Taking triathlon training to the next level

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Waiting to scan my barcode at parkun

On the morning of 13th July, I slotted in some time to dedicate to my triathlon training even though the Super Sprint should only take me an hour or so (the course is a 450m swim, 10K bike, and 2.5K run).  My training plan was a brick session, which meant I had to complete two disciplines back to back.  I took my bike out for an eight mile cycle before parkrun which was nice as the roads were fairly quiet.  I also tried to only turn left so that I could keep my momentum going.  Parkrun is always 5K, twice the distance I needed to run.  Conveniently, my parkrun is two laps so I took the first lap what I thought was pretty fast (for me) to replicate what the London Triathlon will be like.  After looking at my splits on Strava, it turns out the second lap was faster for me.  My legs must have been feeling it from the bike ride.  That is one of the great things about brick sessions is that you have an idea of how your body will feel switching disciplines.  You can mentally and physically prepare yourself for the race, knowing that you will come out the other side.

Kneesuit for me is function over fashion
In order to stick to my rule of "nothing new on race day," I tried out a kneesuit from Simply Swim* as part of this session.  This suit appealed to me because I could wear it under my wet suit and not waste time in transition changing my outfit.  Padded shorts are not my thing, which is why I didn't go for a traditional tri suit.  Of course, I needed to wear a sports bra under the suit because it only had a shelf bra but this would be the case if I wore a regular swim suit too. 

Usually, I prefer to wear clothes that cover the areas of my body that make me insecure (primarily my stomach).  This kneesuit leaves nothing to the imagination in terms of my body shape but at least it is all black.  The light blue on the top is a nice detail too.  While I don't think it is flattering on me (some swimsuits may have shaping material but the kneesuit did not), it did not cause any chafing or get pulled into an uncomfortable position.  Not once did I have to adjust it while on the bike or run.  That makes it a winner in my book and perfect for the tri.

Although I was self-conscious at first of this form-fitting suit, I quickly realized that I actually looked pretty bad-ass in it.  I was training for a triathlon! The people around me didn't know what distance I was doing.  I just looked like I meant business in my knee-length-swimming-costume-turned-run-kit. As my mindset changed, I carried my head a little higher and slowly started to pass people, though the passing people bit was probably due to my legs recovering from my bike ride.

There are two downsides to the kneesuit.  The first is that I don't have anything to wipe my sweat or snot on (this is where a sleeve comes in handy).  The other is that it is hard to stop for a pee in the suit as the entire top needs to be pulled down to use the bathroom.  Luckily, this was never an issue during my training sessions in the kneesuit.  With an aim of finishing the Super Sprint in 60 minutes or less, so I should be able to hold it.  It would be something to consider if I up my distance next year. Many times during my marathons, I have to stop and use with bathroom.  Some athletes, who take their racing much more serious than I do,will urinate on their bike or while running.  I don't think I can do that on purpose.  If I start coughing while running, it might happen but be out of my control.  We shall see what happens on race day.

The kneesuit worked great with my Aptonia triathlon wetsuit* when I finally tried them both in the open water.  While I am a fairly confident swimmer in the pool, mentally everything changed for me in the open water when I couldn't see the bottom.  It took a few sessions in the open water to calm my nerves and figure out that I needed to pull my neck and sleeves a bit open to ensure water entered my wet suit.  Again, no chaffing from either piece of kit during the swim, which was a relief.  Having tried these together makes me more confident for the London Triathlon* on Saturday.

What do you wear for a triathlon?  Do you change your outfit depending on the distance?

*Thanks to Simply Swim for gifting me the kneesuit, Decathlon for the wet suit, and Limelight Sports for the London Triathlon entry.  All opinions are honest and my own.

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