Are you one of 13,000 people nervously counting down the days to this weekend’s London Triathlon? We asked 220 contributor and tri coach Joe Beer to put together some useful tips on how to get the most from this year’s race.
With a deep-water start in the Docklands, long transitions and a tricky run section, the world’s largest triathlon has hazards that can catch out even the experienced multisporter.
Be warned – there are some important changes to this year’s route, with all athletes on Sunday to pass Canary Wharf. Make sure you’re familiar with the 2015 course (map right here). The full race information guide is here.
So, read on for Joe’s advice…
“The moment you are allowed in the water you should get your head under, get moving and keep moving,” says Joe. “As the start time approaches, give yourself enough room behind to let your legs float up, scull in place with a light kick. You can now get away quickly as the gun goes off, as leg drag is low and your arms are ready to catch the water.”
“The length of transitions may wreak havoc for those used to putting on their cycle shoes and running with the bike. If you cannot jump on the bike and put your cycle shoes on as you ride then don’t try it for the first time in the race.
“Instead, at T1 hold your cycle shoes in one hand and wheel the bike with the saddle or handlebar stem. At a wide enough point after the mount line, pop your cycle shoes on then mount the bike. Then after the bike leg as you approach T2 you should dismount, move to the side, take your shoes off and run back to your waiting run shoes.”
“With multiple roundabouts you need to be sure you use a safe approach – check over your shoulder to see if you are about to be overtaken. Adjust your speed if necessary and ensure your pedal position will not clip the floor. It’s better to be safe, stay upright and get to T2 with no road rash or broken bike parts. The bike is the controlled leg, not a flat-out time trial where every second counts.”
“Plenty of changes of direction and corners make this run route one that really challenges athletes, who find themselves constantly trying to relax. With that in mind, you should find the best tempo for the particular section of the turn you are in and keep the most economical line. If you have to slow down then be sure to accelerate smoothly back up to race pace.”
If this is your first triathlon then take a look at our Beginners section, where you’ll find advice on common issues such how to negotiate transitions, the kit you need and more. Good luck!
Are you racing the London Triathlon this year? How are you feeling as race day approaches? Let us know in the comments below!