimming Pool.
Goggles: help you to see where you are going and prevents your eyes from getting sore.
Tri-Suit: is a fast drying piece of kit which you can wear throughout the whole race.
Transitions are referred to as the 4th discipline in Triathlon, getting this right can save you seconds or even minutes off of your total race time.
Transition 1 is where you come from the swim to go out on your bike.
You will leave your shorts, t-shirt, shoes in the Transition Area with your bike. Some people prefer to change in the Changing Room which is perfectly acceptable but please be aware that the clock still ticks on so it is best to change by your bike.
Bike Shoes: If you are not wearing socks it would be advisable to put some talc into your bike shoes to help prevent blisters and to help get your feet into them quicker.
Helmet: Put your helmet on and do it up before you touch your bike — this is a rule of Triathlon around the world. You then push your bike to the mount sign before you climb on your bike.
It is worth practicing this transition before the event as this can go wrong!
This is an essential piece of Triathlon Equipment so it should be fully tested and serviced before you start.
Helmet: You must have an approved helmet to race. No Helmet and you will be disqualified!
Bicycle: Your bike needs to be in good working order and roadworthy. Get a local bike shop to look at it for you.
Eyewear: It is advisable to wear cycling glasses to protect your eyes from grit, flies and other debris.
Bike Shoes: Unless you already have specific cycling shoes your trainers will be more than adequate.
Drink: It is advisable to take a light squash or water with you on the bike as a mere 2% drop in your hydration can affect your performance quite dramatically.
Puncture Repair Kit & Tools: Sometimes it is needed and you do need to know how to change a puncture.
It is advisable to drive around the bike course prior to the event so that you have an idea of where you are going.
Transition 2 is where you come off of your bike to start the run. You will dismount your bike at the sign and push your bike back to your space in the Transition Area.
It is imperative that you place your bike back before you undo your helmet — this is another Triathlon Rule. Also make sure you know where your supposed to put your bike and where your section is.
Shoes: If you have cycled in bike shoes you will now need to change into your trainers. Some talc and elastic laces will help make this an easier process.
Once again it is advisable to drive the run route so you can pace yourself appropriately.
Shoes: Ensure you have run in your shoes before you take part in the Triathlon.
What to wear?
You will need to wear a swimming hat in the pool with either your Swimsuit or Trisuit for the swim.
For the cycle and run you will need to wear comfortable shorts and a T-Shirt which you will need to attach a race number to the front and back, or you can use a Race Belt which you can attach the numbers to which will allow you to layer up or down with your clothes. Race belts are also a good idea.
In the pool
The most common stroke to swim is Front crawl, as this is the fastest and most efficient of the strokes. You can also swim breaststroke but if you need to swim some Back crawl it is worth checking beforehand with the Race Organiser – if it is possible they will try and put you in a side lane to help you swim in a straight line.
It can be frustrating to be stuck behind a slower swimmer but is equally distressing for a swimmer to have you constantly touching there legs. If you catch someone up only overtake if there is room to complete the overtake without causing hazard to anyone else in the lane. The best course of action is to gently tap the toes of the person in front of you which will let them know you want to pass. If it happens to you, the correct thing to do is pause briefly at the wall, moving slightly to one side of the lane to allow the swimmer to go in front of you.
On the bike
Follow the Highway Code at all times. If a faster rider comes past, let him or her overtake rather than holding them up. Help create a sense of solidarity by nodding or saying “hi” to other triathletes.
If you are using energy gel’s or bar’s always put the wrappers back in your jersey pocket.
Other road users
Observing the rules will keep you safer in traffic. Look and signal before turning, pulling over or moving into the middle of the road. Never pull out of a junction in front of a car, and always try to make eye contact with the driver whose lane you’re pulling into. Wave a quick thank you to anyone who gives you a wide berth. And, tempting as it is, try to avoid gesticulating wildly at anyone who drives badly.
On the run
Running doesn’t have a lot of rules, and that’s what a lot of people love about it. Still, a few simple niceties make for a more pleasant running environment for us all.
If you’re forced by circumstance to run where there’s no pavement, always run facing traffic. Stop at junctions and, as with cycling, try to make eye contact with other road users so you know they’ve seen you. Give pedestrians space – they’re an unpredictable breed and have been known to stop, turn, point or wave their arms without warning.
Race-day adrenaline can cause some of us to forget our manners, but the general opinion is that triathletes are a polite bunch. Keep up the good work by listening to race officials, thanking marshals and being friendly to other competitors. After all, ours is one of the few sports in which newcomers can prepare for their race alongside top age-groupers.
There’s a strict no-nudity rule at transition in this country, but some people are still caught out. Think about what you’re wearing before you put on your wetsuit. Rack sensibly and with some thought for others, and try your best not to knock over anything when you go through T1 and T2.
Should you run into trouble during the race, move to one side if you can so you can receive help without causing a pile-up. By remembering these few simple rules and ways of conducting yourself, you’ll be helping to make the world of triathlon a happier place. And that will benefit all of
us. Louise Jones, sport psychologist at theTriLife.co.uk, says that minding your manners is about more than just maintaining the sport’s reputation: observing proper etiquette can actually improve your performance.
A few rules
RACE NUMBERS - One number must be worn on the front and one on the lower back.
Numbers must not be folded, cut down or mutilated in any way.
CYCLE HELMETS - BSI, ANSI or SNELL approved helmets are compulsory and must be
worn throughout the cycle section. They must be fastened prior to removing your bike
and neither undone or removed until after returning your bike.
TRANSITION - No riding is allowed in the transition area at any time. You must run with
your bikes to the mount zone and on your return to transition dismount in the zone
before entering transition. Check out where the mount ans dismount lines are prior to
CYCLE CONDUCT – Competitors must make sure that their cycle is in a safe &
roadworthy condition. All competitors must keep to the left & overtake on the right.
Please take note of signs & obey MARSHAL INSTRUCTIONS.
DRAFTING – During the cycle section competitors must not take pace behind or beside
another competitor or vehicle. You must be 5 metres behind the front wheel of the
competitor in front, apart from when overtaking there is no side-by-side riding. When
overtaking you must pass the competitor in front within 30 seconds. It is the
responsibility of the cyclist in front to drop back once the over taking cyclists front
wheel is ahead of hers/his.
DISQUALIFICATION – The following infringements will result in disqualification:
• Abusive Language
• Breaking road traffic regulations
• Dangerous conduct/riding
• Failing to obey marshals or the police
• Outside assistance
• Unsporting impedance
• 2 x drafting violations
• Course irregularities ( short cut)
• Tampering with other competitors equipment