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2013-05-09 9:05 AM

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Subject: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn

I just started my 6th year racing triathlons and was well prepared as I was physically for Knoxville (plan was to podium M25-29 AG and start collecting points for the AG series) I was mentally somewhere else. However, a slew of first-timer mistakes had me on the side of the road a few miles into the bike waiting for support. Here are my mistakes and how you can prevent them from happening, hope everyone can take something away from this. 

Crashed my bike Saturday on RR tracks: First of all it was raining so it would have been better to walk our bikes over the tracks that ride at a slow 12 mph. I could also have rode perpendicular to the tracks instead of going in at a 30 degree angle. Finally communicating this to everyone behind you will better prepare everyone in coming up on the tracks. 

Pack googles for all conditions: I had to buy new goggles ($25) at the expo for the overcast conditions when I had the same pair sitting back home. 

Get into your wetsuit properly: This might sound odd, but I didn't spend the time doing arm swings or making sure my wetsuit was on properly. This resulted in my wetsuit being lower on my body then it should've and so my arms were very constrained and fatigued 500 meters into the swim. Doing some strokes on dry land or arm swings really help prevent this. 

Missed the swim start while warming up: I was about 20-25 yards away from my starting position when the gun went off, always be aware of how much time you have no matter if it is 30 seconds or 5 minutes. Even though I was one of the first in the water I still missed the start. 

Use the current to help if a river swim: I swam upstream inside the river, but I should've swam closer to shore where the current wasn't as strong upriver. Also I should've swam more in the middle of the river then on the buoy line going back down. The end results was a very slow olympic swim time (22:58) and towards the bottom of my AG when everyone swam 2-4 minutes faster. 

Take your wetsuit off ASAP: I usually do this but bypassed it this weekend, especially when you have a VERY long run to T1 you are better to run with your wetsuit off, you have better ROM in your legs, and if its warm out you can cool off faster. 

Tires: I mounted a brand new tire on Tuesday and only rode about 10 miles on it before racing, especially in wet conditions this is a no no. Also make sure you replace the correct tire, I wanted to replace my rear but ended up putting the new tire on the front for some reason. 

Still on the tire situation: If you are mounting tires that are designed to rotate a certain direction make sure the arrows on the tire are pointing in that direction, I mounted mine backwards. 

Zero computers: I had my last ride on my garmin as I got onto my ride, this started a lot of confusion the first couple miles when I could have been more focused on getting out of town a bit more quickly. 

Pack a spare kit: Ok I really didn't plan to pack one no matter what since if I flatted I was basically out of the race, but as time went by and I waited 25:20 for support to arrive I wish I would've packed a spare tube just so that I could finish the race, by the time support arrived  my body had cooled off and it was best to stop without risking any sickness after. 

Do what you can on the side of the road: As I waited for support I the best that I could, I called out splits for the male/female pros as they past by and made some AG'ers laugh while riding in bad conditions. 

Laugh at yourself: As this picture below was tweeted out by Mirinda Carfrae the laughter soon ensued. So did emails, calls, texts to me giving me a good ribbing from the weekend. Make sure to find the hilarity in your own struggles sometimes as laugh with everyone else. Laughter is the best medicine!

These are all the mistakes I recall from the weekend and these are usually never made, or ever until Sunday, but we all make mistakes so it is all about how you handle them and move on in the future. 

If you don't listen up this may be you at your next race

ca



2013-05-09 9:16 AM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn

Captain America Speedo FTW!!!! Sheer awesome. (I wouldn't rock it, but props.)

2013-05-09 9:16 AM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
Well that sucks. Maybe a good wake up call to those of us who have been doing this so long we take those little things for granted. Thanks for sharing.
2013-05-09 9:41 AM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
bcagle25 - 2013-05-09 10:05 AM

 If you don't listen up this may be you at your next race

First off, thanks for the post, and sorry for the rough day.  Secondly, no - I will never be standing on the side of the road in a speedo.  That's just not going to happen...ever.  Wink

Third - the directional tires.  I'm guessing those are the Conti 4000's, and if I remember correctly I read that the direction they have listed really doesn't matter.  Not sure that the new ones even show this anymore (but I could be mistaken).

2013-05-09 9:46 AM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
bcagle25 - 2013-05-09 10:05 AM

Crashed my bike Saturday on RR tracks: First of all it was raining so it would have been better to walk our bikes over the tracks that ride at a slow 12 mph. I could also have rode perpendicular to the tracks instead of going in at a 30 degree angle. Finally communicating this to everyone behind you will better prepare everyone in coming up on the tracks. 

I was dropping my bike off at T1 when I saw two riders go down and needed to be taken by ambulance, on the tracks in front of it. Those tracks were pretty dangerous, they even had a note on them in the athlete's guide.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTES FOR PRE RACE BIKING:

There is a set of railroad tracks on Neyland Drive, these are about 0.5 miles from the transition. These tracks are not on the race course and will be marked prior to race day. PLEASE BE CAUTIOS when crossing these railroad tracks, we recommend you unclip and walk your bike over the tracks. We have had SEVERAL athletes get injured on these tracks before their race.

bcagle25 - 2013-05-09 10:05 AM

Still on the tire situation: If you are mounting tires that are designed to rotate a certain direction make sure the arrows on the tire are pointing in that direction, I mounted mine backwards. 

I realized I had my Corsa CX's on backwards two nights before the race. I'm glad I was able to correct them before hand with the rain that was out there. They stuck like glue.

 

2013-05-09 9:49 AM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn

That sucks :/ I remember sitting on the side of the road at Rev3 in 2011 and it wasn't fun.

No race is a failure if you learn from it, not every race goes to plan, and if you race long enough DNF's are going to happen.

 

Those railroad tracks have been a problem for as long as I have been racing, and in my memory only one time (at a sprint no less) did anyone think to cover them with a mat.

Comically the last race I pulled out of I was wearing a speedo... must be bad karma for BT guys.

 

 



2013-05-09 10:21 AM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
GoFaster - 2013-05-09 9:41 AM
bcagle25 - 2013-05-09 10:05 AM

 If you don't listen up this may be you at your next race

First off, thanks for the post, and sorry for the rough day.  Secondly, no - I will never be standing on the side of the road in a speedo.  That's just not going to happen...ever.  Wink

Third - the directional tires.  I'm guessing those are the Conti 4000's, and if I remember correctly I read that the direction they have listed really doesn't matter.  Not sure that the new ones even show this anymore (but I could be mistaken).

Yes they are conti 4000's and I never questioned the arrows just followed suit. Maybe it is the way they drop the road, idk really, but maybe since they took them off it doesn't matter anymore. 

2013-05-09 11:24 AM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn

That are some good tips.

Though I dissagree with the "ZERO COMPUTERS".

I always use my 310XT in multisport mode and set it up to used throughout the whole event.

It helps me to not go to hard on the bike (Power) and pace on the run (since I normally have a target pace). Also I like to see my total time.

In regard to the flat kit (which I alwyas carry, besides a spare tire). Is there any data how much time you loose with the extra weight of a spare tire and tube?

2013-05-09 11:47 AM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn

Lot of good tips Ben.  Sorry again about the race.

 

MC

2013-05-09 11:48 AM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
timf79 - 2013-05-09 9:24 AM

That are some good tips.

Though I dissagree with the "ZERO COMPUTERS".

I always use my 310XT in multisport mode and set it up to used throughout the whole event.

It helps me to not go to hard on the bike (Power) and pace on the run (since I normally have a target pace). Also I like to see my total time.

In regard to the flat kit (which I alwyas carry, besides a spare tire). Is there any data how much time you loose with the extra weight of a spare tire and tube?



By "zero" he meant reset.
2013-05-09 11:59 AM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
timf79 - 2013-05-09 11:24 AM

That are some good tips.

Though I dissagree with the "ZERO COMPUTERS".

I always use my 310XT in multisport mode and set it up to used throughout the whole event.

It helps me to not go to hard on the bike (Power) and pace on the run (since I normally have a target pace). Also I like to see my total time.

In regard to the flat kit (which I alwyas carry, besides a spare tire). Is there any data how much time you loose with the extra weight of a spare tire and tube?

It is not so much a time savings while riding, but a losing time while fixing. My thought is that it takes me 2-5 minutes to change a flat tire (dependent on many variables) and with that time lost I am usually "out" of the completive part of the race. Goals are different for everyone and my goal was to podium so I figured if I flatted that was pretty much it. That all said I didn't expect to wait 25 minutes for any type of support and now understand the frustration of being so helpless in that situation. Learned a lot this weekend

And yes I meant to have gamins reset, I still had my previous ride on the garmin when I mounted, which caused me to focus on that instead of getting out of town quickly. 



2013-05-09 12:41 PM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn

Thanks for all those tips and sorry about your racing luck.  Sounds like a lot of people were in the same boat.  I know my husband and I threw all goals out the window about five minutes into our panicky swim starts.

That said, next time I DNF I hope I go out with a photo like that!  That is truly epic.  I would definitely hang that on my wall if that was mine.

2013-05-09 1:06 PM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
bcagle25 - 2013-05-09 12:59 PM
timf79 - 2013-05-09 11:24 AM

That are some good tips.

Though I dissagree with the "ZERO COMPUTERS".

I always use my 310XT in multisport mode and set it up to used throughout the whole event.

It helps me to not go to hard on the bike (Power) and pace on the run (since I normally have a target pace). Also I like to see my total time.

In regard to the flat kit (which I alwyas carry, besides a spare tire). Is there any data how much time you loose with the extra weight of a spare tire and tube?

It is not so much a time savings while riding, but a losing time while fixing. My thought is that it takes me 2-5 minutes to change a flat tire (dependent on many variables) and with that time lost I am usually "out" of the completive part of the race. Goals are different for everyone and my goal was to podium so I figured if I flatted that was pretty much it. That all said I didn't expect to wait 25 minutes for any type of support and now understand the frustration of being so helpless in that situation. Learned a lot this weekend

And yes I meant to have gamins reset, I still had my previous ride on the garmin when I mounted, which caused me to focus on that instead of getting out of town quickly. 

 

2 minutes??  Dang, I need some more tire-changing practice.

 

And that photo of you is priceless!  I think it should be framed over your trainer. For inspiration

2013-05-09 1:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn

OK,

let's face on the important thing here:

The bike is OK, right?

2013-05-09 2:45 PM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
wasn't it super cold too ?
2013-05-09 2:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn

metafizx - 2013-05-09 2:45 PM wasn't it super cold too ?

It wasn't too cold for me, but then again I left Wisconsin on Thursday with snow hitting the ground. Those were ideal conditions for me, and I was really looking forward to racing in crappy weather, those always produce the best stories. 

The bike is good now, just needed a new hanger and the rear derailed needed some adjustments but I did the ride (well at least 5 miles) on 6 gears as that was all the mechanic and I could fix 



2013-05-09 3:33 PM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
Actually if you where dressed right it was a good day. I never overheated once all day and had a pretty good race (even thought it was slow)  lost 2 MPH on the bike just being careful. and really enjoyed the run (including foreging accross the streams on the bridges that where flooded). I knew going in that it was not going to be a fast day so made a point to enjoy the day
2013-05-09 3:48 PM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
metafizx - 2013-05-09 12:45 PMwasn't it super cold too ?

Resisting urge to make speedo related cold joke........

Edited by JZig 2013-05-09 3:48 PM
2013-05-09 7:02 PM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn

Taking the wetsuit off ASAP?--in those freezing conditions and with likely numb hands/feet, it might be better to keep the wetsuit on a little longer in an attempt to "warm-up". 

2013-05-09 7:03 PM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn

Taking the wetsuit off ASAP?--in those freezing conditions and with likely numb hands/feet, it might be better to keep the wetsuit on a little longer in an attempt to "warm-up". 

2013-05-09 7:26 PM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
Sucks that you had to DNF.  But on the other hand, given how many screw ups you had along the way (dude...you didn't even make it to the run ), you should be glad that you got it all out of the way in one race.  And that picture is priceless.  Worthy of a create a caption thread. 

Edited by tri808 2013-05-09 7:27 PM


2013-05-09 7:44 PM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
That will never be me at any race because I don't have the guts to rock a speedo in the pool, much less a race.

Thanks for sharing. It is good (for me) to get a little wake-up notice before the first tri of the year. No matter how long you have been doing this, it is good to review all the things that could go wrong.

Better luck on your next race.
2013-05-09 9:26 PM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
well today i learned that my tires have a directional arrow. one was on correctly. 
2013-05-10 6:12 AM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
How could you mount your front tire backwards. Just put it on your bike so it rotates correctly. The back I can see but the front? If you don't like the side the skewer lever is on unscrew and flip, problem solved.

2013-05-10 6:31 AM
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Subject: RE: Knoxville Mistakes...Everyone Can Learn
Also something I noticed on this bike course, if you plan on taking anything from the aid stations make sure you *practice* this before hand. There were a few of us that almost got taken out by someone who missed 4 bottle grabs and knocked them out of the volunteers hands and had them rolling all over the road.
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