Top 10 Tips For The First Time Triathlete
1 - Ease into your triathlon training & racing
This sounds basic however like any other endurance-based sport it is better to start off short and establish a base of training first and foremost. The Ironman is the ultimate distance in the sport of triathlon however it is not the smartest move to pick this for your first race. By starting off slowly you will also limit the risk of injuries.
2 – Keep your triathlon gear basic
People often think that they need to take out a second mortgage to pay for all the fancy gear they see others using. If you are starting out then all you really need are a few basic items such as goggles,
3 – Join a training group
Training as part of a group is not just great fun but it will also allow you to ask the coach and/or other training members questions that you may have.
4 – Pick a local race
Local events mean less travel and less worry. There are always some great triathlon events in your local area, which are usually less expensive to enter than the large more prominent events. A local sprint triathlon race is a great way to try out triathlon for the first time and also race your friends.
photo credit to fitstop_westend
5 – Practice your transition skills before race day
Transition time is counted towards to your overall race time and this is the place where many first timers give away seconds they don’t need to. Practice setting up your bike, helmet and run shoes at home in a ‘mock’ transition zone and go through the process of the swim to bike and bike to run transition. This will give you confidence in your transition process come race day.
6 – Don’t be afraid to ask for advice
The triathlon community is one of the most giving and positive sporting communities there is. Everyone was once a first-timer and so don’t be afraid to ask questions about things you aren’t sure about.
7 – Fuel your body with the right energy
Eating right and staying hydrated are two of the biggest influencing factors in performance. When you start training more your energy expenditure will increase and so you need to fuel yourself accordingly. Make sure you keep yourself well fueled with lots of unprocessed foods as well hydrated with lots of water.
8 – Take the rest when you need it
A smart athlete is a successful athlete so if you start to feel overly fatigued then it might be time to take a few days off training. It is very normal to feel tired from your training however if you find that you are losing your appetite and feeling fatigued and tired several days in a row then your body might be telling you that it needs a break.
9 - Work on your weakness
The great thing about triathlon is that is it is essentially 3 sports in one. For most people they always have 1 or 2 disciplines that they are weaker in. This means that your weaker discipline can give you your biggest margin of improvement.
10 – Have fun
Triathlon is a very positive sport perfect for the whole family. Enjoy the road of improvement and try to involve your family in your training and racing to share your experiences.