Tips for greenhorns
Here are some tips for Roth greenhorns from our forum:
1. Being nervous before the start
is really unnecessary in Roth. You can easily reach the location by car and you might even enjoy the early-morning drive along lonely country roads. There is plenty of parking space in the direct vicinity of the swim start, upper-arm marking is done quickly and there are a sufficient number of toilets next to the transition zone. Perfect conditions which make it easy to start your day in a very relaxed way. Even ambitious rookies should take it real easy during the first hours of the race. A real must for greenhorns: Definitely watch the swim start of the first group! The atmosphere is simply great and a real highlight in triathlon sport.
you should control yourself a bit at first. The most common mistake in a long-distance race is to start off too fast on the bike. Roth with its thousands of spectators at the end of the swim course and along the first metres of the bike course might especially tempt you to go off too fast. In the small groups of cyclists that stick together on the first kilometres, athletes are often far too ambitious. Don't get involved in these fights too much, follow the group and try to take it easy. During the first hour on the bike you should eat and drink sufficiently. Try to keep a clear brain! A lot of mental strength will be needed later, so try to relax and just cycle as in your training.
The Solarer Berg
is the biggest catapult of the world. The ride through this hot spot is something you really have to experience. There is nothing similar in the world. So enjoy it, because you will have climbed the hill much faster than you think. Your pulse will go up as well, but you shouldn't get carried away. The best thing to do is to ride as smoothly as possible, your hands on the base handlebar, and watch the scene. Even before you have reached the top it will again be silent and strenuous.
is the most difficult hill of the bike course. It consists of a rather steep ramp and several (I think it's 5) smaller hills after that. With a headwind, it's these little ground waves that are difficult to cope with, because they do not seem to end and you might have the impression that it is difficult to go ahead. But it is important now to stay cool! You should definitely stick to the predetermined pulse rates. Use the hills to relax your back, sit upright and every now and then ride out of the saddle for a bit. The aid station half-way up the hill is quite important, take as much as you can, since you can take a short digestion break when you ride down the other side of the Kalvarienberg. After that there is a long flat section. If your legs play along (and if you have enough sugar in your blood), you will be able to win some time.
starts as if in ecstasy. Real crowds of spectators will cheer you on, the course slightly descends and you go ahead quite quickly. Then there is silence, and the first hill gets you back to reality. This is the real start of the running course. Run slowly and control your speed very carefully. Until you reach the landing stage, the big hub of the running course, you should really run at a comfortable speed and slowly try to find your running legs. Afterwards, along the canal, you should try to keep a calm and positive mood. In this section you should beware of heroic feelings! It's much too early for that, and the probability of overdoing things in this kind of mood is about 100%.
all hell has broken loose. Those of you who have read this far will be able to guess the following tips: First, enjoy the experience, so keep your eyes and ears open. Second, keep cool as regards your speed, which is not easy at all. On your way back to the canal there will first be a slight and then a steep hill. Try to run slowly here and save as much power as possible, since you will now come closer and closer to the point where the race will really start.
The long straights
are at the same time a blessing and a curse. On the one hand they give athlete a feeling of endless vastness, which can be quite depressing, so be prepared. On the other hand these quieter sections might calm you down a little bit. Stay cool and relaxed. Concentrate on the next steps and on the upcoming aid station. So your inner cosmos is no more than 2 kilometres long and 2 metres wide. Anything beyond does no longer exist. Tip: Counting the kilometres backwards helps controlling your speed.
The second turning point
is no fun and hard for everyone. It's not a game anymore. The way back to the canal is hard work and really rough, because you are tired and the slight hill is very hard to take. Most important: Use all available aid stations, if necessary stop for a while.
might as well be at the landing stage, or this is at least what you should imagine. Just pretend that this is the finish-line. When you are there you have almost made it, because from that point on you will run downhill in the shadow, which may ease your pain a little bit. You have left the canal behind. From now on you are a hero.
The real finish-line
is a place of great joy and happiness, but at first you will just be relieved that it's over at last. The finish-line has seen hundreds of hard men burst into tears, and there's a reason why: The last 10 or 20 kilometres are really tough and stretch you to the limit. Hats off to everyone who made it!
For many athletes the party at the end of the race is the emotional highlight of the event. When the fireworks illuminate the sky you take a look around with tears in your eyes and there are simply no words to describe the feeling.