Tips For A Successful First Triathlon

by Nov 21, 2020Coaching0 comments

If you have finally decided to try out triathlon for the first time this year, you are probably feeling a little nervous about your first race, which is perfectly natural. But while these nerves are reasonable, there are a few things that we wish we had known before our first race, as they would have made things different, in a good way. Below, we’re sharing ten tips to help you avoid committing the same mistakes we did, and have a smoother first triathlon race.

Keep in mind, the whole point of all these tips is for you to enjoy the journey! And for every advice, there is an exception. If you do happen to break any of these, everything will still be okay!

TIP 1: IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU

In our previous post, we gave you ten inspiring reasons to be a triathlete, like gaining new experiences, getting a fitter body, and supporting a good cause. Triathlon accomplishes all that in three different and cool ways.

But whatever your motivation is, make sure it is about you – because you are the one who will be doing it. Your body will go through intentional discomfort for something great, which is yourself – your fulfilled mind, soul, and body, which is a pretty great thing!

TIP 2: DON’T LET YOUR MIND PLAY TRICKS ON YOU

It’s common for beginners to waver, and as a defense mechanism, they put themselves down. They’ll give excuses left and right, selling themselves short, but that shouldn’t always be the case! You know better now than to do that. A quote from Henry Ford goes, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t—you’re right.” This is because it is you on the driver’s seat. So, control your thoughts, stay positive, and put your mind on doing this race.

TIP 3: GO SHORT BEFORE LONG

The Ironman Race is among the most recognizable triathlon events in the world. The race is covered by NBC, who brings the struggle and triumph of triathlon to living rooms around the world. However, the distance of the whole event, which is at 140.6-mile (2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling and 26.2 miles of running), is more than what most first-time triathletes should attempt.

Our advice for beginners is to with an Olympic-distance event (0.9 miles of swimming, 24.8 miles of cycling and 6.2 miles of running), or shorter sprint-distance event, like 400 to 500 yards of swimming, 11 to 15 miles of cycling and about 3.1 miles of running.

When deciding on your first race, make it easy on yourself by choosing an event close to home, which you can quickly drive to from your house. This will help reduce your race-day stress and hassle.

GO SHORT BEFORE LONG

TIP 4: YOU DON’T NEED AS MUCH TRAINING AS YOU THINK

Coming up with a training plan is often a source of massive stress for first-timers. Scheduling a workout can be exhausting to the point that we can’t even motivate ourselves to get the workout done, but this shouldn’t be the case.

You are not aiming for a podium finish with your first triathlon race, so it’s not reasonable to train 20 to 30 hours per week. Team Enduro can create a detailed training plan according to your race needs and personal schedule. You may visit our website for more information, or call us today at + 303-456-6969.

TIP 5: PRACTICE YOUR NUTRITION PLAN

It’s always a good idea to practice your nutrition before race day. Every time you work out for more than 50-60 minutes, rehearse your nutrition plan before, during, and after your workout. You must know what foods, energy supplements, and protein powders work best for you. The same advice applies for hydration. Find out how much hydration you typically need for the duration of the race, considering the weather and the humidity.

TIP 6: STAY CALM DURING THE SWIM

Most beginners find the swimming event the hardest of all three, both mentally and physically, because of the chaos that comes as people try to get ahead of one another.

We recommend going easy at the beginning, taking your time at the back, separating yourself from the pack a bit, and picking up the pace as you get your groove.

Sighting is a particularly important skill in open water or long distances. If you don’t keep an eye on the buoys, you may find yourself way off course. Practice sighting in the pool and in open water whenever possible.

TIP 7: CHECK YOUR BIKE

Make sure to take your bike for a quick ride before the race to ensure that everything is in order. Check the tire pressure and find out the course profile to make sure that your bike is in the correct gear as you transition.

Using a super heavy gear when hitting a hill right out of transition can be a major disaster. Check that your helmet is by your bike because you will not be allowed to leave transition if you’re not wearing a helmet. Likewise, make sure to take it off before you proceed to the run.

TIP 8: PRACTICE YOUR TRANSITION & KEEP IT SHORT

It’s a good idea to practice your transitions in your back garden before race day. Practice removing your wetsuit and donning your bike gear, and getting out of your bike gear into your run gear. A fast transition will save you valuable minutes across your eventual race time, so don’t treat them as rest stops. You need to spend the least time in transition zones as possible, so you need to be organized, calm, and swift.
PRACTICE YOUR TRANSITION & KEEP IT SHORT

TIP 9: BE ORGANIZED

It’s easy to forget things when race jitters (or PRSD—Pre Race Stress Disorder) hit, and disorganization can make things worse for you. Before setting off for the race, make sure to organize all your kits.

There are quite a few kits that you need to bring with you, so it would help to write a list and tick off every item as you pack it. Besides your wetsuit, goggles, cap, and timing chip, you will also need food, elastic shoelaces, gels, energy drink, and some water.

TIP 10: ENJOY IT

Ultimately, you should just really embrace and enjoy your first race. You will have a lot of competitors with fancy-looking bikes and aero helmets, but don’t let them intimidate you—all triathletes, whatever level, are very friendly and welcoming. Keep in mind that you are doing something new in a completely new and incredible location. If anxiety starts to get the best of you, take a breath, enjoy the views, and smile.

If you get these ten tips down, you will surely be kicking butts at your first triathlon. So, have fun!

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