One for the tri-girls

A work colleague of mine wrote me an email about his daughter, she is doing her first triathlon and wanted  to ask some other female triathletes questions. I pointed her to trigeeks but also quickly bashed off a list of the things I'd heard in my 9-years in triathlon and from running a UK Club.

Feel free to post any comments or other tips.
  1. No, there is generally nowhere private to change, nudity in transition is explicitly against the rules and this includes changing with a towel in transition(BTA)
  2. Yes, its OK to take part in the whole event in a decent 1-piece swimming costume, or even a 2-piece.
  3. If you are embarrassed by this feel free to put a pair of running shorts over the top in Transition-1
  4. If you are still embarrassed, put a top on as well, but don't, don't try to put a cotton t-shirt on. It will stick to your wet skin and take forever to get on.
  5. Sanitary protection is the same as swimming; if you wouldn't wear it for swimming, don't for triathlon
  6. Don't wear your normal bra under the swim costume unless its a real sports bra. It will get wet and chafe and will stretch and no provide support; better to get a costume with a decent bra built-in
  7. Yes, a women's specific bike saddle can help with numbness "down there". Check your bike position at the local bike shop before investing though, it might just be your saddle is too high or too low either of which can put more pressure on
  8. Women's handlebars are generally narrower unless you are a 6' 2" former east German boarder guard
  9. Womens bike frames are actually different. Women typically have a different leg/back length ratio compared to men, and their feet are smaller(no jokes about getting close to the oven) and so things like pedals and cranks, and even wheel sizes can be different
  10. Get a decent sports bra(did I mention this before?); not only will bouncing boobs make you look funny; it doesn't do you any good and contrary to popular belief isn't attractive to men.
  11. If things chafe while training, it will be much worse in a race. Visit a local running shop and get some bodyglide; you can use "lubricating jelly" after the swim, after the race is your own business ;-)
  12. Yes, they make special plasters for nipples called Nipguards
  13. Yes, its ok to wear lipstick during the prize giving ;-)
  14. It's important to have fun and enjoy your self; no matter what you think you look like and how slow you think you are, you are never the slowest/biggest/etc.
  15. If you win in your first race, great; if you finish that puts you in 1% of the worlds population, celebrate!
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women's bodies differ from each others' just as they do from men's bodies; it's not necessary to call women who fit men's frames better than women's -- like me -- "former East German border guards".
No offence meant, but are your shoulders really wide enough for standard width bars ? Many men would actually be better off with narrower bars and don;t fit what the bike companies pass off for "standard".

As for frames, you are of course right, but the comment wasn't meant for frames. Take Fernando Keller on the front cover of this months triathlete magazine. She wouldn't fit a standard FSD, and only and probably has to have a small frame with a large seatpost becuase of the length of her legs compared to her upper body.

Of course sweeping generalisations always ezxclude someone...