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Midwest Xtreme Triathlon Club

Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 US

Triathlon FAQs

What is a Triathlon? 

A triathlon is a swim-bike-run race. It is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country. The United States just earned its first Olympic medal in triathlon this year at the 2016 Olympics with Gwen Jorgensen’s stellar performance.

What are the distances of the race?

There are lots of distances offered from Sprint up to Ironman! The official collegiate distance is Olympic/Standard Distance which is a 1 mile swim – 24.8 mile bike – 6.2 mile run. There will be options for athletes to do Sprint Distance (550yd swim – 15.5 mile bike – 3.1 mile run) racing throughout the year if you’re not ready for Olympic Distance yet!

How long are the races? 

On average, an Olympic Distance race will take 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours 30 minutes for most athletes. A Sprint Distance race will take about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes for most athletes.

I’m not good at all three sports… Can I still be on the team? 

Absolutely. Most of our athletes specialize or have a background in only one of the three sports… and some don’t have a background in any! We welcome athletes of all abilities, speeds, and backgrounds.

What does the transition between the swim, bike, and run look like? 

The transition between sports is often called the fourth sport of triathlon. Your time does not stop when you are transitioning to or from your bike. T1 is the transition from the swim to the biking leg. T2 is the transition from the bike to the run.

Is triathlon a collegiate sport? Yes! The NCAA recently named triathlon an “emerging sport” for women in 2014. However, Iowa State’s women’s team will remain a club sport for the foreseeable future.

I’m not a great swimmer… Can I still do triathlon? Of course. You can use any swimming stroke you are comfortable with including the doggy paddle. Feel free to ask an exec member for tips to improve your stroke during swim practices.

Do I have to wear a wetsuit during the swim? Wetsuits are allowed (at most races) but not required. Most types of wetsuits are allowed if the water temperature on race day is less than 78F degrees. The club has loaner wetsuits available for members!

Are helmets required? YES! It’s a DQ in a race if you are riding or touching your bike without a helmet. We also require them for practices. We have loaner helmets available.

I don’t have a bike… Can I still join the club? Absolutely. We have several club bikes and equipment that are available to our members. We have a variety of sizes that can fit someone 4’9″ and 90 pounds to someone 6’9″+ and 390 pounds.

I only have a mountain bike. Can I still compete? Sure, it’s allowed, and there are usually a couple at every race. No recumbents, trikes, tandems, or beam bikes, though. Anything else is likely fine. Tri bikes aren’t necessary, and opinions vary wildly based on a person’s needs and riding style. The club’s loaner bikes are standard road bikes, but a few members own tri bikes.

Are aerobars allowed? Yes, they are allowed, but certainly not necessary. They do have a learning curve attached to them. Most people who get used to them prefer them.

Triathlon FAQs - borrowed from ISU Cyman page

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