Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More Chamoise...

For the boys…wait, I don’t have boys…but either way Chamoise it good. Really good. If you are getting into the world of triathlon don’t skimp on the Chemoise. Feel free to ask in a comment if you need clarification.

Recently I have been approached with a number of questions surrounding triathlon. I figured I would go ahead and answer some of them here and now. So if I leave any question unanswered, please feel free to ask either in a comment or via email. I’ll do another post if necessary. But…keep in mind please that these answers are just mine. I am no pro, I have no coach, or professional training. These are from ME, me who wants to melt into the pavement and slip peacefully away into the sea during the run portion. Me.

Now, first question:

1) Under your wet suit do you wear a swimming suit?

-Simply, no. I mean, yes if if is swim suit or birthday suit...but I prefer triathlon specific clothes. I have done 6 triathlons and have only worn a wet suit once and that was in my first, in late September in Lake Washington. The water temp was two degrees warmer than the air at 68 degrees. I wore a shortie wet suit (it was shorts with only 3/4 sleeves) over my swim suit because I did not have a proper triathlon outfit. Now here is the deal, if you don’t want to drop the money on tri gear I get it. It’ expensive. I have done most of my tris in a swim suit. It is no biggie. My suggestion for you is don’t wear a wet suit unless it is cold. Cold air and cold water. You will warm up and the wet suit will slow you down coming into/out of T1. I understand though that some tris are just wet suit necessary and in order to avoid hypothermia you need to wear one. in which case I would wear it OVER my tri shorts and singlet. But if i didn’t have that as an option I would wear it over a sports bra (one made for tris that will dry quickly, not cotton) and my swim suit AND tri shorts (very important that they are Triathlon specific shorts, not just biking shorts, you will hold too much water in the butt pad of a regular bike short). Coming out of the water you unzip the back and pull it down to the waist while running. At your bike you shimmy out of it. Once out of it, if you have only a swim suit on good luck with those tri shorts. Yes in the past I wore my tri shorts over my swim suit and worn it the whole way. swim, bike , and run. In my 70.3 I did not want to wear the swimsuit for that long but for a sprint or olympic I think it would be just fine. Just don’t forget the Chamoise Cream….

Oh and P.S. Putting on spandex while wet is nearly impossible. Wear your bike and run clothes from the get go! It makes your T1FAST which is just plain bad A.

Me in my tri shorts and swim suit with a tri-soecfic bra underneath. I swam, biked, and ran in this…


Me in my 2XU Tri shirt and Tri Shorts. I swam, biked, and ran in this entire outfit…Shout out to J-Nina’s Hubster below with his Age Group GOLD.

Me (and LB) at my first tri 9/2008 in my shortie with swimsuit underneath.

sep 22 2008 my first tri 009.JPG

2) When you are swimming how do you overcome the obstacles with running into/getting hit by other swimmers?

-Expect it. Unfortunately this happens and it can be bad but for the most part swimming arms aren’t really like deliberate punching arms. What I’m saying is that it can catch you off guard and throw you off but if you expect it then you wont be surprised. My advice is, if your out for a good time and a first time tri, begin to the back and the outside. If you don’t want to be in the back then just ensure you are on the outside. This way the faster, more aggressive swimmers can be on their way and not swimming over you. Keep your eye on the buoys and don’t get too far of course. And the time when I get kicked and hit the most is on turns. So be aware of swimmers around you while turning at the buoys. Remain calm if you do get punched and don’t take it personally. I have punched and been punched. It’s part of the game.

3) For the sprint tri’s how do you fuel throughout the race?

-This one is tricky. You have to find what works for you. I think I am close to finding the right way. For me, I drink Accelerade 30 minutes before my wave start. Upon coming out of the water before getting on my bike I eat as much of a GU gel I can in ONE squeeze and gulp. Then while on my bike I have a water bottle I use in the aero position. This is key for me. Otherwise I cannot drink while riding. I’m just not coordinated enough. In my water bottle I have TWO separate chambers, a large chamber holding 20 oz I think and a smaller one holding 12 oz. I put water in the larger chamber and a GU Brew in the smaller. This way I am fueling while drinking. It is awesome. Now if you are a good biker you can do this, my husband tapes Gu Gels to his bike, the center bar between his legs. As he rips the Gu from the tape it opens the Gu packet and he can eat it. But you have to be aware of your trash, if you get caught tossing it you can get a 2 minute penalty for littering. Same goes for dropping your water bottle or anything else while on the ride. Then coming off the bike I grab my Chomps and use those as close to the beginning as I can on the run. I think next time I will use a Gu Gel, it is easier to down and I can get it into my system much faster, which is what I need coming off the bike. In the past I have used my handheld water bottle during the run with Gu Brew in it. So it just depends on what you want to do and what works for you. But there you have it.

Here is my bike with my water bottle between the bars. You can’t really tell here but there are two straws that stick up so I can drink easily.


4) Which marathon are you training for? Don’t you find it difficult to squeeze in biking/swimming while you are marathon training too?

-Um, ok I am only kind of training for a marathon right now. OBX HERE to be exact. It is Nov 13. I guess I should register and seriously be training. To be honest, yes I have had a hard time maintaining all three sports. For a while I focused only on running, then I was spinning and cycling like a mad woman, then once summer hit you couldn’t get me out of the pool. I was swimming almost two miles a day 4 times a week. I found my passion and natural athletic ability in the pool. I was born to be a swimmer. But, alas I cannot always swim, it is inconvenient. So yes, juggling all three is hard which is why I was desperate to see the Run Less, Run Faster plan/book. It has cross train days built in and those are the days where I will bike and swim and do weights or whatever. Tri season is quickly coming to a close so I will lay off the swim and bike, maybe, doing each once a week for maintenance until next spring when I will amp it up again. I think one fall marathon and one late spring marathon will be good, then TRIs all summer long.

5) The secret to improving bike skills seems to be finding other people to ride with. There is a group that rides together several times a week but they go much further (30+ miles) than I do (20miles at most). Do you think I should ride out with them and turn around early? What if I get lost?

-First off, please don't get lost!! Ok, this is scary for me too. I have a few riding groups around here and have never had the courage to join. BUT I will be joining them this coming Sunday, at least I will if you do!! =) But really, two people I work with are in the group and it was described to me as this: There are different levels of riders, Group A is fast fast lightening fast. Averaging over 22 mph. They go hard and fast and long and kick bootie. Group B is 18-22 mph. They too ride fast in my opinion. Then Group C rides less fast, all ranges up to 18 mph. I was also told that they take in new riders and will not leave them behind. So if you get there, talk to some of the riders, maybe some of them have the same issue, wanting less miles, and they may be willing to ride back with you. Maybe the first time out you could plan to ride the entire route, just to get a feel for it and familiarize yourself. Then after that 30+ ride you can decide. Plus, 30+ miles is awesome. I agree that riding with a group would be very helpful in pushing you/me/us to improve. So lets do it! A group ride is on the calendar for Sunday evening! Oh and about finding your way back….take your cell phone so you could call for help or if you have a GPS on it then you can find your way. Safety first!

Well that does it for my Q&A post. Hopefully you got some nuggets of knowledge out of it! And if you have anything to share I would love to hear it!!! Let me know in a comment!!


  1. Great post. Thanks for all the details on the tri information.

  2. Thanks! I didn't even I know I had these questions, that is how new to tri's I am!

  3. Excellent tips! I wondered some of these same questions.

  4. Nice post Amanda! I wore tri clothes for the first time and loved them (i do have to wear a wetsuit though otherwise i will get...and have gotten...hypothermia). I found that the perfect thing to wear under my singlet is an ironman swim top. It's swimsuit material and it holds everything nice and tight :)

  5. Very helpful - thanks for sharing! I am torn on wearing the wetsuit or not. I feel like it makes me so much faster in the water. Am I imagining that? I also love that I can let my legs float and not kick if I get winded (kicking makes me more winded).

  6. Some of these were my questions. Helped SO much! :) Thank you for sharing.

  7. Excellent advice! I would definitely try out the group rides, even for the person who usually goes 20 rather than 30 miles. In a group it is easier to go faster/further and most cyclists will be accommodating to newbies.

  8. OK, I signed up for my first group ride this Saturday. And they have ice cream at the end! Does your group ride have delicious incentives?

  9. Seeing that inspires me to want to try and run a triathalon!:)

  10. OK. Lady question. Do you just forsake your lady bits during the race by not wearing bike shorts? And just know you'll be -ahem- waddling for a few days?


You're pretty much awesome!!


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