I’ve been wanting to write this blog for a while. I in no way think of myself as an expert, but I have done a fair few events and would like others to learn from my mistakes, even if I don’t.
1. This is one for women: Make sure your swim hair and your bike hair are compatible. During my first tri I got into T1 and realized the high ponytail I used to get my hair in a swim cap, meant my bike helmet wouldn’t go on. Cue wasting a minute redoing my hair.
2. Check your wetsuit is zipped up properly: The first time I wore my wetsuit, the Velcro was turned into my neck, very sore. The second time, I made extra sure the Velcro was where it should be, but for some reason it still hurt. Me being me, I didn’t want to stop and work out what was going on, so I carried on for the full 1.5km. It was only when I was trying to take my wetsuit off that I discovered the cord for my zip was caught under the neck. OUCH!
3. More than one pair of goggles: This is more for openwater swims. My last swim was at an outdoor pool, beautiful sunny day, crystal clear water, me with my clear goggles blinded by the sun glinting off the water. I can highly recommend a tinted pair of goggles for sunny openwater swims.
4. This one’s for winter running: A baseball cap. Sounds odd, I agree. But having the peak keep the raindrops off your face makes you feel dry, even if you’re not. It’s also useful in the summer, for those April showers.
5. Let’s talk wetsuits. The men who have seen me put on my wetsuit always seem to freak out when I’m pulling it up my legs. I understand they’re worried I will put a nail through it, and ruin it, but I’m a woman. A woman who has been wearing tights at least three times a week for the last 25 years. I know how to drag things up my legs without putting a nail through them. We’re lucky that life in tights has prepared us for the wetsuit struggle.
6. Correctly fitting shoes. Sounds obvious, but I’ve recently upped my running mileage (marathon fear anyone?), and my blisters have blisters. I even wore blister plasters at the recent Oxford Half Marathon, but this just seemed to create a blister with no liquid in it. So now my foot is just peeling. I have no magic blister cure, but my new trainers do seem to be helping a bit, coupled with much looser laces.