First timers Guide

Eclipse Triathlon "Clinic" for newcomers


What is the term "Spotting"

Spotting is a term used to describe the process of staying on track in an open water swim. Not knowing how to "spot" can have you swimming in the wrong direction, wasting time and energy that can be better utilized in the bike and run.

We will have approximately 20 water Safety Personnel.   Beach lifeguards and the Buffalo Police Underwater Recovery Unit will assist in the water portion of the Triathlon.  The kids tri will have the same amount.

  • Stretch out and stay loose.  Remember to breath throughout stretching.
  • The adrenaline should be pumping now!
  • Listen for the announcement to head over to the starting point or head over early and get used to the water by doing an EASY warm up.
  • Be sure you have your wet suit, cap and goggles on. Be sure that the wet-suit strap is where you can locate it after the swim.
  • Wade into the water when your heat is called.
  • GO!!!!
  • If you are a new swimmer, stay behind or to the outside of the main group. You can get hurt in the group if you are not a strong swimmer.
  • Everyone panics the first time. You will too...and then you will get over it and finish the race. Remember, relaxed muscles float much better than tense muscles.
  • Keep an eye out as to where you're going. Pick up your head and spot the buoys so you don't do any extra swimming.
  • Enjoy your surroundings. Most people work so hard they miss the fun of the event!
  • If you get tired, find a lifeguard in a boat and rest. You may continue swimming after you have rested a bit.
  • If you feel like you have not trained properly for the race and cannot continue OR you get hurt, wave your arms and make a lot of noise while you have the energy so that a lifeguard can help you.

Bricks: Be sure to do at least one "brick" training.  Brick training is when you do a swim workout and bike workout in the same day or one after another.  Learning how your legs will feel when you run after a bike workout is highly suggested.  Any combination of workouts is good.  Just as long as you aren't surprised at the race how it feels to transition from one sport to the next.  You should start doing these at least 3 months before your race. Work up to 1-2 per week.

Distance:  While training, plan on biking father then the bike distance of your triathlon. You will be tired from the swim and will need more strength than if you were doing the biking only.

Good Tip: Never use new equipment in a race. Always try new equipment out during training sessions before using in a race. Specifically, do not use peddles that you have to clip your shoes into for the first time on race day -- you will wipe out!

  • If you are a beginner bike racer, stay to the right.
  • Cheer people on as they pass you or you pass them.
  • Enjoy the beautiful surroundings as you get into your pace.
  • Be careful and aware of road surfaces.
  • Be careful of traffic.
  • Let bikers know when you plan to pass them.
  • Pass on the left.
  • Drink some of your water throughout the course.
  • Actively relax your shoulders and use your core muscles to propel yourself forward. Relax your jaw. Try not to put a death-grip on your handlebars. Let the blood flow though your hands.
  • Take time to look at the course before the race (either online or in person) you'll have a better idea of what to expect on the actual day!
  • Do not draft or you will be penalized. Drafting is when you ride too close to the person in front of you and you gain an advantage from them breaking the wind. It is against the rules for this type of competition.
  • When you are approaching the end of the bike course, there should be an official waving at you to slow down and prepare to dismount. Follow the instructions and remember that you can never be riding the bike within the transition area at any time.
  • If you are wearing clip-in cycling shoes, start taking your feet out of the shoes while you are still riding the bike.
  • GO! Your legs will feel like jelly. Everyone's legs feel like jelly! It will pass though. You may think you look funny, but you don't and your legs will get used to the run within a couple of minutes.
  • This is the last portion of the race. Stay positive, encourage participants around you and smile at the Finish- Line.
  • Enjoy the beautiful surroundings as you get into your pace. The QuakerMan Triathlon is a scenic course, enjoy it!
  • Be careful and aware of road surfaces.
  • Be careful of traffic.
  • Let runners know when you plan to pass them.
  • Pass on the outside.
  • DRINK water at stations!
  • Actively relax your shoulders. Be conscious that you do not clench your fists or your jaw. Give your blood the opportunity to flow.
  • Remember, the finish line where the timing carpet is -- not anywhere before that! Finish the race hard so you know that you did your best to the very end.
  • Most of the time, an official will be waiting just after the finish line to collect the ankle timing device. You might not be able to bend over to get it without feeling like you'll fall over. Don't feel bad about asking them to bend over and get it -- they will!

Relax and enjoy your first triathlon. Don't forget to have fun during the intensity of the race. Take pride in the fact that you reached your goal. If you have any challenges (the most common are mechanical problems on the bike) just remember that this is your first race. Remind yourself that you are just "learning the ropes" - don't add performance pressure until you have first proven to yourself that you can do it.




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