Help ... registered for a triathlon. What now?
A triathlon consists of three sports: swimming, cycling and walking. This also means that if you participate in a triathlon, materials and clothing must be taken into account for three components. Forgetting something happened quickly. That is why you will find a list here of what you should take with you if you participate in a triathlon. Because it is of course a shame to see the hours of preparation for the race go to ruin, because you have forgotten something essential and therefore have to end your triathlon prematurely.
It may sound strange, but experienced triathletes generally take less clothing to a competition than the recreational triathlete. Yet that is not surprising, since the experienced athlete has already invested in triathlon-specific clothing such as a wetsuit, swimsuit with a tri-top or a triathlon suit (trisuit) in which the entire competition is finished. Changing clothes is therefore no longer necessary. The novice or recreational triathlete usually does not have this clothing. That is not necessary, because with a swimsuit or bathing suit, sports shorts and a t-shirt you can go a long way.
Also don't forget: NTB license if you are a member, or proof of identity !!
For swimming you actually only need a swimsuit or bathing suit and a pair of swimming goggles is recommended. A bathing cap is not always necessary - most of the time you get one from the organization - but if the water is very cold an extra swimming cap can be very pleasant. You lose most of the heat through the head. For those who intend to do a triathlon more often, the purchase of a triathlon wetsuit can be considered. This not only provides the necessary buoyancy, which makes you swim faster (!), But also protects you against the often cold Dutch bathing water.
Note the water temperature of the water (is communicated by the organization). If the temperature is too low (often around 12 degrees), a wetsuit is mandatory. If the temperature is too high again (22-24 degrees, depending on the organization) then a wetsuit is again prohibited (and then also the use of compression tubes) when swimming.
Finally, it is advisable to lay a towel with your bike in the change zone. That way you can quickly dry yourself a bit or wipe your feet clean before you step into your (cycling) shoes.
Of course you should not forget your bike for cycling. But also consider the things that you have to take with you on your bike, such as a water bottle with a drink, a bicycle pump, spare tires, tire levers and adhesive items. The last four items are not unimportant, because you cannot take outside help during a triathlon. So if you get a flat tire, you have to change or stick it yourself.
What you should definitely not forget is a helmet. This is because wearing an approved helmet is mandatory during triathlons. In some cases, triathlon organizations have a number of helmets that can be borrowed for the competition, but always ask the organization in advance whether this is indeed the case to avoid disappointment. Wearing sunglasses or sports glasses is also wise. This protects the eyes not only against bright sun, but also against dirt and flies.
With the first switch (called T1) you are obliged to put on the helmet immediately after you have taken off your wetsuit.
Regarding the choice of clothing, everyone is free to wear what he or she wants. A t-shirt, shirt, cycling shirt, cycling shorts or sports shorts . Everything is possible. The choice is determined by things like the weather, wearing comfort or a quick change. In colder weather it may be wise to prepare a cycling shirt or a sports jacket, long trousers are never really necessary.
If you like cycling, you can also put on socks or cycling gloves, but you realize that it will be at the expense of your end time, but if finishing is your most important goal, then I certainly would not fail. This also applies to the choice of shoes. Running shoes may be a bit more uncomfortable than cycling shoes, but they also save you time in the change from cycling to running. After all, you don't have to change shoes after cycling.
Some triathletes have a time trial bike for the bike section. This is certainly not a must .. a racing bike is fine. You can optionally 'boost' this by means of a set-up steering wheel so that you can sit in a 'time trial position'.
For the walking part it can sometimes be wise to put a pair of socks on hand to prevent blistering on your feet while walking, especially if you are not used to walking in your running shoes without socks. If you have already put on socks before cycling, this is of course no longer necessary. A shoehorn can help you get your running shoes on quickly. Triathletes also use elastic laces in their shoes so that no more laces need to be tied.
If you need it, you can put on dry clothes after cycling. However, this is usually not necessary. Only when you've cycled with cycling pants, is it nice to put on a pair of sports shorts. With a thick cast between your legs it is not really comfortable. A cap or sweatband absorbs sweat from your face. A cap also protects against the sun.
As said .. to change faster you can of course exchange your normal laces for elastic laces. These ensure that you can get into your shoes quickly and for an even pressure on the foot.
And the rest?
Are you a member of the Dutch Triathlon Association: don't forget your license . Have you already registered in advance: bring a program booklet or registration certificate.
Always useful during a triathlon is a starting number call , to which you can confirm your starting number. You often only get one starting number that you have to wear on your back and while walking on your chest. With a number band you can do that in a jiffy. For safety's sake, also bring your own safety pins to confirm the starting number. Not all organizations provide this. They can also come in handy if something is broken in your clothing.
To keep an eye on your own times or your heart rate you can wear a ( sports) watch or heart rate monitor during the triathlon. However, make sure that it is watertight.
Furthermore, a BodyGlide is the permanent companion of every triathlete. By lubricating this in places where there is a lot of friction (for example in the neck when wearing a wetsuit, on the thighs when cycling in swimsuit or bathing suit or under the armpits), irritation can be prevented. A little Vaseline above the eyes also ensures that no sweat gets into your eyes.
For people with sensitive skin it may be wise to apply sunscreen . You burn fast during a sun-drenched triathlon and with little clothing on.
Finally, you should of course not forget the clothes that you want to wear before or after the triathlon, such as a training suit , a dry T-shirt, a sweater or slippers . Other handy items are a few towels, toiletries and toilet paper (for major international competitions). You will be surprised at how scarce that last item becomes as the launch approaches.