10 Best Triathlon Hacks | Tips Every Triathlete Should Know


(energetic music) – [Narrator] The common plastic bag! Who would’ve thought it, but actually this could be
a triathlete’s best friend. You can use it in packing, helping to keep your wet
kit away from your dry kit, but it has another use. Now, you might find on race day when you’re a bit hot and flustered and you’re trying to squeeze your feet and ankles into your wet suit, well the plastic bag
could be your saviour. All you need to do is pop
your foot into the plastic bag and then you’ll be able to pull
your wet suit over your foot and ankle with no problem at all. Now, elastic bands are great for keeping your cameraman alert. But on a serious note, they are
very useful for a triathlon, especially if you’re confident enough to be doing a flying
mount like these people, then an elastic band is essential. As you need to tie it from
your shoe onto your bike making sure your shoes
are in the right position so that when you come onto the bike, they are ready for you to
slide your feet straight in and head out of T1, wasting no time. And as soon as you stop pedalling, the elastic band will just
break and come straight off. If you’re racing
outdoors, it’s a good idea to take a couple of options of
different goggle lens colours. That’s because, if you’re
racing early in the morning, for example, and it’s
really cloudy and overcast, then you’ll want to have a clear or brighter goggle lens colour. Or, if the conditions are
really bright, or the sun’s just coming up and it’s
going to be in your eyes, then you’ll want a tinted or
mirrored goggles like these. And another thing to bear in mind, if you do have a spare pair
with you at the race start, or as close to there as possible, because there’s nothing worse
than your goggles breaking last minute and trying to
swim without any goggles. If you’re doing a longer-distance race and you need lots of gels, you might struggle to find
enough room in your bento box and maybe your tri-suit doesn’t
have pockets at the back. So there is a solution,
you can use a water bottle and you can just empty your
gel packets into your bottle. And then, depending on the
consistency of the gel, you might need to add some water. Just enough so it can make it’s way out through the top of your bottle. And another point on this,
it’s quite good to mark exactly how many gels you’ve got in there and a line as to where each gel would be. So you still know roughly
how many gels you’ve had throughout the race. And, if you don’t want to do that and you want to actually have the gel directly from the packet, you can attach it onto your bike directly with a piece of tape. That makes it easy to rip off
and take the gel directly. A quick and easy tip, is just to replace your original shoelaces with
some stretchy elastic ones. Meaning you can put your
foot straight into your shoe and you don’t have to waste time faffing, trying to tie a bow. But, I do recommend you
practise this beforehand. You need to make sure you’ve
got the right tightness across the shoe and you can
get your foot in easily, but it’s not too sloppy
so it’s going to fall off. If you get it right, it can save you a lot
of time in transition. Cable ties! These are an essential piece
of kit that should always be in your bag when you’re travelling to any triathlon race. And, not only can they solve
several emergency situations, they’re also great for adding security to anything that you’ve
got attached to your bike. Now, a common use of these is for securing your bottle cage in
between your arrow bars. So you can just add these
on top of the fastenings you’ve already got there, just to make sure your
bottle doesn’t pop out when you’re going over any bumps. You can use a little
bit of petroleum jelly inside your running and your cycling shoes in the areas that are prone to rubbing. And then also maybe pop a
little bit around the tops of your shoes, as it’ll just
help you get your foot in in transition. If you are doing a longer-distance
race and you’re opting to wear socks, maybe put
them in your shoes ready so you know which is the left
and which is the right sock. And you can just make that even quicker by rolling them down. So that means you save even
more time in transition. Travelling for triathlon is
never a light and easy task. So trying to keep the weight
down and avoid needing an extra bag will save costs. So the best idea is to put
your lighter, bulkier kit inside your bike bag. And it also doubles up as extra padding, and then, if you’ve got
any really heavy things, you can maybe take them
in your hand luggage. And another tip, a lot of athletes do take their running shoes, their cycling shoes and their helmet in hand luggage. So, if the worst comes to the worst and your luggage does get
lost on the way to the race, you can probably borrow the rest, but you have the essentials. Not all of us will have
the luxury of taking your own personal masseur
with you on race day. So the next best thing is a foam roller. And you might think, “I haven’t
got room in my luggage.” Well, several of them are
hollow as you can see. So then you can just stuff
any extra clothes in there. Now, if you don’t have
the space or you forget your foam roller, you can
improvise with a bottle of water. Fill it up, turn the top on tight, and then you can use that as
you would your foam roller. Another hack, though, is
these two tennis balls. Now, a tennis ball can be used on it’s own as a massage tool. You can roll on it, put
it against the wall. You could also use a golf
ball or a hockey ball, depending on what works for you. But if you put these two
tennis balls together and you use some tape, you can make a peanut, or a monkey nut. And that’s great for massaging
areas such as your back cos it fits down either
side of your spine. Using a neoprene-friendly
lubricant such a baby oil underneath your wetsuit
around your ankles and wrists is great for preventing
any areas from rubbing, but also, it makes it that much easier to get your wetsuit off
when you’re trying to rush through transition. All of these are fairly
easy and inexpensive items to invest in and can end up
making a significant difference on race day. The key is to be prepared. So, if you are going to
try any of these tips for the first time, just
make sure you practise them at home before you get to the race. And if you’ve got any
ideas or hacks that you do and you want to share with us, we would love to know. So please leave them in
the comments section below. And, if you’ve enjoyed this,
give it a thumbs up like and to subscribe to the channel,
just click on the globe. And if you want to watch a video on eight exercises you
can fit around your day, click down here. And if you want to watch
a video from Ask the Pros on their pre-race
breakfast, click down here.

73 Comments

  • Let us know your best triathlon hack in the comments below 👇

  • 2nd comment 5th like

  • By the way do any of you guys have problems clipping in or getting your wetsuit and putting your running shoes on like Matt Stephens

  • wrap top tube with cling film before taping gels on to protect your paint

  • Just curious, if you use elastic bands to hold your shoes in then they snap when you start peddling would that not count as littering?

  • I put my gels in Hydrapak Softflask (without packaging of course) and fasten it to my bike with rubber band or tape. When I've taken my first sip from it I just tuck it under my trisuit collar until I need to eat next time.

  • Great video! Another hack is to put talcum powder in you're cycling and running shoes when you do not wear socks. Helps a lot with reducing friction, and therefore no blisters =D

  • having your bike in an easier gear for getting out of T1, gets you away smoother and removes the possibility of not being able to get started at all

  • I recommend a lacrosse ball/balls for rolling. Softer than a rock hard hockey or golf ball but gets deeper into the tissue than tennis balls.

  • Cable ties: Doddy approved.

  • Put some baby powder in your running/cycling shoes to remove any moisture 👍

  • Could you maybe do a video where you clarify with some wetsuit manufacturers if you should or shouldn't use baby oil on them. I've seen lots conflicting opinions on this, some says it's fine, some say it damages the Neoprene. It's a bit like the WD40 of triathlon 🙂

  • I take several nitrile or latex medical/mechanics gloves with me to every race. I use them to apply embrocation, baby oil, etc and after I'm finished I just pull them off inside out, leaving my hands perfectly clean and ready to race.

  • tip: Use masking tape between your race number stickers and helmet/bike frame – masking tape comes off easier and doesn't leave that horrid sticky glue residue on your shiny equipment

  • Avoid getting in the water with fat on the palms of your hands. I use my outer wrists and outer forearm to distribute the lube where I want it (including especially the neck!).

  • What about cream/lubricant on the neck, to avoid scratches from your swim suit ?! Last time, I got like burned for 2 weeks 😂

  • If u dont wear it under ur wetsuit at least keep your race belt and number done up, then to put it on u just step into it. 🤗

  • Please make some video like “best triathlon gear under 1500£” or some like this because many people like to start triathlon but don’t have any ideas about what i need to start this. (All things like: great bike, shoes, wet suit…..)

  • Elastic bands on bike shoes – I saw a lot of people struggling with these at T1 exit at Kona this year. Couple almost came off their bikes – as a middling age-grouper I don't think I'll ever bother learning to do this.

  • Scrunch up your race number, it helps prevent that irritating flapping against your backside as you smash up the bike course! Also, if you get two race numbers in your race pack, put them back to back but the one against your body should be upside down, then if your number flips up it will still be readable.

  • Still say race belt under the wetsuit is underrated.

  • Question: what do you do if you wear prescription glasses for the swim portion?

  • Bam! Cable Ties!

  • Another gel trick – stick the tab under the rim of your water bottle, so that you can rip it off during the race. If you have a bunch on your bar/box, and need more, its a good way to get 2-4 more depending on your bottles.

  • To create the 2 tennis balls peanut, don't use tape ! Put them in a sock and tie a knot. Much softer on the skin.

  • Drench tennis balls in water… freeze and use after a run to roll against feet for arch/foot pain.

  • All the effort they put into making the bike as aero as possible and we go and tape gels on top. 😀

  • What watches do you guys wear?

  • maybe the best hack that you hear ervery time, take a bike fit.

  • i've used my deo spray to ''foam roll'' my calves and feet 😀

  • Don't forget they also make corrective lenses goggles too. If your is nearsighted as I am, you would not be able to open swim without them.

  • Don't tape the gels on your frame, the alloy packaging will the polish on the frame.

  • Old water bottles make great tool storage and food storage. It's a GCN hack though.

  • these are like the noob triathlon tips cable ties suck

  • Tip #1: Regarding your plastic bag tip: Not all plastic bags are usable. I've found that the thicker, and softer bags just stick and make everything worse whereas the noisy thin kind you used in the video works great.

  • Tip #2: Regarding taping gells to your bike, use painters tape. Painters tape is designed to leave no marks if it sticks less than 24 hours and it's easy to rip. Make it even easier, make a fold at the corner where the tape ends so you can easily lift the tape off.

  • Tip #3: Rather than expensive lubricant to avoid wetsuit chafing, try coconut oil which actually condenses at wetsuit legal temperatures. It's cheap and eco friendly solution and doesn't damage your wetsuit like vaseline or similar petro-based products.

  • Tip #4: If you're setting up for flying mount: Adjust cranks to 3 o'clock, that is, right pedal forward and left back. The left shoe mounts with the elastic band on the quick release, move the quick release if necessary. The right shoe mounts on the front derailer or try the bottle cage mount on the down tube. And do try to run with your bike to check the elastic bands don't jump off on your way to the mount line.

  • Faffage reduction!

  • I started using elastic laces this year and it's just amazing how this can improve your time in T2 🙂

  • Please dont forget your intro or reuse tips that have already been covered on other videos.

  • When taping the tennis balls together I use kinesiology tape, it is super tidy and leaves a little bit of flexibility

  • One that my dad thought of for me. For the gels you can buy little Velcro squares, you put one on the bike and one on the gel and that is it, you can just pull it off

  • With the baby oil, use your carrier bag as gloves when applying. Swimming with baby oil on your hands is an odd and distracting sensation!

  • So should you wear socks on the run in a triathlon?

  • I didn't know about the baby oil stuff. Kudos for that!

  • Can also use talcum powder in shoes/socks 🙂

  • I'm training for my first triathlon. I've been a competitive swimmer for over 8 years.Since I'm rather new to triathlons and comfortable in the water, is a wetsuit necessary?

  • Have your bike in the right gear for your preferred take off style 🙂

  • I have been taught to unzip your wetsuit, grab your cap and goggles in one hand and roll the arm over your hand holding the googles and cap so that they are trapped in the sleeve and guaranteed never to lose either in T1. Just be aware that nose plugs can fall out.

  • Came from GCN on Autoplay, stayed for a familiar face. Hi Heather!

  • You actually said 'hockey ball'… 🙂

  • The elastic band breaking and falling off isn’t considered as littering ?

  • Here's a tip: park your car about a quarter of a mile from the start and finish. When no one is looking, use your car.

  • Instead of taping the two tennis balls, you can put them inside a sock, which ties them together like the tape, but it's easier to reverse.

  • Swimming with socks instead of putting them in T1. What do you think?

  • I don't think I have ever tied a pair of running shoes :)) These days the tongues are so plushy that my feet slip in and out of them quite easily without changing out the standard laces

  • Awesome, thanks guys. I actually have a friend who sits down with a flask of tea in transition on Ironman distance races! These tips are great 👍

  • 1. Wear your race belt and number under your wetsuit
    2. Tuck your cycle gloves in your tri-suit and put then on just after you exit the water – arrive at bike with them on
    3. Make sure your bike is in the right gear to set off

  • I really wanna start doing triathlons I’m doing a lot of research anyone got any tips

  • "..a golf ball, a hockey ball……"

  • Biggest hack Ino take epo easiest way to improve

  • KT tape on the back of your neck will help prevent wet suit chaffing.

  • Good god I actually heard something that was new to me, on the GTN show today. Thanx

  • got it guys! Tape tennis balls to my bike, put extra gel in my shoes, and put baby powder in my swim goggles.

  • There's a left and right sock?

  • instead of relacing shoes, pre-tie them, slip them off, and then bring a shoehorn

  • I don’t do triathlons. I’m just a roadie

  • ACUVUE Transitions contact lenses adjust to changing light conditions automatically which helps when going from dark early mornings to bright sunny days, clouds, etc. I have worn them on race day and during training and they are fantastic.

  • Never heard the petroleum jelly tip. I just always use body glide on my feet to prevent blisters and hotspots

  • nice…but promoting that litter on the plastic band….wow…..i guess you got slaves cleaning after your mess

  • Great vid. Awesome!

  • Socks?

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