Tips For Triathlon Athletes
If you’re considering taking on your first triathlon or you’ve already dipped a toe and think you could use some tips, you’ll be glad to know we’re on hand. A triathlon is not only a test of your physical strength and ability but your mental strength too. As always, we want to bring out the best in you, which is why our latest post contains 10 tips for triathlon athletes that will help you to break through those mental and physical barriers. From the shortest possible distances to taking on the world-renowned Ironman, these tips are sure to carry you along the way.
1. Start Small
If you’re keen to get started with a new hobby and triathlons have taken your fancy, it’s important that you don’t plunge into the unknown right away. As tempting as it might be to really put your strength to the test with a big race, it’s best that you start off with a manageable race. As a good starting point would be to opt for a sprint-distance event. Go for something that requires around 500 yards of swimming, up to 15 miles of cycling and just 3.1 miles of running. This way, you can get a feel for triathlons without pushing yourself too hard.
2. Don’t Travel Too Far
To make things easier, especially if it’s your first race, you should try and stay close to home if you can. Choose an event that is within close proximity to reduce any race-day stress and hassle you might face.
3. Make The Swimming Section As Easy As Possible
If you’re not the strongest swimmer or you don’t have swimming gear already, choose races that aren’t in open water. Instead, you should select an event with a pool. Not only will it be less challenging, but it doesn’t require a wetsuit. All you really need in this case is some decent swimwear and a good pair of goggles, there’s no need to go overboard.
4. Don’t Panic About Your Bike
Don’t be fooled into thinking you need a fancy bike to participate in triathlons. Your bike is fine. Whether you choose a mountain bike, road bike or a hybrid, it will do the job. Even if you don’t have a bike, you can always rent or borrow one, there’s no need to spend a small fortune until you’ve put your abilities to the test and determined if triathlons are for you.
5. Invest In A Good Pair Of Running Shoes
Although you don’t need to go out and spend a fortune on bikes and swimming gear, you do need to get a pair of decent running shoes. It’s vital that you choose a pair of running shoes that are the perfect fit for you. If you’re unsure of the kind of shoes you’ll need, you should visit a store and ask for a gait analysis as well as telling the experts in-store what the purpose of them is.
6. You Might Not Need To Train As Hard As You Think
It’s essential that you don’t push yourself too hard during training. Unless you’re aiming for a spot on the podium at an Ironman event, you won’t need to be investing 20 hours of training each week. You can find detailed training plans online, but if you already know what approach you’re taking, around five hours per week should be enough for your first race.
7. Incorporate Rest Into Your Race
Ideally, you’ll want to finish each event with a smile on your face, leaving your hungry for me. If you start off raring to go, the swimming, cycling and running can come easy, often leaving athletes overlooking the importance of rest. As with all exercise, you need to rest and recover too.
8. Consider Transition Time
A common misconception for first-time triathlon athletes is how long it takes to change in between swimming to cycling and cycling to running. Although it might not seem important, you really should practice transitions as part of your training because they count to your overall race time. Nailing a smooth transition can make more of a difference than you might think.
9. Start Slow
When it comes to triathlons, the phrase slow and steady wins the race most definitely applies. Most beginners will start too fast, leaving them facing an uphill battle towards the end. You should estimate how long you expect to take to complete the entire race and plan to do the first half at a slower pace. This way, once you’ve passed the half-way stage, you can increase the pace and finish strong. This type of training is referred to as negative-split effort and is favored by many athletes taking on triathlons.
You might want to invest in triathlon watch to help you track your results.
10. Buy Some No-Tie Shoelaces
We know we said there’s no need to splash the cash on fancy bikes or swimwear, but, if there’s just one thing you do buy, let it be no-tie shoelaces. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably would have heard of them. For those who haven’t no-tie shoelaces are elastic laces that will allow you to slip your shoes on and off without the need to fiddle around tying laces. You’ll thank us later if you take this piece of advice!
So, that’s a wrap. 10 of our tried and tested tips that are sure to help you rack up those miles as you take on a triathlon. Once you get into your groove, there are many of tips and tricks that will help you to go longer and faster. But, to start with, choose short distances, don’t over-train and remember that slow and steady wins the race.