You deserve a hearty congratulations and a slap on the back if you’ve elected to take part in your first triathlon competition! You’re in for a treat and it’s fair to say that taking part in this unique competition will change the way you train and exercise forever.
It’s a fantastic experience, but you shouldn’t underestimate the amount of preparation and training that you’ll need to undertake before embarking on your triathlon journey.
If you’re a newbie to this sporting challenge, take a look at these training tips. These won’t necessarily guarantee victory, but making sure you’re as prepared as possible will ensure that you have the best experience possible!
Identify your weaknesses
You may be an experienced runner, but if you can’t swim for toffee, all of that extra time you picked up in the running segment of the event will be lost as you flounder in the water!
Identify what you need to work on and make this the focus of your training schedule. You can find a full range of triathlon training plans online at Beginner Triathlete; this site organises plans by area of focus, so it’s easy to find one that’s going to benefit the area you need to work on.
Nothing can be substituted for authentic experience. Put another way, if you need to practice your running, training on a treadmill will undoubtedly build muscle and develop your stamina; but it won’t prepare you for the challenges of running on regular terrain. Get yourself out in the fresh air to give yourself a realistic idea of what’s ahead.
As well as choosing an effective training plan, you’ll also need to equip yourself physically for the challenge.
These are the most important things that you’ll need to get your hands on if you want to succeed in your triathlon event:
- A bike – not just any old bike either. You’ll need to have your bike approved by the organisers of the event before it takes place, to ensure that it conforms to their regulations. Check with whoever is in charge of your event to find out more information. We recommend Leisure Lakes Bikes as they are a family run business established over 34 years ago by four brothers with a great passion for the outdoors
- Clothing – The most important item, and one that you’re unlikely to already own, is a decent wetsuit. This is vitally important for the swimming part of the challenge; as well as keeping you warm, a wetsuit makes you streamlined in the water to help you achieve speed. It’s also a good idea to invest in a pair of triathlon shorts, available to buy online from triathlon experts like ActivInstinct. These are perfect for both the cycling and running part of the challenge, saving you valuable time changing your clothing between these two sections
Which brings me nicely on to my next piece of advice. You might be the most accomplished swimmer, cyclist and runner in the world; but if your transition between each section of the event is slow and sluggish, you’re going to be left trailing the rest of the competitors.
Practice this as much as possible in preparation for a triathlon to ensure you don’t lose time. As well as the physical element, like changing your clothing, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the experience of getting straight off a bike and jumping into water to take on the swimming challenge. For first timers, this experience – if it’s a relatively new one – is enough to send you spiralling into a state of panic and even become unable to complete the event.