Tips for Female Triathletes
by Nadezhda Pavlova, Dep. Executive Editor
by Nadezhda Pavlova, Dep. Executive Editor
Here’s some really useful tips that I wished I had known when I first got into the sport, and which I now want to pass along to other women. The physical and mental aspects of women are different from those of men – and that’s something we should celebrate. However, whenever women are training for triathlons, they have specific motivators and different challenges to overcome. These are the issues that I’ll cover in this article – helping you to train as a woman 🙂
For a woman to have the best experience in triathlons, they need several tips to help them in the swimming, biking, and running parts. You can only be comfortable and win a triathlon race if you are well prepared. This article will give you the tips you need to have a fantastic triathlon experience as a woman.
Here are some easy but effective tips that will help you feel comfortable and improve your performances as a female triathlete:
During the race day, you want to be sure that every item is in order and nothing will break your race. One thing that can pull you out of your triathlon race is a flat tire. Ensure that you carry a tire repair kit (tire levers, CO2 cartridges, inflator) with you and you also need to be sure that you know how to use all your equipment.
Learn how to change your tire at home before you proceed to the race. Even when you do not have a flat tire, you can let out some air and remove the tire. This will save you time if your tire is flat, and you can pick up fast with your competitors.
By practicing in your race outfit, you will know whether they are fitting and be sure that they will not give you discomfort during the race day. If there is something that makes you uncomfortable during your training, you should replace it with a more comfortable one.
As opposed to men, women do not have sports clothes that are one-size-fits-all. For that reason, you have to ensure you wear the right race clothes for your comfort. You might lose a race due to wearing the wrong sports clothes that will lead to rubbing and pulling. During your training sessions, ensure you have every gear that is needed during a triathlon race. You will need a race belt, speed laces, an aero helmet, and tri-specific clothing.
Getting a couple of high-quality sports bras is always a worthwhile investment.
As a woman, you have a higher threshold for pain compared to men. It is possible to think that something is normal while it is irritating. This is normally evident with the sports bra you wear. As a woman, it is possible to end a triathlon with bruises from the rubbing of your bra against your body. In such a case, your sporting experience will not be a thing to celebrate even when you win.
The best thing to solve the problem of an ill-lifting bra is to buy a fitting sports bra. You can get a perfect sports bra from a sports store. Ensure you understand the best features of a sports bra before you buy one. After finding the right sports bra for you, ensure you purchase two. 🙂
Regardless of how little or high you paid for your bike, make sure you get the right fit for your bike. Having the right seat and handlebar height can define the difference between riding in comfort and suffering in pain. Ensure that you know what you need and don’t be afraid to tell the professional fitter what exactly you need.
Remember that you will be swimming, biking, and running in a repetitive motion in a triathlon. This could lead to your bra rubbing against your body even if you invested in the right one. Here, a body glide could come to your rescue and make your triathlon experience much better. By applying your body glide on your sensitive spots before the race, you will prevent chaffing when you run and swim. Apply it on the joints of your chamois, ankles and wrists, neck, and under your bra.
You need some positive vibe to keep you going during the race. The best way to get your vibe is to connect with other triathletes before the race starts. As you run or ride past your competitors, make a habit of smiling. This will give you the positive energy you need when the race becomes tough. Women tend to smile back when you smile at them. This is not the case in men. Women can therefore draw their energy by this simple act of smiling during a triathlon.
Competing in events that are exclusive for women can help you feel more at ease, especially if you’re racing or competing for the first time. In addition, participating in exclusive triathlon events will allow you to explore what the sport has to offer without feeling intimidated by the presence of men. For example, the Iron Girl series can be excellent places to start for women’s triathlon events. These women-only events can serve as safe spaces for those who wish to learn more about what triathlon offers in a more supportive environment.
During the race, it’s vital to keep yourself protected from the harsh sun, especially since UV rays can have harmful effects on your skin’s health. So, ensure that you use enough sunscreen by applying some the night before and on the day of the race. Ensure that you apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going out and reapplying it again before the run. Doing so will guarantee enough protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
As for the hair, women need to find a perfect hairdo that will be easy to transfer from a bike helmet to a swim cap and a visor. Also, ensure that your hairstyle will not bother you when the actual race day comes. Tying your hair up can be problematic for you later on. This is because loose hair tends to knot more quickly, making it tough to detangle after the race. I recommend braiding your hair to keep it out of your face instead of simply tying it in a ponytail.
Upon exiting the pool after the swim, you shouldn’t forget to put on your best smile for the cameras. There’s always a photographer present to capture your moment on film. In fact, strive to always keep a bright smile on your face. Doing so will help boost your energy and the moods of those around you, making the day more enjoyable for everyone.
If you plan on wearing makeup during the race, I recommend using high-quality waterproof mascara. This ensures that your look will last throughout the entire day – enduring both sweat and water. While we can be beasts on the course, this doesn’t mean we have to give up being beautiful ladies to do so.
Nowadays, you can find numerous triathlon resources designed exclusively for women. Some examples include Sally Edwards’ Triathlon for Women, Christiana Gandolfo’s The Woman Triathlete, and Meredith Atwood’s Triathlon for the Every Woman. These resources will help you learn more about the sport, allowing you to perform better and excel during races.
Often, women might think that they are disadvantaged when it comes to triathlons. However, the aspects that might seem a challenge to women triathletes can be solved by prior planning. As long as you have the right triathlon gear, insights and training, you are sure to have a fantastic triathlon experience regardless of your gender.
I set out as an athlete and as a coach to show the true power of women. Yes, being a woman is different – but that’s our strength 😉