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Technically, you're supposed to go in the porta-pottie, generally found at each aid station. In reality most athletes just go while on the move. Humans have the ability pee while cycling and running. Unfortunately, this will probably something that will take a little practice ahead of time. If the idea of urinating on yourself this totally grosses you out (as it probably should), you'll have to hold it until you get to the next aid station. It's a fine line, but under no circumstances should you stop and go on the side of the road. If caught, this could lead to disqualification.
Clothing constructed with cooling fabrics are readily available these days. At minimum purchase a pair of cooling sleeves and keep these wet. The cooling sleeves are also a great place to tuck ice during the race. Through each aid station grab some ice and/or water to wet yourself down.
I recommend 3 tire irons, 2x CO2 cartridges, 2x tubes, a tire boot, your CO2 actuator and a pump (for anything over an Olympic distance race). Double check and make sure your CO2 cartridges are appropriate for the actuator you have. Also, treat your CO2 cartidges like a fire extinguisher - you should probably know how to use it before you need it. If a special needs aid station is available, I will put an extra CO2/tub setup in that bag
I recommend 3 tire irons, 2x CO2 cartridges, 2x tubes, a tire boot, your CO2 actuator and a pump. If I am riding for more than 3 hours by myself, I carry an extra CO2/tub setup. Side note: AAA will rescue a stranded cyclist.
If the swim gives you some anxiety, the best place for you is either off to the side and/or in the back of the pack. If you are a strong swimmer that is comfortable with bodies around you, you want to be front and center to maximize drafting potential.
The most efficient place to draft is on another swimmer's hip. The next best place to be is behind the swimmer on their feet. Also, try to use your positioning to avoid the need to sight. Every time you lift your head, you expend excess energy.
If you're a nervous swimmer, my advice is to do your best to position yourself out of the crowd at the swim start and swim wide of the turn buoys. This will minimize contact with other atheletes, which tends to be the greatest source of anxiousness. Likewise, when swimming with a buddy, request they swim close and bump you so you can get used to contact with other swimmers. Lastly, the more frequently you can get in the water, the more natural it will feel
Punch them back!
Do a quick self check to make sure everything is okay, and try to create some space for yourself by increasing the width between your hands. If you're finding you're still in quarters that are too close for your comfort, try to reposition yourself within (or outside) the pack.
As infrequently as possible while maintaining a straight line. The straighter the line, the shorter you'll make the course, but every time you lift your head, you expend excess energy. Swimming straight is a skill that can be learned. Practice by sighting every ten strokes. Once you can maintain a straight line, start increasing the stroke count to see how far you get before you have to sight to stay on track. You should be able to go at least thirty strokes without looking and track a straight line. (Breathing to both sides will help balance out your stroke and help keep you on course.)
No! Whether you've been training for years or just getting started, we are here to help. The pre-conditioning phase is one of the times athetes are most likely to get injured as it is common for them to push too hard, too soon.
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