As the days begin to get shorter and fall closes in, the number of people training on the roads increases. I always find it interesting watching people train on the roads and trails. I love seeing people out there bettering themselves, but there are also a few people that forget there are other people around them. Here are my top 5 tips for being a pleasant triathlete in training!
- OBEY THE ROAD RULES.
A few days ago while out riding I was stopped at a 4 way stop sign waiting for traffic to cross in front from either side. Both cars were forced to come to a stop mid way through the intersection after a fellow cyclist came screaming through the intersection from behind me without stopping or looking to see what was coming. Firstly, this is extremely unsafe. Secondly, I think any cyclist would agree that we would all prefer to be treated fairly and courteously by drivers. For this to happen it is up to us to show the same respect by following the road rules. THIS INCLUDES WEARING A HELMET!
If you are unsure on road rules for cycling check http://www.ohiobike.org/bicycle-law-digest.html or search for the cycling rules in the areas you will be training.
2. Practice defensive cycling.
On top of following the road rules when riding your bike, it should be common practice to assume everyone out driving doesn’t know what they are doing and they don’t see you. I have had many close calls while out riding that could have easily resulted in me being hit by a car had I not assumed the driver was going to do something silly. Even if you have the right of way make sure you give yourself enough time to stop if the car pulls out. When I first started training on my bike I placed a lot of importance on doing all of my intervals exactly as they are written. If you are doing an interval and are in an unsafe position, sit up and wait until it is safe to continue. As my coach Brian told me early on- it’s better safe than T-boned.
3.Keep to the right while walking, running or riding on a trail.
This is pretty self explanatory. Stay to the right to allow others to pass.
4. Be a courteous swimmer.
There are a variety of ways to be a courteous swimmer. Firstly, be kind to the life guards. You never know when you might need their help. Secondly, swim in lanes that are available for lap swimming and don’t jump into lanes that are closed. If in doubt, ask! Finally, if you see someone waiting on a lane and have one to yourself, offer to split your lane. If someone asks to jump in with you, be glad they chose you!
5. Wave and smile as you pass other people on the trails!
Everyone loves a nice wave and smile when they are out there. Let your friend know they aren’t slugging it out alone!