Friday, July 8, 2011

Because I Know You Know It All

So many Half Ironman questions, so little time. Not only am I a tri-newbie, but I’m also a long distance tri-newbie.

If you have answers/opinions regarding any of the below, please leave in the comments section:

  • Sleeveless wetsuit or full? Water temp will be in the low 70s. This will likely not be my only tri.
  • How many calories on the bike per hour?
  • What type of fuel is your favorite on the bike?
  • What is the longest brick distance I should do it training?
  • Should I do a swim/bike/run workout (i.e., 2,200 yard swim, 50 mile bike, 5 mile run) a few weeks prior to the race?
  • What if I am swimming and panic or can’t go any further during the race?
  • What is the hardest part of the transitions? Getting the damn wetsuit off?
  • Will I be the only one without aerobars?
  • How do I not get psyched out when people pass me on the bike?
  • Is everyone who does these races super crazy fast and better than me?
  • What is your best tip for me about this race?

Many, many more to come over the next 31 days. Bear with me.



  1. You
    Well no "useful" info.
    Vegas moves-yes.
    Tri moves-holyfreakingNo

    But I love you woman!

  2. I'm just a swimmer, but have swum in 70.3 relays before. Here goes.

    Sleeveless wetsuit. Nothing worse or more potentially dangerous than overheating. You will be fine.

    If you start to panic, are you in water deep enough to stand? I'd suggest starting to the outside of your wave and letting people duke it out. That's most of the source of my panic. If you really feel like you're gonna lose it, flip over and float on your back for a little while. Remind yourself to breathe. I have serious fears of open water, despite having been an NCAA Division I swimmer and around water my entire life.

    My best tip for you on the swim would be to relax your legs and focus on your rotation in the water to help pull you through with less effort. It's easy to get carried away and want to sprint (requiring a lot of legs), but don't do it. DO NOT.

    You will be GREAT. I'm looking forward to hearing about your race when the time comes!

  3. I take in Gu Chomps on the bike, I love them and I love to play games with them while I ride for that long (ie see how long I can keep it in one piece without biting it until it's gone). I save the Gu's for the run. For my first half I used a Clif bar on the bike also, but I was sure to cut it into bite-sized pieces so I could grab and eat them easier.
    My longest brick was a 4 hour ride + 30 minute run, then probably a 1 hour run the next day. I NEVER did more than 30 minutes off the bike. I also never did a SBR workout before race day. Just trust the training.
    Lots of other people will not have aerobars on their bikes, and a.)you're not slow so don't worry about too many people passing you. There will certainly be people who do, but I can assure you that you'll pass a lot of people as well.
    Just race your race and have fun. Always the best advice!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Full wetsuit for me, but I am usually cold. With the sleevless you have to deal with chafing issues. I've never overheated in the full suit (other than in the pool).

    200-300 calories per hour on the bike. For Ironman, I alternated: first hour was a bottle of infinit, which was great b/c it had all of the fluids, carbs, calories, and sodium I needed. Second hour was 1 bottle of water, 1 s-cap, and either a bunch of oreos or combos.

    The hardest parts of transitions for me is keeping my HR down and putting dry socks on wet feet (you can roll them up beforehand).

    Not everyone has aerobars, and lots of people are not fast. It is all relative...

    Don't worry about being passed on the bike. Just know you'll catch them on the run and have fun tracking them down and taking them out. :)

    Nope. Not everyone who races is fast. I am speaking for myself.

    Take it one mile at a time. Don't think about the overall distance or the distance of each leg. Focus on getting each loop of the swim done, and ticking off each mile of the bike and run.

    Good luck! Have fun! Don't freak!

  6. Sleeveless wetsuit if you think you will wear it at other races and/or have any tendency to get hot/sweaty while working out.

    As many calories as you can handle on the bike b/c its gonna get hard to take them in while you run. 300 calories for sure per hour.

    I like a combo of G2 and carbopro to drink plus either gu's, swedish fish, or medjool dates. whatever keeps your stomach happy. use what you use in training.

    A long brick of 2hr bike + 1 hour run should be more than enough to know you'll be able to get through, as long as you've done a few 3 hour rides (not in brick)

    I don't think a SBR workout is necessary but if you want to, go for it. My suggestion would be to make sure to space it out with longer transitions in between (like 45min) to make it easier on the body.

    You will do great on the swim! Don't worry. If you do panic, just take a break. Do what you need to get composed (lay on your back, unzipped wetsuit, get one of the swim angels to come talk to you) and then get back at it.

    Take your time in transition, if you don't hurry things will go smoothly.

    I didn't have aerobars for my first 2 70.3s - I was certainly not the only one. Lots of people on road bikes for sure.

    I know we all can be hard on ourselves, but try to cut out the negative self talk while you take on this adventure. Getting passed on the bike just means that your race plan and that person's race plan are different. Stick with yours, don't get sucked into theirs.

    The beauty of triathlon, IMHO, is that there are so many different types and speeds of people who take part. Fast or slow, everything at the finish line just went 70.3 miles!!!

  7. im a tri newbie too and never done a HIM, but this is my 2 cents:
    ~with where you live the wetsuit is iffy...i would go with sleeveless for low 70s, but maybe a full for temps lower???
    ~not sure about the fuel, as ive only done sprints, but i just use gu in a gelbot
    ~if you panic during the swim, just flip over on your back and rest a while, i do this several WILL be able to finish!
    ~harderst part for me is trying not to be so frantic, the more i rush the more is seems to slow me down.
    ~no you will NOT be the only one without aerobars!
    ~i like to look at their age group on the back of their legs, for the most part my AG peers dont pass me, but i do get passed alot. its reassuring to know my "competition" isnt passing me. I DO freak out a little when someone in my AG does pass me though, it really pisses me off!!! but know that you will pass a lot of people on the run, youre wicked fast!


    The hardest part of transitions is your adrenaline kicking in. I put my shirt on backwards three times in my last race at T1 :D

    My advice? HAVE FUN!!!

  9. Let's tris have been in ocen water only, but I will share my expertise. Never the half ironman though - you amaze me.

    Wetsuit - sleeveless. I didn't have any problems with chafing but had lathered up with Body Glide beforehand.

    Swim - I wasn't in a huge rush, and actually had to flip onto my back for a while (asthma kicked in). Got hit in the face by what I'm sure is a senior member of AARP. Gads. I agree with Katherine - do NOT sprint on the swim or you'll regret it later. If there is a clinic for the open swim area, I would absolutely do it - I was in ocean water, and it was the #1 best thing I did to understand what the heck I was doing.

    Bike - We had a mix of those with and those without. The die-hards used them just to look cool, I'm sure, but no pressure at all. I wouldn't mess with something you're not used to - just do what you have been doing.

    Run - you sort of have this part nailed. No advice needed.

    Fueling - I like the blocks as well. Easy to transport.

    Transition - baby powder. Dries up damp feet (it's in my car for trips to the beach).

    Overall - have fun! People are out there cheering and just enjoy yourself!

  10. You know I've got lots to say, but I'm not going to try to say it via iPhone. I'll be back.

  11. I've never done a tri, but I've been on the kayak water safety crew for tons of them. That's what we're there for. If you freak out, need a break, get overwhelmed by the amount of people...whatever. Go on over to them. In all of the events I've worked, the swimmers are allowed to hang on and rest. I'm always surprised how many people tell me that it's their first open water swim, ever. They didn't think to do a practice run here and there outside first.

    I don't know how well you swim, or bike...but trust me, you won't be the slowest. There are all speeds of people out there competing. And you definitely won't be the only one without aerobars.

  12. I'm getting ready for my first 70.3 too but here's what my research and experimentation has taught me:

    Sleeveless wetsuit or full? Water temp will be in the low 70s.
    This will likely not be my only tri.


    How many calories on the bike per hour?

    I LIKE ABOUT 200

    What type of fuel is your favorite on the bike?


    What is the longest brick distance I should do it training?


    Should I do a swim/bike/run workout (i.e., 2,200 yard swim, 50 mile bike, 5 mile run) a few weeks prior to the race?


    What if I am swimming and panic or can’t go any further during the race?


    What is the hardest part of the transitions? Getting the damn wetsuit off?


    Will I be the only one without aerobars?

    How do I not get psyched out when people pass me on the bike?


    Is everyone who does these races super crazy fast and better than me?


    What is your best tip for me about this race?


  13. I have done one 70.3 and did 2 sprints before that. You might want to get into a sprint or intermediate before your 70.3 just for the experience. It certainly helped my confidence and made the swim and transitions much less stressful.

    Wetsuits - find a store that does demos. I was able to test them that way and found what worked for me.

    I eat shot blocks, gels, peanut butter powerbar energy, and salted pretzels.

    During the swim, they will have kayaks/boats out there. You can swim to one and hang on if you have a hard time as long as you don't use it to advance. As long as you relax in the water, you will be fine.

    You will see all kinds of people/bikes out there. There will be people faster and slower than you. I passed people on tri-bikes but got passed by a 68 year old like I was standing still. You just have to do your own race! As a runner, you can expect to pass a lot of people on the run.

    My tip - enjoy the race! Smile and thank the volunteers. Have fun with it, and you will be signing up for another :)

  14. I've done 2 HIMs, so here's my 2cents!

    * I actually have both, but I have to say I use my full more (especially here in CO). But, you'll be fine with a sleeveless!

    * Probably about 200/hr. I use a Bento box and load it up with a mix of fig newtons, cut up clif bar, and shot bloks. That way I choose what to eat while I'm out there.

    * I don't think a S/B/R training day is necessary. Trust in your training and you'll be fine on race day!

    * I have panicked in the swim before and when it happened I reverted to doing the breast stroke or side stroke. I ended up kicking some people doing that, but it was what I needed to do to calm down and get through the swim. Know that the kayakers are there for you. If you need help, wave one over. You are allowed to hang on to the side and catch your breath w/out a penalty!

    * Hardest part is the wetsuit, but if you use Bodyglide or Trislide (love it!) you'll be good to go!

    * No...most people don't have aerobars!

    * You will get passed on the bike...everyone does. Don't let it defeat you! But, don't let it make you go too fast either! Go at your own pace. Going too hard on the bike can really hurt you on the run!

    * The best tip I can give you for the Boulder 70.3 is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!! I did it last year and it was HOT! Unless the Mother Nature decides to be nice this year, it will be hot and if you're not hydrated, it can be a very long day!

    * Another tip...just remember to have fun out there! Trust in your training and you are going to do great! :)

  15. I'm a long time reader and a triathlete. I've done several half-iron races - just a warning- you will be hooked!

    Sleeveless wetsuit will give you the most versatility. I wore a sleeveless for IMAZ and the water temp was 62.

    How many calories on the bike per hour?
    It really depends on how quickly you burn through your fuel. I try to aim for 250. Use your watch to track your calories/hour in training. I set my watch to go off every 15mins. When it beeps, I either eat a bite or drink.

    What type of fuel is your favorite on the bike?
    I LOVE Honey Stinger Waffles! Yummy! Water mixed with NUUN tabs plus carbo pro for my drink.

    What is the longest brick distance I should do it training?
    I agree with a previous poster - 2 hr bike and 1 hr run.

    Should I do a swim/bike/run workout (i.e., 2,200 yard swim, 50 mile bike, 5 mile run) a few weeks prior to the race?
    Not necessary. If you want, you could do a swim / bike brick (not the full distance - very short). Most training plans have just 1 bike/run brick per week.

    What if I am swimming and panic or can’t go any further during the race?
    Hang onto a kayak - crack a few jokes with the volunteers- you'll be fine. And if something happens and you can't continue - there is always another race. But don't worry - just enjoy the entire day. When I start feeling low, I encourage the other racers around me.

    What is the hardest part of the transitions? Getting the damn wetsuit off?

    Hopefully there will be strippers at your race! Not sexy unclad guys but volunteers who will rip your wetsuit right off. As you are finishing the swim, start to think about transition -the order you will put stuff on... socks, shoes, sunglasses, helmet...

    Will I be the only one without aerobars?
    No not at all! It's not about the bike...

    How do I not get psyched out when people pass me on the bike?
    Race your race and block everyone else out because will be passing them on the run! Too many people get so excited and kill the bike then die on the run.

    Is everyone who does these races super crazy fast and better than me?
    No.. I am slow - not a fast twitch muscle in my body and I haven't been the last one yet. Go race YOUR race and have a GREAT time! Hello - you ran BOSTON! Wear your Boston jacket on the morning of the race and psych everyone out :)

    What is your best tip for me about this race?
    Just enjoy it. You know you can swim 2200 yds, you know you can bike 56 mls and good grief - 13.1 mls is like a warm up for you! Just realize that it is a long day - don't blow up in the first 100m of the swim. Pace yourself and then kick it at the end!

    Pre-race make lists so you don't forget anything. Don't try anything new that you haven't done in training.
    Good Luck and Have FUN!!

  16. Prefacing with I have no triathlon-specific advice as I have never done one, but here are somethings I think might be helpful…if you are particularly concerned about pieces of the experience, practice those pieces. For example, practice taking that wetsuit off and jumping on your bike as fast as you can until you feel good about it. Have Ken ride just behind you and then blow past you right when you least expect it and practice holding YOUR pace. Get good and confident with what your paces will be and know that you CAN hold them and you WILL finish and feel awesome about conquering your first HIM! Wishing you all the best as you enter this lead-up phase in your training, and I believe you will do amazingly :)

  17. Just a runner but knowing what I know about you from this blog you will ROCK it. If you do come in last (which I highly doubt) be proud and go with it : )

    I think that is the greatest thing about what we average people do there is always someone better and worse to make us feel good and/or push us to do more! Keep up the great work.

    I eat the Cliff Blocks while running and enjoy them but not sure how they would work on a bike since the package is sort of hard to handle.

    Good luck!

  18. Ditto to Emz, nothing here. And I love you too!!

  19. Sleevless for sure.

    No you won't be the only one without aerobars.

    Keep your goals modest and understand that your first tri is a 'learning' experience. If something goes wrong, you learn from it for next time.

  20. I like my sleeved suit so much I sold my sleeveless one, I like the extra bouyancy and have never overheated. Also, there should be wetsuit strippers, which are great! Find the biggest guy, point to them and let them strip it off you!

    I have had issues in open water swim before, the things that help are getting into the water before the race just to get used to the water temp and practice a few strokes. I always start in the back and actually wait for my wave to go so I have open water in front of me, helps a ton with the panic. I also focus on long, smooth strokes and even breathing, which helps against panic attacks.

    For fuel, use what you use din training! I mix up a bottole of Accelerade, Endurolytes and 2 gels...I alternated that with water every 15 minutes or so. On the run I took one gel and once ate a pack of fig newtons when my stomach couldn't take gels.

    In transition, roll your socks like a condom before the race, MUCH easier to roll on to your foot when wet.

    I am a runner at heart so when I see people pass me on the bike, I take pride in knowing I will most likely pass them on the run :) THAT is the best feeling!

    Do not worry about not having aero bars, I raced my first years of triathlons on a 1986 Centurion road bike, the shifter was on the top tube..yeah that made races interesting. But I didn't care, it's all about the motor!

    Best tip? Have fun! Seriously, I did 2 half Ironman races last year, the first one I stressed over and didn't enjoy it and had a pretty piss poor race. For the second one, I just made sure to stay in the moment and enjoy it. It was pouring rain the entire bike portion but I just took it all in and slashed 40 minutes off my previous HIM time.

  21. The longest distance tri I've ever done was an Olympic level so not as far, but maybe I can help a little :)

    Definitely go sleeveless--it'll be more useful, more often! And I still haven't used aerobars, although I keep meaning to get around to that...

    The open water swim used to get me the most nervous, but there are plenty of kayaks, buoys, other swimmers, etc. to hang onto if you get tired! It will really be more mental! There is always a ton of flailing and splashing and moving in the water and it really (for me anyway!) becomes a mental battle to just stay calm and go my own pace.

    And have fun!

  22. I have only done one half Ironman but here are my thoughts:

    * Sleeveless wetsuit or full? Water temp will be in the low 70s. This will likely not be my only tri. I prefer full sleeves, more buoyancy equals a faster swim.
    * How many calories on the bike per hour?Everyone is different but I prefer 200 to 250
    * What type of fuel is your favorite on the bike? Honey Stinger Chews and waffles
    * What is the longest brick distance I should do it training?I did a 50 bike/10 run as a confidence builder but I have heard you don't need long bricks
    * Should I do a swim/bike/run workout (i.e., 2,200 yard swim, 50 mile bike, 5 mile run) a few weeks prior to the race? I don't think you need all three but be sure to get in a swim/brick workout
    * What if I am swimming and panic or can’t go any further during the race? Most races allow you to hang onto the kayaks and then keep going as long as they don't help propel you.
    * What is the hardest part of the transitions? Getting the damn wetsuit off? while trying to get my wetsuit off during my HIM my calves cramped! Tri slide helps.
    * Will I be the only one without aerobars? Nope
    * How do I not get psyched out when people pass me on the bike? It will happen, don't worry about it
    * Is everyone who does these races super crazy fast and better than me? No way, you will kick ass
    * What is your best tip for me about this race? eat, eat, eat and DRINK on the bike! Oh and ice in the bra is heaven on a hot run.

  23. Well I'm just going to answer a couple of these...but 1st off I'm glad I'm not the only one just thinking of some of these things.

    No you won't be the slowest or the only one without aerobars ...I can guarantee I'll be behind you, but I don't suppose I'll be least I hope to hell not! :)

    Make sure to get in the open water a couple of more times before the race and chances are you will be fine, but if you do yourself down.

    Getting the wetsuit off is easier then you think just step on it and pull it off.

    My plan is just to have fun and maybe cry or kiss someone when I finish (notice I said when)...since I don't think I'll have any family there, the volunteers may be fair game. :)

    And last thanks for posting these questions as I will be reading the answers with much interest.

  24. I'm with Emz. Nothing to offer. Waving the white flag, but I'm sure the experts will help you out.

  25. I can hardly call myself a triathlete, much less an athlete, but here's what I've got:

    -Don't forget to take off your helmet when you get off the bike and start the run. You laugh, but I've seen it happen.

    -Make sure you have enough fluids on your bike, especially if you lose a water bottle.

    -DO NOT forget sunscreen.

    -People freak out more thinking about the swim than the actual swim. Don't worry about it. Just stay to the outside if you need to, you'll make it.

  26. I can't swim, so my questions are more like, "What's the fastest technique to deflate floaties in T1?"

  27. I don't have a lot to add, and in fact am learning from all these great comments! I have done several sprints and am training for my first Oly. But my advice...swim/bike/run your own race, don't worry about anyone else who may or may not pass you. And this is your first HIM so whatever your time is a PR. Finally, as a wise friend once told me, everyone who finishes in 4th place or after gets the same medal...whether you're in 4th place or last. :)

  28. Half ironman - that's ah.mazing. I got nothing for advice...just admiration! You'll rock it.

  29. You know, there will be all sorts of different responses to your questions. You'll find out what works best for you.
    As for the wetsuit, Ted bought a full suit for NY State waters but I think, even after swimming in 58 deg. waters in his first sprint, he would rather have the sleeveless. It allows more shoulder movement.

    In the end, you have such strong mental stamina to overcome all the hurdles that the race could throw at you, one way or another you'll make it to the finish line.

  30. Sleeveless wetsuit or full? Water temp will be in the low 70s. This will likely not be my only tri.
    I'm thinking sleeveless will be easier to swim in but I specifially pick triatlons with NO HOPE for a wetsuit. Don't own one and don't want to swim in water that would require one.

    How many calories on the bike per hour? this is VERY individual and you cannot use someone else's numbers. Go to Hammer Nutrition and search their articles - they have EXCELLENT nutrition information. This is a question only YOU can answer - and you get this during training.

    What type of fuel is your favorite on the bike? I use cytomax, Electrolit (on especially hot days - i.e. approaching 40C) and GU.

    What is the longest brick distance I should do it training? Should I do a swim/bike/run workout (i.e., 2,200 yard swim, 50 mile bike, 5 mile run) a few weeks prior to the race? Everyone says it is not necessary to do an approximate "race" before the event because it takes too long to recover from it. Having done a recent HIM I'd agree but I had questions before mine (nutritional) so I did 90km followed by 10km run. I got great nutritional and pacing info from that brick. I'd leave the swim out of your proposed brick up there or do it separated as swim is your weakest, right? Go ahead with the bike and run but dump the swim or do it later. You don't want to be paying for training during your event.

    What if I am swimming and panic or can’t go any further during the race? Grab a kayak. Flip onto your back and float.

    What is the hardest part of the transitions? Getting the damn wetsuit off? No stinking wetsuits here. For me, it was making the brain work. :) you go from zooonnnnnee to BAM@! to zoooonnnnneee to BAM!!! :)

    Will I be the only one without aerobars? I doubt it. I won my AG (in my 2nd ever Tri and 1st HIM) and beat every other woman in at least 2 lower AGs on my bike leg at my HIM and I'm using a 1990s Trek bike with no aerobars. I came in off the bike with all the female racks completely empty within sight.

    How do I not get psyched out when people pass me on the bike?
    Keep to your plan. Know your target HR and keep to that. Know they're keeping to their race plan or will blow up big time on the run.

    Is everyone who does these races super crazy fast and better than me?
    not at all. I'm The Slowest Runner in the entire world. I had never run further than 12 km before my HIM. I GALLOWALKED my HIM run and could not believe I was PASSING PEOPLE! I stuck to my race plan and watched others blow up on the run BIG TIME. :)

    What is your best tip for me about this race? ENJOY IT! I had a goal to win my AG but I knew that #1 was to have fun and to Stick To The Race Plan. I am STILL high from that HIM a month later. :) I enjoyed the HELL out of that race (but I had prepared well) and the icing was winning my AG.

  31. Beth: I can't say anything more than everyone else has, other than:

    It's about completion, not perfection.

    Race YOUR race. Not theirs.

    You're going to do great!

  32. 1. I LOVE sleeveless. I've never chafed, and I think the movement feels more free/natural in the water.

    2. Shot. Blocks. (for bike fuel) Pretty sure I am in love with them.

    3. Transitions: I do think getting the wetsuit off took the longest. But as long as you actually PRACTICE the transitions, you'll be fabulous =)

  33. Yeah, like EMZ, I got Nada. I do think you are a stud though.

  34. Wetsuit - I would go full sleeve, but I am usually cold. There is also the arguement that fullsleeve is more aerodynamic.

    I take Infinit on the bike, and aim for 200-250 calories per hour. My stomach prefers liquid.

    I don't think a s/b/r brick is necessary, but your 50 bike/5 run is a good idea. You won't gain anything from swimming right beforehand.

    If you panic during the swim, try flipping onto your back and taking some deep breaths.

    Getting the wetsuit off is the hardest part of transition. Make sure to have everything laid out so you won't forget anything.

    You will not be the only one without aerobars. If someone passes you don't worry about it. Remember it is your own race!

    No, not everyone is crazy-fast :-)

    Best tip: Have fun! I had so much fun during my first half IM I just couldn't stop smiling. Soak up the experience!!

    Hope that helped, you're gonna rock it!

  35. I just wanted to say that Rachel's advice - "Getting passed on the bike just means that your race plan and that person's race plan are different. Stick with yours, don't get sucked into theirs." - is the best race advice (for any event) that I have ever seen. Awesome!


  36. JUST BREATH! Everyone trains different, rides different, eat different. What ever! You've got this!!!!!!!!

  37. I tried fat free fig newtons this weekend and they worked well. About the same calorie density/size as a gel, but actually have more sodium and potassium than a lot of gels, plus a little more filling.
    Don't worry about panicking in the swim. You'll be as buoyant as a loose turd in that wetsuit, so just chill out and rest if you need to. And there will be lifeguards aplenty.

    Just remember to go at your own pace during the whole race. Don't worry about what other people are doing or what equipment they have. Focuse on your performance and comfort. Every race is a learning experience, so just take what your learn and apply it to the next one (that's a good reason to squeeze in a shorter tri before this one if you's practice).

  38. I haven't done a HIM but I've done 4 sprints and my first Oly is in 1 1/2 months (and I live in Denver so I admire all of your ridiculously hard bike rides!). I just wanted to share a tip about getting wetsuits off - put body lotion on your arms and legs before the race. It slides right off. Just avoid the areas you have body marked because that makes the body marking come off too. I'm sure you'll do great!

  39. You've gotten great advice. The only thing I have to add is about fuel. I like actual food on the bike (not too much but some) and so I have a couple of lunchables (peanut butter and honey are the best) and also shot blocks. Accelerade for hydration.

    My cycling changed forever when I disciplined myself to consume a quarter of my water bottle every fifteen minutes. I literally started dropping people I cuoldn't hang with - the hydration has a MUCh bigger impact on the bike.

    And triathletes are a pretty supportive bunch. Don't sweat getting passed.

  40. One thing to consider...I don't know what the rules are for this specific race, but if the temps are in the low 70s, it may not be wetsuit legal. Some tris let you wear them but your time won't count. May not be a big deal to you, but definitely check on that. For a swim that long, you may get hot. I've never done a HIM (next year's goal!), but I've done OWS that distance many times, and I agree that if in fact it's legal water temps, go with the sleeveless. I actually prefer to go without if I can (comfort issue), but if you're racing you may pick up some valuable minutes.

  41. I am late to the party and alot of good info, I will throw in my 2 cents.

    - Sleeveless, your shoulders will thank you later for it
    - Your body can only digest 300-400 calories per hour, keep it in that range, "try to nimble" every 15 minutes on the bike, I know its hard to remember, but its worth it, practice while out training
    - Fuel is purely an individuals choice, what works for me, might not work for you, I suggest to use your favorite run nutrition on the bike because you know it works for you
    - Bricks are used to get use to transtioning from sport to sport, usually are longish rides and short runs. An easy one to do, everytime you bike, as soon as your done, run for 15 minutes.
    - Panicing, if you in your wetsuit, just turn over and float on your back till you feel better, also practice "in case of emergency strokes" as in breaststroke or backstroke, so when you have a panic attack, you can swim another stroke for a while till you calm down. If your in a serious panic attack, raise your arm in the air and yell so that the person on the kayak and come get you. You are allowed to grab onto a kayak and hold on for a little bit. 2 things to remember, you must be in the water, dont get out and get on the kayak, just hold on its side and most importantly, watch the lifeguard and his whistle. If they blow their whistle, your race is done, they are basically made the call to end your race. If you see them raise their whistle, yell as loud as you can for them not to blow it. This barely happens and only happens when they think someone will not finish the swim, but be aware of it.
    - Transition are not hard, the hardest part is locating your spot. Getting out of the water, you will feel loopy when back on land. Create a mental saying to get everything you need. I say "shoe, shoe, helmet, glass's, bike, go" Practice them, they are not hard at all.
    - wetsuits are not hard to get off, your wet so they slide off easier, the hardest part is the feet and ankles, just sit on the ground and yank it off
    - dont worry about the aerobars, depending on the course, I will bring my road bike and race with it over my TT bike
    - Dont worry about people passing, you will pass a ton on the run, not everyone is fast, most people are not fast, most people are the everyday joe that is doing this race to prove they can do it. Only 1% of the people are actual racing, the other 99% are happy to cross the finish line, they are only racing theirselves, when you are out there, its just you against the course. I remember on a training swim a long time ago, someone was asking a recent ironman finisher alot of questions and was in awe of their race. what was said next has always stuck with me, he said " you know what you call the first person to cross the finishline, a triathlete, you know what they call the last person to cross a finishline.... a triathlete.
    - Most important tip, have fun, enjoy they day, embrace the race atmosphere. It will be a long day, it will not go 100% like you want it to, it never does, regardless if its your first or 20 tri. Stay focus and only worry about your race. and dont forget to smile and zip up your race top at the finishline for the photographer

    Good luck!!

  42. If you are like me by the time you are out of the water and 10 miles into the bike the pros will be coming around on their 2nd loop. So I just assume everyone who passes me is a pro! Works for me!