Mar 27

Daily Triathlon Tip: How to Race a Triathlon in the Rain

RainRidingHow do you race a triathlon in the rain?   How can you stay warm, go fast, and be safe on a wet triathlon, especially on the bike?

This is in response to a reader question- here are a few tips:


  • Obviously, during the swim its sort of irrelevant if its wet and cold.  Swims are almsot always wet and cold.
  • Try to stay warm BEFORE the swim- put your wetsuit on really early.  Its almost certainly warmer than your pre-race clothes
  • In some races the water is warmer than cold early morning air- it may be warmer sitting in the water than outside- try it with your toe to find out

Bike- Stay warm

  • The first trick to staying warm on the bike in a cold and wet triathlon is DO NOT STOP.  Even if you are freezing, you will be warmer on the bike and going than stopping.  The cold becomes much worse if you aren’t exercising
  • Bike clothing really matters.  If its raining, you are not going to stay dry anyway, so forget the rain jacket.  Loose flappy waterproof clothing is crazy slow on the bike (bike clothing matters a lot more than you think for aerodynamics)

Bike- Don’t Crash in the Rain

  • Cornering- You only have so much traction between your tires and the road when its raining.  Only use it for one thing at a time- specifically never brake and turn at the same time- brake first, THEN turn
  • Ignore your rear brake when biking in the rain- all its going to do is lock up your rear wheel and make you skid.  Use your front brake only.
  • Dont ride through puddles you can’t see the bottom of- they are often hiding huge potholes that can flip you or flat your tire.

As always you can:

1 ping

  1. St Croix Ironman 70.3 Race Report: Art Qualifies for Half Ironman World Championships! - T1 Triathlon LLC

    […] coach is right!  Race with your head…!  I would strongly recommend reading his article on racing “in the rain.”  I found two comments particularly helpful— “dont bike over puddles you don’t […]

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