Tips for Beginner Competitors of the Triathlon

by Leo Cartland

For many people competing in a triathlon is the desired dream. However, few accomplish their goal due to lack of training time, an absence of money or resources, or shortage of self-confidence. Such shortcomings can impact one’s attitude towards other events and situations. It’s essential to carve out time, money, and improve confidence if you want to run a triathlon. While some people want to win the first-place trophy at a triathlon if you’re a beginner, it’s suggested that you enjoy the race instead of trying to win first, second, or third place. Most beginners will make a few mistakes during their first race that’s why it’s important to know some insider secrets before you run the course.

Here are the top nine tips every competitor at a triathlon should know:

  1. Don’t start with a triathlon

The triathlon is known to be a long and daunting race even for returning competitors. Most people train for the triathlon by competing in shorter races. When you compete in shorter competitions over time, you’ll find that the amount of mileage you can run will increase. Therefore, by competing in shorter races, you expand your abilities and build upon on what you’re capable of doing which not only boosted endurance but speed too.

  1. Select a race close to your home

Some people like to select races a little too far from their houses due to the course, the number of people or the cause. However, if you’re a beginner, it’s suggested that you choose a race that’s close in proximity to your home. Easy travel from your house to the event on race-day will prevent travel anxiety or you from getting lost. Also, a cool benefit from selecting a race close to your home is that you can practice on the course. That’s right; you can train on the very course you’ll be racing on. Wouldn’t that give you confidence?

  1. Tips for Beginner Competitors of the TriathlonYes, you do need swim products

For the swim portion of the race, it’s advised that you have a swimsuit and goggles for indoor or outdoor water races. If you’re an untrained open water swimmer you might want to enter in competitions where you can swim in pools. It’s important to make sure your swimsuit is made to swim in open water conditions or lap pools. You should not select a swimsuit that is used for sunbathing; such swimsuits will not be beneficial to you in swim races.

  1. You don’t have to buy an expensive bike

Most people believe competitors purchase expensive bikes to use in races like a triathlon; however, that’s not the case. Many people ride the bike they train on for one primary reason they are comfortable with it. Such bikes can be mountain bikes or hybrid bikes, and some bikes are even old but in good working condition for their age. All that is required of bikes in a triathlon is that they work, and they don’t possess any broken parts or pieces that can break off and potentially hurt or injure a fellow competitor.

  1. Running shoes are a must

Unlike bikes, running shoes should be somewhat new and from a running shoe store. While running shoes may be expensive, isn’t it worth the expense? If you go to a running shoe store, don’t disregard the employee’s helpful manners. The employees will help you find a shoe that is custom to the size and shape of your foot. A proper running shoe will aid in your running posture, speed, and your endurance. In fact, the difference between running shoes can make or break your time on the course.

  1. Training isn’t as hard as you think

Since most beginners don’t strive for that first, second, or third place medal, there is less pressure for them to train. In fact, most beginners train less than five hours per week. While it does take dedication to prepare for the triathlon, it’s building upon what you already know that’s most important. You shouldn’t try increasing your time if you feel hesitant or unsure. Allow yourself to gradually increase time, mileage, and speed instead of improving them all at once. Strategically increasing your time, distance, and speed will make you less prone to injury, and therefore, strengthen your muscles for what’s to come.

  1. Make time for rest

You should make time for resting and relaxing. Depending on your training schedule your muscles are likely to be worked out a lot more than they’re used to. It’s essential that you find some time to rest in between working, training, and socializing. While socializing might seem like a good way to relax it’s crucial that alcohol isn’t consumed while socializing. Since alcohol can have many effects on your bodily systems, it’s suggested that you stay away from alcohol when training for a race of some kind.

  1. Tips for Beginner Competitors of the TriathlonAll time is counted

Most people believe the transition period from one event to another does not count in your overall time of an event, but it does. In fact, all time is calculated. When you transition from swimming to biking that time is counted and referred to as T1. In addition, when you transition from biking to running that time is counted and called T2. The amount of time it takes you to complete these two transitions are calculated in your overall time.

  1. Slow and steady win the race

Many beginners start a race at a brisk and fast pace, however by the end of the race they don’t have the energy to continue with such speeds. It might be hard, but it’s essential that the first half of the triathlon is completed at a steady and even pace. Most people who start with a steady and slow pace at the beginning of the race have the energy to increase their speed and finish faster than they started. Therefore, if you start the race at a brisk pace, you’re likely to finish it tired and worn out, although if you start a race with a slow and steady pace your likely to finish it with increased energy and a bright smile.

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