We all hope for fine weather on race day; however, we don't always get what we hope for. Being well prepared and equipped to compete at your best, whatever the weather, can give you an edge when racing. See wet, cold, or rainy days as an opportunity to train and be ready for all conditions on race day.
- Check World Triathlon Competition Rules, as well as specific rules for your event to know if wetsuits are mandatory or optional for your age-group.
- Wearing two swim caps can help keep warmth - you will need your event cap on top.
- When considering what to wear, keep in mind that your body temperature will increase with sustained effort.
- A windproof, well fitted, top layer will protect you from windchill in colder temperatures.
- Your body will preserve core temperature by taking heat from extremities, therefore consider:
- full finger gloves
- arm warmers
- toe covers (already placed on bike shoes in transition)
- thin head covering or cycle cap
- Sunglass lenses should be suitable for the light and weather conditions. Glasses protect eyes from more than just the sun. Clear lenses may be more suited to colder and greyer days
The longer your race, the more important it is to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Being too hot (with too many layers) or too cold, can result in reduced physiological and psychological function.
Your body may need to work harder to regulate core temperature. In extreme conditions, check that you are fuelling accordingly.
- If possible, practice swimming in the open water in rain, learning the difference it might make when sighting.
- Ride and run in wet conditions. Practice bike handling and what to wear for confidence on race day, whatever the weather.
- If possible, check the course for hazards made more dangerous by wet conditions such as cobbles, crossing tram lines or manhole covers.
- Be aware that lake temperatures can drop after a period of heavy rain, due to water running from the mountains.
- If continuous torrential rain is forecast, wear a decent quality waterproof jacket and gloves, the thickness of which will depend on the air temperature.
- A peaked cap can help keep rain off your face on the run and consider hydrophobic sunglass lenses for a race in wet conditions.
- Wind can reduce how air temperature feels. 20 mph (32 kph) winds can make 40° F (4.4°C) feel like 30°F (-1.1°C). How much wind-chill affects you will depend on your age, health, and body characteristics.
- A windproof gilet can help preserve your core temperature without adding too much layering.
- Arm-warmers will further help reduce heat loss.
- Be practised and capable of riding on your chosen wheel system in windy conditions.
- Be prepared for disc wheels or deep section wheel rims being prohibited by Technical Officials in extreme conditions.
- Stay on top of hydration. You may not notice yourself sweating as the wind will quickly evaporate sweat from your skin.
Check the forecast before you travel and have the right kit on race day.
Train in all weathers to help you have strategies for all scenarios. Hopefully, you will have fine weather, but if not, you will be well prepared.
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