Echo Triathlon: Pre-Race Planning, T1 and Swim Course
The heart of the local triathlon racing season is upon us, and vast approaching is a Utah classic triathlon… It seems that everyone and their dog always shows up to coalville whether it be an A-race, mid-season training or a final blow-out as part of a taper for a major event this season. Each year this race continually turns out a full field of athletes ready to test their mettle in our beautiful sport of triathlonJ TriUtah always does an excellent job with organizing the event and having it run like butter on race day! It is a superb course that is very challenging on the bike, a plenty warm swim and an off-road dirt trail run that goes out and back. Depending on your strengths, weaknesses and aspirations, this is a great course for athletes of all types and I look forwards to seeing you out there July 10th!
There are always a few important things to remember when planning to have a successful triathlon on race day. I think the first would be getting to the event venue plenty early to setup, and be able to enjoy yourself before starting the race. The last thing anyone wants to do is be stressing about time before their event wave, expending energy and likely forgetting something important in transition . Most of us are guilty of this and remember that day didn’t end up being as much fun as we intended it to be. To get to the race site for Echo, it takes a short ride to get to transition from the parking lot, be sure to double check your race bag before you leave the car and make sure you have everything with you. Once you ride in, take your time and thoughtfully setup your transition area in a neat order so you don’t have any time losses in T1 scrambling to find something. T1 is usually done on gravel/dirt area so if you have sensitive feet it may not be a bad idea to have an extra set of shoes with you to throw on after the swim, since T1 is a jog away from the water exit.
The time of year presents plenty of time for a swim warmup, since the sun is rising so early. Make sure you get in the water and warmup for a few minutes to get those shoulders and lats warmed up for a fast swim. The water is usually quite warm at Echo, if you have a sleeveless wetsuit, this may be the day to use it. Once you have had a go getting the shoulders loose, step out for a few minutes and let the excess water drain out of your wetsuit before the gun goes for race wave. This will help the wetsuit feel tighter to your skin and you wont be carrying any extra water with you through your swim leg. The swim is usually two anti-clockwise loops for Olympic distance and one loop for the Sprint distance… you will be swimming into the sun after the second turn buoy heading to the finish, it may be wise to bring a set of tinted goggles so you don’t have to strain your eyes looking in the rising sun, or just hop on a fellow athletes feet and follow them… just hope they are going in a straight line! Ha ha, once you finish your respective swim take a couple of deep breathes as you are running towards your bike to help get some oxygen flowing back to your brain, this will help you think clearly when you hop on your bike. I have found for this event it is easier to have a smooth transition by putting your cycling shoes on in T1 rather than once you are on the bike. The road is a little rocky and it would be a bummer to get a cut or stub a toe, that would put a damper on the day in a hurry! There is also a slight hill just out of transition which may make it hard to put your foot in the shoe as you are riding up the hill. Once your clipped in, enjoy your ride!
These are a few key points that I have noticed the last two seasons that I have raced the event and thought this may be beneficial for you if you are going to have a go up at Echo in a few weeks time. I will be writing a bike and run course preview over the next few days, so be sure to check back in for my half accurate course descriptions, ha ha! Enjoy your training for the event with smiles on your face and I look forwards to racing with you next month! Good Luck to those of you who have events coming up between now and then, I wish you nothing but the best!
Jah Love! Jah Bless!