THE TRIATHLON GLOSSARY

AEROBIC/ANAEROBIC

Terms used to identify the breathing comfort of an individual engaged in some physical effort. During an aerobic activity, the effort is of a moderate intensity and can be maintained for a certain period of time, during which it is possible to speak, for example. An aerobic activity is when enough oxygen is transferred to the muscles. Conversely, an anaerobic activity is undertaken at a high intensity and cannot be maintained for very long. In this case, which is referred to as an anaerobic activity, the effort requires more oxygen than the athlete can supply.

 

AEROBIC PACE

The aerobic pace refers to the basic pace that the athlete can keep up for as long as possible. Exercising at aerobic pace helps to increase endurance.

 

AERO BARS

Aero bars are an extension to the bike's handlebars on which the cyclist can lay his/her forearms in order to adopt a more aerodynamic tuck position and increase speed. They are also used change position on long-distance rides in order to make yourself more comfortable. NB: not all the aero bar sizes are admissible during triathlon races.

 

AUSTRALIAN-STYLE SWIM LEG

During the swim leg, when the athletes repeat the same swimming circuit several times and get out of the water between each circuit. They run before getting back in the water.

 

BAR

The bar, combined with the stem, is what forms the handlebar of a bicycle. There are different shapes of bicycle bars: the straight or "upright" shape is used on mountain bikes and the curved "drop" shape is used on road bikes for example.

 

BIKE RACKING

The bike parking is the place where the bikes are kept during a triathlon. It is also known as the transition zone because this is where the two transitions take place during the race.

 

BRAKE-SHIFTERS

These are grips fitted to the handlebars of racing bicycles. They are used to brake and sometimes to shift gear.

 

CORE STRENGTH TRAINING

Core strength training is a technique used to strengthen the muscles of the back and abs in depth by holding a stationary position for a certain period of time. This method is very frequently used in sports training programmes to improve posture and prevent injuries.

 

DNF

Abbreviation of Did Not Finish, which appears in the results when you have not finished a race or you have lost your chip!

 

DRAFTING

Drafting is a technique used when cycling to benefit from the slipstream of the peloton by sheltering behind the other cyclists, which allows you to expend less energy and preserve yourself physically. You can also benefit from this drafting effect by placing yourself behind a single cyclist. This technique is also used in swimming when a swimmer swims alongside another swimmer or just behind the feet of a swimmer swimming in front in order to benefit from their slipstream.

For a long time, drafting was prohibited in triathlon, but it is now authorised in the major federal and Olympic events.

 

ELEVATION GAIN

The elevation gain is the difference in attitude between point A and point B on the surface of the Earth. The overall elevation gain of a race is the difference in altitude between the finish line and the start line. a positive elevation gain, also known as a gain, refers to the elevation gain of an uphill section and a negative elevation gain refers to a downhill section. In competitions, an elevation gain is used to refer to all the positive elevation gains added together, i.e. the cumulative elevation gain of all the climbs. A negative elevation gain is the sum of all the negative elevation gains of the downhill sections.

 

ENDURANCE

Endurance is the capacity of individuals to maintain their level of effort over time and withstand physical fatigue. In triathlon, the long distance events require endurance.

 

EVENT VILLAGE

The event village is an area near to a triathlon event where the brands can show off their products for the race participants and those accompanying them.

 

FARTLEK

Fartlek is a training technique used in running that involves alternating fast running phases with slow running phases as and when the runner wants. This discipline, is practised according to how you feel over a variety of timeframes and at various levels of intensity. The name is Swedish and means "speed play". The athlete can choose to accelerate when he wants or according to a pre-established plan.

 

FEED STATION

Area where the triathletes can get provisions during the race. They provide food and drinks. Depending on the race and distance, intermediate feed stations may be provided.

 

GEAR RATIO

This is the ratio between the number of teeth on the front chainring and the number of teeth on the rear sprocket. This will define how many wheel revolutions the cyclist will complete with one revolution of the pedal.

 

HEART RATE MONITOR

A heart rate monitor is a device – often a watch – that is used to measure the heart rate in real time. The measurement of the HR (Heart Rate) is done using a transmitter contained in a belt that is worn at the chest and which detects the heart rate to be transmitted to the watch. The HR can also be measured at the wrist using specially equipped watches.

 

HOME TRAINER

A home trainer is a device on which you can fasten the rear wheel of your bicycle so that you can train at home.

 

HR = HEART RATE

The heart rate is the rhythm at which your heart beats. It is specific to each person and can vary from one individual to another according to the outdoor temperature and level of fatigue. The HR is used during training sessions to assess the intensity of the effort made.You need to measure your HR at rest and your maximum HR in order to identify the maximum number of heart beats your heart can do in one minute so that you can plan a training session that is tailored to your natural pace.

 

INTERVAL TRAINING

Interval training is a running training technique that involves switching between fast and slow running phases in order to increase your speed and improve your endurance. The changes in pace are done at regular intervals and always include a race pace phase and a recovery phase. Short intervals (e.g. 30 seconds at a fast pace/30 seconds at a slow pace) help to develop speed. Long intervals during so-called threshold sessions are used to develop your capacity to sustain a certain level of effort for a relatively long period.

 

IM = IRONMAN® TRIATHLON

The Ironman® triathlon is the longest triathlon event and is composed of a 3.8 km swim, a 180 km cycle and a 42.195 km run.

 

IRONMAN® 70.3® TRIATHLON

The 70.3® in the name of middle distance triathlon refers to the total distance of the race in miles, i.e. 70.3® miles broken down into a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile cycle and a 13.1 mile run.

 

LD

Abbreviation of the Long Distance triathlon race format involving a 4000 m swim, a 120 km cycle and a 30 km run.

 

LR

Abbreviation of Long Run that is commonly used in running training.

 

OVERTRAINING

When the sportsman or woman completes a series of training sessions without a recovery phase or with an incomplete recovery phase, this is known as overtraining and opens up the athlete to the risk of an injury. The body is tired and the sportsman or woman stops making any progress and can even experience a drop in performance levels.

 

PELOTON

A peloton is a group of cyclists riding together. Riding in a peloton is used to take advantage of the drafting effect by being protected from the apparent wind, so that the rider does not have to make as much effort.

 

PENALTY BOX

This is the place where those triathletes who are penalised during a competition must stop for a time period set by the referee according to the penalty imposed.

 

RECOVERY

Process that involves restructuring the body after a training session or race. This includes resting, nutrition, hydration, massages, sleep, etc. Recovery is essential for sportsmen and women to regain their physical capacities and allow their bodies to regenerate themselves. A key factor in being able to improve during future training and prevent injuries.

 

REPETITIONS

This is the running or swimming training technique that involves repeating a distance several times. A repetition can be constant, increasing or decreasing.

 

ROLLING START

Start of a triathlon in waves to smooth out the flow of participants when there are many of them. The athletes are split into WAVES according to their target swim times. It then becomes like a time trial race for which the final results are revealed at the end.

 

SINGLET

Singlet refers to the top of a tri suit. The outfit will be also include a shorty or pair of tight shorts.

 

T1 = TRANSITION 1

T1 is the first transition in a triathlon race, i.e. the transition between the swim leg and the cycle leg.

 

T2 = TRANSITION 2

T2 is the second transition in a triathlon race, i.e. the transition between the cycle leg and the running leg.

 

TAKING TURNS

Technique used in road cycling to reduce your energy expenditure when cycling as part of a group. The cyclists take turns to lead the peloton. Each one, in turn, will rotate from the lead position to the rear position of the peloton.

 

TAPERING

The taper is the period during which the sportsman or woman will reduce the training workload and maintain the level of intensity one week or 10 days before the competition. The objective is to reduce the level of fatigue accumulated during the previous training sessions while maintaining the strength and fitness acquired in order to be in great shape on the day of the race.

 

TRANSITION AREA

The transition area, also known as the bicycle park or transition zone, is the place where the two triathlon transitions take place. This is the area, identified by the organiser, where the triathletes park their bikes as well as everything else that they may need during the race: cycling and running equipment and race number.

 

TRANSITION ZONE

See transition area

 

TRIATHLON

The triathlon is a sport that involves completing the following three disciplines in immediate succession: swimming, cycling and running.

 

TRI SUIT

The tri suit is used to swim, cycle and run with a single outfit. It dries quickly after the swim leg and is comfortable for cycling thanks to the pad that does not restrict your movements during the run. There are several models of tri suit – one-piece and two-piece.

 

TT

A a time triall is an ‘all out effort’ over a specific distance to get from A to B in the quickest time on a bike.

 

TT bike: bike with an aerodynamic profile designed for speed.

 

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