I’ve made the decision! I want to register for the Women’s Triathlon. When is it this year? When does registration open?
GREAT decision! Women’s Triathlon No. 18 is May 28, 2011 in Herzlia, Hof Hanachim. Registration will open in March and close when we reach 1500 women.
Is the race timed as a single unit, or are there breaks? If there are breaks, how long are they?
The triathlon timing goes from start of swim to finish of running without a break. First is the swim, then the bike, followed by the run. Different people take different amounts of time to make each transition. The elite do the first one in less than a minute, the second one in about 10 seconds, which includes putting on or changing shoes and putting on, then taking off the helmet, as well as “racking” the bike!! It takes me about 3-4 minutes to do the first, about 1-2 minutes to do the second.
What does the transition time include?
These “transition times,” as they are called, include getting from the sea to the bike, BUT there’s absolutely no rule about how long you can take. It’s up to you. When I first started doing triathlons, I would take the time to pull on shorts over my bathing suit for the bike and swim. Some women change clothes, sit down and eat something. Now I have a “triathlon suit” in which I swim, bike and run, and I get through the transitions as quickly as I can. The general idea is to do it as quickly as possible, but don’t feel under pressure. This is a FUN event!! Timing for the swim usually includes the first transition until you get on your bike. Bike time is just the biking. Run time includes transition time to the run, as well as the run. The longer “ironman” races have separate times for each segment as well as the two transitions, known as T1 and T2.
What is in the transition area?
Transition area: Every triathlon has a transition area, a large closed off area, with entrances and exits for entering in the morning, for leaving and returning on the cycling and for leaving on the run. (The run return is the finish line.) This transition area is “home” during the triathlon. Each participant finds a place for her bike (or each relay team puts their bike) on the long racks provided, hanging the bike either by the handlebars or the seat. You lay a towel on the ground to one side of the bike and spread your equipment out on the towel. This is your space during the triathlon.
I’m really nervous about swimming in the open sea and haven’t done so in about 20 years. Help!
Swimming in the open sea: I think that MOST of us have a healthy respect for the sea, which is GOOD! I think that MOST of us have few opportunities to swim in open water. So… Coaches have been VERY nice and have offered “open” training sessions (we join their workouts for free) for the last month of training. These include swimming, biking and running. Most of the swims are held at the race site, at Hof Hanachim in Herzliya. Even if this is far away for you, it is definitely worthwhile to come a couple of times for the practice. Last year groups in Haifa and Caesaria held open workouts in their cities as well. As I said, it is definitely worthwhile to practice swimming in the ocean before the race.
Coaches will teach you techniques for getting in and out of the water, as well as how to swim more or less a straight line. ALSO, for the Women’s Triathlon itself, we have a rope that marks the full swim course, marked with buoys every 100m, so you have a better chance of seeing where you are going.
I’m worried about the water being cold, especially so early in the morning. What can I do?
Water temperature: The temperature is a bit cool, and of course each of us has our own sensitivity to cold. I am sensitive to the cold, but find that in “the heat of the race” I don’t feel the water temperature. In races when the water temperature is below 23C, wetsuits are allowed. The water temperature in Herzliya at the end of May is usually 24C (or 25C).
Waiting for the race to start early in the morning: You can wear a sweater and sweat pants and give them to a friend before entering the water. You can also do warm up exercises with your arms, or do a short run on the beach.
How do relay teams work?
When you do a relay team, the swimmer comes out of the water and gives her timing chip (attached to her ankle with a velcro “skotch” strap), then the cyclist leaves for her segment. When she comes back to the transition area, the chip and race number (attached to the cyclist’s waist with an elastic band – on the back for the cycling, turned around to the front for the running) are transferred to the runner, who then leaves to run. About 50m from the finish line, the cyclist and swimmer wait for the runner – there will be a special waiting area this year – and the three of you cross the finish line together – with great pride and joy!!!!!!!! Every Woman a Winner!
Is there a Forum where I can hear from other women with similar questions?
Absolutely! This past summer we opened a Tapuz Forum for Women in Sport. (Mor Schlesinger and Dganit Maka are the managers.) Here’s the link. There is daily sharing of training and questions. We talk of our fears, our successes, of dealing with our multiple roles of wife, mother, career woman. We host experts in the fields of sport, nutrition, sports injuries. It’s a GREAT way to share our on-going experiences. Women write in with a great variety of backgrounds – women new to the field of sport and triathlon (it’s a forum for women in all sport, not just triathlon) all the way to women who’ve competed in the Olympics. We have newcomers and coaches who read and participate in the Forum daily. We have younger women and veteran women. We have single women and women in partnerships. Come join us!