Tips For Triathlon Athletes
Whether you’re just getting started in the world of triathlons or you like to think of yourself as a bit of a pro, there’s no harm in brushing up on some top tips that will help you along the way. As triathlons continue to grow in popularity all over the world, more and more athletes are trying their hand at this extraordinary event. So that you can give it your best shot, we’re sharing ten of our top tips that will have you armed and ready for your next triathlon.
1. Build Up Distances Slowly
The Ironman World Championship event is undoubtedly one of the world’s most recognized events in the world, however, its 140.6 miles. The Ironman event is made up of 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling and 26.2 miles of running. As exciting as it might be to set your sights on completing the world-famous ironman, you should most definitely start small. Ideally, you’ll find a shorter distance event. Experts recommend opting for a sprint-distance event that compiles of just 400-500 yards of swimming, around 12 miles of cycling and 3.1 miles of running. Once you’ve conquered that, you can slowly increase your distances.
2. Try To Stay Close To Home
If you’re preparing to take on your first triathlon, you should try to stay close to home. If the event is within easy reach of your home, it will help to reduce any stress and hassle come race day. Furthermore, you can try to train along the course so you get to know it, which will ultimately increase your confidence.
3. Consider The Swimming Conditions
If you’re inexperienced in open water or you don’t own the equipment you’ll need, opt for an event that uses a pool for the swimming section. If you choose an event with a pool, you’ll be good to go with just a decent pair of goggles and a swimsuit. Remember, for your first triathlon, you want to make things as straightforward as possible, slowly building up to the most challenging events.
4. You Don’t Need A Fancy Bike
If panic has set in about the quality of your bike, there’s no need to stress. Any decent working road, mountain or hybrid bike will do the job to begin with. There’s no need to go out and spend a small fortune on a bike that you don’t necessarily need, particularly for the shorter distances. What’s more, you can always borrow or rent a bike if you’re testing the waters to find out if triathlons are right for you.
5. You Need A Decent Pair Of Running Shoes
If you don’t already own a great pair of running shoes that suit your needs, you should buy some. Reaching your goals becomes a whole lot easier when you have a pair of trainers that are tailored to a particular purpose as well as to you. If you’re not sure how to find the perfect shoes for you, check out our guide to triathlon shoes, road cycling shoes and mountain bike shoes that will tell you everything you need to know. Also, you can try going into a store to speak to the experts and get a gait analysis.
6. There’s No Need To Go Overboard On Training
If you’re taking on a sprint-distance race to begin with, you need to remember that you’re not training to be on the podium at an Ironman event. Instead of overtraining, you should be mindful of the end goal as you train. When it comes to sprint-distance training, a lot of athletes will train for less than five hours a week. Of course, finding a program that works well comes down to each individual, but just bear in mind that there’s no need to overdo it.
7. Incorporate Rest Into Your Race Day Training
For a lot of eagers racers, the focus lies in the planning of the swim, bike and run segments of a triathlon. However, you need to consider that you’ll need time to rest during the race also. Sure, you want to do well in the race, but it’s important to have fun along the way too. As you get into racing, you’ll soon appreciate the value of finishing the race with a smile and a hunger to do another opposed to being exhausted.
8. Practice Your Transitions
Just in case you didn’t already know this, transition time counts too. Although you might overlook this part of triathlons, you really ought to practice swift transitions to shave off some time. A lot of athletes that have completed triathlons without practicing have noticed how long changing from swimming to cycling and cycling to running can add on to race times. It seems straightforward, but it can make all the difference.
9. Avoid Starting Too Fast
We get it, you are raring to go at the start line and it can be difficult to remember the golden phrase ‘slow and steady wins the race’. But, with triathlons, that really is the case. In an ideal world, you’ll plan to do the first half at a slower pace than you think you might be capable of doing. This way, once you’ve reached the halfway point, you can pick up the pace and utilized the energy you’ve conserved. This type of approach is referred to as a negative-split effort if you’d like to learn a little more.
10. Invest In No-Tie Shoelaces
If there is just one gadget you go out and buy ahead of your triathlon, let it be no tie shoelaces. No-tie/elastic shoelaces allow you to slip your feet in and out of your running shoes without having to fiddle around with laces. If you’ve not already invested in a pair, you’ll be glad you did!
Thanks for sticking with us, we hope our top tips will work wonders when it comes to your next triathlon. Whether it’s your first or your last, the most important thing is to enjoy it!