Triathlon Survival Tips

Posted on December 2, 2011 

Triathlon is a well known household word these days.  Everyone at one point in their lives has seen or heard the word "Ironman" as a triathlon reference.  Hell, the Timex Ironman watch saved the famous timepiece maker from bankruptcy.  The swim, bike, run craze is probably responsible for the popularity of the current cross training phenomenon.  What people don't know is there are certain tips that can help you survive within the sport.  Here are a few examples.

You go to the pool to get a workout and it's two weeks before spring break and the place is slammed with people trying to get in shape for the beach.  It wouldn't be so bad if they circle swam but most of them are hanging on the walls or playing marco polo trying to check out each other's bods.  You want a lane to yourself so what do you do?  Jump in and immediately start doing butterfly.  For some reason, people are intimidated by arms flying towards them in the narrow lane.  If that doesn't work, a poorly executed flip turn is a good way to get the wall hangers moving. 

It is ok to not clean out your swim bag for months on end.  The wet items that you throw in there had pool water on them.  Pool water has chlorine in it.  Chlorine kills germs.  Therefore your swim bag will never get stinky.  Honest.

In the realm of bicycle racing, there are different catagories of racers.  There are the cyclocross racers who just want to have a good time and love everyone.  The mountain bikers are right there with the crossers.  Then there are the road racers who have a particular disdain for triathletes.  No amount of trying to fit in with them will ever win their affection.  My advice to you is to go to their group rides.  Don't take a road bike.  Take a triathlon bike. Stick chunks of powerbar on the top tube and eat them during the ride.  Take extra long pulls.  Ride on the aerobars.  Wear arm warmers with short sleeve jerseys.  Talk about how you can wait till the end of the ride so you can go for a run.  Trust me, you will never be one of them so just enjoy who you are.

Spending more money on your bike does make you go faster especially the $5.95 on the brake adjustment so the pads are not dragging on your rim the whole time.

Running hard after riding a bike hard never gets "easy".  Anyone who tells you different is a liar or the dude in spin class who never turns up the resistance.  You know him.  He is the one not sweating and telling jokes while everyone else is puking during a hard effort.  The discomfort of running off the bike does get managable if you do it ever so often.  After twenty years of training you might actually come to enjoy it.  

Do not tell all the other runners that you biked forty that morning before winning the local ten miler.  It may result in them slapping you to death with their racing flats.  Wait until they have a couple beers in them.  They are much more relaxed by then.

Hopefully these tips will help you to better understand triathlon.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you might sign up for one.

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