special needs bag?

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by WH, May 30, 2006.

  1. WH

    WH Guest

    Hi,
    Probably a dumb question but what is a "special needs bag"? I've read this
    term in triathlon articles but have never quite understood exactly what they
    are referring to. In the couple sprint tri's I've done you can pretty much
    have what ever you want in your transition or what you're willing to carry
    with you.

    Thanks,
    WH
     
    Tags:


  2. Jo Link

    Jo Link Guest

    Obviously you will not need a special needs bag on a sprint triathlon, but
    if doing an ironman or half ironman your special needs bag can contain
    anything (usually nutritional) that you may need during your time out there.
    eg. red bull, sometimes something salty (chips) anything that you may need
    for your race. These bags are usually not returned to you, so dont place
    anything in there that you may want returned to you. eg. sweaters, spare
    shoes etc.
    Hope this answers your question
     
  3. Ken

    Ken Guest

    It is a bag of goodies that you usually pick up at near the half way point
    on the bike leg in an Ironman distance event. I have never figured out why
    it is necessary and have never used one. Keep it simple and avoid using
    one.

    Ken
     
  4. Joe Blow

    Joe Blow Guest

    I disagree with Ken, a special needs bag can be a life saver. I have used
    the special needs bag 2 different ways:

    1. As a backup - I put backup nutrition in it just in case I
    dropped/spilled my drink/gel/electrolytes/etc. (which has happened). I will
    also put an alternative nutrition solution in the bag in case I react badly
    to my primary nutrition plan and need to change.

    2. As a supplemental - If I need to take more nutrition with me then I want
    to carry at once, I will put some of it (usually along with some backup
    nutrition like in #1) in the bag. A cold Mountain Dew at mile 80 is
    awesome!

    Joe

    "Ken" <IMKen@hawaii.rr.com> wrote in message
    news:sclfg.9280$9W5.5120@tornado.socal.rr.com...
    > It is a bag of goodies that you usually pick up at near the half way point
    > on the bike leg in an Ironman distance event. I have never figured out
    > why it is necessary and have never used one. Keep it simple and avoid
    > using one.
    >
    > Ken
    >
     
  5. Yep, I agree with Joe here.

    I used both bags at IMAZ -- put things in here that are not available on
    the course.

    1) Bike Special Needs: backup nutrition & salt/electrolyte tabs. Even
    if you correctly calculate your nutrition requirements for the ride,
    conditions may change and the additional supplies will be helpful. I
    needed my extra salt tabs given the heat conditions of Tempe that day.
    I also tapped into the extra nutrition bottle that I had in special
    needs -- the source of nutrition that I was using (Carbo Pro) wasn't
    available on the course.
    2) Run Special Needs: I put in a bag of potato chips and used this on my
    second loop of the run. For me it was a good source of additional salt
    and helped to provide some extra calories and put a touch of food into
    my stomach after the long day of primarily maltodextrin as a calorie
    source. It was a nice change from GU.

    Note that the special needs will probably not be cold. :) They were
    quite warm from sitting in the heat for hours.

    --
    Bryan Woodruff
    Redmond, WA


    "Joe Blow" <joeblow@crap.com> wrote in message
    news:szmfg.1322$8R4.559@news.cpqcorp.net:

    > I disagree with Ken, a special needs bag can be a life saver. I have used
    > the special needs bag 2 different ways:
    >
    > 1. As a backup - I put backup nutrition in it just in case I
    > dropped/spilled my drink/gel/electrolytes/etc. (which has happened). I will
    > also put an alternative nutrition solution in the bag in case I react badly
    > to my primary nutrition plan and need to change.
    >
    > 2. As a supplemental - If I need to take more nutrition with me then I want
    > to carry at once, I will put some of it (usually along with some backup
    > nutrition like in #1) in the bag. A cold Mountain Dew at mile 80 is
    > awesome!
    >
    > Joe
    >
    > "Ken" <IMKen@hawaii.rr.com> wrote in message
    > news:sclfg.9280$9W5.5120@tornado.socal.rr.com...
    >
    > > It is a bag of goodies that you usually pick up at near the half way point
    > > on the bike leg in an Ironman distance event. I have never figured out
    > > why it is necessary and have never used one. Keep it simple and avoid
    > > using one.
    > >
    > > Ken
    > >
     
  6. Ken

    Ken Guest

    No problem on the disagreements. Everybody has their way of competing. I
    contend that if you prepare yourself for the event you will not need the
    special needs bag. I guess I have completed well over 100 tri's and have
    developed my way of dealing with them. I train hard, go to win my age group
    and would not want to be distracted with a few creature comforts.

    I find it satisfying to master the event without the fringies. Some prefer
    to be a bit more comfortable. It sort of depends on what your objectives
    are.

    Actually, to answer your question. A special needs bag is a complement of
    supplemental goodies, food, drink, clothing etc. that you think you might
    have use for along the course of an IM distant event. They are placed about
    half way through the bike and run leg. I have only done 7 IM's, none of
    which I had any special needs.

    It requires one extra stop, often a very congested area where one can get
    into trouble. I prefer to limit those exposures in an event I intend to
    win.

    Most folks do choose to utilize the special needs bag. There is no shame in
    it and for some it will make a difference in the way they finish.
     
  7. TenKBabe

    TenKBabe Guest

    Ken wrote:

    > I contend that if you prepare yourself for the event you will not need the special
    > needs bag.


    [...]

    > Most folks do choose to utilize the special needs bag. There is no shame in
    > it and for some it will make a difference in the way they finish.


    But if they need the special needs bag, then they haven't prepared for
    the event. Sounds like you're first shaming them, then saying there's
    no shame. ;-)

    tkb
     
  8. "TenKBabe" <tenkbabe@yahoo.com> wrote in news:1149154812.659510.225130
    @j55g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

    > But if they need the special needs bag, then they haven't prepared for
    > the event. Sounds like you're first shaming them, then saying there's
    > no shame. ;-)
    >


    Actually, if you've ever heard Ken's story about the guy who pulled his
    bike out into the road in front of him at the bottom of a hill, you'd know
    why he has no interest in participating in the congested melee at the bike
    special needs. Also, he's not kidding about the way he trains. Ask most age
    group winners if they use their SN bag, and I'm guessing most will say no.
    For the majority of the feild, the event is more about making it to the
    finish line. For a smaller group, it's about beating a previous best time,
    and for less than 20% (my estimate), it's about winning your age group or
    the overall event.

    Tom
     
  9. Triathlete

    Triathlete Guest

    WH wrote:
    > Hi,
    > Probably a dumb question but what is a "special needs bag"? I've read this
    > term in triathlon articles but have never quite understood exactly what they
    > are referring to. In the couple sprint tri's I've done you can pretty much
    > have what ever you want in your transition or what you're willing to carry
    > with you.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > WH
    >
    >


    Hello,
    It is also nice to have an old shirt or jacket that you can toss (just
    in case the weather has changed or you are soaking wet from the run,
    especially if you think you will be running in during the dark when it
    is colder out). Some people put another set of shoes in the bag or socks.

    Some other helpful special needs:
    Ant acid.
    Vaseline.
    Band aids.
    An extra tire.
    Your favorite gels/drink.

    A cold or slightly frozen drink.

    A salty treat.

    The nutritional thing is good. I have gone to a few races where my own
    food and the course food wasn't what I wanted at all, or could not stomach.

    My biggest lesson: if the drink is not right, dump it and get a new one.
    Don't play with adding water, etc. Just get a new one.

    Ken's message isn't being elitist, he is out there for his own reasons
    which may or may not be the same as your own.
     
  10. Rookie

    Rookie Guest

    TenKBabe wrote:
    > Ken wrote:
    >
    > > I contend that if you prepare yourself for the event you will not need the special
    > > needs bag.

    >
    > [...]
    >
    > > Most folks do choose to utilize the special needs bag. There is no shame in
    > > it and for some it will make a difference in the way they finish.

    >
    > But if they need the special needs bag, then they haven't prepared for
    > the event. Sounds like you're first shaming them, then saying there's
    > no shame. ;-)
    >
    > tkb


    I don't think most people can really claim to be 'prepared' for their
    first IM until they cross the line. I got my first IM just about right
    (for me) - no energy crises, pretty constant pace throughout, beat my
    personal goals. But I know other people who had done as much, or more,
    preparation as me and for whatever reason just didn't get it right on
    the day. I thought I was prepared but maybe I was just lucky.

    Personally I don't bother with a special needs bag because the only
    reason I can see for it is nutritional and I'm lucky that whatever else
    goes wrong with my race, my body doesn't seem to be too fussy about
    where it gets it's energy - gels, bars, drinks, bananas, different
    brands all seem to go down fine, I just take on whatever they're giving
    out. But if you're worried that your body might need a change in diet,
    or another top, or suncream or anything like that then I guess the SN
    bag buys you a great deal of peace of mind.
     
  11. "Rookie" <simon__carter@hotmail.com> wrote in news:1149243530.851308.177730
    @i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com:

    > Personally I don't bother with a special needs bag because the only
    > reason I can see for it is nutritional


    I like to put some extra tubes in it just in case. I carry at least one
    with me, but if I flat in the first 50 miles, it's reassuring to know I can
    restock on tubes.
     
  12. Harold Buck

    Harold Buck Guest

    In article <0I6fg.8814$3q2.273@tornado.rdc-kc.rr.com>,
    "WH" <user@neb.rr.com> wrote:

    > Hi,
    > Probably a dumb question but what is a "special needs bag"? I've read this
    > term in triathlon articles but have never quite understood exactly what they
    > are referring to. In the couple sprint tri's I've done you can pretty much
    > have what ever you want in your transition or what you're willing to carry
    > with you.


    Usually for IM distance races only. I've never done a half-IM that's
    used them. You get it, if you want it, about halfway through the bike
    and the run. They usually don't have one for the swim. :)

    As many people have said, extra nutrition is a common thing to put in
    them. Spare bike tubes. Extra sunscreen if you burn easily.
    Inspirational messages from loved ones. Whatever you think will help.

    For the run bag, a long-sleeved shirt is a good idea since if you're out
    there late it might start to get cold. I agree with the potato-chip
    idea; a mini-can of Pringles is great since it won't get crushed.

    I heard a volunteer talk about a guy who had 12 spare tubes and 2 spare
    tires in his special needs bag. I believe that is indicative of a mental
    disorder.



    --Harold Buck


    "Hubris always wins in the end. The Greeks taught us that."

    -Homer J. Simpson
     
  13. Triathlete

    Triathlete Guest

    WH wrote:
    > Hi,
    > Probably a dumb question but what is a "special needs bag"? I've read this
    > term in triathlon articles but have never quite understood exactly what they
    > are referring to. In the couple sprint tri's I've done you can pretty much
    > have what ever you want in your transition or what you're willing to carry
    > with you.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > WH


    What ever you put in your sn bag make sure you try it out first if it is
    nutritional. Pop can be fizzy and give you very bad gas. Chocolate bars
    can melt and be disgusting, something might make you vomit.

    Race day is not a good day to try out something new, unless that's all
    you have left to try.
     
  14. RAS

    RAS Guest

    What ever you do, don't depend on it. At ironman arizona they lost special
    needs bag on the bike leg and i did not have my vasolene to lube my groin
    with. luckily someone had some at one of the aid stations but this was some
    70 miles into the bike.
    "WH" <user@neb.rr.com> wrote in message
    news:0I6fg.8814$3q2.273@tornado.rdc-kc.rr.com...
    > Hi,
    > Probably a dumb question but what is a "special needs bag"? I've read

    this
    > term in triathlon articles but have never quite understood exactly what

    they
    > are referring to. In the couple sprint tri's I've done you can pretty

    much
    > have what ever you want in your transition or what you're willing to carry
    > with you.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > WH
    >
    >
     
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