The training is just about in the bank. But that doesn't mean you can't do things to shave time. If you've got a tip or a trick to get to the finish line quicker, something that's worked for you maybe, or just sound advice, post it here. Here's two:
1. If you're going to grab sunscreen "on the fly," have the sunscreen volunteer put a big glob of it on your race number - it will not absorb. This way you can apply as you need to while moving.
2. If you're using a race belt (or even if you're not), put a loop of electrical tape over the front and back of the top holes. This will strengthen your number.
Hope this helps, and hope to hear from you veterans out there! See you in PCB!
I will take 2!
Salt Water Swim: Consider applying a bit of Aquaphor or Vaseline on the lips... the salt water can be very "numbing" for the length of an Ironman Swim.
Stretch on the Bike: If you haven't figured this out by now, take stretch breaks on the bike and spin in a lower gear with higher cadance just before transitioning to the run to wake up the leg muscles!
Run: No tricks here... just stay focused and the fastest way to the Finish Line is to RUN!
~All the best on Race Day! Big Fun in the Sun... SWIM, BIKE, RUN!!!!
Best transition tip for the bike, especially with cold hands coming out of the water... buy yourself a cheap plastic shoehorn and have it tucked in one of your bike shoes. You will be amazed how fast you can get your bike shoes on with one of these handy gadgets, especially if your hands are numb from the cold water and your fingers aren't quite yet functioning up to speed (this is my own trick that I figured out about 2 years ago).
got laugh at the shoehorn as I always get "laughed" at for carrying a shoehorn in my transition bag at all my races. I leave my running shoes double knotted (have not graduated to the pull strings).
Great tips everyone, keep them coming!!!
I like the shoehorn idea. Also I have learned from longer distance races that if you have anything that needs to be put into something else, do it before you put it in your transition bags (ie if you are wearing a bike jersey on the bike go ahead and put the food, etc into the jersey pockets.
I also set my shoes up on my bike just like I would in a sprint race. I find that I waste WAY more time strapping my shoes down and then walking on the concrete (tri shoes with speedplay cleats on pavement are not fun) rather than running to the exit of T1 or running into T2 with the shoes on. Make sure you have practiced this though :D
Another thing that saves me time is on the bike nutrition and on the run, I make sure my nutrition bottle(s) are loaded on the nutrition I need, so that I don't have to stop at special needs for nutrition. I am talking more like a paste/gel and less like a drink. Take a shot, and then chase with water. I only use special needs for "special needs" (inclement weather clothing, special food/medicine if the need arises, etc). That way the only stop I need to make is every 2nd/3rd bike stop is to refill on water and maybe use the restroom once/twice on the bike (I am not fast so there is no point for peeing on the bike lol).
That's all i can think of for now
Andy - FYI, you won't be allowed to place your bike shoes on your bike or in the transition area. Per the Athletes Guide, page 8: Helmets and cycling
shoes MUST go into the athlete’s bike gear bag. No
loose gear will be allowed on the ground next to the
They've been pretty serious about this in the past. All you can leave at the bike is the nutrition you have loaded or something that fits in a bento box. The reason for this is that a volunteer may get your bike off the rack for you, and shouldn't be accountable for loose stuff that might fall off or otherwise get misplaced.
swim: spray Pam no stick on your self prior to getting in your wetsuit. makes getting in and out much easier. watch the last 2 buoys on the swim out and see which way the current is going. I volunteered last year and everyone who startrd to the left had to swim against the current to get around them. I'm starting on Far right. Definatley reccomend using a full face mask like aquasphere, keeps pressure off the eyes and much better visability.
bike. do not carry to much water. it adds a lot of weight to your bike. I keep one bottle rack empty just to have room when grabbing one. practice grabbing water bottles. keep in mind volunteers and there kids are handing them to you. great family event. I fill one water bottle with treats(captain crunch, Dots, gummy bears) just leave lid off for ease. don't forget any warm weather clothes. wal mart in panama city sells out quick when temps drop. Last 2 races I have been to had temps in 30's at start.
run: extra pair of socks at special needs. do not eat 3-4 cookies at each mile tranisition. it adds up after 26.
@Ben & All: Ironman Live Race Alerts on Facebook: http://apps.facebook.com/ironmanalerts
Facebook had Ironman Alerts working for the Ironman World Championships. Hopefully they will load the database with Ironman Florida Participants. Let's keep our fingers crossed!