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home : rtc news : feetures August 19, 2017

SAFETY TIPS FOR A TRIATHLON FROM YOUR SWIM GOGGLES, BIKE AND SHOES

SAFETY TIPS FOR A TRIATHLON FROM YOUR SWIM GOGGLES, BIKE AND SHOES

In my recent article on runners considering a first time triathlon, I indicated there would be a follow up on safety. I wrote the article and showed it to my wife Ruth. Her response was "Gosh! This is really dull." She was right. I said to my pen "we got to do better." (All my articles are written long hand first and then to the word processor). My pen suggested we recruit several other triathlon partners and proceed from there. We came up with swim goggles, bicycle and running shoes. They have consulted others of their kind and together will present some safety tips for your first triathlon. So. ...here goes!

"Hi, I'm your swim goggles. My job is to keep water out of your eyes during the swim. We come in all shapes and sizes. With all those swim laps we did in the pool, I'm fitting pretty well over your eyes. It's always important that we take a practice swim at the lake before the triathlon actually starts. Other goggles with their swimmers will be doing just that. This will make sure that we fit each other and will give you the opportunity to set the stroke pace of your swim. With all the excitement at the start of the swim, you don't want to go out too fast and run short of breath. That means we'll have to slow down or even stop until your breathing stabilizes. Go out at a comfortable pace and we'll be just fine. One other tip, there are times my strap will break and I will be of no use to you. Not good just before the start of a triathlon! So bring along an extra pair of swim goggles. My cousin Zeb will do. He was your swim goggles before me. Pack Zeb with the rest of your gear just in case."

"Hello. I'm your trusty bike and we're gonna do this triathlon. I may be old and not as shiney as some of those new carbon fibres but I'll get you to the bike finish. I'm just like Mater in the movie Cars - reliable! A word of caution here, don't let those downhill speeds get to high. Use my brakes to slow down and always remember - your right hand activates the brake on my rear wheel. Activating my front brake at high speeds can cause us to flip. Not good! The Race Director will give us the rules on passing and drafting, but always be aware of other bikers around you. Bikes don't mind touching one another on the bike rack but out rolling on the road, two bikes touching at high speeds means one or both are going to crash - ouch! Be aware of the edge of the asphalt. Even the slightest drop off can cause us to lose control. You're providing the power to my pedals and you may need some fuel like energy gel or a fluid drink. Let's slow down for that just to be safe. We may lose a few seconds of time but you can make it up when you put on those running shoes."

"Hi. I'm your running shoes. I'm a little worn from all the miles we put on, but we can do this sprint triathlon. You won't have to worry about someone stepping on me causing you to fall. Not like the Spring Classic here in Rochester where it was really crowded at the start. In triathlons, the run is the third leg and the runners are spread out. So it's going to be just you and me on the trail. It could be hot out there so take your fluids so you don't cramp up. Other than that, I'll be with you at the finish line. And just like you, I'll be hot and sweaty, but we'll feel great."

Well, there you have it folks. My friends and I have put together some safety tips for your first triathlon. Go out and have some fun.



---Ed Maslowski







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