Whether you are entering your first triathlon or a seasoned racer. With three sports packed into one we all have questions. We complied a list of questions we have come across throughout our triathlon journey.
How long is a triathlon?
- Sprint: 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run
- Olympic: 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
- Half Ironman (70.3): 1.8km swim 90km bike, 21.1 km run
- Ironman (140.6) 3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run
What do I wear?
It is not mandatory to run out and buy a full kit for race day. However there are a few essentials that you will need:
- Goggles. ( A cap is almost always given for race day)
- If an open water swim a wetsuit. No need to buy one, renting or borrowing one is just fine too. Note however on race morning depending on temperature wetsuit requirements can change so always be prepared. A tri suit or swim suit can be worn underneath a wetsuit.
- A helmet and a bike. If you don’t have a tri suit, shorts are recommended over a swim suit for comfort and chaffing. Bike shoes if using clipping in pedals or runners.
- Sunglasses can be a game changer too. No only to protect against the sun but also can be very helpful on rainy race days.
- Run shorts if you want to switch mid race, runners and a race belt is very handy.
- A race belt is a tiny accessory that isn’t mandatory but can save you time by having your required race number ready to wear on the run ( and bike if required.)
Do I need a Triathlon or Road bike to enter my first triathlon?
No you certainly don’t. In fact I raced my first two triathlons on an old mountain bike. Triathlon is an expensive sport so it is best to decide if you really enjoy it before making the investment in a road or triathlon bike. I actually didn’t invest in a triathlon bike until after 5 years of racing. I was just fine on a road bike.
What is transition?
This is the section of the course that is set out to hold your spot in the race where you place your bike and organize your gear (swim, bike and run). Place your gear on one side of the bike – do not take up space on both sides. Stick with the essentials – don’t bring the kitchen sink, you won’t have that much space anyway. Remember to rack your bike seat first.
What Rules do I need to know?
Rules can change from race to race so it is always good to review them before race day. However there are a few rules that are consistent across the board.
- Drafting. Drafting’ refers to riding with your front wheel a few inches from the rear wheel of the competitor in front. Unless it is a draft legal race there is no drafting on the bike.
- Mount lines. You cannot mount your bike until after the mount line when leaving transition. You also must be off your bike before the dismount line and re-entering transition.
- Helmet. It must be on and fastened before taking your bike off the bike rack. Upon entering transition for the run, your bike must be securely racked before removing your helmet.
- Support. It is nice having supporters on the race course for you. But they cannot assist you during the race such as handing you nutrition. That is provided by race officials.
What does a “brick workout” mean?
A brick workout refers to the stacking of two disciplines during the same workout, one after the other with minimal to no interruption in between. This forces your body to effectively and efficiently prepare for the next demand while recovering from the previous exercise demand. Brick workouts help your body cope the aerobic, anaerobic, and muscular demands of a race.