Advice for Novices
With a pool based swim and small
entry field, the Cricklade Triathlon is an ideal “starter” event so we tend
to have a high proportion of novice entries. While there is plenty of literature
on the web covering training regimes with tips for performance improvement
advice on what to expect at your first event is more difficult to find therefore
we have compiled some basic advice covering the questions that we get asked most
frequently. For expert advice we recommend subscribing to a specialist magazine
or consulting the official BTA website at www.britishtriathlon.org.
Ladies changing facilities
the change from Swim to Bike, most male competitors just exit the pool, run to
their bike, which will be racked in the field, and put on their cycling /
running clothes in the transition area.
Some female participants prefer to
put their change of clothes in the swimming changing rooms, so exit the pool, go
to the changing room then collect their bikes from transition once changed.
While this is slower, it is safer because running without adequate support can
cause permanent damage to chest tissues. Alternatively look for advice on the
alternatives to wearing sports bras because the top athletes obviously don't
want to get changed so they wear kit that has integrated support.
The only way to reduce wind chill is
by drying yourself off. Most people don't bother, they just grit their teeth.
Since the Cricklade Triathlon takes place in June the chill doesn't usually last
too long and shouldn't do any damage as your body temperature will soon raise
again with the cycling activity, but it does help if you have a towel handy at
the transition to dry off the worst of the water.
Dressing when wet
You will find it hard to get
properly dry when you are tired after swimming so it is important to choose
clothes that you can get on while wet. Regular triathletes wear “tri suits”
so they don't need to get changed but most novices wear baggy shorts and a baggy
tee shirt over their swimsuits; not aerodynamic but tight tee shirts are hard to
get on when wet and tired.
You also need to decide whether or
not to wear socks. If your shoes are likely to rub then we recommend socks.
Prepare by having them well powdered and rolled down so that you can unfurl them
over your foot. If your shoes don’t rub then no socks is better.
Something else to consider is
chaffing. The problem area tends to be the top of the inner thighs which can rub
together when running or against the saddle when cycling. Chaffing when running
is probably caused by sweat rather than being wet so if this isn't normally a
problem then it shouldn't affect you.
The best way to avoid chaffing when
cycling is to wear shorts or swimsuit that is long enough to cover this part of
the thigh but avoid shorts that have a tendency to roll up as this can make the
problem worse. Some people put Vaseline or powder on their saddles; others are
unconvinced of the benefit of this and recommend spending a bit extra time
drying or applying powder to the legs.