The time is here! First race of the season has arrived. Indoor training on treadmill or turbo is a distant memory; the interval sessions running in Clontarf or UCD are paying dividends and you have marked the hard miles in the pool under Ewa’s watchful eye. It is time to let loose and race!
Although some of you may have raced this year, for most, this will be your first proper outing. It will probably be a shock to the body, as the intensity of a race is invariably greater than that of training – blame the competitive instinct in us all! Nonetheless, you’ve trained hard and should be ready for the challenge ahead. As it’s a sprint, you shouldn’t have to worry about ‘blowing up’. Once racing, go for it! Don’t slack off, but keep on pushing yourself all the way to the line. Seconds convert into points, both for you and the club!
As for Carlow itself, it’s only mid-May and our waters are still warming up, so expect the swim to be chilly. (River Temp on week of Race = 11.3degrees – Even the Organisers described the waters as Baltic!). If you haven’t already, try and expose yourself this week to the open water, even if just for five minutes. An alternative is to avail of the plunge pool in Westwood post swim session to acclimatize.
Make sure you have read the official briefing (see link below), that you are in plenty of time (triathlon is complicated enough without unnecessary distractions!) and that you have a plan for what you are going to do in the race. There’ll be plenty of Piranhas around and near you at different stages, so do what you can to encourage and \ or cajole them.
This note has the following sections:
- Who’s Racing?
- Final Schedule and Race Briefing
- Pre-Race Advice
- Getting There and Car Pooling
Nearly 70 Piranhas are registered to race this Sunday:
Final Schedule and Race Briefing
You should have received a pdf document from the organisers. It is a very important and comprehensive document. Read it!
- Sat 19th May
18:00 – 20:00 Race registration at Seven Oaks Hotel Carlow.
- Sun 20th May
08:00 – 11:30 Race registration opens at Seven Oaks Hotel Carlow.
08:00 – 11:45 Transition Area Open
10:00 – 10:20 Marshal Briefing at Racing 795 club tent in Carlow Town Park (marshals only)
11:45 – 12:00 Race Briefing at Transition area (all competitors – mandatory)
12:30 – Wave 1 Start (subsequent waves approx. every 4-5 minutes)
14:30 – 15:30 Refreshments, tea and coffee in Carlow Town Park
16:00 Prize-giving and results in Carlow Town
Queries relating to the race can be addressed to [email protected].
Thanks to John Lyons for images
Keep an eye on your e-mail inbox \ Tri795’s website and social media for any late announcements.
In particular, note that:
- Registration is open until 11.30, but in previous years, it was very slow, leaving very little time for latecomers.
- Main parking is at Carlow Rowing Club – arrive early to get a space.
- First wave starts at 12:30pm with every other wave starting 5 or 6 minutes thereafter.
- Given the river width and turnaround point, it’s likely to be congested for the first 200 – 300 metres of the swim leg and you’re unlikely to swim freely. Don’t let that bother you!
- The cycle course is very much split into two parts: 10k out of the town, most of which is a constant drag uphill, then 10k back the same route, very fast in parts. Roads are due to be closed, but caution is always warranted!
- The run course is very flat featuring an ‘out and back’ section along the River Barrow.
- Obey the rules and be courteous to fellow competitors and race marshals.
- Beware wandering drunks when out on the run course!
In the week before the race, being well-rested is vital. Triathletes have a (good) habit of being very committed to training and often find it hard not to train! However, the week ahead of a race is one of those times when you should take that break and not feel guilty about it. The training that matters has been done already and flogging yourself a few days before a race is not wise. However, tuning up in the form of short and sharp intervals across all three disciplines is generally recommended. Otherwise, eat good and nutritious food and stay hydrated.
Make sure you have everything you might need for the day. Of critical importance is your TI card or one day licence – no licence, no race! You should know yourself what items you need, but as a guide, see the sample checklist below:
- Tri suit or swimsuit
- Antifog solution for goggles
- Bodyglide (skin lubricant)
- Pre-race sandals or other footwear
- Spare goggles
- Ear plugs
- Water bottles (for frame cages) or hydration pack
- Bag attached under seat or mounted on top tube
- Spare tube or tubes (and/or patch kit)
- Floor pump
- Tyre levers
- Cyclist’s multi-tool (with Allen wrenches)
- CO2 inflator (with cartridge) or minipump
- Sunglasses or clear eye protection
- Jersey, T-shirt or tank top
- Cycling shorts
- Cycling gloves
- Cycling footwear
- Cycling socks
- Running shoes
- Speed (elastic) laces
- Running socks
- Cap or visor
- Sunglasses (if different from cycling glasses)
- Watch or heart rate monitor with chest strap
- First-aid items (blister treatment, bandages)
- Medical info/emergency contact card
- Prescription/over-the-counter medications
- Lip balm
- Chamois cream
- Baby wipes (for cleanups) or hand sanitizer
- Race number and documents
- Race belt (for number)
- Safety pins
- Performance gels/chews/bars
- Performance beverages or drink mixes
- Recovery foods/drinks
- Transition bag(s)
- Bike tire pressure gauge
- Handlebar end caps
- Cash/credit card/photo ID
- After-race clothing (insulation layers if cool)
- Duffel (catch-all for loose gear)
Outlined below is a comprehensive warm-up that incorporates all three disciplines and requires a decent amount of time. What is arguably as important as the physical side of warming-up is the logistical and mental preparation. Make sure that you have everything positioned where you want it (the logistics), ideally as early as possible, so that you can then prepare mentally. Assuming you have allowed sufficient time, this should incorporate familiarising yourself with the course, in particular, in and around transition. If you have any particular concerns, try to limit these. For example, nervous swimmers might walk to the turnaround point to get the measure of the course and note landmarks that might be reassuring during the race; if your bike handling on a TT is rusty, navigate a few corners. Make sure your bike is roadworthy and operating smoothly (faulty bikes cause anger, anger leads to hate, hate causes suffering!).
Before you rack your bike, try to get 10-15 minutes easy cycle- this will give you a feel for you race position, changing gears and pedaling technique. Keep this cycle at easy intensity- This can be a couple of hours before the race start and the purpose is to give you a feel for the bike (Use run/swim as warm up before race).
When racking your bike: Do a couple of jogs through the transition and visualise where you have to enter and exit for T1 & T2. Know exactly where your bike is – memorise how to get to your bike quickly. Placing a ridiculously colourful towel on the ground by your bike is sometimes useful as it can be easy to spot as you run along a row of bikes. You can place your runners, gels, visor, sunglasses etc. on the towel so you can grab them before you head out on the run. Alternatively, note a fixed landmark (not a bike!) and practice making your way to \ from the entry \ exit point.
After racking your bike and setting up your transition completely, do a run warm up next – complete 10-15 minutes jog with 5x 10 strides seconds at intensity of 7/10. Aim to finish your run warm up approximately 20-25 minutes of starting your race, then get wetsuit on for swim warm up below.
Try and get into the water to allow sufficient time for the body to acclimatise. While you don’t want to get cold, given it’s probably one of your first exposures to outside water, acclimatising as best you can is very important. Dynamic movements of your arms and shoulder are suggested (e.g. circling your arms and practicing the swim motion). Start with some aerobic swimming and add 4 x20 seconds at race intensity, with 1 minute easy between each.
Getting There (and Car Pooling)
Registration and race day parking details are outlined in the Race Briefing. The main parking for the race is at Carlow Rowing Club, and the car park opposite the park beside transition. As registration and transition both closes at 11.30am on Sunday morning, we advise aiming to be there well in advance to avoid the stress of any potential delays. The main route will see you get there via the N7, M7, M9 and then approach registration via the N80 ring road, as directed by the organisers. There will be little traffic Sunday morning but you should allow 1 hr 20 minutes to get there from Dublin city centre.
Since there is a large number of us heading down to race it makes sense that we try and minimise our carbon footprint and carpool where possible! If you are interested in giving or getting a lift please post up on the forum and take it from there. The more information and flexibility you can offer, the likelier you are to get a lift! If you are taking a lift please be prepared to contribute to the cost of the journey. Any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Siobhan, John and Ivan
Siobhan Forman, John Wallnutt and Ivan Eustace
National Series Coordinators.