rec.sport.triathlon FAQ 03/03/2002

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by James Goddard, Mar 21, 2003.

  1. Version: 1.01 Posting-frequency: monthly Copyright: (c) 2002 James Goddard Archive-name:
    faqs/rec.sport.triathlon URL: http://www.ewl.com/rst/rst-faq.html Last-modified: FRI DEC 20 11:39:00
    CST 2002 Maintainer: James Goddard <[email protected]> Disclaimer: Approval for *.answers
    is based on form, not content.

    Answers to rec.sport.triathlon frequently asked questions. James Goddard [email protected]

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 1. Introduction and Intent

    This posting contains answers to frequently asked questions posted to rec.sport.triathlon plus
    interesting and useful information for triathletes. If known, author's name/email address are given.
    The original FAQ for rec.sport.triathlon was maintained by Osmar Zaïane and last updated by him in
    1994. In 1996 Larry Chapman updated the links/addresses to Osmar's FAQ. No maintenance has been
    performed since then. Send me, James Goddard <[email protected]>, any corrections,
    updates, suggestions, or proper info of sources or holder's of copyright. This article is provided
    as is without any express or implied warranties. While every effort has been taken to ensure the
    accuracy of the information contained in this article, the author/maintainer/contributors <take your
    pick> assume(s) no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of
    the information contained herein.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 2. Table of Contents

    1. Introduction and Intent

    2. Table of Contents

    3. Aboutrec.sport.triathlon
    3.1. Introduction?
    3.2. Where can I get a copy of this FAQ?
    3.3. What is rec.sport.triathlon?
    3.4. The rec.sport.triathlon Charter
    3.5. Posting Etiquette

    4. General Information About Triathlons
    4.1. What is a triathlon?
    4.2. What is a biathlon/duathlon?
    4.3. What are the distances for triathlons?
    4.4. Is triathlon an Olympic sport?
    4.5. What are the governing bodies for triathlon?
    4.6. What are the rules of triathlons?
    4.7. Where can I find a triathlon in my area?
    4.8. Where can I find more information on triathlons?

    5. The Swim
    5.1. What strokes are permissible?
    5.2. What are the rules about wetsuits?
    5.3. Should I buy a wetsuit? What kind of wetsuit should I buy?
    5.4. Where can I find a place to train?
    5.5. Where can I find information on swim training?

    6. The Bike
    6.1. What is drafting?
    6.2. Why is drafting bad/good?
    6.3. What is blocking?
    6.4. Should I buy a road bike or a triathlon bike?
    6.5. Should I use 650c or 700c wheels?
    6.6. Where can I find information on bike maintenance?
    6.7. What's the best kind of trainer to use in the winter?

    7. The Run
    7.1. How do I avoid cramps during the run?

    8. Glossary

    9. Contributors

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 3. About rec.sport.triathlon

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 3.1. Introduction

    In recent years there has been a significant increase in the popularity of triathlon and as such,
    more and more people are discovering rec.sport.triathlon.

    This FAQ is an effort to make the group as efficient as possible by answering the most commonly
    asked questions and provide guidelines for posting.

    This FAQ is considered a work in progress and will continue to evolve with both the newsgroup and
    the sport itself. Comments and suggestions are welcome and should be sent to the maintainer.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 3.2. Where can I get a copy of this FAQ? The original HTML version of this FAQ can be found
    at http://www.ewl.com/rst/rst-faq.html.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 3.3. What is rec.sport.triathlon?

    rec.sport.triathlon was created August 6, 1991 by Tim Rigg because: "The only related groups are
    rec.running and rec.bicycles. There is no group to discuss swimming and there is no group to discuss
    the interactions between the three events."

    It is a newsgroup devoted to all things triathlon. Anything even remotely having to do with the
    sport is considered a valid topic of discussion. Threads about events, equipment, tactics,
    tournaments and personalities are all welcome. Postings for the sale of triathlon gear and
    advertisements for related commercial ventures are also acceptable if some general guidelines are
    followed (See Section 3.5).

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 3.4. The rec.sport.triathlon Charter

    The following charter was included in a post to news.announce.newgroups approving the creation
    rec.sport.triathlon as a newsgroup. The first draft of the charter was submitted by Tim Rigg and
    refined during the discussion period to produce the final result:

    rec.sport.triathlon is for the discussion of all multi-event sports including triathlons, biathlons,
    duathlons, and all other events. Valid topics include equipment questions and suggestions, training
    ideas, race results, athlete profiles, race strategy and similar topics. In an effort to minimize
    cross posting, specific questions should be posted to other groups when there is little impact from
    the multi-event nature of the sport (for example, "Help, my triathlon bike makes a strange clicking
    sound" should be sent to rec.bicycles)

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 3.5. Posting Etiquette

    It is acceptable for people to post "classified ad" type messages informing the group of gear you
    have for sale or auction. However, it is requested that the prefix "FS:" or "FA:" be added to the
    subject header (FS = For Sale, FA = For Auction). The FS:/FA: prefix allows people to either skip
    over the message or use a filter to find, file, or ignore the posts. The use of such prefixes is a
    generally accepted practice on all newsgroups. The posting of commercial advertisements for a
    company has been a much debated topic. Nearly everyone dislikes "SPAM" and many people consider
    commercial advertisements, even triathlon related ads, junk mail. But since the group is not
    moderated it is nearly impossible to police such posts. Therefore it is it is strongly suggested
    that a post of an advertisement for a commercial organization have the prefix "AD:" added to the
    subject header. This allows people to either skip the message or invoke a filter. People who looking
    to buy used gear should post a message with the prefix WTB: in the subject header (WTB = Wanting to
    Buy). Be sure to include your contact information in the body of your message so sellers can contact
    you directly.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 4. General Information About Triathlons

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 4.1. What is a triathlon?

    A triathlon is an athletic contest in which participants compete three events in succession. Usually
    these events are swimming, bicycling and running.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 4.2. What is a biathlon/duathlon?

    A biathlon/duathlon is an athletic contest in which participants compete two (or three) events in
    succession. Usually these events are bicycling and running. Basically a biathlon/duathlon is a
    triathlon without the swimming. The general distinction between a biathlon and a duathlon is that a
    duathlons often split up the run so as to be a run-bike-run event.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 4.2. What are the distances for triathlons? There are no set distances for triathlons. Many
    triathlons use various distances that conform to the land/water available to them.

    There are, however, a few "common" distances:

    Name Swim Bike Run Sprint .75km 20km 5km Olympic or International 1.5km 40km 10km Long Course 2.4m
    112m 26.2m

    The terms "short course" and "long course" generally refer to distances less than and greater than
    Olympic distance respectively.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 4.4. Is triathlon an Olympic sport? Triathlon made its Olympic debut at the Summer Games in
    Sydney in 2000.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 4.5. What are the governing bodies for triathlon? The international governing body for
    triathlon is the International Triathlon Union <http://www.triathlon.org/> (ITU)

    The U.S. governing body for triathlon is USA Triathlon <http://www.usatriathlon.org/> (USAT)

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 4.6. What are the rules of triathlons?

    Triathlon rules vary by race and governing bodies. For individual triathlons, check the race packet
    for rules for the race.

    For ITU races, the rules can be found at http://www.triathlon.org/rules/index.htm

    For USAT races, the rules can be found at http://www.usatriathlon.org/Frames/fs_rules.htm

    Even if your race is an ITU or USAT event, you should still check the race packets for
    changes/exceptions to the rules.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 4.6. Where can I find a triathlon in my area?

    There are several online resources that list triathlons by location:

    Timberline Timing <http://www.timberlinetiming.com/calendar> Active.com
    <http://www.active.com/triathlon/> CoolTri <http://www.cooltri.com/calendar1.htm>

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 4.7. Where can I find more information on triathlons??

    Try the following links:

    TriNewbies.com <http://www.trinewbies.com/> USA Triathlon <http://www.usatriathlon.org/>
    International Triathlon Union <http://www.triathlon.org/> HulaMan <http://www.hulaman.com/>

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 5. The Swim

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 5.1. What strokes are permissible?

    Any stroke is allowed in triathlons as long as you are not using an artificial means to propel
    yourself through the water.

    The most common and efficient stroke is freestyle. Breaststroke, however, is often performed by
    people who either have trouble with freestyle or are resting.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 5.2. What are the rules about wetsuits?

    The wetsuit rules change by race and governing body but the general rules for ITU races are:

    Elite athletes in the Olympic Games and ITU Events: Swim Length Forbidden above: Mandatory below:
    Maximum stay in water 1500m 20 deg. C 14 deg. C 30 min 1500-3000m 23 deg. C 15 deg. C 1 h 40 min
    3000-4000m 24 deg. C 16 deg. C 2 h 15 min

    Junior and Age Group competitors: Swim Length Forbidden above: Mandatory below: Maximum stay in
    water 1500m 22 deg. C 14 deg. C 1 h 10 min 1500-3000m 23 deg. C 15 deg. C 1 h 40 min 3000-4000m 24
    deg. C 16 deg. C 2 h 15 min

    And for USAT races are:

    "Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wet suit without penalty in any event
    sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When
    the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees, but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group
    participants may wear a wet suit at their own discretion, provided however that participants who
    wear a wet suit within this temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Age
    group participants shall not wear wet suits in water temperatures equal to or greater than 84
    degrees Fahrenheit. The wetsuit policy for elite athletes shall be determined by the USAT Athletes
    Advisory Council."

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 5.3. Should I buy a wetsuit? What kind of wetsuit should I buy?

    Whether or not to buy a wetsuit is a personal decision. If you are not sure you may want to check
    local bike/run/tri shops in the area to see if they have one you can rent. If you live in a warm
    climate there may be no reason to buy one, however if you live where the waters are often in the 70s
    or colder you should probably consider one

    If you are going to buy a wetsuit, make sure you get one that is made for triathlon. A dive/jet
    ski/etc wetsuit will not give you the freedom of movement you need to swim effectively. Triathlon
    wetsuits generally range from about $100 to over $400 depending on the type and quality. There are
    several types of triathlon wetsuits on the market: TypeDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantages

    Shorty: No sleeves with short legs Cheap, easiest to remove in transition Least exposure protection
    and speed improvement Farmer John: No sleeves with long legs Improved warmth over Shorty without
    sacrificing range of motion Less speed improvement than a full suit, slower transitions than Shorty
    Full Suit: Full sleeves with long legs Fastest suit with best exposure protection Arm movement
    somewhat restrained, slowest transition, most expensive

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 5.4. Where can I find a place to train?

    Most suburban areas have pools available for lap swimming. The YMCA and health clubs are a good
    place to start. Many areas have city recreational centers that also offer lap swimming. Often local
    high schools or colleges will have a lap pool, call and ask if they allow public use.>/p?

    If you don't know about any in your area, US Masters Swimming offers a searchable list of swim
    locations at http://www.usms.org/placswim/search.php. A great international list can be found at
    http://www.swimmersguide.com/.

    Finding a place for open water swims in your area can be more difficult. Many areas have lakes with
    public beaches but the swim area is often cordoned off to a small, easily life guarded space. The
    best bet is to ask other triathletes in your area where they train.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 5.5. Where can I find information on swim training?

    The best bang for the buck is probably to find a masters group in your area. For information on
    masters swimming in the US refer to US Masters Swimming <http://www.usms.org/>.

    Many people have had tremendous success with Total Immersion <http://www.totalimmersion.net/>. The
    general consensus is that if you are not already a good swimmer who is just looking for refinement,
    TI is a good place to start.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 6. The Bike

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 6.1. What is drafting?

    The ITU defines drafting as: The technique of riding in a pack during the cycling event. They define
    draft zone as: An imaginary area approximately three bicycle lengths long and six feet wide
    surrounding each competitor during the bike segment.

    Basically drafting is a method to increase your speed or decrease your effort by lowering your wind
    resistance.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 6.2. Why is drafting bad/good?

    Drafting is a hot topic of debate among triathletes.

    Those that are against drafting often list the following reasons:

    Drafting takes away from the individual competitor nature of the sport. Drafting is less safe/causes
    higher insurance rates.

    Those that are for drafting often list the following reasons:

    Drafting evens out triathlons which often are weighed to longer times in the bike leg. Drafting is
    more spectator friendly.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 6.3. What is blocking?

    Blocking is basically riding in the wrong part of the bike course. Most commonly the right side of
    the bike course is for riding while the left side is for passing. Riders who camp out or overextend
    their stay in the passing lane are blocking. Blocking is a violation in most triathlons.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 6.4. Should I buy a road bike or a triathlon bike?

    You don't need a triathlon bike to do triathlons. Modified road bikes are very common in triathlons.
    If you already own a road bike or plan on doing other types of riding you may be better off with a
    road bike with clamp on aerobars. The advantages of a triathlon bike are in the posisitioning. They
    are setup to keep you more comfortable when in the aero bars and to work the quads less, saving them
    for the run. Often triathlon bikes are more aerodynamic than road bikes.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 6.5. Should I use 650c or 700c wheels?

    Both wheel sizes have advantages and disadvantages. 650c wheels accelerate and climb faster, but
    they also decelerate faster. 700c wheels are more comfortable and are more readily available if you
    need a tube on the road.

    The only people who should be really concerned about wheels sizes are particularly short or tall
    people. 650c wheels work much better with shorter people, especially on triathlon bikes where the
    geometry prevents the use of 700c wheels on smaller bikes. Tall riders should stick to 700c wheels.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 6.6. Where can I find information on bike maintenance?

    Sheldon Brown has a great website devoted to bike maintenance and other bike related issues at
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/repair/index.html.

    ------------------------------
    Subject: 6.7. What's the best kind of trainer to use in the winter?

    There are two common types of trainers available: stationary trainers and rollers. Stationary
    trainers clamp on to your rear fork and provide a rolling mechanism for your rear wheel. Resistance
    is offered by wind (a fan attached to the roller), fluid (a fan incased in oil attached to the
    roller) or magnets. Wind units tend to be the cheapest. Fluid resistance tends to offer the
    smoothest ride. Magnetic units often have adjustable resistance. If you get a stationary trainer you
    should also get a block for the front wheel to keep the bike level.

    Stationary trainers have the following advantages/disadvantages:

    Pros: Excellent for spin/muscle/aerobic training Easier to ride/learn Cheaper (usually) than rollers
    Some have computer interfaces to simulate road conditions More options for resistance control Cons:
    Do nothing for balance and form Allows you to coast Cause a lot of wear on the rear wheel Causes
    more stress to the frame of the bike Requires no thought so can be mind numbing

    Rollers provide 3 tubes two of which are connected by a belt. The front wheel rests on a single tube
    and the rear rests between two tubes. The belt from the front rear tube to the front tube causes the
    front wheel to spin with the rear wheel. Resistance is offered by friction and gears (smaller tubes
    offer more resistance) or a fan unit attached by a belt to one of the tubes. Rollers have the
    following advantages/disadvantages:

    Pros: Excellent for spin/muscle/aerobic training as well as form and balance Ride is more true to
    actual road riding Do not allow you to coast Force you to concentrate on your workout Less
    stress/wear on bike

    Cons: Harder to learn/use More expensive than basic stationary trainers Less resistance options

    The big reason most people avoid rollers is that they have a steep learning curve. The common fear
    is that you will ride off the rollers and hurt yourself. You can't actually ride off rollers like
    you might imagine, the only thing you can do is drop the front wheel off of the side of the roller
    which can cause you to loose your balance and fall. The best tip for learning to ride rollers is to
    start in a doorway so if you loose your balance you can just stick out your elbow to stop your fall.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 7. The Run

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 7.1. How do I avoid cramps during the run? Two good suggestions to avoid cramping when you
    start the run:

    Stay hydrated on the bike. During the last couple of miles on the bike stretch your calves by
    standing on the pedals and dropping your heel down.

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 8. Glossary

    aerobars a handlebar extension enabling the rider to use a more aerodynamic position bonk running
    out of energy during a race a.k.a. hitting the wall buoy a float used to mark the swim course
    blocking riding in the passing lane brick a bike/run workout drafting the technique of riding in a
    pack during the cycling event lemming start a triathlon start where the competitors start one at a
    time mass start a triathlon start where all of the competitors start at the same time instead of in
    waves roadie a cyclist that does not to triathlons and hates triathletes RST rec.sport.triathlon
    split the time taken to complete an individual leg of a triathlon transition the period/area between
    legs of a triathlon where participants change equipment/clothing for the next leg T1 the swim to
    bike transition T2 the bike to run transition wave a group of triathletes starting together as
    opposed to a mass start

    ------------------------------

    Subject: 9. Contributors

    Mark Cathcart mailto:<[email protected]>
    10.4 Swimmers Guide

    ------------------------------
     
    Tags:


  2. Tom Rodgers

    Tom Rodgers Guest

    "James Goddard" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Version: 1.01 Posting-frequency: monthly Copyright: (c) 2002 James Goddard Archive-name:
    > faqs/rec.sport.triathlon URL: http://www.ewl.com/rst/rst-faq.html Last-modified: FRI DEC 20
    > 11:39:00 CST 2002 Maintainer: James Goddard <[email protected]> Disclaimer: Approval for
    > *.answers is based on form, not content.
    >
    >
    > Answers to rec.sport.triathlon frequently asked questions. James Goddard
    > [email protected]
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 1. Introduction and Intent
    >
    > This posting contains answers to frequently asked questions posted to rec.sport.triathlon plus
    > interesting and useful information for
    triathletes.
    > If known, author's name/email address are given. The original FAQ for rec.sport.triathlon was
    > maintained by Osmar Zaïane
    and
    > last updated by him in 1994. In 1996 Larry Chapman updated the links/addresses
    to
    > Osmar's FAQ. No maintenance has been performed since then. Send me, James Goddard
    > <[email protected]>, any corrections, updates, suggestions, or proper info of sources or
    > holder's of copyright. This article is provided as is without any express or implied warranties.
    > While every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this
    > article, the author/maintainer/contributors <take your pick> assume(s) no responsibility for
    > errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from
    the
    > use of the information contained herein.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 2. Table of Contents
    >
    > 1. Introduction and Intent
    >
    > 2. Table of Contents
    >
    > 3. Aboutrec.sport.triathlon
    > 3.1. Introduction?
    > 3.2. Where can I get a copy of this FAQ?
    > 3.3. What is rec.sport.triathlon?
    > 3.4. The rec.sport.triathlon Charter
    > 3.5. Posting Etiquette
    >
    > 4. General Information About Triathlons
    > 4.1. What is a triathlon?
    > 4.2. What is a biathlon/duathlon?
    > 4.3. What are the distances for triathlons?
    > 4.4. Is triathlon an Olympic sport?
    > 4.5. What are the governing bodies for triathlon?
    > 4.6. What are the rules of triathlons?
    > 4.7. Where can I find a triathlon in my area?
    > 4.8. Where can I find more information on triathlons?
    >
    > 5. The Swim
    > 5.1. What strokes are permissible?
    > 5.2. What are the rules about wetsuits?
    > 5.3. Should I buy a wetsuit? What kind of wetsuit should I buy?
    > 5.4. Where can I find a place to train?
    > 5.5. Where can I find information on swim training?
    >
    > 6. The Bike
    > 6.1. What is drafting?
    > 6.2. Why is drafting bad/good?
    > 6.3. What is blocking?
    > 6.4. Should I buy a road bike or a triathlon bike?
    > 6.5. Should I use 650c or 700c wheels?
    > 6.6. Where can I find information on bike maintenance?
    > 6.7. What's the best kind of trainer to use in the winter?
    >
    > 7. The Run
    > 7.1. How do I avoid cramps during the run?
    >
    > 8. Glossary
    >
    > 9. Contributors
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 3. About rec.sport.triathlon
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 3.1. Introduction
    >
    > In recent years there has been a significant increase in the popularity of triathlon and as such,
    > more and more people are discovering rec.sport.triathlon.
    >
    > This FAQ is an effort to make the group as efficient as possible by answering the most commonly
    > asked questions and provide guidelines for posting.
    >
    > This FAQ is considered a work in progress and will continue to evolve with both the newsgroup and
    > the sport itself. Comments and suggestions are welcome
    and
    > should be sent to the maintainer.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 3.2. Where can I get a copy of this FAQ? The original HTML version of this FAQ can be
    > found at http://www.ewl.com/rst/rst-faq.html.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 3.3. What is rec.sport.triathlon?
    >
    > rec.sport.triathlon was created August 6, 1991 by Tim Rigg because: "The only related groups are
    > rec.running and rec.bicycles. There is no
    group
    > to discuss swimming and there is no group to discuss the interactions between the three events."
    >
    > It is a newsgroup devoted to all things triathlon. Anything even remotely having to do with the
    > sport is considered a valid topic of discussion. Threads about events, equipment, tactics,
    > tournaments and personalities are all welcome. Postings for the sale of triathlon gear and
    > advertisements for related commercial ventures are also acceptable if some general guidelines are
    > followed (See Section 3.5).
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 3.4. The rec.sport.triathlon Charter
    >
    > The following charter was included in a post to news.announce.newgroups approving the creation
    > rec.sport.triathlon as a newsgroup. The first draft of the charter was submitted by Tim Rigg and
    > refined during the discussion period to produce the final result:
    >
    > rec.sport.triathlon is for the discussion of all multi-event sports including triathlons,
    > biathlons, duathlons, and all other events. Valid topics
    include
    > equipment questions and suggestions, training ideas, race results, athlete profiles, race strategy
    > and similar topics. In an effort to minimize cross posting, specific questions should be posted to
    > other groups when there is little impact from the multi-event nature of the sport (for example,
    "Help,
    > my triathlon bike makes a strange clicking sound" should be sent to rec.bicycles)
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 3.5. Posting Etiquette
    >
    > It is acceptable for people to post "classified ad" type messages
    informing
    > the group of gear you have for sale or auction. However, it is requested that the prefix "FS:" or
    > "FA:" be added to the subject header (FS = For Sale, FA = For Auction). The FS:/FA: prefix allows
    > people to either skip over the message or use a filter to find, file, or ignore the posts. The use
    > of such prefixes
    is
    > a generally accepted practice on all newsgroups. The posting of commercial advertisements for a
    > company has been a much debated topic. Nearly everyone dislikes "SPAM" and many people consider
    > commercial advertisements, even triathlon related ads, junk mail. But since the group is not
    > moderated it is nearly impossible to police such posts. Therefore it
    is
    > it is strongly suggested that a post of an advertisement for a commercial organization have the
    > prefix "AD:" added to the subject header. This
    allows
    > people to either skip the message or invoke a filter. People who looking to buy used gear should
    > post a message with the prefix WTB: in the subject header (WTB = Wanting to Buy). Be sure to
    > include your contact information in the body of your message so sellers can contact you
    directly.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 4. General Information About Triathlons
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 4.1. What is a triathlon?
    >
    > A triathlon is an athletic contest in which participants compete three events in succession.
    > Usually these events are swimming, bicycling and running.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 4.2. What is a biathlon/duathlon?
    >
    > A biathlon/duathlon is an athletic contest in which participants compete
    two
    > (or three) events in succession. Usually these events are bicycling and
    running.
    > Basically a biathlon/duathlon is a triathlon without the swimming. The general distinction
    > between a biathlon and a duathlon is that a duathlons often split up the run so as to be a
    > run-bike-run event.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 4.2. What are the distances for triathlons? There are no set distances for triathlons.
    > Many triathlons use various distances that conform to the land/water available to them.
    >
    > There are, however, a few "common" distances:
    >
    > Name Swim Bike Run Sprint .75km 20km 5km Olympic or International 1.5km 40km 10km Long Course 2.4m
    > 112m 26.2m
    >
    > The terms "short course" and "long course" generally refer to distances
    less
    > than and greater than Olympic distance respectively.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 4.4. Is triathlon an Olympic sport? Triathlon made its Olympic debut at the Summer Games
    > in Sydney in 2000.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 4.5. What are the governing bodies for triathlon? The international governing body for
    > triathlon is the International Triathlon Union <http://www.triathlon.org/> (ITU)
    >
    > The U.S. governing body for triathlon is USA Triathlon <http://www.usatriathlon.org/> (USAT)
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 4.6. What are the rules of triathlons?
    >
    > Triathlon rules vary by race and governing bodies. For individual triathlons, check the race
    > packet for rules for the race.
    >
    > For ITU races, the rules can be found at http://www.triathlon.org/rules/index.htm
    >
    > For USAT races, the rules can be found at http://www.usatriathlon.org/Frames/fs_rules.htm
    >
    > Even if your race is an ITU or USAT event, you should still check the race packets for
    > changes/exceptions to the rules.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 4.6. Where can I find a triathlon in my area?
    >
    > There are several online resources that list triathlons by location:
    >
    > Timberline Timing <http://www.timberlinetiming.com/calendar> Active.com
    > <http://www.active.com/triathlon/> CoolTri <http://www.cooltri.com/calendar1.htm>
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 4.7. Where can I find more information on triathlons??
    >
    > Try the following links:
    >
    > TriNewbies.com <http://www.trinewbies.com/> USA Triathlon <http://www.usatriathlon.org/>
    > International Triathlon Union <http://www.triathlon.org/> HulaMan <http://www.hulaman.com/>
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 5. The Swim
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 5.1. What strokes are permissible?
    >
    > Any stroke is allowed in triathlons as long as you are not using an artificial means to propel
    > yourself through the water.
    >
    > The most common and efficient stroke is freestyle. Breaststroke, however,
    is
    > often performed by people who either have trouble with freestyle or are resting.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 5.2. What are the rules about wetsuits?
    >
    > The wetsuit rules change by race and governing body but the general rules for ITU races are:
    >
    >
    > Elite athletes in the Olympic Games and ITU Events: Swim Length Forbidden above: Mandatory below:
    > Maximum stay in water 1500m 20 deg. C 14 deg. C 30 min 1500-3000m 23 deg. C 15 deg. C 1 h 40 min
    > 3000-4000m 24 deg. C 16 deg. C 2 h 15 min
    >
    >
    >
    > Junior and Age Group competitors: Swim Length Forbidden above: Mandatory below: Maximum stay in
    > water 1500m 22 deg. C 14 deg. C 1 h 10 min 1500-3000m 23 deg. C 15 deg. C 1 h 40 min 3000-4000m 24
    > deg. C 16 deg. C 2 h 15 min
    >
    >
    >
    > And for USAT races are:
    >
    >
    > "Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wet suit without penalty in any event
    > sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a
    water
    > temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is
    greater
    > than 78 degrees, but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group
    participants
    > may wear a wet suit at their own discretion, provided however that participants who wear a wet
    > suit within this temperature range shall not
    be
    > eligible for prizes or awards. Age group participants shall not wear wet suits in water
    > temperatures equal to or greater than 84 degrees
    Fahrenheit.
    > The wetsuit policy for elite athletes shall be determined by the USAT Athletes Advisory Council."
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 5.3. Should I buy a wetsuit? What kind of wetsuit should I buy?
    >
    > Whether or not to buy a wetsuit is a personal decision. If you are not
    sure
    > you may want to check local bike/run/tri shops in the area to see if they have one you can rent.
    > If you live in a warm climate there may be no reason to buy one, however if you live where the
    > waters are often in the 70s or colder you should probably consider one
    >
    > If you are going to buy a wetsuit, make sure you get one that is made for triathlon. A dive/jet
    > ski/etc wetsuit will not give you the freedom of movement you need to swim effectively. Triathlon
    > wetsuits generally range from
    about
    > $100 to over $400 depending on the type and quality. There are several types of triathlon wetsuits
    > on the market: TypeDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantages
    >
    > Shorty: No sleeves with short legs Cheap, easiest to remove in transition Least exposure
    > protection and speed improvement Farmer John: No sleeves with long legs Improved warmth over
    > Shorty without sacrificing range of motion Less speed improvement than a full suit, slower
    > transitions than Shorty Full Suit: Full sleeves with long legs Fastest suit with best exposure
    > protection Arm movement somewhat restrained, slowest transition, most expensive
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 5.4. Where can I find a place to train?
    >
    > Most suburban areas have pools available for lap swimming. The YMCA and health clubs are a good
    > place to start. Many areas have city recreational centers that also offer lap swimming. Often
    > local high schools or colleges will have a lap pool, call and ask if they allow public use.>/p?
    >
    > If you don't know about any in your area, US Masters Swimming offers a searchable list of swim
    > locations at http://www.usms.org/placswim/search.php. A great international list can be found at
    > http://www.swimmersguide.com/.
    >
    > Finding a place for open water swims in your area can be more difficult. Many areas have lakes
    > with public beaches but the swim area is often cordoned
    off
    > to a small, easily life guarded space. The best bet is to ask other
    triathletes
    > in your area where they train.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 5.5. Where can I find information on swim training?
    >
    > The best bang for the buck is probably to find a masters group in your
    area.
    > For information on masters swimming in the US refer to US Masters Swimming <http://www.usms.org/>.
    >
    > Many people have had tremendous success with Total Immersion <http://www.totalimmersion.net/>. The
    > general consensus is that if you are not already a good swimmer who is just looking for
    > refinement, TI is a good place to start.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 6. The Bike
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 6.1. What is drafting?
    >
    > The ITU defines drafting as: The technique of riding in a pack during the cycling event. They
    > define draft zone as: An imaginary area approximately three bicycle lengths long and six feet wide
    > surrounding each competitor during the bike segment.
    >
    > Basically drafting is a method to increase your speed or decrease your effort by lowering your
    > wind resistance.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 6.2. Why is drafting bad/good?
    >
    > Drafting is a hot topic of debate among triathletes.
    >
    > Those that are against drafting often list the following reasons:
    >
    > Drafting takes away from the individual competitor nature of the sport. Drafting is less
    > safe/causes higher insurance rates.
    >
    > Those that are for drafting often list the following reasons:
    >
    > Drafting evens out triathlons which often are weighed to longer times in
    the
    > bike leg. Drafting is more spectator friendly.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 6.3. What is blocking?
    >
    > Blocking is basically riding in the wrong part of the bike course. Most commonly the right side of
    > the bike course is for riding while the left side is for passing. Riders who camp out or
    > overextend their stay in the passing lane are blocking. Blocking is a violation in most
    > triathlons.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 6.4. Should I buy a road bike or a triathlon bike?
    >
    > You don't need a triathlon bike to do triathlons. Modified road bikes are very common in
    > triathlons. If you already own a road bike or plan on doing
    other
    > types of riding you may be better off with a road bike with clamp on aerobars. The advantages of a
    > triathlon bike are in the posisitioning. They are
    setup
    > to keep you more comfortable when in the aero bars and to work the quads
    less,
    > saving them for the run. Often triathlon bikes are more aerodynamic than road bikes.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 6.5. Should I use 650c or 700c wheels?
    >
    > Both wheel sizes have advantages and disadvantages. 650c wheels accelerate and climb faster, but
    > they also decelerate faster. 700c wheels are more comfortable and are more readily available if
    > you need a tube on the road.
    >
    > The only people who should be really concerned about wheels sizes are particularly short or tall
    > people. 650c wheels work much better with
    shorter
    > people, especially on triathlon bikes where the geometry prevents the use
    of
    > 700c wheels on smaller bikes. Tall riders should stick to 700c wheels.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 6.6. Where can I find information on bike maintenance?
    >
    > Sheldon Brown has a great website devoted to bike maintenance and other
    bike
    > related issues at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/repair/index.html.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    > Subject: 6.7. What's the best kind of trainer to use in the winter?
    >
    > There are two common types of trainers available: stationary trainers and rollers. Stationary
    > trainers clamp on to your rear fork and provide a rolling mechanism for your rear wheel.
    > Resistance is offered by wind (a fan attached to the roller), fluid (a fan incased in oil attached
    > to the roller) or magnets. Wind units tend to be the cheapest. Fluid resistance tends to offer the
    smoothest
    > ride. Magnetic units often have adjustable resistance. If you get a stationary trainer you should
    > also get a block for the front wheel to keep the bike level.
    >
    > Stationary trainers have the following advantages/disadvantages:
    >
    > Pros: Excellent for spin/muscle/aerobic training Easier to ride/learn Cheaper (usually) than
    > rollers Some have computer interfaces to simulate road conditions More options for resistance
    > control Cons: Do nothing for balance and form Allows you to coast Cause a lot of wear on the rear
    > wheel Causes more stress to the frame of the bike Requires no thought so can be mind numbing
    >
    > Rollers provide 3 tubes two of which are connected by a belt. The front wheel rests on a single
    > tube and the rear rests between two tubes. The belt from the front rear tube to the front tube
    > causes the front wheel to spin with the rear wheel. Resistance is offered by friction and gears
    > (smaller tubes offer
    more
    > resistance) or a fan unit attached by a belt to one of the tubes. Rollers have the following
    > advantages/disadvantages:
    >
    > Pros: Excellent for spin/muscle/aerobic training as well as form and balance Ride is more true to
    > actual road riding Do not allow you to coast Force you to concentrate on your workout Less
    > stress/wear on bike
    >
    >
    > Cons: Harder to learn/use More expensive than basic stationary trainers Less resistance options
    >
    > The big reason most people avoid rollers is that they have a steep
    learning
    > curve. The common fear is that you will ride off the rollers and hurt yourself. You can't actually
    > ride off rollers like you might imagine, the only thing you can do is drop the front wheel off of
    > the side of the roller which can
    cause
    > you to loose your balance and fall. The best tip for learning to ride rollers
    is
    > to start in a doorway so if you loose your balance you can just stick out
    your
    > elbow to stop your fall.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 7. The Run
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 7.1. How do I avoid cramps during the run? Two good suggestions to avoid cramping when
    > you start the run:
    >
    > Stay hydrated on the bike. During the last couple of miles on the bike stretch your calves by
    standing
    > on the pedals and dropping your heel down.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 8. Glossary
    >
    > aerobars a handlebar extension enabling the rider to use a more aerodynamic position bonk running
    > out of energy during a race a.k.a. hitting the wall buoy a float used to mark the swim course
    > blocking riding in the passing lane brick a bike/run workout drafting the technique of riding in a
    > pack during the cycling event lemming start a triathlon start where the competitors start one at a
    > time mass start a triathlon start where all of the competitors start at the same time instead of
    > in waves roadie a cyclist that does not to triathlons and hates triathletes RST
    > rec.sport.triathlon split the time taken to complete an individual leg of a triathlon transition
    > the period/area between legs of a triathlon where participants change equipment/clothing for the
    > next leg T1 the swim to bike transition T2 the bike to run transition wave a group of triathletes
    > starting together as opposed to a mass start
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Subject: 9. Contributors
    >
    > Mark Cathcart mailto:<[email protected]>
    > 5.4 Swimmers Guide
    >
    > ------------------------------
    >
    >
     
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