Last edited on 26/12/12 at 3:40 am
Good etiquette and sportsmanship are essential in any sport, but they are especially important in triathlon, as the nature of the sport throws a large group of athletes in close proximity to each other. For the safety and enjoyment of yourself and others, use good etiquette while training and on race day.
The next time someone blows by you on their $6000 aero carbon fiber rocket ship bike or swims over the top of you like they are wrestling an alligator, smile and say, “Thank you, have a nice day!” You’rr thinking – yeah, right!
Below are a few suggestions on multisport manners. I’m sure many of you have a long list of etiquette violations you would like to offer to some athletes but the best thing you can do as a coach and athlete is to be a mentor and example. Actions will speak louder than words in training and racing!
- Be on time for the group ride, runs and swims. No one wants to wait around.
- Don’t ask your running partner to carry the gels or water just because they have pockets.
- Don’t make workouts races. Why bike or run with someone if you continually pull ahead.
- Do ask permission to swim in a lane before getting in at the pool.
- If there are two swimmers in a lane there is no need to circle swim but more than two you will need to circle swim in a counterclockwise direction.
- No hand paddles when swimming in a lane with others.
- To pass anther swimmer in the lane, tap their toes and the quickly accelerate around them.
- No spitting or snobbers when pack riding! Pull away from the group when spitting or snobbering.
- Always ride as straight as line as possible when group riding or racing.
- I strongly discourage aero bar use during group rides.
- When braking on turns and descents be sure to yell out “braking” so other know you are slowing down.
- Ask your running and cycling partners to select the route and don’t take pleasure in pushing them during aerobic sessions. ~ We are all guilty of this!
- Never use headsets when riding unless you are indoors.
- Set the example for the other athletes during training. Be a mentor not a monster training partner.
- Do point out road hazards and signal your intentions on group rides.
- Do smile a lot and make positive fun conversation. No one likes a whiner/ complainer.
- If you are training on the local running track stick to the outside lanes if you are a slower runner or recovering. Let the speedsters have the inside lane.
- When walking always stick to the outer lanes.
- If you are trail running or riding let the person on the way up have the right away.
-Dogs are great companions on the trails but keep them away from other runners and riders. I’ve seen some terrible falls occur because a dog got tangled up in someone’s feet running.
At the races:
- Don’t monopolize someone’s time race morning with chit chat. They and you should be focusing your energy on the race, your equipment and the course.
- Observe all race rules at all times.
- Don’t use a radio headset during the bike or run.
- Don’t place your bike and equipment on top of someone else’s in the transition area. Respect the athlete’s space and equipment.
- If you are a slower rider stay on the right side except when passing. Keep a straight line when riding. Make sure your throw your water bottles away from the other athletes and off the road. No littering on the race course. If you have mechanical problems pull off the course on the right. Always let the rider ahead know you are passing on the left. And above all obey all safety rules on the course.
- Keep your pets at home if you are racing. Do you really need another distraction?
- The swim is always tuff but I’ve seen athletes actually push and crowd others away from their start positions. Don’t grab, push or pull others during the swim. It’s not combat swimming!
- During the run keep to the right except to pass. When you do pass someone or see them at the turnaround offer a word of encouragement. Be careful at the aid stations. There is plenty to drink for everyone. Give each other room to drink and go.
Volunteers and Race Directors:
- Thank them! Never ever yell at the race volunteers. Smile an after the race when you are at home on the couch remember they may still be there cleaning up or waiting for that last triathlon warrior to cross the finish line!
- Make an extra effort to thank the race director. Without them there would be no race!
After the race:
- When you cross the finish line, don’t be dramatic. You did a good job by finishing, now remove your chip or number, get a drink and move away from the finish chute without a lot of drama!
- Treat the finish line workers with respect. Your day is over they still have a lot to do.
- After you recover a bit, cheer on the other competitors and talk with the athletes. Pat all the youth on the back and offer words of encouragement when they finish!
- If you stick around for the awards then wait until all the awards are given out. I know it tuff at times but support the other competitors till the end.
- Good or bad race - “Be your own HERO!” after the race. Smile, hold your head high and take pride inside. You stepped up to the start line and you did it, you put yourself in the heat of competition and you finished even if the only person you were competing with was yourself!