1. START SMALL.
Pick a distance you know you can manage. Sprint distance triathlons are an ideal distance to aim for.
There is no point in going for the biggest baddest race you can find. You need to be realistic about your goals and your goal must fit the amount of time you have in your daily life to train.
2. KNOW THE ROUTES AND EVENT DETAILS.
The old expression of Knowledge is power is very relevant when it comes to triathlons. Look at a map and study the terrain. If you can get your head around the course it will help you train better and give you the confidence on the day of the event.
3. CONSIDER JOINING A CLUB OR TAKING SOME LESSONS
Many of us are happy with our running and cycling but the swim can be an area that makes us shy away from a triathlon. Joining a club is a great way to enhance training, get good advice and tips from members who have more experience. You should never feel inferior – everyone has to start somewhere!
A few swimming lessons are very useful to help you improve your technique, especially if the swim is the area you fear the most.
4. TRAIN FOR TRANSITIONS
Don’t overlook the importance of transitions. Many beginners will not think this through and this is probably the number 1 rookie mistake – Go through this step in your head. How do I get from swimming gear to cycling gear? Are you going to wear a tri suit under your wetsuit? What shoes are you going to wear for the cycle?
If you are new to triathlons this can be mind boggling. The advice is to keep it simple.
Ideally wear your cycling/running gear under your wetsuit. This will speed you up immensely and means you have only to think about taking off the suit and putting on your shoes.
For anyone who has never used clip on shoes before this is not the time to try. Stick with your running shoes until you build up confidence.
You don’t need all the super expensive, top of the line gear. You do however need a bike, a wetsuit and some comfortable cycling/running clothing. If it’s your first time you can borrow some of the gear but do make sure your bike is the right fit for you. There is no right bike for your first time. A road bike would be recommended but if all you have is a mountain bike don’t let this stop you!
6. NUTRITION AND SNACKS
We have loads of nutrition blogs to help you with your training nutrition.
It is also a good idea to bring some snacks and drinks for your event. These can be places conveniently on your bike. The cycle is a great time to build up your hydration and energy after the swim.