Let’s talk about clothes and racing in the Spring. Especially THIS Spring…
The weather is a grab bag for sure. One day it can be 60 degrees in the morning and the next day it’s 40. So what are some ways we can manage that temperature swing where the race starts at 50 degrees and ends at 75 to 80 degrees or actually finishes after dark and the temperature drops again.
First and foremost, have contingency plans and options! Often that means carrying extra layers, accessories or different kits with you as a just in case option. You don’t have to schlep everything into transition but you do have options and you can decide what is best based on evaluating the weather the morning of the race.
For the swim, always have the wetsuit. Whether or not you use it is a game time decision but you have it available. Some people even go as far as having a full sleeve and a sleeveless wetsuit. A swim skin is a great option to have as well and generally can be worn both when the temperatures are low OR if by chance the water temperature is high enough to not be wetsuit legal.
On the bike, simple things can help significantly without creating problems unto themselves. Some things such as putting toe covers on your bike shoes prior to the race provide a bit of relief if the cold lingers into the cycling phase and if not they typically aren’t a hinderance once the temperatures rise. Additionally, cycling gloves (both fingerless and full fingered) can be a great way to maintain feeling in your hands on a longer cycling leg. The few seconds in transition are negligible compared to an extended time on the bike without feeling in your hands. Having arm warmers that can be rolled down as the temperature climbs during the biking portion of the race also help.
Finally, on the run, a head covering is always a good plan regardless of the weather. Additionally, a multi-weather, lightweight fabric pullover is a great idea if the race will end after dark. Spring in the South is notorious for blistering hot days and bone chilling evenings.
When I raced IMFL in 2017, I simply carried an extra tote with me to Panama City Beach. I watched the weather and the forecast for the week prior to the race and I was able pack my transition/special needs bags accordingly. It paid off on the run, as I was able to pack a lightweight 1/4 zip running top and put it in my special needs bag so that I was able to grab it half way through the run as the sun had just gone down and the temperatures dropped rapidly.
The take away here is, first and foremost, always carry options to the race venue. Evaluate the weather and watch the forecast to determine which options you will go with. Prepare as much as you can prior to the race (such as toe covers). In prepping transition and/or special needs bags …be as flexible as possible but don’t over do it with the options …make a choice and go with it because you don’t want to unpack a suitcase when you are in transition or at a special needs bag station. Trust me!
#beenthere #donethat #couldntfindthetshirt