With better odds then the lottery, it’s inevitable that you will cross paths with mother natures in the sport of triathlon. Depending on which weather service you look at, the 25th Annual CapTex Tri is likely see a 100 percent chance for soggy conditions on race day.
For most athletes, when the skies open up this is naturally a deterrent from a day of training and racing. Understandably the risk is the largest factor. Personally I try to get as many sessions in the wet weather to build my confidence come race day.
Do not fear the weather, for any athlete racing in inclement conditions is all about preparation. Taking care of a few key variables will allow you to successfully handle the wet weather on race day. Here is my guide to racing in wet weather.
When it comes to the “Swim / Bike / Run” unless you are made of sugar or related to the Wicked Witch of the West, reassure yourself by saying, “I’m going to get wet, it’s okay.”
Consider the items you will be bringing with you into transition area. The more you bring the more you have to deal with, the less you have the better. Simply put, what do you really need?
- Cycling/Running shoes
- Swim Gear
- Race Number
The event offers a gear check on race day for items you can fit into the provided clear plastic bag. Use this for dry clothes, ID, keys and phone. Towels and bags will only become a soggy clutter. I would recommend leaving it in your car or with a friend or family member because stuffing everything you need into a large bag is asking for failure.
Take 15 minutes the night before and plan out your essentials.
Not to sound redundant but remind yourself, you will get wet. Remember, the race starts off with the swim.
Prepare your bike for the wet conditions by cleaning any moving part and applying grease or lube to the appropriate components. Cleaning the chain and applying a wet lube will assure the bike will shift in the damp conditions.
Reduce your tire pressure by 10 to 20 PSI depending on your weight and size of the tire, The increased contact will provide you with greater traction on the wet road. Make sure you check the recommended ranges for pressure of your tire to stay within the minimums and not have it too flat.
When dropping off your bike for mandatory check in, rack your bike by the handlebars to assure that your bike will not fall onto the ground over night, plastic bags or covers are really just delaying the inevitable and possibly turning your bike into a sail to the wind. Turn your tire valves to the 12 o’clock position to keep the water from seeping into the valve. If you have prepped your bike right it will survive the night and be ready to race.
If you are unsure about any of this stop in your local bike shop for some assistance.
Focusing on the bike segment is important to stay safe. Increase your focus on managing your speed and the lines you take. Remember by reducing the tire pressure, the friction and increased tire contact will allow you to handle better.
Pay attention to metal drain covers or large road markings these are hazardous and very slick.
- Judge your speed before the turn
- Apply light breaking earlier before the turn to clear the break surface of water
- Reduce the amount of speed before the turn, not during the turn
- Maintain a steady position
- Distribute your weight evenly over the bike
- Don’t make aggressive adjustments, trust your line
- Keep eyes focused on where you want to go