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Weekly Tips on Preparing for a Triathlon: When Does Upgrading Make Sense?

As time passes and you fall in love with triathlons, you will begin to ponder upgrading your competitive gear. Now that your body is fit and you have stopped merely wanting to finish and have instead replaced that goal with ones more focused on success and time, you will need to take a look at every aspect of your training and competition.

If your actual workout regimen suits your lifestyle and your fitness level has solidified, then you need to examine your gear. Everything from your choice of swimwear to your body positioning on the bike to the type of shoe you use must come under close scrutiny.

In the swim, if you have been competing with either a bulky, non-productive wetsuit or without one at all, you are losing precious seconds. While it is widely held knowledge that you will never win a triathlon during the swim portion, you can certainly lose it. Thus, buy a high quality swim skin or wetsuit that permits you to cut the water and maintain good flexibility. A good wetsuit can take off almost 1:30 over an Olympic triathlon swim.

On the bike, utilizing standard handlebars forces your body into an upright position too often. Seeking to become more aerodynamically inclined, you should upgrade by installing aerobars. Learning to ride properly with aerobars will save you between 3:30 and 4:40 in an Olympic triathlon depending on the type of course you encounter. Upgrade your wheels from standard to aero wheels and you will shave another 1:00 to 1:15 off your time.

Finally, on the run, running in your trainers can actually slow you down. Instead, in order to save almost a minute’s time in an Olympic race, leave your trainers in the transition and wear a pair of racing flats . They take a little getting used to, but they will quicken your step and make you feel mentally faster.

If your wallet will allow you to, and your body says it’s time to, begin your upgrades. You’ll taste more success and fall deeper in love with each race you do.