If you are new to triathlons but want to get into the sport, you might want to start preparing and participate in a race. Sure, it’s a tough and competitive sport and it requires a good deal of training to build up your endurance, but it also requires improvement in your techniques in the swim, bike and run events. Which is why the following are tips every new person who’s interested in a triathlon should know about.
- Find a good coach.
According to the American Triathlon Union, members of the triathlon community are more than twice as likely to succeed compared to those who do not have a coach. This is important because if you never learn what works for you and your training plans, you will not train any better.
More specifically, it’s about finding the right triathlon coach for you. Go into this process thinking that this is the coach who should help you accomplish your goal, but nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, there is a wide variety of coaches for different options. This will be especially true for beginners. Without a coach, you’ll likely be racing while completely unprepared for the challenges presented. This has to change, so look for an experienced coach who will use coaching to set you up for success.
- Know what you can and cannot do.
Practice a little with anything you have never tried before. Your first triathlon training is full of things you think you can’t do, or you simply don’t have time to do, but in actuality, you’ll already have all of those skills under your belt, just not as much as you realize. Start doing more than you expected to do, even if just for a minute or two. Do a little with difficulty, and more with difficulty.
There’s no right or wrong way to do this, but make sure you’re tracking your progress. The more you can do, the better the end result is likely to be. Start off with light, small tasks, and build on your strength. Want to sprint for 30 seconds? Try this for a few seconds. How about a slower pace for 10 seconds? Slowly working towards a more efficient pace is key, because you won’t want to rush when you’re racing.
Learn what you can do, and build on that. Training with the purpose of learning new things you haven’t done before isn’t boring, it’s inspiring and educational. And a good reason to test yourself!
- Also eat and rest properly.
This comes on top of basics that I’ve already covered, and the third principle will be important in helping you have the best experience possible during your race.
As mentioned above, triathletes are all too often worried about their training plan and considering skipping meals and sleeping when they’re not running, biking, and swimming. This is understandable, but it’s often not the case. An efficient training plan includes eating what you need to eat, sleeping when you need to, and avoiding overtraining when possible. Instead of focusing on the actual race, your focus should be on the training process. Focusing on everything that goes into a preparation for the race is what really counts.
Getting everything down will help you have the best experience possible. It will help you know how to perform well in the warm-up, and it will help you know how to do great in your run portion. And even if you don’t ultimately win the race, knowing how to prepare for your race will make you a better athlete for the future.