What to Expect
SWIM: swim cap silicon or latex, one piece swimsuit and goggles, towel, swim bag to carry it all in for practice. We recommend a quality suit as they tend to wear out quickly otherwise. They may race in a suit from swim to bike to run, or wear the team tri-suit, or add shorts to their suit in a race. The youngest kids are allowed to wear lifevests and are actively supervised/assisted in the pool or lake for their short swims.
BIKE: HELMET - No one is allowed on their bike without their helmet on and strap connected. Good Habits start now! Even riding slowly in an empty parking lot! Concrete is a non-forgiving surface. Head injuries are preventable.
The BIKE should be in working order and that fit their body and handling skills. Again, need not be expensive or fancy. Little ones are allowed training wheels. As they improve in the sport and wish to become more competitive, a lighter road bike instead of a trail type bike will help them race with less effort and much faster. So be aware, your athlete may want to upgrade! The coaches and bike shop personnel can advise you at that time.
RUN: Good simple running shoes- nothing expensive needed or advised. They can be made easy to get in and out of for racing with elastic "speed laces" or bungees, many inexpensive varieties. Socks are optional, in racing most do not wear socks. Sunglasses can visors are optional, but handy for hot sunny races. A Race Number Belt is recommended to hold race number instead of using pins.
PRACTICES: Team practices are typically held on Sunday afternoons, location and time announced weekly, as availability/weather and event schedules dictate.
Many of the team are also on a Swim Team, or swim in some fashion on their own through the week, so they will sometimes not swim while those who need the practice get more focused time with the coach.
SKILLS: We will help them learn the essential skills to have a fun race, and move quickly and confidently from swim to bike to run, with "transition" practices. Most kids are natural, swim bike run is what they love to do! So putting it together is a simple progression often more stressful for the parents than for the kids... so relax and have fun watching them figure it out!
TRAINING: We teach them a good warmup and cool down including fun drills and help them with any form tweaks they may need. Some body weight strength work will introduce them to exercises that help them stay healthy and injury free for life, and of course age and fitness appropriate swim, bike, and run. Focus will be on maintaining and developing their speed, with some endurance work necessary for their race, but going for long training runs is not in their best interest typically, just slows them down and can be harmful to their growing bodies. Each child has their own inner drive and talents and we will try to help optimize their spirit and gifts!
Parents are welcome to watch and ask questions, or leave them with us. Sometimes they do better when the parents are not around, especially when they are about to try something new or what they think is difficult, it depends on the situation.