Tips And Tricks
Here are some things that we have learned along the way. Some are practical, some may sound silly. But at one time or another they have all been used!
Feel free to share your tips with us!
Bring tinted and clear goggles to race day. Now you are ready for sun or clouds!
At the swim exit, do not stand up until your hands touch the bottom 3x’s in a row. This will ensure you are in knee deep water. Much easier to run out to T-1
Keep your cap and goggles on! This will keep your hands free to unzip your wetsuit and get it off down to your waist on your way to T-1. If you drop your gear, you will waste time going back for it.
Test your sighting. How many strokes can you swim before you go off course? 3, 5, 12, 20? Test this in a pool. In a lane by yourself push off the wall and try to swim on the center line with your eyes closed. How many strokes before you hit a lane line. **Important- you need to know how many strokes it takes you to swim a length before you do this. I don’t want yoiu hitting the wall at the other end. Next Try to increase stroke count. Take this skill to open water. REMEMBER- currents and winds can affect your line. You may need to change count for different races and even within an event. If you decide to sight every 15 strokes that’s fine. Every 2-3 cycles drop back down to 5-7. This will help correct any drifting.
Drafting: You can practice in a pool with friends. Swim one length at a time with 1 or more swimmers in front of you. They can be in a single line or side by side and find the draft zone. This is the sweet spot when you feel like your going faster with less effort. Get comfortable and confident swimming close to others WITHOUT touching them. Now take these drills to open water. Enjoy the ride!
Count the rows. Maybe I’m old school but I like to keep my transition area simple. I don’t clutter it up with balloons, stuffed animals or chalk paint. I walk the transition area several times race morning. Counting the rows so you know exactly were you bike is from the “swim exit”. How to get to “bike out” and how many rows back to rack your bike to get ready for T2. Getting “lost in transition” is no fun!
Race Day Tires? Not everyone can afford race day wheels but you can get add some speed, improved handling and reduce your chance of getting a F.L.A.T simply by putting on NEW Tubes & Tires. Think about how many hundreds even thousands of hours you have spent training getting ready for your events. Doing this will give you a chance to inspect your bike and give it a cleaning. PLUS the added bonus of practicing a tire! I hate to hear hear the stories about someone being stuck out on the course for 20, 30+ minutes trying to figure out (aka learn) how to change a time. Tire changing should be a part of your training. It is a drill just like you do in the pool or at the track. Get good at it! After your race put your old tires back on until your next race. Only use your new tires for races this year. Then switch them to training tires for next year.
TOOL KIT: Keep your tool kit small! You don’t need a northface backpack under the seat. I use the smallest tool kit i can the holds 2-tubes, 2-CO2, 2-tire levers, Inflator and a $20 bill. I put one tube with one CO2 into a ziplock snack bag. This helps keep kit organized and its very easy to slide into the kit.
Race with instruments-
Compare this to driving a car with no gauges or instruments. Is your engine working efficiently? Are you going too fast or too slow? How much fuel is left in the tank? When do you need to stop for gas? What about gas millage? Are you going to make it to your destination?
Heart Rate, Speed and cadence monitors and Power Meters give you critical information on how well you are performing. Over time, with proper training, coaching and analyzing this information you will see improvements! Train and Race Smart! This is the fastest and easiest way to get faster!
I keep a few water bottles in the freezer 1/3 filled. This allows enough room for ice to expand without cracking the bottle. Now you have ice cold water bottles ready to go training or racing.
Practice Race Day Fueling-
Before your race have race day breakfast & use race day nutrition! Now is the time to test out your nutrition plan.
- Eat your race day breakfast 1-2 hours before your event starts. *This give your body time to digest.
- Carry fluids with you to the start of event. *Do not wait until you are thirsty, plan ahead.
- 300-500 calories per hour during a race. *Is what an average person can process during intense exercise.
- 1-3 bottles of replenishment fluid per hour. *More on hotter days but rarely less. You test this by weighing yourself before and after key workouts. Note any weight change and compare to number of bottles you drank.
- Post workout- eat within 30-minutes of completing your workout. *Eat a healthy selection of carbohydrates and proteins. *Your bodies optimum window to replenish and rebuild