Tri Diva Reunion Event? Hell, yeah!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Danskin Tri Newsletter

The Gear You Need

You've made the decision. Triathlon here I come! Let's make sure you've got the gear to make it happen.

If you have never done a triathlon before, figuring out what you need can be overwhelming. We'll sort it out for you and let you know what you NEED to have, and what's NICE to have.

Following are some suggestions for consideration for both training and racing.

The gear needed for the swim is basic, but you should consider going to a specialty swimming store for help. Purchase a good swimsuit, one that fits comfortably and will stay in place for your workouts. Look for goggles that fit properly. You don't want to be worrying about your goggles in the middle of your workouts or more importantly, in the middle of your race. You will also need a swim cap for training, but you will be provided with a swim cap for the race that you must wear to ensure that you start in the correct wave. Optional training items include flippers/fins, pull buoys, hand paddles and kickboards. These items may help you with swim training drills. Most pools have these available on site and will let you "borrow" them, so you might want to check what your pool has before you purchase any of these optional items

A triathlon can be completed on any type of bike, so an expensive triathlon-specific bike is not necessary. You can do the race on a mountain bike, hybrid, road bike or triathlon bike. If you choose to use a mountain bike you may want to consider swapping the tires out for "skinnier" ones; talk to a bike shop about how to do that. You will be required to wear a helmet on race day, and you should always wear one whenever you ride. Look for a helmet that meets or exceeds the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), fits properly and comfortably. You may want to ask the staff at a bike shop to help you with finding the proper fit. A pair of shorts with some comfortable padding is helpful when spending lots of time on the bike. If you are new to the world of triathlon it is a good idea to look at all of the cycling equipment that is available and take time to decide what is right for you. You may want to consider options like clipless pedals, bike shoes and aerobars which are not necessary, but will help improve your performance. There are many options and and it may take a few races before you figure out how deeply you want to delve into the sport. Cycling equipment is generally where you'll spend the greatest percentage of your triathlon budget, so talk to a specialty retailer about bike equipment before you make the investment.

For the run, a quality pair of running shoes is critical. That may be obvious, but many people think it's ok to use cross-training, trail running or walking shoes for running on roads while training. Before starting your run training, it is a good idea to visit a running specialty store. Logging miles in a pair of sneakers that fit improperly can affect the rest of your body in a negative way, and lead to injury. Proper fitting, comfortable running clothes - breathable socks, non-chafing shorts and a supportive bra top help to make your workouts more pleasurable as well. If you run outside during the winter months in a colder climate, you'll want to consider long-sleeved, wicking shirts and jackets, tights or sweat pants, a hat and gloves.

Other items that are useful but not essential include: sunglasses (great for keeping foreign objects out of your eyes on the bike and run, and protecting your eyes from the sun's rays), reflective wear (helpful when running if the only time you can train is when it's dark), some sort of identification in case of accident, Bodyglide to prevent chafing and blisters, and water bottles/hydration systems to ensure proper hydration

As you move forward in your training, you'll begin to figure out what works and what does not. There are no hard and fast rules regarding triathlon equipment, just a lot of trial and error.

Get Psyched! Training Your Mind for Triathlons by Mitchell Greene

Finding Your Purpose
Imagine it's the morning after your Danskin Triathlon. Your tri bag has yet to be unpacked, and despite a long hot shower, in the mirror the faint outlines of body markings are still visible on your arm and calf. You awaken curious to see yesterday's race results. Sitting at your kitchen table, you go on-line and find your name. Scanning the pages of results, you finally locate your swim, T1, bike, T2, run and final chip times. You take note of your age group ranking, and quickly peek at how close (or far away) you were from being first or last. Okay, now what?
Your Danskin race may be a long way off, but now is the time to consider what will leave you with a lasting feeling that this triathlon experience was a worthwhile endeavor and a personal success. Will split times determine your triumph, or are there other, broader ways to mark your achievement? For some, success is tied to goals such as meeting new people, reshaping your body, surviving the swim, not crashing your bike, never walking during the run, or simply . . . finishing. Clarifying your training and racing goals is a great way to sustain motivation and enhance focus, particularly when the going gets tough.

But, to help make your Danskin triathlon truly an enduring positive experience, consider this time-honored advice: Some athletes get so caught up in trying to reach their goals that they confuse the purpose of participation with the goals of participation. In other words, they lose sight of the journey while becoming consumed by their destination. By purpose, I am referring to that inner sense of vitality, excitement, and connectedness you experience as you train your body to perform at its best. It's that indestructible feeling you get when everything clicks during a tough workout, and includes the jittery excitement you may have felt when you finally registered for this race. You can't muster those feelings sitting and doing nothing on the couch, and ultimately I believe we do triathlons to have those experiences-to feel fully alive. That's why I ask the athletes I work with to "clarify their purpose" at the same time they set their racing goals. Some athletes post on their calendars, alongside their workout goals, reminders that signal their awareness that it's great just to be "in the game." I want them to soak in all that they are learning-good and bad-as they move forward. My hope is that once you have finished your Danskin Triathlon, have checked your results, and finally put your finisher's medal in your top drawer, you can continue to look back on this journey and regain a sense of being in the game and truly living life.

Dr. Mitchell Greene is the sport psychology consultant to the Danskin Triathlon series and the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon. If you would like to contact Dr. Greene directly or consult with him on your training, he can be reached at or at 610-975-9435, x11

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