11 Tips for your first Triathlon
It won’t be an exaggeration if we say that triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Participating in your first triathlon is always full of excitement; it’s just like having your first kiss because you’ll never get another like it.
What you need to know here is that this game is growing very fast. Each year a remarkable number of 2 million competitors take part in this race.
Having a perfect shape isn’t necessity to take part in a triathlon race; all you need is a clean bill of health. Spend some time brushing up on your skills if you’re not a natural swimmer, runner or biker. Look for a local race that’s at least 8 weeks away after getting ready to start an overall training program.
A good mixture of strength, endurance and speed work should be included in your training program – but beware of going crazy and trying to do too much too soon. You must care for you work and family life too allowing sufficient recovery time between workouts.
- Make sure to apply the sunscreen 5 minutes before you go for body marking if you wear one. The ink is degraded if you if the lotion and sprays are applied immediately before or after marking as they cause smearing and fading.
- Count how many rows separate it from the exits when you rack your bike pre-race and don’t forget to mark it on the back of your hand. Count out loud how many rows you’ve passed when running from the swim or after your bike leg until you reach your spot. It will help you find your spot easier amidst the hundreds of bikes.
- Start with some easy strokes if you’re able to warm up in the water before the swim start, but don’t forget to send the signal to your brain and body that it’s time to go, by adding a few seconds of harder efforts toward the end of your warm-up.
- Don’t flip on your back and gasp for air in any panicking situation. Instead, blow bubbles in the water while slowing your swimming. You know how you’re told to breathe in a paper bag while you’re hyperventilating? This is the aquatic equivalent.
- Don’t stop swimming at the end of the swim just because of you the bottom of the lake! Instead, let your fingers brush the ground before you stop swimming, then push yourself up and exit the water. It’s quicker than trying to run through armpit-deep water.
- Put on a helmet to avoid fumbling and penalties while you run in and out of transition before you take your bike off the rack in T1, and remember to take it off once you’ve returned the bike to the rack in T2.
- Buy a race belt if you’re afraid of forgetting your bib number in transition. Turn the number to your back when you’re riding, and slide it around to your front for the run.
- Place the small, loose bike items such as gels, race bib, and sunglasses into your helmet pre-race. The chances of missing them in your helmet are less (as opposed to lying on the ground).
- Before placing the socks in your transition setup try to roll them down to the toes, if you wear them on the bike or run. This step can save you time in transition, as it’s hard to tug socks onto wet and sweaty feet.
- We would recommend you to carry at least two bottles of water on your bike. Mostly only one bottle is enough for a sprint triathlon, but it’s better to keep a backup as possibilities are there that you might drop a bottle somewhere on the course.
- Pinch the lip of the cup to drink from a cup while running so it forms a spout. Thus you can easily direct the water into your mouth with less dribbling.