It’s decided: you will compete in your first triathlon. Now what? Where do you start, whom do you contact, and what do you buy? There is plenty of time to start training, and you don’t have to do it alone. If you are a newbie to triathlons, here are some triathlon tips for beginners.
10 Triathlon Tips for Beginners
1. Don’t start alone
It is hard to train for a triathlon if you don’t know what you are doing. Triathlons are intense, they are technical, and there is a lot to learn. Find a trainer or a skilled training buddy. If you are new to the sport and you want to train with a friend or family member, seek advice from a professional trainer.
Find a local triathlon club for more support and guidance. Triathlon clubs provide new and seasoned athletes with group training opportunities, skills training, gear discounts, and discounts on event sign-ups. Find a local club near you, here.
2. Commit to the training
You have to be in it mentally and physically. Make the commitment to your workout plan and triathlon goals. Mark your calendar, schedule in your workouts, be proactive about your training, and keep pushing. When you feel like giving up, remind yourself why this triathlon means so much to you. When you overcome mental and physical defeat, you will be a better athlete for it.
3. Evaluate and adjust your diet
You need to eat to fuel. When training for a triathlon, eat clean for peak performance and recovery. Your nutrition is vital for your success. Say good-bye to indulgences and processed foods. Eat clean for performance, weight loss, and for body fat loss. What food should you choose? Consider this one tip to help you make better food choices: one ingredient is best. Eat whole, unprocessed foods. This means eating at home more and making your own food, but it is possible and you can control what goes in your body. It is a lifestyle change, but you have to train in the kitchen just as hard as you train for the race.
4. Watch your spending
You don’t have to rush out to buy all brand new equipment and gear. While you train for your first triathlon, make the best use of what you have. If you go broke trying to train with the best-of-the-best equipment and gear, you will lose out on race-day funds. When you don’t have cash for the race, you will feel discouraged by your dwindling budget. For now, buy good running shoes, ride your same bike, and use your swimsuit and goggles from home. To find good running shoes, visit a running store. You will receive a consultation and recommendations for the perfect shoe.
5. Work up to the triathlon
It is not advisable to make your first competition a triathlon if you have never done one before. Enter other races, such as a sprint-distance triathlon, first. Use is as a learning experience and a way to evaluate your current skill and performance level. Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey are couple celebrities who competed in sprint-distance triathlons.
6. Don’t do an Iron Man first
You probably have Iron Man marked on the calendar. It is the most publicized triathlon, so it is the one you think of. Many celebrities have competed in Iron Man, and few have finished. Stay close to home. Doing a triathlon closer to home is easier on the wallet and it makes race day a little more manageable.
7. Master technique in the pool
The swim is the most challenging and exhausting leg of the triathlon. Before you jump into the ocean, perfect your technique in the pool. Start your training week with laps in the pool for 30 to 40 minutes. Work on your body mechanics, practice breathing, and perfect your technique.
8. Increase your endurance
While you are in the pool, increasing your endurance is key to a successful swim. You won’t be able to jump in the water and finish the swim. Regardless of how fit you are, if you don’t have the swimming endurance training and skills to power through this stage of the race, you won’t finish.
9. Get off the treadmill
The treadmill is a great resource for beginner athletes, but you won’t be on a treadmill during the race. During the run, you will experience sun, thirst, hills, rain, and more. Your treadmill doesn’t prepare you for these conditions. Lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement. You will need to practice going up-hill and down-hill, as well as running on uneven surfaces. Set weekly goals for yourself to improve your running performance. Lace up even if the weather is bad, because they won’t stop a triathlon because of a little rain.
10. Don’t be afraid to rest
Your body needs to rest. If you over-train for the triathlon, you can experience fatigue, overuse, injuries, and boredom. Taking rest days when you train allows your body to rest and recover. don’t push yourself to the point of breaking.
This also applies to the race itself. No leg of the race is worth your health. Plan to pace yourself; don’t exert yourself to the point of exhaustion. You won’t finish. Find a balance for maximum energy and performance: practice smooth transitions, and maintain a slower pace in the beginning of the race so you can finish strong in the end.
10 Triathlon Tips for Beginners Summary
A triathlon is supposed to be fun. That is one of the reasons why you are doing it, right? Find a trainer, listen to your body, and don’t give up. All of your training and your commitment will be worth it when you finish your first triathlon with a smile on your face.