With Lance Armstrong and his road to Calvary, the sport of triathlon is in the media spotlight. Triathlons are getting to be more popular because we see buff men and women (and sometimes, celebrities), crowds cheering you on and a happy finish. But there are a lot of things that aren’t spoken of. Lots of stuff that you only find out about when you actually do one. The following are a set of tips for those doing triathlons in hot and humid climates, in particular long distance one:
- If you do a long triathlon (70.3 or longer), you might need to pee on the way. I’ve only done them in Cancun and there are no port-o-lets on the run nor bike. And if you are ingesting a lot of water, that’s going to have to come out someday. Since you’re bobbing up and down on the run, that may be the moment to watch out.
- Sweating in dark tri suits will show up in white, jagged sweat lines around the parts that had been sweating, making for potentially embarrassing moments.
- Once peed-on shoes stink. Forever.
- Water is your best friend, especially if you are peeing like in #1 or sweating like in #2. Pretend you need to cool off and spray yourself. You’ll avoid the deathly stench of sweat and urine once you dry off and find yourself in the elevator on the way back to your room.
- Test out your bike for those long rides so that you can avoid chaffing. Or lather yourself with the sport lubricant (personal lubrication would do you no good, especially if it’s water-based) of your choice beforehand. I ran with a woman and she had at one point stopped, sat down in a puddle and started throwing water on herself. When I asked what in tarnation was she doing, she said that her bike seat had chaffed her and when she had peed, it was stinging. She needed the water to wash it off.
You couldn’t make this stuff up. Word to the wise, kids: for a pleasant Ironman experience (as it were), keep these words close to the heart. You’ll thank me for it.