by Gale Tamon
Taking part in your first multi-sport event can be pretty intimidating at best, so if Biathle 2018 is your first race, you made the right choice!
When venturing into the world of multisport, one of the best choices of races are aquathlons, since tuning up for aquathlons is logistically easier than a full-blown swim–bike–run practice required for triathlons. From the words aqua and athlon, the typical aquathlon is usually a run/swim/run combination, with transitions in between; basically a triathlon without the cycling leg. Biathle 2018, happening on September 9, 2018 at the PhilSports Complex (ULTRA), Pasig, is a sprint aquathlon, with 2 distances to offer- the standard distance, which consists of a 1.5km run, 200m swim, 1.5km run and the lite distance with a 750m run, 100m swim, 750m run, perfect for kids, newbies, and those who are easing back into multi-sport.
So should you find yourself already signed up or wanting to, here are the 5 R’s to absolutely crush your first aquathlon.
Step 1: Read and research.
Take the time to read the race info kit, which include the time of registration, the time transition area closes, waves, and start times. Familiarize yourself of multisport terms. Find out what to wear, what to eat, how to train, and what to expect. Not worrying about anything is one of the best ways to get the most out of any race.
Step 2: Recon.
Check the course out. According to 2017 Total Motion Aquathlon Winner, Gary Layborne, “Get in the pool and start practicing your predicted race pace so you get a feel for it…The better idea you have of your pace pre-race the more you will enjoy it.”
For Biathle 2018, is there anywhere better to train than the race venue itself? The PhilSports Complex’s 50-meter pool, which boasts of 10 lanes and depths of up to 8 feet, open from Tuesday-Sunday from 8:00 am-11:30 am & 1:00 pm-4:30 pm for PhP 60 and the PhilSports Arena Oval Track, which is open for the public at 5:30 am-9 pm for only a minimal fee of PhP 35, respectively.
Step 3: Ready (and practice) your transition/s.
Transitions can make or break your performance and momentum. In general, racers swim and the run in the same clothes, usually, comfortable tri suits, for efficiency in both the swim and run sections, and regular sport swimsuits, like the super stylish, yet super functional swimwear from Neptune Actives, the only Philippine retailer of Funkita, Funky Trunks and Mobot Nation, or sometimes opt for more mainstream sport wear, which are readily available to you, however, might cost you more time in transitions. Along with these, of course, are the basic gears for running and swimming, such as goggles, a swim cap, and running shoes. Triathlete and former Philippine Water Polo Player, Lia Co recommends putting on your gear starting from your feet and working up to the head. She also suggests that to place what you’ll wear first at the top and the last at the bottom.
Step 4: Race!
Running is typically the easier of the 2 disciplines, however, running can produce more injuries than swimming. To avoid injury, your arm actions should be symmetrical, hands relaxed, listen to your body. Do not run when your feet feel tired, heavy, or sore. And finally, according to Ironman Triathlete Ed Harman, “Run with a high cadence (fast feet) and drive your arms forward to get you into your race pace. Most importantly, enjoy it!”
For first time aquathlon participants, it is recommended that your first event be in pool-based race, making Biathle all the more suitable for newbies. Train and commit to the swimming stroke you are comfortable and most confident with, but for speed, you might want to focus on the front crawl. Be prepared to be hit and kicked during the race proper, but do not take it personally! Everyone is unavoidably clamoring to get ahead, so it’s better to exercise caution and learn to swim with your head up for 2 or 3 strokes to be able to see your path.
Step 5: Revel in the victory of finishing (or, better yet, winning) your first aquathlon!
Rehydrate as soon as you can after your race to replenish all the minerals and electrolytes lost. Aim for at least 30-35 mL of water, however, don’t drink it all at once, savor each mouthful of water to avoid drowning and to get the maximum effect. And tempting as it may be, don’t just stop and sit down after you cross the finish line of the race, stretch and walk or jog around to lower your heart rate and to stave off stiffness. Eat just enough to recover. There’s hardly any better way to celebrate than with food, but just because you did an aquathlon, doesn’t mean you should eat everything you want. A good mixture of carbohydrates, protein and a little healthy fat is good. Pasig is filled with amazing restaurants that provide equally amazing food that can help you recover, such as Fruiteria by Lee, Detox District, and Booster Bowls. And last, but not the least, take an early night to recover from your training and the race itself — you deserve it!
What are you waiting for? Join an aquathlon now and discover the wonderful world of multisport!
Gale Tamon is a Marketing Officer of Trisports Solutions Inc.