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Racing Is Back!

Races are back in the US!

Time to dust the cobwebs off of your triathlon gear that has been tucked away during the pandemic! Locally, the Valley O.NE Nebraska Marathon occurred on April 23, the Lincoln Marathon took place on May 2, and the Omaha triathlon has released many of its venues and plans for 2021! Nationally, we have seen several Ironman’s and Gravel Races take place. Specialized Physical Therapy’s Professional Triathlete, Morgan Chaffin, has some tips to share as you prepare for your 2021 season!

 

  • Find and gather your gear at least one month before your race. 
    • Write yourself a checklist- What do I have? What do I need to get? Often times I refer to USAT’s checklist found here in a printable version: https://www.teamusa.org/usa-triathlon/usat-for-me/athlete-resources/beginners-guide
    • Important items: Race Belt, Anti-chafing lubricant- my favorites are Chamois Butt’r and their GoStik for wetsuit chafing, rubber bands for the flying mount, transition towel, a Large Sharpie for body marking
    • Check your wetsuit for any snags, rips, or tears and buy the appropriate glue or patch kit to get it race ready. Aquaseal has worked successfully for me.
  • Visit your local bike shop and give your bike some love!
    • Bike Masters Cycling in Elkhorn, Nebraska is well versed in Triathlon and will get you set up for your first event
    • Ask them to check over your bike- brakes, tires, is everything torqued to spec?
    • Are the cleats on the bottoms of your shoes secure? What about your pedals?
    • Bike Masters Cycling can also assist you with bike fitting. It’s important to get that done every couple of years. Our bodies change over time!
  • How old is your helmet?
    • I like to replace my training and racing helmet (+1 year with the pandemic) every 2 years. Sun and normal wear breaks them down overtime. Protect your brain!
  • Practice Transitions and Brick Sessions
    • Practice, Practice, Practice your skills
    • You more than likely haven’t done a flying mount or flying dismount in over a year
    • Run through a short session of Bike-Run-Bike-Run-Bike-Run to work on mastering those important skills again.
    • Even if you don’t do a flying mount it is still extremely important to practice. Set up your transition area in your driveway. Wave to your neighbors when practicing to make it extra fun!
  • Nutrition is key!
    • Plan your fueling strategies.
    • How many grams of carbohydrates do you need per hour? A good rule of thumb is 60g per hour, but many endurance athletes will need quite a bit more.
    • Follow up with a local sports dietitian- I recommend Niki Kubiak: http://nikikubiak.com. She can get your race fueling plan dialed in for you!
    • If you plan to use the nutrition that is on the course I suggest buying some sample sizes before the race and making sure your GI system tolerates them during a high intensity training session.
  • Consult with your Physical Therapist at Specialized Physical Therapy
    • If you have had a nagging injury, muscular imbalance, or apparent weakness it’s best to consult with them before you race. They can get you on a plan so that you feel physically and mentally ready to compete!

I hope you find these tips helpful as you kick off your 2021 triathlon season!

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