Bad Advices

Nothing new on race day

So they say you should never try new equipment or gear on a race day, that you always should test it way before the race in training.

Pessimistic cowards! Always try new equipment on a race, not before it!

When you ride your shiny brand new super aero triathlon bicycle for the first time – you go faster than you naturally are capable of. This is happening because new gear has this effect which some pessimistic people call placebo. I call it “wow new bike I am awesome” effect. The only drawback is that it only works once. Second time – no significant boost. So why waste this effect on training rides?

This effect applies to everything – new swimming goggles won’t get foggy only the first time you wear them, who cares if they don’t fit your face perfectly? You can always adjust them during the swim. A new shiny wetsuit is supposed to be tight! It is not you who is fat and did too much of wishful thinking that you can fit into M size when you were wetsuit shopping last night on a race expo. Running shoes are meant to cause bloody blisters! Severe pain makes you run faster! And what a great idea is to test new nutrition on a race! If you are lucky enough you will get a gel that will cause severe diarrhea that will propel you to the finish line!

Oh, a don’t forget how awesome you will look like in the race photos in that shiny new tri-suit!

Always test new stuff on a race day!

Bad Advices

Art of grabbing a drink

No, it is not about grabbing a drink after work in a pub next to you. It is about hydration during a race.

That should not be new to any really Bad Triathlete, but if it then here is the harsh truth:

There is no evidence that water helps you perform better. It is still up to debate if there are any advantages in drinking any fluids during a race – be it your local sprint triathlon or Ironman World Championship in Kona. What is not up to debate is the technique you use for drinking, while it is relatively easy to hydrate during a swim leg, you open your mouth and hydrate, it is not so straightforward on the run.

All these fancy running and triathlon websites are happy to deliver thousands of articles telling you what brand to drink and how much. But they won’t tell you the most important thing – how to do it correctly.

The right way to grab a drink in a triathlon during a run leg is this:

Step one – Approaching an Aid Station

When approaching an aid station, start yelling. You should yell WATER or GATORADE. Because those volunteers only have that crap Gatorade and ambrosia in the form of water. By shouting it, you are letting them know what you require.

Step two – Initial Contact

Approach a volunteer, make eye contact so he can establish this emotional connection with you and understand that utterly devastating physical state you are currently in.

Step three – Act of Hydration

Grab a cup with an open palm and drink it with one big gulp!

Easy right? Don’t be afraid about splashing your drink all over your face, because what can be better than sticky Gatorade face for the remainder of the race.

Under no circumstances, you should

  1. Grab the cup around the top rim.
  2. Squeeze one side of the of the cup, so it is pointed like your grandma’s sauceboat.  Typically people do it by putting their pointing finger in the cup.
  3. Put that pointed top of the improvised sauceboat in your mouth.
  4. Drink by doing small sips.
  5. Reduce your record-breaking pace or stop for drinking convenience

That’s it. Follow these simple advice, and you will master this.

Bad Advices

Drafting in swimming

They say that drafting can make a big difference in your swim. That drafting can save you a lot of precious time in swim leg, that you are wasting time and energy if you are not drafting. That drafting can reduce energy output by up to 40 percent.

That is all bullshit.

There are no rules against drafting another swimmer, which means it does not help. Because we all know that everything that can make you faster is already banned, right?

Drafting during the bike leg? Banned.

Use of PEDs? Not allowed.

Buoys and fins? No, you can’t use them too.

So please, stop doing this drafting nonsense – nobody likes people who are tickling your feet when you try to swim your amazing 2:45 per 100yd pace in an Ironman! So under no circumstances never position yourself:

Behind somebody during swim leaving 1 foot between your outstretched hand and their feet to stay in the draft zone.
Slightly to the side of somebody who is a faster swimmer then you – between the ankles and hips. If you position yourself here, you will be surfing bow wave created by that swimmer.

Don’t fucking draft.