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Essential Triathlon Race Guide

Essential Triathlon Race Guide

Essential Triathlon Race Guide
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The Essential Triathlon Race Guide, brought to you by 220 Triathlon magazine, is your ultimate race-day companion. Inside you'll find everything you need to be your best at your next triathlon, from race-specific swim, bike and run sessions to tapering for all distances. Also discover what to eat before, during and after your event, plus the race gear that'll save you minutes but won't break the bank.

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United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited

in this issue

4 min.
pick up the tri gauntlet

There are well over 700 triathlons in the UK and Ireland, covering a range of distances and catering for a range of abilities. Throughout this guide, we do the same, starting with super-sprint (400m swim, 10km bike, 2.5km run). But what follows are events upwards of Olympic-distance triathlons that’ll truly stretch every sinew and demand consistent and progressively tougher training. While distances are standardised, your race journey isn’t, with factors like temperature, topography and terrain combining for a unique challenge and unique experience. To that end, we’ve focused on five very different events and prescribed brief advice for each. They’ll give you a flavour of what to expect in the triathlon racing amphitheatre in 2019… 01 Ironman Wales 3.8km, 180km, 42.2km The Tenby event takes place on Sunday 15 September 2019… Swim _ The swim is…

6 min.
feeling the wo-burn

It’s 350m into the 1.9km swim of the 220 Triathlon Woburner. I’ve another red buoy coming up for left turn number three in Woburn Abbey’s lake. Getting to here has been one of my easiest middle-distance race starts. Visibility is about a metre and I’m already in a decent rhythm. I swing a left at the buoy with only two other athletes around me. And then, all of a sudden, the world disappears… In a split second, my adrenaline-fuelled brain assesses the possibilities. Is my swim cap covering my eyes? Nope. Are the reeds masking my goggles? Happily not! I lift my head to sight the last of the left-turn red buoys, take a breath, a stroke and the world flashes clearly into view. I plunge my head back into the…

3 min.
open-water goggles

With so many different goggle options out there, as with most tri kit it’s simply a case of trying out as many as you can until you come across that hallowed pair that you can stick on and forget about. While goggles aren’t your biggest financial outlay, the wrong choice can prove very costly if they don’t do their job properly in a race, which is why it’s important to settle on your go-to goggles well before racing in open water. Okay, so that can be tricky in the UK where our water temperatures are bone-chilling until May, but making use of outdoor pools if you have one near to you, or indoor pools with lots of natural light, is worth it before you take to the open water. When choosing, you…

8 min.
triathlon wetsuits

Put simply, the tri wetsuit is one of the most crucial buys you’ll make. While they’ve enjoyed a host of technical innovations since the mid-1980s, their aim remains the same: to get you through the open-water swim as swiftly, as comfortable and as fresh as possible. Although most events will see you in a wetsuit for about 10-20% of your event, a tri-specific suit can make or break your race. An ill-fitting suit will leave you sinking in the water with a sore neck; your optimum suit will make you look and feel unstoppable come race morning. You should ‘try before you buy’, as sizes can vary hugely. Find a tri retailer or tri expo to try the suits, especially if this is your first tri wetsuit purchase. If not, ensure…

9 min.
rise of the race suit

Tri-suits. Not as aero-enhancing as tri-bars, as flash as deep-rim wheels or as sleek as a tri wetsuit. But, in the opinion of many, is second only to the bike as the most important piece of tri kit you’ll ever buy… As the only piece of apparel that’ll be with you from the starting horn until the finishing chute, the techy Lycra construction will have a major bearing on your race; too tight, baggy, poorly made or slow to dry and you’ll be flirting with a DNF instead of reaching for a PB. Unlike tri-specific wetsuits, bars and bikes, the evolution of tri-suits doesn’t have an oft-recalled backstory. In the early 1980s, early pro triathlete Mark Montgomery asked Forte to produce a cycling-type sleeveless skinsuit and a lightweight cloth chamois. Forte…

6 min.
hammer the bike leg

For many triathletes, the £500 road bike is their first ‘proper’ bike purchase. But once the bug’s bitten, you’ll soon be saving for something a little faster, shinier and lighter. Cue two carbon numbers – one road, one tri-bike – that aren’t cheap but will see you through many a mile… Cinelli Saetta Italo £1,649.99 chickencyclekit.co.uk One of the most wallet-friendly routes into Campagnolo is 70-year-old Italian brand Cinelli’s 11-speed Centaur-equipped all-rounder, designed ‘with endurance racing and long-distance comfort in mind’. Like Cinelli, the Saetta Italo frame has been around a while but it still represents one of the best-value routes into Campag-equipped carbon road bikes. Cinelli’s Saetta Italo comes with Campagnolo’s Centaur, the brand’s 11-speed set-up designed to compete against Shimano 105, both costing around £400. It lacks carbon but is mechanically pretty…