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"A" race The race you are primarily training for. This is your big race of the season. Aero bars A set of forward protruding handle bars with elbow rests that allow the rider to get into an aerodynamic position during the bike ride. Aquabike A race consisting of swim and bike legs, with no run leg. Bento box. A small nylon box attached to the cross tube on your bike frame so you can carry E-tabs, gels, ID card, cell phone, etc... and have them handy while you're riding. Bike Shoes These are shoes that are worn on the bike. They have a stiff sole so that with each pedal stroke there is no power lost on any part of the pedal stroke. It has a cleat on the bottom to attach to the pedal. Bike shoes allow a rider to pull during the whole pedal stroke. Bottle cage A fancy name for the bottle rack on the bike. Fancy, but necessary for races. Brick Workout “Brick” stands for “Bike-Run combination”, but is used to denote a workout involving any two disciplines back-to-back. Body marking Since bib numbers are not worn during the swim, the triathlete's race number is written on arms and legs with a black ink marker. This helps to identify triathletes during the swim and throughout the entire race. Bonking (Also called "Hitting the wall.") This refers to that time when the body runs out of energy and the racer can go no further! Usually due to lack of fluids, electrolytes and/or calories. Buoy (not to be confused with “pull-bouy”) This is usually a bright orange ball that is used to mark the swim course, so you know the course. A “pull-bouy” is a type of flotation device used by some swimmers in training sessions. It is wedged between the legs and is used to keep the legs in the correct position during swimming. You cannot use these in a race.
Chip (aka Timing chip) An electronic chip worn on a velcro strap around the ankle. This is used to track the various times of the triathlete. It is remotely synched with the race clock. It is numbered to match the racer’s “bib number.” CLIF Bars A brand of popular nutrition bars. Available at the commissary and Whole Foods Market. Clipless Pedals (also called “clip-in pedals”) A type of bike pedal that bike shoes attach to. Distances There are four distances of triathlons. “Sprint” is generally 200-750m swim / 6-15 mi bike / 5k run. “Long” courses are generally 1000-1500m swim / 1624 mi bike / 10k run. The standard “Olympic” distance is 1500m / 24mi / 10k. Then come the IRONMAN distances: “Half IRONMAN” is 1.2 mi swim / 56 mi bike / 13.1 run. The full “IRONMAN” is 2.4 mi swim / 112 mi bike / 26.2 mi run. DNF Abbreviation for “Did Not Finish.” Whether for mechanical or physical reasons, if you fail to complete the race this is the code that is entered next to your name on the final printout. Drafting A race tactic that involves an athlete positioning himself directly behind another athlete either during the run, bike, or swim to reduce wind and drag. It is illegal during the bike portion of a triathlon in most races. A penalty will be given to athletes that are drafting. Depending upon the race, a penalty can be either a time penalty or even disqualification. Duathlon A race consisting of a run-bike-run sequence. No swim leg. E-tabs Short for Endurolyte tablets (a Hammer product). Used during long races to maintain a proper electrolyte balance so you won't "bonk.” Entry Fee The amount of money a triathlete pays to enter a race. Can range anywhere from $5 to over $500. On an average the price is usually $50-80. The cost includes race support, a T-shirt, goodies in a bag, and post race food. Expo
The area near the race where local sponsors and product sponsors set-up display booths. This allows the public to see what products the supporting companies offer and allows for information distribution. Many times there are information booths set-up and product sample booths. Usually, large races have huge expos because sponsors figure athletes will get a live glance of the product. Expos are normally the day prior to the race. Gels These are small packets of calorie dense gelatin that triathletes will carry and consume during the bike a/o run legs. Sometimes referred to as “Goos” because of the name of one of the most common providers “GU.” Hammer nutrition and Accel Sports also makes high-quality gels. Hammer nutrition A popular brand of nutrition products used for long distance triathlons. Some of their popular products are Perpetuem, Heed, Gels, Electrolyte tablets, and recovery drinks. Helmet Mandatory for races. You cannot remove your bike from the rack (in T1) until you have your helmet ON AND FASTENED. Likewise when you come into T2 (after the bike ride) you cannot remove your helmet until your bike is racked. Hydration Liquid intake, not to be confused with 'nutrition' even though many nutrition products come in liquid form. Common hydration products are Gatorade and water. Indoor Trainer This is used to ride your bike indoors during the winter. Insurance (“USAT One-Day Insurance Fee”) This is a $10 fee that you will normally pay IN ADDITION TO the registration fee. This provides you with liability insurance should something happen during the race. You can join USAT and buy annual insurance to cover you for as many races as you can fit in during the coverage period. The hardcore triathletes normally buy annual insurance. M Dot. It is the IRONMAN logo. It is a red letter “M” with a dot over it (like a lower case “i.”) Normally seen on oval stickers or on hats / visors. This represents athletes who have completed an IRONMAN distance race (140.6). Mount / Dismount Line This is a line drawn on the ground just outside T1 that you must cross before mounting your bike. Likewise when you return after the bike ride and enter
T2 you must dismount prior to crossing this line. It is each triathlete’s responsibility to know where this line is located before the race.
Number Belt An elastic strap that is placed around the waist usually on the run. The belt allows your bib number to be clipped on so that they can be visible during the run. This saves times over putting on a T-shirt or shorts to which your bib number is attached with safety pins. “On your left!” (“coming left”!) A phrase you announce when passing (overtaking) another bike rider. This alerts them to your passing so that they won’t move in front of you. The passing rider has the “right of way.” Pack Refers to a group of people who are either running, biking or swimming together. Drafting is usually taking place, so it is something to be avoided during the bike. Most of us are “MOPers” which stands for “middle-of-the packers.” Pre-registration (aka Packet Pick-Up) A time to pick up race information before the actual race day. It usually occurs the day before the event. At really big races, pre-registration could be over a period of a couple of days leading up to the event. It is best to pick-up race information ahead of time, because race morning is chaos. There is only so much you can accomplish in the morning of the race. It is nice to get this out of the way. Race Age The age you are on December 31st of that year regardless of your calendar birthday. When you register for a race, this is how they determine your age group. Redman The Redman is a triathlon in Oklahoma City that is the closest full Ironman distance race (140.6) to Ft Leavenworth. It also has a Half Ironman (70.3) and features an Aqua-Bike course (Half and Full distances). The course is well laid out, well supported and run. It is generally flat with a few rolling hills. It is normally the third weekend in September. (See www.redmantriathlon.com) Road I.D. A Velcro wrist band that has personal identification such as your name and who to notify in the event of an accident. (See www.roadid.com)
“Strap and Cage” pedals These are the type of bike pedals that have a toe strap (and usually a toe cage) that goes around the top of your shoe. Like “clip-in” pedals, they help provide energy on the “upstroke” but you wear regular running shoes. Swim Cap The latex cap that is given to each triathlete for the swim leg. A different colored cap will represent each age-group. They also help identify swimmers in the water. Transition The part of the race where the athlete changes shoes or equipment to move onto the next part of a race. There are two in every triathlon. They are from the swim-to-bike (called “T1”) and bike-to-run (called “T2”). Transitions are “timed events” too. Transition Area The place marked off for transitions to take place. All the equipment the athlete will use in the race is placed in this area. The bike is parked at a rack with the racer's number. Bikes, helmets and shoes are placed here so transitions can take place quickly and orderly. Only athletes are allowed in the transition area. USAT Rules These are the rules for triathletes during races. The race website will normally have a link to the list of USAT Rules for you to review. (See http://triathlon.teamusa.org/content/index/1684) USA TRIATHLON (USAT) The United States triathlon national governing body. They set the status quo, and regulate on how people qualify for the national championships and communicate with the International Triathlon Union (ITU). They are the "voice of triathlon" in the US. Wave Based on your age. It is the time you will start the swim. Age-groups are sent off at intervals to ease congestion in the water and on the bike course. Your time starts when your wave begins regardless of the race clock. The timing chip helps track your exact time. Wedge pack A small nylon pack that fits up under your bike seat and carries a spare inner tube, a CO2 cartridge, and tire changing tools. Wetsuit
Worn during the swim to keep swimmers warm. Water must be 78 degrees or below, in order for racers to be allowed to wear wetsuits. This is referred to as “wetsuit legal.” They also help make a swimmer more buoyant. This will let slower swimmers swim faster, because they are better positioned on top of the water. Weaker swimmers like wetsuits, while stronger swimmers hate them. Zoomers. Short swim fins used in practice. They help teach new swimmers foot kick efficiency. You cannot use swim fins (or mitts) in a race.
1. When riding your bike on a public road, consider yourself just like a slow moving motor vehicle. You must obey all traffic laws just like an automobile (stop signs, yield signs, pedestrians, and even speed limit signs!). Ride with the flow of traffic. When running on public roads, run against the flow of traffic. 2. “File a Flight Plan.” When going out to ride, let someone know your route, and estimated return time. Carry a cell phone with you. Also carry some form of identification with you (like a Road I.D.). 3. When out on the public roads wear bright colored clothing. During periods of low visibility wear a reflective belt, vest, or jersey. Make it easy for cars to see you. Always wear a properly fastened helmet. 4. Bike riders should ride single file unless they can keep up with the flow of traffic. Kansas laws prohibits riding more than “two abreast.” 5. When you go out to ride, plan as if you will have a flat tire or broken chain during the ride. Know how to change a flat tire, or have a rehearsed plan in the event someone has to come get you and your bike. 6. Know how to remove your front wheel. Most have a quick release lever, some need a 5mm hex key (aka Allen wrench), or have a regular hex nut that can be removed using an adjustable wrench. 7. Wear gloves when you ride. They help with sweat, dampen vibrations on long rides, but most of all protect your palms from severe abrasions should you fall. 8. If riding in the late afternoon, be cognizant of riding into a setting sun (to the west) because cars behind you will be looking into the setting sun too and may have difficulty seeing you. 9. You should consume a bottle of water per hour of bike riding (on the average). Don’t wait until the ride is over to drink the entire bottle. Sip 4-6 oz every 15 min during the ride. You can buy an “insulated bottle” (that fits the bottle cage) at Santa Fe Trails Bike Shop for about $10 (same price as Dick’s Sporting Goods, or anywhere online). This will keep the liquid cooler longer. A smart investment. 10.Another alternative is a “Camel back.” Besides the water, they normally have a pouch that allows you to carry some simple tools and a small first aid kit. 11.When riding outdoors, put on sunscreen (especially around your neck) and chapstick on your lips. Your lips will dry out during bike rides. 12.If swimming in open water (like a lake), wear a bright colored swim cap and swim with a buddy. 7
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