Simple but important Triathlon rules

made specific for the triathlon wikipedia page...

made specific for the triathlon wikipedia page, made up of licenses images from wikimedia as well as a few of my own photos which I release to public domain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We can’t blame you if you’ve been putting off studying the densely worded, 25-page official USTA race guidelines. You probably have better things to—like, say, training. Or taking a nap. So we enlisted a few experts to distill the document down to the basics, focusing on the areas where triathlon newbies typically run afoul of the law.

“Triathlon is very complicated to begin with. There’s a lot going on,” says Ian Murray, founder of the Triathlon Training Series and one of only 16 level-3 triathlon coaches in the country. “And that’s before people come to realize there are rules they have to follow where they can get penalized or disqualified.” As you prepare for your first race, keep in mind the guidelines below to reach the finish line without fault.

ALL STAGES

RULE 1: Unplug your iPod. For safety’s sake, you can’t blast “Born to Run”—or any music—during the race. So if you’re accustomed to jogging with your tunes on full-blast, get used to the silence. “As a coach, one of my laws of triathlons is nothing new on race day,” Murray says. “You have a chance to try everything in training. You might need a workout or two where you don’t use to the music in order to find the groove and the motivation without it.”

RULE 2: Keep it clean. Long story short, keep your garbage to yourself. You’ll get docked serious minutes if you’re caught tossing any of those gel packs or Power Bar wrappers to the street. The problem: “Lots of triathlon shorts and shirts have a very small pocket,” Murray says. The solution: “Take your gel tab or your wrapper and either tuck it underneath the leg or in the pocket of your race suit.”

RULE 3: Fly solo. Your family, your friends, and your lady can cheer all they want from the sidelines, but they can’t do a thing that might help you gain even a miniscule advantage. “You can’t have a family member or a friend or even a stranger hand you something during the event,” Murray says. “You can only get race-provided support.” And there should be plenty of that: Aid stations are typically well supplied with water and sports drinks like Gatorade.

RULE 4: Keep your own pace. Just in case rule three didn’t make it clear enough, your friends can’t even shout your time. We know—lighten up, right? They also can’t run along with you for a few feet, Rocky-style, to help buoy your spirits. “You have to do it all yourself,” Murray says. “Officials cruise around the course looking for these infractions and they can give you a penalty—a 2- or 3-minute infraction—which in a short race can mean the difference between third and twelfth.”

STAGE ONE: SWIMMING

RULE 5: Swim around the buoy. Sounds obvious, but not always as easy to follow as it sounds. Rookies might want to stick to the outside of the turn where the flailing limbs tend to be less concentrated and the confusion factor runs high. “People liken it to a washing machine,” says Mike Ricci, head coach of the University of Colorado’s national champion triathlon team. “Everybody’s gravitating toward the same space.”

TRANSITION 1: SWIMMING TO BIKING

RULE 6: Don’t ride in the transition area. Once you’re out of the water, you’ll be hustling to get your bike. Then you’ll walk—or run—to the mount line where you can finally start pedaling. Tempting as it might be, don’t hop onboard until you reach that line. Normally it’s too chaotic to gain any real momentum, anyway. “Some of Chicago’s races have 8,000 people,” says Ricci. “It’s like the biggest parking lot you’ve ever seen. Sometimes you run for half a mile.”

RULE 7: Buckle your helmet. Yes, officials are this fixated on the details, and they could penalize you even if you’re caught fiddling with the strap as you start the second leg of the race. Put your helmet on completely before you swing your leg over the bike, Ricci says.

STAGE TWO: BIKING

RULE 8: Don’t draft. If you remember one rule, make it this one. “Imagine a rectangular box around every cyclist. It starts at the front wheel, extends 1 meter to the left and right, and 7 meters behind,” Murray says. Enter that space, and you’ve got 15 seconds to pass the guy in front of you. Otherwise, stay at least 7 meters behind—about three bike-lengths. Riding any closer means you’re putting in about 30 percent less effort—letting the dude in front of you battle the wind while you cruise in his wake. That’s a hugely unfair advantage in a sport that’s all about individual achievement.

RULE 9: Stay to the right. Unless you’re passing, that is. Remember: If you enter that invisible box surrounding the guy in front of you, the shot clock starts at 15 seconds. Pass the guy on the left. Then immediately move back to the right. “You can’t just lollygag,” Murray says. “You have to get back over.” Overstay your welcome in the left lane, and you’ll get flagged for blocking. Worse, you’ll expose yourself as a rookie.

TRANSITION 2: BIKING TO RUNNING

RULE 10: Don’t ride to the rack. While it’s tempting, don’t just cruise past the dismount line—even if you figure you can get away with a few more feet. “Run or walk with your bike after that line,” Murray says. “Take your helmet off. Put your running shoes on. And off you go.”

STAGE 3: RUNNING

RULE 11: Run to the finish line. Seriously—that’s about it. “You can’t cut the course,” Murray says. “Otherwise, just run it as it’s marked.
Read more at Men’s Health: http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/11-triathlon-rules#ixzz1t9pCceHv

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About swimbikerun1
Devoted Father, Husband and Employee.Endurance sports fanatic (running,cycling,swimming).Triathlon athlete and coach.If only days had more than 24 hours.

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