For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.
Save seconds with these quick tweaks to your race routine.
You can save big chunks of time through better training and faster equipment, but what about the free and easy time savings? Here are a few ways to shave seconds in each discipline. Add them up and they could make the difference in racing to a personal best or a spot on the podium!
Smart runners make a point of running the tangents in a race. But have you ever thought of swimming the tangents? Your “tangent” could be maximizing the current in a river or taking a certain line on the course. For a swim course like Ironman Louisville or Chattanooga, use the current to your advantage by planning your effort—swim harder (and draft!) upstream and relax a bit while maximizing the downstream current.
Perfect your gear transitions before the race. If you’re doing a flying mount, it’s important to make sure you can start pedaling easily once the feet go on top of the shoes. Then you can more easily get up to speed and slide your feet into the shoes.
Dress while running. Leave everything clipped together for T2 (hat or visor and race belt). There’s no reason you should stop while you put on these items. If you have everything race belted together, you can grab the string of items and be out in a jiffy.
Challenge yourself to have the fastest transitions in 2016 (and commit to practice them in training)!
You have probably invested money on the lightest gear, so don’t throw it away by weighing down your bike with four bottles. Become adept at grabbing bottles on the course so you don’t have to slow much or stop.
Master consumption. Consider fueling with dual-purpose forms of nutrition that is easy to process, such as a gel with electrolytes or a hydration product with sodium as well as higher calorie amounts. Time spent fiddling with packaging while soft pedaling also adds up to lost seconds.
Drink while you run. If you’re giving the race an honest effort, you won’t finish clean and sweat free, so it’s expected that not everything you consume will make it in your mouth. Keep moving and grab as much as you need.
Run the tangents. On a crowded course, stick to the right or left so you aren’t continuously weaving around slower runners.