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Tri Training Tips: 10 Things to Know in Preparation for a Triathlon

By USA Triathlon | Dec. 04, 2008, 4:43 p.m. (ET)

Tri Training Tips


Tri Training Tips is a weekly web feature to help USAT members take their training to the next level. A new training tip will be posted every Thursday, so check this page weekly.

December 4, 2008

10 Things to Know in Preparation for a Triathlon (Part I)
By Kelly Wissolik, USAT Level I Coach

  1. Goggles
    • Find a comfortable pair of goggles. There are various types to choose from, but look for a soft suction to the face and a good seal. Women often find this to be challenging with smaller faces. Some suggestions are the Speedo Jr Hydrospex, the Speedo Women’s Vanquisher and my the Blue Seventy Vision Goggles in small.
    • To help prevent fogging you can use a small amount of no-tears baby shampoo mixed with water. Put a little drop of this solution on the goggles, dunk in the pool to rinse well and you should be good to go! (practice with this though as too much soap will irritate your eyes and too little doesn’t help prevent the fog).
  2. Use body lubricant
    Using a body lubricant in areas where your wetsuit rubs against your skin like neck, armpits, wrists, and ankles will reduce chafing and help you peel the wetsuit off easier. Another great idea is to put a little glob of body lubricant under the nose of your bike seat to apply on the bike and/or perhaps before you head out on the run. Under the armpits and chest area for the guys are good ones! (Quick side note – do not use Vaseline or petroleum-based lubricants on the wetsuit – Body Glide, Pam Cooking Spray or Suit Juice are okay – but the others will break down the wetsuit).
  3. Wear socks
    Wearing socks will help prevent blisters. When you get really good, you may want to experiment in shorter races without them for faster transitions, but in the beginning you want comfort. Also, use a light sock under your fins when training with fins in the pool to eliminate blisters. Severe blisters interfere with your training and can get infected, leaving you sidelined.
  4. Check your tires
    Make sure your tires are inflated to recommended tire pressure before you ride. Tires that are too low will require more work from the rider to go at any given pace. Tires that are too high in pressure can pop! Careful on race morning especially – if you over inflate and it sits in the hot sun while you are swimming, you may come back to an exploded tire!
  5. Keep you head up
    As you are riding your bike, keep your head up and look a good distance down the road to anticipate what is ahead. Dropping your head and looking down is dangerous! It prevents you from knowing what is going on ahead as well as the closer in you look, the less stable you become. And, with the new aero helmets, you need to keep your head looking forward to achieve the aerodynamics of the aero design!
Kelly Wissolik is a USAT Certified Level 1 coach and is the founder of Energy Fitness Coaching. Visit Energy Fitness coaching online at