Equipment in more detail:
A swimsuit or swimming shorts – these shouldn’t be baggy, they should fit you snugly/comfortably so that you don’t drag through the water; it makes a difference. Most or all sports shops will have swimming gear and these should set you back about €20. Popular brands include BlueSeventy, Spiuk, Speedo, Zoggs, Aquasphere, 2XU. If you are feeling adventurous you can get tri-shorts or a tri-suit which is a combination of a swimsuit with a chamois (padding) for cycling. These are great because you when you come out of the water you can get onto the bike with some comfort, and you can swim in them while training if you like.
A Wetsuit – In Ireland you will more than likely need a wetsuit to race as practically all open water races require one. For safety, speed and warmth, wetsuits are great. Plus they make you about 10% faster. The suit you rent or buy should be triathlon specific, meaning that it’s flexible at the shoulders to allow you to swim comfortably.
You can spend any amount of money on a suit but it needs to fit well…perfectly in fact. Swimming in a suit that is the wrong size is miserable; if it’s too small you will expend a tonne of energy fighting the suit, your breathing will be difficult and getting out of the suit in transition will be a nightmare (you will also probably damage the suit taking it off). If the suit is too big then the cuffs and neck will be loose, you’ll take on a lot of water, the suit will drag and you will move like a barge in the water. Take time picking a wetsuit, try on a few, swim in them if you can and pick one that gives you a good range of motion, feels snug but not too tight and is within your price range. If you’re worried that you’ll look fat/lumpy/skinny/weird in the suit then you shouldn’t; you will definitely look fat/lumpy/skinny/weird – but don’t let this influence the size you pick (seriously, don’t pick a smaller wetsuit in the hope that it’ll hold in your bits and make you look good – it won’t, and you’ll struggle in the water).
Goggles – Goggles are a bit of a personal thing. Your goggles should fit snugly, form a tight seal against your eyes and nose, and give you enough range of vision to see where you’re going. A tinted lens is useful; especially in races where you’re swimming into the sun. A lot of triathletes train and race in fairly standard goggles, but some people use more visor style goggles with larger lenses.
Two hats for warmth, plus holding goggles in place.
Always wear a swimming hat when you swim, especially in open water. Your head gives off a lot of heat and with the cooling effect of the water flowing over your head you are literally dumping heat out of your body like a heat exchanger or car radiator. A brightly coloured (for safety) well insulated swimming hat is a cheap way to stay warmer when you swim. Top tip: wear 2 hats. Put on the thicker one first then your goggle, finally the second hat. This will stop your goggle slipping, while keeping you a bit warmer.
Runners & Running Socks – If you don’t already run then you should get your feet properly assessed at a running shop and buy the runners that are good for your feet. Spending a little bit of time at the beginning finding runners that match your foot type is time well spent. Running in the wrong shoes is no fun at all, and eventually you can do damage to your ankles, knees, hips. Do not, under any circumstances, wander into a “sports” shop (where they don’t actually know anything about sport…you know the shop) and let a sales assistant pick runners for you because they are new and cool, or pick the most expensive/most well known brand. The right runners for you will cost no more than the wrong runners.
Running socks are non-cotton socks that move smoothly inside your shoe and won’t chafe. Do not run in cotton socks. They will get soggy, clump in your shoe and form little creases – these creases will then cut your feet as you move and cause discomfort. Running socks are cheap and will save you a lot of hassle. You probably won’t race in socks (you’ll just throw your runners on and get motoring) but they are great for training.
A Bike – Practically any bike will do for your first race. Yes, you can race on a hybrid or mountain bike and you can modify practically any racing bike to make it a more efficient triathlon bike. If you’re going to use a bike that you already own then make sure that your gears, brakes and tyres are in good shape. If you’re going to buy a bike then take some time to get one that is the right size for you. Most good bike shops will be able to measure you and match the right frame size to your measurements. Top Tip: Use the bike to work scheme to half the cost of the bike. Use can offset the first €1000 of the cost of bike, helmet, shoes and other cycling kit against tax, essentially halfing the price. Ask any bike shop for details.
A few of the terms that you’ll come across and what they mean:
Transition: the forth disciple of triathlon. Getting slick at the transition from swim to the cycle called T1 and the transition from the cycle to the run (T2) is an art in its own right. Sprint triathlons are often won and lost in transition.
Remember – having a swift transition is the key to beating that person who runs, swims and bikes as fast as you!
Brick session: a cycle followed by a run session to prepare your legs for the jelly like feel of running after a hard cycle.
Tri-Bike: the top end bikes with cow horn handlebars used by the top competitors to get an aerodynamic position on the bike.
LOUGH KEY TRI CLUB IS ALWAYS OPEN TO NEW MEMBERS OF ALL ABILITIES.
CONTACT US FOR INFO:
Existing Members can now renew your membership for the 2016 season for both Triathlon Ireland and the Club online via the TI website...
For insurance purposes, from January, you have to be a 2016 member to be covered for any training sessions that you take part in with the club so please renew as soon as possible.
- Monday: Turbo @ 8pm in Leitrim Physio
- Tuesday: Run @ 6.45am from Aura / Run Training with Graham @ 6.30pm from Aura/ Swimming Lessons
- Wednesday: Swimming lessons 7 am / Turbo @ 8pm in Leitrim Physio
- Thursday: Run 6.45am from aura/ Run training with Graham @ 6.30pm from Aura/ Swim lessons 9pm
- Friday: Pilates @7am
- Saturday: Club cycle from Esquires, if weather unfavourable Turbo in Leitrim Physio. 8am. Park Run Beginning late January (5k)
- Sunday: Easy run in Forest park/
Contact Donal @ firstname.lastname@example.org for information on swimming lessons