MCAS IWAKUNI, Iwakuni, Japan -- Training is a huge part of the racing process for triathletes and must be started months before a race.
To prepare for the upcoming Sprint Labor Day Triathlon here Sept. 3, more than 20 Japanese and Americans met at the Main Gym to hone their skills.
Training focused on the three areas of a triathlon - running, biking, and swimming. After a 5 kilometer run, and three laps around the station on bike, the triathletes cooled off with an individual swim at the indoor pool.
"Today is practice for the triathlon," said Yuki Kuramoto, triathlete. "This group has a few beginner triathletes who don't know this course, so we taught them about the course."
The group was a mix of beginners and veteran racers. The more experienced passed tricks on to the group they have learned from participating in previous triathlons.
"We showed them the race course, the tactics of the triathlon and repairs for the bike," Kuramoto said.
It was hot when they began the run and it only got hotter as the day went on. Once they completed the run portion and got into the bike section, some began to slow. This day was not about speed though, it was about learning the course they would run Sept. 3.
After three laps around the air station, everyone met back at the gym. During a lunch of pizza and sports drinks, they discussed racing methods.
Kazuhide Ueki, local triathlete and bike storeowner, explained how to change a flat on a road bike using a few simple tools. He also told racers about the importance of keeping track of your running shoes so no one else picks them up by mistake after the swim or bike portion of the race.
Although some new triathletes may have had doubts at the beginning of the day, what they learned was enough to make them feel more comfortable with racing.
"Before coming here everybody was worried about the Labor Day Triathlon," Ueki said. "Some people didn't know how to prepare for the triathlon."
According to Ueki, this upcoming triathlon is good for beginners because there are no time limits for each section. People aren't rushed to complete one portion of the race, and the course is gradual and smooth.
On race day, triathletes will have to push through a longer swim, bike ride and run. Although longer, the triathletes will know what lies down the road on this course because of the training they have done here.