Monday, June 20, 2011

Metrosexual Triathlete - Tip Of The Week

In this week's installment of Metrosexual Triathlete - Tip Of The Week, we will discuss proven strategies for dressing, accessorizing and behaving at your next pre-race exposition.

These tips will get you game on these guys
The race expo is usually the first chance that you will have to get a true feel for the race.  You'll see what vendors are there, which gives you an idea as to how big and established the race is.  You'll also get the opportunity to investigate the transition area, the swim course and the entry and exit points for the bike a run.  Most importantly, the race expo is the first chance you'll get to start sizing up the competition.  But remember, as you are sizing the crowd up, someone in the crowd is sizing up you.  So it's very important that you are prepared and look good.

In a sport where the apparel depends almost exclusively on man-made technical performance fabrics, the pre-race expo is the perfect time to show your more casual side.  Though cotton is a no-no when it comes to race day, it should be your go-to fabric when you are waiting in line for your race number or queuing up to score free samples of energy bars from the cute girl who probably can't spell "nutrition".  As a group, triathletes have varying tastes in terms of casual clothing choices.  But a pair of jeans, khaki shorts or old cargo pant cut-offs will always do the trick.  Just make sure they are loose and comfortable - save the skinny jeans or tailored shorts for the apr├Ęs race parties.

Your best bet for the top half is always a favorite t-shirt.  This is real easy if you are not a big fan of graphic tee's - roll into the expo like you own it with a solid color-block tee of your choice.  But if prints are your thing, here are a few guidelines that we recommend you follow:
  • If you did the race last year, don't show up to this year's expo in last years tee. 
  • Though it's fine to choose a tee with a subject matter not directly related to triathlon or endurance sports, be careful not to go too far off the beaten path.  The Simpsons or Family Guy tee should be left at home.  Conversely, action sports brands like Hurley, Volcom or Quicksilver (Pac-Sun, various prices) are always fine.
  • The crown jewel t-shirt for a pre-race expo is a t-shirt from Tyr, the swimming equipment manufacturer.  They are hard to come by, so if you see one, buy it.  Because by wearing a tee this rare, people will automatically assume that you are in some sort of inner circle and thus kick ass at swimming.  A simple mind game to be sure, but quite effective.
Regardless of what kind of t-shirt floats your boat, always go for the 30/1 fine jersey material.  Not only is 30/1 fabric softer and more supple, the t-shirt cuts tend to be more fitted.  You've been working way too hard to settle for a boxy-ass Hanes Beefy Tee.

Castelli/Nike Free combo
You should also put a lot of thought in to footwear.  Though you don't want to wear your race shoes, an older pair of trainers always work well.  That said, many high performance running shoes score very low in the "looking cool" department, so some prudent caution is always advised.  It never hurts to have a pair of "casual only" running shoes in your arsenal.  Many Nike models come to mind, with the Nike Free (Foot Locker, $84.99) being at the top of the list.  Though worthless when it comes to actually running, there's no denying that many models of Nike running shoes look pretty stylish.  To spice things up, consider wearing a pair of cycling socks from a high-end Italian cycling apparel manufacturer like Capo or Castelli (World Cycling Productions, various prices).  Wearing these socks will send a message that you know what's up when it comes to cycling and thus are here to deliver the goods on the bike course.  Again, mind games.

As far as accessories, we recommend you keep a few things in mind:
  • Bring a recyclable shopping bag from Whole Foods with you and then make a big deal about transferring the contents of your goodie bag into it while at the expo.  Not only will people see that you take eating healthy seriously, they'll see that you care about the environment.
  • As cool as they are, your race day sunglasses need to stay in your transition bag until the race.  Because the fact is that high performance eye-wear looks terrible on your face unless properly matched with a race suit or bike helmet.  Though a pair of Ray Ban aviators (Zappos, $239) look good on just about everyone, you'll also be OK with a slightly less sporty knock off of your favorite hi-tech shades.  Peppers (REI, various prices) and Giro (Performance Bicycle, various prices) both have nice collections of suitable quasi-performance sunglasses to choose from.
  • Baseball hats are meant to be worn forward or backwards only, with said position typically dictated by age (or how old you feel).  An offset of 10 degrees or more in either direction off of center is all but forbidden.  Incidentally, this applies to all baseball hats in all situations, and in all facets of life.
Once in the expo, take care of business first.  Get your race number and your goodie bag.  Then you can linger, but not for too long.  It may take a few laps around the vendor area to effectively transmit all of your mind games to the crowd (e.g. the Tyr shirt and cycling socks), but it shouldn't take all day.  Ten minutes per 100 people on the expo floor is a good rule of thumb.  Then get out of there, because you've got stuff to do.  Like shave your body.  Which, incidentally, will be the topic of next week's post.

Until then, train hard and look awesome.


krystyna47 said...

God I love these posts. Sometimes I take them so seriously (b/c they are obviously FACTS OF LIFE) and other times I'm rolling on the floor, crying my eyes out from all the laughter.

Well done, you.

Jennifer said...

Gosh, I totally forgot about the baseball cap rule. Thanks for reminding me!

ShutUpandRun said...

If I can't find a tyr shirt I'm going to just wear a shirt that says "newtrition." And some shoes with cleats.

KovasP said...

Tyr shirt - I'm worried.
Castelli socks - I'm worried.
Nike Frees - clearly I will pass you on the run.

Lucas R. Tucker said...

"cute girl who probably can't spell "nutrition"."- love this, a rescue equipment company i know of has a hooters girl that they hire part time to help.

At Sierra Trading whatever there is a TYR IRONMAN shirt. Wear it to show you are in the inner-most of all inner circles.

it's all about pace said...

funny stuff... taken to heart

Tri4Success said...

Funny. I actually met a cyclist from my area while at a physical therapy center only because I spotted the bright orange Hincapie socks my shop likes to sell being worn with his docksiders. Not sure my Capo socks would work with any of my casual shoes.

BTW, I mentioned you in my last post.

Unknown said...

Half off TYR! 6 days left to buy!

Tough Chik said...

Awesome! But make sure you visit the expo long enough to pick up the latest Tough Chik t-shirt for the wife/girlfriend. You have neglected her with all of your training and she deserves a little sumthin' sumthin'.

Sorry for shameless plug, had to!

ps. my hubby wears cycling socks all the time, is that weird?

XLMIC said...

No offense but... you really sound like a totally sexist, arrogant prick. Assuming that a cute girl is stupid is so typically male. There are some cute girls (lots, actually) who CAN spell and other stuff.

Need an apostrophe in "last year's"... "in to" should be one word... and I am so sick of seeing people use "healthy" incorrectly... you mean "eating HEALTHFULLY" (things are healthful... good for one's health... and creatures are healthy... in a state of good health)

And what is a "bike a run"? Is that like a bike-a-thon but with running or something? I think they call that a run-a-thon.

Oh, and you forgot the 's' in cargo pantS.

Unknown said...

It seems with each post I realize you and I are more and more alike? Not even one debatable point! Scary, I know (-:

misszippy said...

This is the best. Completely envisioning all of this. Wait, I've seen all of this!

Jill said...

Well, I was going to comment on the post, but clearly I must comment on XL's comment instead. Don't you just want to slap her? :)

NattyBumpo said...

First, I will say, "KUDOS to the grammarian in the audience". Living with one as I do, I to, tend to pick up the errors that people make when typing. She copy edits most of my posts, unless I am drunk posting at 2:00 am and she is in bed.

Second. Well done. I have forwarded the guide on sleeveless wear to my cycling neighbor so that he may be properly attired at his next group ride.

Ransick said...

Funny stuff! I was chuckling the entire time I read this. I guess my Alienware geek t-shirt is out :-).

J. L. said...

I am cracking up! I just went to Boise 70.3 and it was my first race expo. I didn't realize how inappropriately I dressed for it, from my shoes to my non-athletic t-shirt. And imagine carrying a purse to one of those expos! What was I thinking. The only item you failed to address was children. Yup, a 9 and 8 year old in tow...with a purse, wrong shoes, next year I'll do better.

Unknown said...

I can tell a lot of thought went into this post! :) I'm cracking up reading it because there is definitely a "right" way to look at an expo!

The Green Girl said...

This is getting really complicated. I'm going to need a Cliff Notes version for my pocket as a reference.

Oh, wait. I could care less about being a metrosexual triahtlete.


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