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Two Tips From the NYC Tri



On Sunday my boyfriend competed in the Aquaphor NYC Triathlon. He did a great job, finishing the Olympic-distance race (a 1-mile swim, 25-mile bike, and 6.2-mile run) in just about 2 hours and 45 minutes. I was so proud! Doing triathlons so close together meant we had a default training buddy, but I think it will benefit me even more because I got to watch him go through it all first. Here are two things I gathered from being a spectator/his helper:
Proper Set Up is Crucial.
In order to transition seamlessly between each discipline (that counts towards your final time too!), you need to have everything ready to grab and go. As I helped Matt organize everything for his transition area, we realized that you need a lot more stuff there than just your bike or running shoes; a few things worth having on-hand: an extra water bottle to wash off your feet post-swim and pre-putting on cycling shoes (and a towel to dry off with), a fresh (aka dry) pair of socks for the run, and extra Gatorades and GUs to down in between sports. Also, leave your bike in an easy gear (better to have to up the resistance once you’re on the course, than tough it out on a hill out of the transition area or the like…); have your helmet adjusted and ready to just slip on; leave your sneaker laces loose (or pick up a pair of tri shoes without laces—like mine from Zoot). 
Leave a Little in the Tank for the Run.
Oh, and be sure to train for it properly too. Matt (and several other friends of ours who also participated in the NYC Tri over the weekend) said that the run was the hardest part of the race. That was surprising to me, as I assumed that the swim and the bike—the two foreign disciplines for regular runners—would be difficult. I’m sure Matt considers himself a runner (he’s done several marathons), which is perhaps why he wasn’t worried about the run portion and therefore didn’t train as diligently for it. After spending nearly two hours swimming and biking, though, hoofing it as the temperature rises isn’t easy. And because it’s the least novel, perhaps it’s less interesting/distracting too? It’s tempting to go all out during each sport (it is a competition after all), but after this weekend, I’m going to focus on pacing myself throughout.
Matt’s race packet provided a plethora of good tips like this—as I’m sure the race packet for your tri will too. I actually just received mine for the NJ State Triathlon today, and I can’t wait to go through it word by word! Look for more on that in an upcoming post. As always, let me know what you thought in the comments, or tweet me at @DaniSMcNally.

Danielle McNally is the associate fitness editor at SHAPE magazine, where she reports on the latest news, trends, and gear in the exercise world, along with the occasional travel and pop culture piece. She was previously an assistant editor at Food Network Magazine, but left shortly after completing the ING New York City Marathon, when she realized her passion for working out. She’s run seven half marathons, and regularly practices yoga and pilates. This summer she’ll be competing in the New Jersey State Triathlon (her first!) and blogging about it here!


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