SWIM-BIKE-RUN at the Tawo-Tawo Festival Triathlon happening on February 23, 2020, at Bayawan, Negros Oriental!
WHAT: Tawo-Tawo Festival Triathlon
WHEN: February 23, 2020
WHERE: Bayawan, Negros Oriental
ORGANIZER: Tawo-Tawo Festival Triathlon 2020
Beginner Friendly Tips on Your First Sprint Triathlon
A sprint triathlon swim is short, but often the most nerve-wracking part of the race for new athletes. Here are four key training strategies to put into place:
Train to Swim a Longer Distance
Find out the length of the swim in your race, and train so that you’re comfortable swimming a little longer than that. Not only will it help to improve your overall fitness and ease pre-race nerves, but it also serves a bigger purpose. If you’re doing an open water race and there’s a strong current, you’ll probably end up swimming further since the current causes you to drift.
Research Your Swim Start Procedure
If you will be participating in a race with an open water swim, read up on the logistics so you can familiarize yourself with the start process. Several methods are used.
• Mass Start: Everyone starts at once.
• Wave Start: Athletes are broken into groups, generally based on either age group and/or gender, and each group (wave) starts at a separate time.
• Time Trial Start: Athletes will start two at a time, generally separated from the next pair by about 5-10 seconds.
Most races use a wave start. Nervous about starting in a group of people? Seed yourself in the back of the group, on the side furthest from the first buoy. Yes, you’ll swim a smidge further, but you also reduce the risk of an accidental elbow or kick from being stuck in the middle of the pack.
Practice in Open Water
One of the biggest mistakes that a first-time triathlete might make? Training for open water swims exclusively with pool workouts. Sometimes people get to race day, start swimming in water where they can’t see anything and freak out.
It’s easy to quell that fear. Simply get some practice in the open water during training. Not all your swims need to be in open water but make sure at least a couple is.
If you get to race day and you do start to panic in the open water, take a few minutes to float, sidestroke, or doggie paddle. Catch your breath and relax. Remind yourself that you will be fine. Most of the time, that small break should be enough to help you continue racing.
Of course, if you feel like you’re experiencing a true emergency during the swim, wave down a safety kayak. They’ll come to help you and get you back to dry land. It’s far better to DNF (triathlon lingo for “did not finish”) and stays safe than to risk continuing if you’re truly worried.
The bike leg can be relatively comfortable or quite challenging, depending on your fitness level and the course. If the course is hilly, you can obviously expect a tougher ride than the pancake-flat terrain. For most athletes, though, the cycling portion will feel like the easiest part of the race.
One strategy to practice during training is shifting gears. Gone are those childhood days of using every ounce of effort to climb a small hill on a single-speed bike. These days, no matter what type of bike you have — mountain, hybrid, road, or tri — you’ll almost certainly have the ability to shift gears.
Unless you’ll be riding a seriously flat course, practice cycling on some rolling terrain where you can get the hang of shifting gears. When climbing a hill, shift into an easier gear so that you can make it up the hill comfortably.
If you keep the bike in a tough gear riding uphill, you’ll experience more resistance. Your legs have to work harder, which will wear them down before you get to the run portion of the race.
Running may be what comes most naturally, but as the last leg in a triathlon, it often feels like the hardest part. Your body is already tired at this point, but if you trained correctly you’ll be able to cross the finish line successfully.
To prepare yourself for this part of the race, incorporate “bricks” into your training schedule. Bricks are a back-to-back bike/run workout. The point is not to practice the exact distances, but rather to get your legs used to the transition from one exercise to another.
The first time you do this, you might experience a “jelly legs” sensation and find a hard time getting into your run stride. That’s completely normal! Your body will get used to this the more you practice it, making it easier to segue from the bike to the run.
Transition is what you do between the swim and bike, as well as the bike and run. You’re switching from one sport to another. Before the race begins, you’ll set up all your gear in the transition area, a large space with bike racks at the race. Here’s how each triathlon transition works:
T1 – Swim to Bike
When you exit the swim, you’ll run to the transition area and prepare for the bike. Typically, this means
• Remove your goggles
• Put on your shoes and bike helmet
• Grab your bike
Be sure your helmet is strapped on before exiting transition for the bike portion, as this is a rule in triathlon. Run with your bike out of transition until you get to the area marked for mounting your bike. Then get on your bike and ride.
T2 – Bike to Run
After you finish the bike, you’ll dismount (get off the bike) in a marked spot, usually right before the transition area. Then:
• Walk the bike into transition and re-rack it
• Remove your helmet
• Switch from cycling to running shoes, if you are using both (This is not a necessity; many new athletes cycle and run in the same shoes.)
At this point, you’re ready to start the run. Usually, there’s an area in transition marked “run out” that you will proceed through.
STANDARD DISTANCE: 1.5km swim 40km bike 10km run
SPRINT DISTANCE: 750m swim 20km bike 5km run
TO BE UPDATED!