First Triathlon for the Beginner
Preparing for your first triathlon can leave you with many unanswered questions.
1. How do I start?
2. What gear do I need?
3. What event should I enter?
Below are some tips and tricks to help you reach race day with high confidence.
Start with your First Triathlon
Consisting of swimming, cycling and running. Triathlon has become a widely known sport over the past 15 years, and lengths of distances can vary depending on the event. Sprint distance, Olympic distance, half Ironman distance and Ironman are the most common races. These races are swum in the open water, ridden on the road and ran around a course, but we see more incorporate offroad running. Distances range from 100 meters of swimming, 3 kilometres of cycling and 1km of running to 3800m of swimming, 180km of cycling, and 42.2km of running. There are various distances to help you pick your first triathlon as a beginner triathlete.
Choosing the First Event
An essential to getting started in triathlon is choosing the correct event. Find an event suited to you, and if swimming is your weakness, a duathlon will allow you to cycle and run without the swimming. A Duathlon enables you to practice your bike-run transition, making you more confident in getting started in triathlon.
If you cant ride a bike or don’t currently own one, an aquathlon can be an alternative event. An aquathlon incorporates a combination of swimming and running, which allows you to practice swimming in open water. Learning to swim in a group and practising transitions can be a positive way of getting started in your first triathlon.
Looking at various events and choosing the right one for you will help you finish your first triathlon with ease.
Picking the Triathlon Distance
Knowing what to do and how to train can be a daunting task. Staying motivated by hiring a coach or talk to your local club, can help provide you with advice. Most experienced triathletes in your club can help with advice or develop a training plan for you. More importantly, they can provide the support needed to getting started in triathlon.
Since you have chosen to sign up for your first triathlon, setting a time frame to the start of the event is a good idea. Give yourself plenty of time for both the training needed and the time to purchase the gear necessary.
Every person has a different level of fitness. The time needed to prepare for your first triathlon event can vary. The longer the event is, the longer time the buildup needs to be. Starting with a mini or a sprint event will see you heading to the start line much faster.
1. Sprint triathlon: 6-8 weeks
2. Olympic Triathlon: 10-12 weeks
3. Half Ironman: 16-18 weeks
4. Ironman: 30-36 weeks
Stick to your Triathlon Goals
It’s essential to set goals. Goals that are not only achievable but realistic and help you feel more positive about your development. Try not to overload the body too early in the plan. Focus on consistency rather than volume in the beginning.
Talk to a local coach or an online coach, and discuss what is needed for you. Having a coach a phone call away will not only help but also speed up your progress and provide you with added motivation. Most coaches have monthly coaching packages available and can also find numerous types of free training online.