• Martin Spierings

5 Don'ts for the Santa Cruz Triathlon

I've coached many of my athletes to success at the Santa Cruz Triathlon over the years and have finished 4th and 6th overall in this race myself. Here are some tips to have your best race.

1. Don't use the wharf to navigate

The wharf is a funny L shape and you'll end up swimming further and crooked if you use it for sighting in the swim. Follow the buoys on the way out and use the right side of the dream inn (or the palm trees) to navigate the shortest path on the way back in.

2. Don't put shoes on to run to T1

It's a waste of time and an extra thing to think about. Barefoot running on concrete is not fun but you'll be fine. HTFU.

3. Don't try and wash your feet

Sometimes they give you pools to wash your feet it. This is a waste of time and counterproductive. You want your feet to be as dry as possible so making them wet again so sand and stones stick on them does not make sense. And don't wear socks, use some baby powder in your shoes.

4. Don't attack the start of the hills

The bike course is NOT FLAT. It has some significant rollers that are longer than they look. Build into the hill so you're not exhausted and sitting up panting at the top. You want to work the end of the hill so that you're coming over the crest, back in your aero position, with good momentum.

5. Don't blow up on the run

There is a hill right out of T2 and there are a lot of spectators cheering and adrenaline rushing. Don't be hero here! This is a course you must negative split to have a good day. Relax up that hill with short steps and build into the first half. Start applying the hurt after the turnaround.

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