Build Good Triathlon Karma
Anyone who trains consistently, knows the system of karma. It's very simple... Smugly pass a stranded cyclist? You're looking at one month in and out of your local shop trying to figure out what that 'clicking' sound is coming from your bottom bracket. To build good karma, begin with the following steps:
1- Don't be a jerk
2- Give newbies advice
3- Volunteer at a triathlon. Show up on time. Cheer for the athletes. (Extra points for dancing) Stay late to help clean up.
4- Join a club. Participate. See #1. Spend a workout running with the slow pack.
5- Stop whining about your bike, the road, the organizers, your electrolyte levels, your 6:30am start time, your crappy spot in transition. You lose big points for this. Suck it up, princess.
6- When passing stopped cyclists, regardless of their gender, ask if they need help. Repeat after me... "You guys ok?" or "You good?" Also acceptable but seldom utilized, "Hey hot stuff, you need Co2?"
7- Stop leaving your supplement trash on the road
8- Give a nod when passing other cyclists/runners. (Whether or not they nod back doesn't matter)
9- As soon as you finish a race, grab your bagel and cheer for other athletes
10- Everyone used to be someone in high school. Keep it to yourself. We're all pretty.
Pee While Riding a Bike
The most important key is to wait for a fast descent. As soon as you reach the summit of your climb, stand up on your bike and relax. This can be done sitting as well as pedaling, but complicates a simple function unnecessarily. Let it loose while singing "Free Fallin' '" or similar appropriate song. It may take a moment to get going, but remember patience. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was your tri credibility established as one who will do anything, including soiling ones-self, to get to the finish line as fast as possible. You don't belong in the honey bucket line any more than your wife belongs at your shave-down party (see How To Shave Your Legs) Don't worry about those behind you. Once they see what your doing they will find the adrenaline to pass you or the good sense to back off. You're hard core now, and let's be honest, you don't smell any worse than anyone else at the finish line.
Quickly Remove a Wetsuit
We've all done it at the swim exit. Running toward transition cursing under our breath while writhing and fighting to peel off our wetsuit watching those precious seconds ticking away. Each second counts (see How to Pee While Riding Your Bike) and cutting them in transition is one heck of a lot easier than cutting them off your run! A fast exit from the suit begins before the race. In addition to lubricating the problem areas of your wetsuit with an anti-chaffing stick or spray, put a small amount on the outside wetsuit cuff near your wrists and ankles. This will come into play when the suit is being pulled off inside out. Make sure any watches or timing chips are tucked under the cuff of the wetsuit to prevent getting caught. Remember, the wetter the suit the easier it will be to remove. As you begin to exit the water unzip the top of your suit. Holding the neck of your suit out from the body, lean down and allow a rush of water down your chest. As the water rushes in, remove the top of the suit and immediately pull out your arms. There should be plenty of water in the sleeves to make for a reasonably fast exit. If transition is close, run as quickly as possible to your bike with your suit at your waist. If transition is far from the swim exit, step out of the way of other athletes (it may feel like you're wasting time, but remember, "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast" ) and pull the suit down to your knees with both hands then push it down past the calves to the ankles. Slide your thumb down the back of your calf and ankle to clear the suit past your heel. Lift the foot to minimize the area to clear. Suits are much easier to get off if you allow them to go inside out. Since they should be stored and transported this way, there is no harm in leaving it this way in transition.
Survive a Shark Attack
1- Don't swim in the ocean. 99% of all shark attacks happen in the ocean. To determine if you are in an ocean, lick your goggles. If they have a slight salty flavor, you may be in an ocean and are at increased risk for attack. Advise others of your discovery.
2- Try to surround yourself with racers who look more appetizing or are injured (see How To Discreetly Throw an Elbow) Keeping to the middle of the pack will greatly increase your odds of survival as will replacing your teammates sunscreen with steak sauce.
3- Avoid any sudden movements. In the event a shark is spotted, grab the person closest to you and thrust them down toward the shark, then calmly and smoothly swim away.
4- Remain calm. In the event you are bitten, don't panic. This will not help you survive, but everyone else on the beach will really appreciate you not shrieking and flailing about as this can be very unsettling.
Pronounced KEEN-wah. This nutritious carb is packed with complete proteins, the full spectrum of nine essential amino acids, antioxidants, magnesium and high fiber to name just a few. This little side dish has triathlon written all over it. But take one look and you'll be wondering how to cook it. It has a slightly earthy, nutty flavor that my husband loves and I hate. Too honest? Luckily, it takes on flavors well, so if you do not prefer the natural flavor feel free to add some. I've found grilling paste and marinades as well as adding vegetables etc. are an effective way to add some tastiness. You can also throw them in with soups, casseroles and breakfast porridge's. You MUST first wash the seeds in cold water. This removes the bitter coating that turns most first-timers off this super food. They can be soaked for a while if needed but in my experience, rinsing them well is sufficient. Quinoa can be cooked in a rice cooker with one part seeds and two parts liquid. Cook as normal. To cook on stove top, add one part quinoa to a saucepan, with two parts liquid. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer covered. One cup will take 15 minutes to prepare. You'll know when it's done, when the grains become translucent, and the white germ has partially detached itself.
Shave Your Legs
Go into the bathroom alone. Close and lock the door. Your wife/girlfriend is most likely already walking the line of tolerance with your triathlon related habits and doesn't need another mental image to bring to therapy. If there are any children in the home, wait until they are asleep. (see How to Convince Your Children You Are a Superhero) For those shaving for the first time, you may need to first shorten leg hair with an electric hair trimmer. Do this IN the tub, not next to it. Place a towel on the side of the bathtub where you will be sitting. Use a new razor and change blades every 4-5 uses. Turn on the water to a comfortably warm temperature and wet your legs. The warmer it is, the closer the shave. Spread a generous amount of cream over your entire leg. Work your way from the ankle to the thigh, using moderate pressure and moving against the grain of your hair. Swipe 2-4 inches at a time making sure to overlap swipes. Straighten your leg to shave the knee. Rinse the remaining cream off your legs as well as the blade. Dry and moisturize skin with alcohol free lotion. Try to refrain from washing legs with soap or entering salty water for 24 hours as this will cause irritation. Now, dress fully and do your best to refrain from forcing your significant other to feel your legs, or continuously commenting about how 'aero' you feel. Also ignore the fact that your loved one has kept busy by double-fisting cherry cordials while waiting for the bathroom. We all have ways of coping.
Discreetly Throw an Elbow
While we do not endorse hand to hand combat in the sport of triathlon, it was made abundantly clear in the throws of my first swirling vortex of death, (or 'swim leg' as they're often referred to) that there are those who do not feel the same as me on the subject. It occurred to me as the unknown 180 lb. man began to put a whoopin' on me, that I couldn't tell if he was drowning or trying to kill me. So as a public service, I feel it my duty to teach the tri community how to properly execute the move, to more easily tell a drowning friend from an evil foe. Keep your guard high when executing elbows as you will probably be receiving one in return. As you swim, do not reach for the strike. Elbows should only be thrown in close proximity and you risk accidentally sissy smacking your victim on the back of the head, (a.k.a. 'pimp slapping') at which time, your cojones will spontaneously fall to the bottom of the lake. As your elbow rises from the water, resist the desire to extend the arm and instead come down on the back of the victim's head with the pointy part of your elbow. As your arm enters the water, immediately extend for the remainder of the stroke, this will keep you from losing momentum. After all, that's what this is about, right? If the dreaded eye contact is accidentally made, offer a quick apology or quickly cross the eyes. Follow with the other arm in proper form to recover speed and return to the elbow strike arm if a second hit is needed. Just remember the wise advice of my water polo playing brothers, "The ref always sees the second foul." If you are caught, fake a cramp or shark attack. (See How To Survive a Shark Attack #3) It's best to practice this in a group or club setting preferably with women, small children and newbies to simulate who you will be pounding in the race.
Convince Your Children You Are a Superhero
You may think you've fooled them, but since your last Ironman, your children have figured out that there's something different about you. Sitting in the lunch room, they stare back at their hummus and grilled chicken salad wondering if anyone else had their first race flats by second grade. The other dad's have an alarming amount of leg hair and mini-vans with a noticeable lack of racking devices. Their friends' moms are more concerned with their next Diet Coke than dropping hints for a new chainring on Valentine's Day and don't talk nearly as much about average heart rates. They're on to you, you might as well let them in on the secret. You are a superhero. First, you're going to need a good name. Pretty much anything ending with "man" or "woman" is a winner, but be careful not to get too creative, you'll end up in stripper territory and remember, we're trying to reduce the trauma here. You have to create a feeling of secrecy. Try wearing your cycling gear under your work clothes and let your child 'accidentally' catch you ripping your shirt open. Triathlon clinics will now be referred to as "meetings with the Chief". You will now occasionally introduce your spouse as "My side-kick" and regardless of their sex, your training partner will be "Alfred". It is important that they believe you are naturally fit and smooth (see How to Shave Your Legs) so you must hide any effort. Pull out the triathlon bike and explain it's aerodynamic properties that make it easier for you to fly through the air on your specially made, super-charged magical carbon frame without bursting into flames. Show them the tiny holes that shoot poison from the aero-bars explaining your need to keep it out of the reach of children. Explain to them that most crime happens in the early morning and late night, thus your excessive absence during these hours. If they demand you flex for them, make sure you start with the calf, you might not need to go any farther. Whining will be your kryptonite, this is very important to stress so they understand that they have a direct effect on your ability to save the world. Once they know you are from the planet 'Kona' (thus your need to return once a year), it' will be easy to explain the adverse effect that MSG's and High-Fructose Corn Syrup have on your alien bodies and being your off-spring, they will now see why they are discouraged from partaking. Now and then act as if you hear something they don't. When they ask about it, tell them they will develop the trait in time. If they have any further doubts, pull out the aero helmet. With one look, they will understand that no one in their right mind would wear such a ridiculous hat unless it could propel them into orbit with one touch of a finger.