15 May 2010

Self-Supported Triathlon

Doing a self-supported triathlon is a reasonable option when you don't have the ability to travel to a race or were unable to gain entry into an organized event. Here is what I've heard you should consider when doing it:
  • Instead of long out-and-back routes on the bike and/or run, consider doing short loops that return you past your house multiple times. Your house can be your aid station so you don't have to carry all your water and nutrition, especially on the run. This might not be as important for the bike, though you could do 2 or 3 out-and-backs for that in case you need extra nutrition or a nice bathroom with easy access.
  • For your at home aid station, lay out all the nutrition, water, and ice you'll need, just like you'd find at an aid station. If you think you'll need to exchange bottles while on the bike, try to set them up in a way that you don't have to stop and get off your bike to get them. If you are one who utilizes a "special needs bag", have those things available as well.
  • Using your local pool is fine, even if you have to extend your 'transition time' to drive home.
  • Tell friends what you are doing. Maybe some of them will join you for a segment, a loop, or whatever! This will add to the supportive feeling and break up a day that could feel even longer if it is entirely by yourself.
  • Have 2 or 3 timing systems "just in case".
  • Aside from the possibly extended transition after the swim, treat it as an event, learn things about going that distance, and learn about yourself. Or...you don't necessarily have to go as hard as possible for it to be worthwhile.

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