FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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What are the distances for TriathaMom? 300 meter swim, approximately 11 mile bike course, 5k run.
What if I cannot participate in TriathaMom? Registration for TriathaMom is non refundable and non transferable. We try to help you out (in some way) when there is a medial emergency. But there are no exceptions for scheduling conflicts.
What order is TriathaMom? Swim, bike, run, the traditional triathlon order. As you start looking at the various triathlons offered, you will notice that some of them say “Reverse Tri”. This means that instead of swimming first, you swim last. There are people who prefer reverse tri’s simply because they may be better swimmers and prefer to give the run their all at the beginning, or because they don’t like to run and bike while wet; however, don’t be fooled into thinking that order can play a huge difference in overall performance and finish time. The main reason for the traditional triathlon swim, bike, and run order is safety. Jumping into a pool after a run and a bike feels somewhat like jumping into a pool with a bag of concrete on your back. Swimming last increases an exhausted athlete’s chance for cramping up or collapsing in the water and could possibly lead to drowning (and we hate that).
What time should I arrive? You will want to allow yourself as much time as possible to get ready for the event. Part of the fun of TriathaMom will be meeting and talking to other participants. TriathaMom will begin at 7:30 am, our transition area will open at 5:30 am.
Can I wear headphones? Headphones are allowed during the run portion of the event. (Send us your playlist!)
What is the age limit for TriathaMom? 12-17 year olds can participate with a signed waiver from a parent or guardian, and their parent or guardian is on site of the event at all times.
When is packet pickup? TBA
What is a Timing Chip? A nifty little gizmo you wear around your ankle (preferably your left so it won’t catch on your bike chain). As you cross the timing mats that are placed at the entrance and exits of the transition area and at the finish line the chip on you angle tells the timing equipment what time you crossed each mat. Then the timing company provides you with “splits” so you know how long you took to complete each leg of the race (pretty cool).
What is Body Marking? We mark you race number on each of your upper arms, and your age on your calf. Your race numbers on your arms are for identifying you throughout the race because your bib number is not always visible. Your age on your calf is so it is easy to see who else is in your age group. This is important in traditional triathlons because the top three in the age group win a medal. Every TriathaMom will receive a finisher necklace, but we will have times listed by race number on our website, so you can see how you did in comparison.
What is a transition area? Transition Area or T.A. – Place where a “TriathaMom” keeps her belongings (i.e., bike, running shoes) during TriathaMom. This area is part of the race course. After you finish your swim, you will run to the transition area where you will mount your bike. After the bike leg of the race is completed, you dismount your bike (in the same spot you retrieved it) and begin the run portion. The race ends at the finish line (near the transition area).
How should I set up my transition area? Each person should use about 2 feet of space where your bike is racked. You may want to place a towel folded in half right next to your bike so you have a soft place to change your shoes. This is also where you will arrange all your gear.
T1 – First transition; the change between the swim and the bike.
T2 – Second transition; the change between the bike and the run.
What should I wear? You will want to wear the same thing throughout the entire event. You can change in the locker room after the swim if you like, but it will affect your time and it really isn’t necessary. Don’t get caught up in what to wear. If you have the money to buy a tri suit then do it, you won’t regret it. A tri suit aids in transitions by making clothing changes unnecessary. However, if you can’t afford a tri suit now, you have a number of options.
You can wear a swimming suit for the swim then throw on some shorts for the bike and run, or you can wear shorts (tri shorts are best), a sports bra, and a tighter fitting shirt or tank top (make sure they are made of material that will dry quickly) for all three events. If you decide to wear a swim suit, make sure your swim suit is bike and run worthy, meaning you don’t want it to move around much or you will be uncomfortable. Practice swimming, biking and running in what you are going to wear.
Where do I put my clothes and bike gear? Your clothes and bike gear go next to your bike at the transition station. You will want to bring a towel, bag, and/or Rubbermaid container to put your things on/in to make the transitions faster and easier.
How far is 300 yards? One length of the pool is 50 meters. Down and back equals 100 meters. So down and back three times is 300 meters.
How will the swim portion of the race be organized? At packet pickup you will rank yourself from 1 to 5. Number 1 is the fastest, 5 the slowest. Participants will start with their group with the fastest starting first and the slowest going last.
Do we swim in the same lane the entire time? No. You will swim down and back in one lane, then move over to the next and swim down and back in that lane, then move over to the next… when you get to the middle of the pool, you jump out and head to the transition area.
Do I have to wear a wetsuit? No. The pool is nice and warm.
What gear do I need for the swim? Remember your goggles! A cap is not necessary, but it will make the swim a little easier by helping to keep hair out of your face.
What if I can’t swim? Can I walk part of the swim? You can walk, do the sidestroke, float, or even do the doggy paddle to complete your swim. Do what feels comfortable and don’t worry about it. It would be wise to practice the swim, or take a tri class, so that your body knows what to expect, and so that you can learn a few stroke techniques. In swimming, technique will make all the difference.
Can I use a kickboard? Our main priority is your safety and comfort. However, there are some that feel that it is giving an advantage. So, we are going to allow you to use the pool’s kick boards and those choosing this option will go last. Note: while we understand that some feel like it may be unfair to offer this option, we feel like since this is a non-competitive event, it shouldn’t matter if your fellow TriathaMoms need “a little help from their friends” (i.e. Mr. Kickboard).
What is swim etiquette in an indoor pool during a triathlon? Swim etiquette is the same in a triathlon as it is in swim team or a lap swim. If the person behind you is a faster swimmer, move to the side of the pool (but keep moving) and let her pass, or when you get to the wall let her go in front of you. Don’t try to swim faster and prevent her from passing you, or she may just swim over you. Many times that person will touch your feet to let you know she is there. If you are faster than the person in front of you, lightly touch her feet to let her know you want to pass. Sometimes you will find that the person doesn’t know swim etiquette and you will have to swim faster to pass her. Always pass a person on the opposite side of the lane line and avoid swimming into any people coming the opposite way.
For the swim at TriathaMom, participants will be organized according to their speed. You will determine this for yourself and line up in either the ‘fast’, ‘medium’, or ‘slow’ group. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see ranking chart!
What kind of bike do I need for TriathaMom? A cruiser, a mountain bike, a road bike, or any kind of bike will work. If you are worried about speed, the bike to give you the most speed, and be the easiest to ride over a long distance, would be a road bike; however, road bikes can become costly, and TriathaMom welcomes participants on any type of bike you can get your hands on.
What if I get a flat tire? You will want to know how to change your tire tube before starting a tri. You may also want to invest in a bag that attaches to the bike where you can keep an extra tube and some of the tools needed to change a flat. TriathaMom will have SAG (Support & Gear) vehicles circling the course to help with flats. However, don’t count on someone to be there when your tire deflates. If you know how to do it yourself you can fix it and get moving a little faster. A preemptive measure in getting a flat tire (and to make riding easier), is make sure your tire is filled to the proper pressure before you being an event or a ride. Most tires state their pressure somewhere on the side. For road bikes it is 100 psi.
Are there certain rules I should follow while riding my bike? The bike rules are the same in a tri as they are on any kind of bike ride. You have to wear a helmet, so plan on having one at the transition area. Always ride with traffic, ride on the road (not on the sidewalk), signal with your hands so that cars know what you are doing, and let a person know you are about to pass her by saying “On your left” out loud just before you pass. TriathaMom is a non-competitive event, therefore you are allowed to ride with your friends. We have more information on our sister site on riding in a group and hand signals.
How far is a 5K? A 5K is 3.1 miles.
Can I walk all or part of the run? Yes! If you hate to run, or cannot run all of the 3.1 miles, you can walk, jog, or even do the side step if it makes things easier. As you prepare for a tri, and if you already suck at running, start with short runs and gradually increase the length of the run over time. Set goals for distance and try to achieve them. Before you know it, the run part of the tri will not be as daunting as you first may have believed.
What are some effective running tips? (Picture someone chasing you with a knife. Kidding.) It’s always important to warm your muscles before a run. A short jog and some stretching works well to get you ready and help you avoid cramps. Most regular runners would tell you to relax. Some runners get too tense when they run and their bodies use extra energy as they strain their muscles. Shake your arms periodically to remind yourself to stay loose. Focus on your breathing to develop a consistent rhythm. Some like to look into the distance and locate a landmark to run toward. They concentrate on that object until they reach it and then they set their sights on a new mark to shoot for. Some people choose to run with others to help establish and maintain a good pace. In a tri there are many runners and it is easy to find a person to use as a pace setter. One of the most important pieces of equipment to buy for running is a pair of good shoes. Make sure they are comfortable and fit properly. You can even get your feet analyzed at some running stores to help find the perfect fitting shoe.